This week social media giant Facebook announced they would be launching a brand new app for advertisers, giving them an easier and more reliable way to monitor ad performance on their mobiles.
Facebook has finally launched Facebook Ads Manager for mobile – it was about time!
What does the new Facebook Ads Manager for Mobile do?
Using the new Facebook Ads Manager for Mobile, users will be able to pause and resume existing campaigns and change budgets and schedules. They will also be able to view insights to monitor the performance of their Facebook business adverts and respond to alerts.
The Ads Manager for Mobile can either be downloaded as a mobile app for iOS or Android. It can also be accessed through the mobile version of the Facebook website.
When is it launching?
Facebook has officially announced that it will begin rolling out the brand new ads management feature within the next few days, on a global scale. By the end of summer they are expecting advertisers from all over the world to be able to benefit from the new mobile-friendly ads manager.
Funnily enough, this week Google also released an app for Android and iOS users called AdWords Express. This app also allows users to manage their Adwords campaigns directly from their smartphones. A coincidence? Who knows! Facebook and Google are in competition after all.
From now on Facebook campaign managers will be able to edit, pause and monitor their company’s ads directly from their mobile phones.
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Benefits of Facebook Ads Manager for Mobile
With more and more people using their smartphones, it only seemed sensible that Facebook created a mobile-friendly version of its Ads Manager. Rather than having to log onto their PCs or laptops, advertising managers at businesses will now simply be able to make changes to their Facebook ad campaigns directly from their smartphones. If you think about it, using your smartphone to make updates and amendments is much easier and more convenient.
Another benefit of having a mobile version of the Facebook Ads Manager is that it allows for around the clock monitoring of campaigns. Advertising managers can essentially check the status and progress of their company’s Facebook ads even when they are not in the office. It also means that if they need to make updates and changes to their spending, in line with the performance of an ad, they can do so quickly, allowing them to benefit from instant results.
Just like with the desktop version of the Facebook Ads Manager, the mobile version allows users to pause and resume existing campaigns. They will also be able to respond to any alerts that pop up in associated with their campaigns much quicker using their smartphones, than they would with the desktop version. It’s also handy as if they are travelling or away from the office, they can make the changes they need to, with little inconvenience.
Whilst there are many third party apps available that claim to offer similar features benefits in terms of mobile Facebook ad management, it is thought that once the official app has been launched, most Facebook ad managers will simply use that instead.
How to download the Facebook Ads Managers App for Mobile
If you want to download the Facebook Ads Managers App for Mobile, you will need to go to the Apple store or the Google Play store, depending on the make of your smartphone. There you will be able to download the app for free. Alternatively, if you prefer to, you can simply visit Facebook using your mobile browser and will be able to locate the mobile Ads Manager from your Facebook bookmarks.
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When it comes to selling your products online, there are many different ecommerce platforms to choose from, however if you are looking for a free ecommerce tool that is easy to use, you may want to consider using WooCommerce. Here we will provide a brief explanation of WooCommerce and it’s features, whilst also explaining why it is so great for online retail businesses.
Set up your online retail business in a few simple steps using WooCommerce.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a WordPress ecommerce plugin that was first launched in September 2011. Over the last few years it has grown to become one of the most popular WordPress plugins, with over 1.6 million downloads across the globe. If you are thinking of setting up an ecommerce business but do not want to spend a fortune, WooCommerce will provide everything you need to get started. Below we have outlined some of the key benefits of this ecommerce plugin for WordPress.
Free to use
Starting any sort of business can be expensive and often very difficult if you do not have a lot of capital. Luckily for you, WooCommerce is completely free to download and use. Not only is it free, but it also comes with a wide range of easy to use features, making it simple for you to sell your products online. The fact that WooCommerce is free is one of the reasons why it is used by so many ecommerce start-up businesses.
One of the greatest benefits of WooCommerce to online retail businesses is the fact it is feature rich. WooCommerce gives ecommerce business owners a lot of flexibility when it comes to organising their products and customising independent attributes. Although it offers a wide range of features, all of them are very easy to use, so you do not need to be a web design expert!
Something that WooCommerce does really well is analytics. Whilst other platforms make data analytics too complicated for non-technical users, WooCommerce makes it simple by using easy-to-understand pie charts and graphs. Using WooCommerce, ecommerce business owners can see how well their store is doing at a glance, without having to spend a lot of time studying figures.
WooCommerce makes analytics easy for non-technical users.
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WooCommerce is very user-friendly and if you have prior knowledge of WordPress, you will find it a breeze to use. The fact it has a similar layout to WordPress, means that it will be fairly familiar to most people. This will allow you to complete tasks in very little time and will not need to rope in a web developer to help.
If you want to stand a chance at succeeding in the world of ecommerce, your website will need to stand out from the rest and thankfully WooCommerce has got you covered. This ecommerce plugin for WordPress is highly flexible and provides a wide range of customisation options. There are a number of ecommerce web designers and developers who specialise in working with WooCommerce and will be able to help you integrate your ecommerce platform with your existing self-hosted WordPress website and customise your shop front.
With so many benefits, it is no wonder that so many new ecommerce business owners choose to sell their products online using WooCommerce. There are not many WordPress ecommerce plugins out there that can match its quality of features, especially at such little cost to customers. If you need help setting up your WooCommerce store or fancy customising it to attract your target audience, get in touch with a WooCommerce web designer today.
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According to a new report by global research and advisory firm Forrester, UK online sales are and will continue growing faster than the US. The European Online Retail Forecast 2013 to 2018 found that UK online retail sales would reach £57.6bn by 2018, up from £37.2bn in 2013, representing 15% of total retail sales. In comparison, Forrester forecast that total US online retail sales would reach $414 billion by 2018, accounting for just 11 per cent of all retail sales. The increase in UK online sales is a result of a compound annual growth of twelve per cent a year between 2013 and 2018.
UK ecommerce sales continue to soar ahead of the US.
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Clothing is currently the largest online sales category in Europe and will remain so through to 2018, growing at a rate of 11% a year. Although clothing is the largest online sales category, online groceries are the fastest growing sales category. It is estimated that online groceries will surpass consumer electrics to become the second largest sales category by 2018, growing by 16.3% a year.
Online groceries are the fastest growing sales category.
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Why is the UK doing so well?
The UK currently has the highest proportion of total retail sales coming from online channels. It is thought that this is down to the fact that more European consumers shop online for convenience and to purchase the products they cannot find elsewhere. The soaring figures are also driven by a combination of the increasing number of customers shopping online and retailers providing excellent ecommerce experiences.
Something that UK ecommerce businesses appear to be mastering well is optimising their websites for mobile devices. Many UK websites now have mobile versions of their ecommerce websites or have invested in responsive web designs to ensure that the needs and requirements of smartphone and tablet shoppers are being met. This is something that ecommerce businesses around the globe need to do if they want to stand a chance at increasing their sales year on year.
What does this mean for UK ecommerce businesses?
With online sales growing at a significant rate in the UK, now is the ideal time to start an ecommerce business. Whilst setting up an ecommerce business is considerably cheaper than setting up a traditional brick and mortar store, as you do not have the same rent and utility bills to account for, it is still worth investing in your online presence if you want to stand the best chance at beating competitors.
One thing we would highly recommend investing in is a responsive web design to provide a more consistent user experience between different devices. This will prevent you from alienating a potentially large proportion of your customer base made up of smartphone and tablet users. Investing in a responsive web design can also help you save money in the long run and boost your site’s SEO, driving more traffic through to your ecommerce website.
It is also worth putting effort into providing fast and cost-effective delivery to customers. This will go a long way in making your UK ecommerce business stand out from the rest.
With Forrester estimating that the percentage of European internet users who buy online will grow from 65% in 2013 to 75% in 2018, now is the optimal time to set up and invest in your ecommerce business. Whilst you will need to put time, effort and money into your ecommerce website, in order to increase your online presence and make it a success, with online sales in the UK growing at such a rapid rate it only seems sensible that business owners take advantage of the opportunities presented to them.
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Over the last few years, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have had a huge impact on the way we carry out a wide range of tasks, from online shopping to watching television. With expectations of soaring ecommerce sales over the next couple of months as a result of the Brazil World Cup 2014, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to examine how people use mobile devices like tablets when watching TV.
Today many people watch TV programmes on their tablets and also use them for a wide range of television-related activity such as searching for information about shows and participating in TV-related social media chats.
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Although TVs are still the dominant viewing device in most households’ living rooms, a survey conducted by Motorola last year showed that more people now watch TV and movies on tablets in their bedrooms than they watch them on TVs. This should set alarm bells off in advertisers’ heads as it may be worth them investing in advertising slots on some of the top tablet TV providers such as 4OD and Netflix.
Second screen adoption
Whilst the number of people watching TV programmes on tablets has not yet overtaken the number of people watching them on televisions, a survey conducted by Nielsen found that forty three per cent of tablet users use their devices as second screens, whilst watching TV on a daily basis. By second screen, we do not mean that they watch the television programme on both their television and tablet. Second screening is all about using a tablet to multi-task whilst you are watching television. Below are some examples of what people are using their tablets for whilst watching TV:
Researching background information about the TV show they are watching. Popular websites include IMDB and Wikipedia.
Purchasing products seen on TV programme / during adverts.
Chatting on social media with friends about the programme they are watching and participating in Twitter hash tag chats.
Using second screen apps like Beamly TV, Blinkbox and IntoNow that are designed to extend TV watching by enabling you to check into the shows you are watching and access exclusive content.
Today many tablet use their devices as second screens whilst watching TV programmes.
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Social media and TV
There has always been a social element to watching television, as traditionally families would watch it together in their living rooms. Whilst that may no longer be the case (with many households owning multiple television sets) the introduction of social media has sustained the social element of watching television. Not only does it allow individuals to interact with their friends and chat about the programmes they are watching, but they can also participate in group chats on Facebook and hash tag chats on Twitter, interacting with people watching the same programme all over the world. According to the report by Nielsen, thirteen per cent of people use their tablets as second screens to post about the show they are watching and interact with other viewers.
TV and mobile shopping
The same report also found that twenty per cent of tablet owners use their devices to shop for what is being advertised on TV. This provides advertisers with the opportunity to connect with consumers whilst they watch television and use their tablets as second screens. It is thought that more and more brands will be doing this in the run-up to and throughout the World Cup, as sporting events have history of driving ecommerce sales.
With more and more people using their tablets to watch TV programmes or as second screens whilst watching television, it only seems sensible that brands take advantage of the advertising opportunities this provides for them. Not only should they consider advertising through tablet TV providers, but also participating in social media chats related to TV shows and even building second screen apps for users to engage and interact with.
Image credits: redtouchmedia & Robert S. Donovan
In September 2013, Pinterest first announced its plans for promoted pins and a month later began testing with an undisclosed group of advertisers. This week the platform took it’s testing to the next level, with the help of a group of leading brands who would be trying out promoted pins placed in the search and category feeds.
This week Pinterest took its promoted pins into the second stage of testing.
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The brands currently testing Pinterest’s promoted pins include: ABC Family, Banana Republic, Expedia.com, Gap, General Mills, Kraft, Lululemon Atheltica, Nestle, Old Navy, Target, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Ziploc. It is believed that Pinterest carefully selected these leading brands based on their predominantly female audience, which they share with the platform. Pinterest stated it was keeping the test group small so that it could collect feedback prior to opening up paid advertising to more businesses throughout 2014.
What are promoted pins?
Over the last few months, Pinterest has been trialing its promoted pins across its web and mobile platforms. The platform is looking to find a way to display the ads without upsetting its users or damaging their experience. As it currently stands, promoted pins will only appear in Pinterest’s search and category pages, they will not appear in a users’ main feeds.
The promoted pins look like any other pin however they are labeled with text indicating that they are in fact an advertisement. If you were to simply glance at them, you would find it difficult to spot them amongst the other hundreds of pins appearing on the page.
Concerns about Pinterest’s adverts
Although promoted pins will provide companies with yet another way to market their products and services to customers online, there have been some concerns regarding the transparency of the Pinterest ads. Back in October, Search Engine Watch first raised concerns about Pinterest’s promoted pins, stating that the advertisements may not be transparent enough and that they could be walking a fine line with the FTC. However Pinterest continued to state that their promoted pins will be ‘tasteful, transparent, relevant and improved based on Pinner feedback.’
Since then it does not look like the platform has done anything to change the look and feel of its promoted pins since the first test run. The only real difference is that the advertisements have been highlighted on the mobile version of the platform. It is wondered whether Pinterest will get away with their somewhat discreet advertisements or whether they will be required to make them more obvious to users at some point during the testing stage.
Is Pinterest the advertising platform of the future?
With the launch of its paid advertisements, Pinterest is quickly sneaking up on the big social networks like Facebook and Twitter and is starting to be taken much more seriously as a competitor. According to the platform it now has over thirty billion pins, half of which were added in the last six months and drives more internet traffic to publishers than Twitter and Reddit combined. Pinterest is currently valued at five billion dollars and for a company that has only just started generating revenue; we would say that is pretty good going!
Pinterest is becoming a serious competitor for the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
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According to earlier reports Pinterest has been asking its advertising partners to commit to spending between one million and two million dollars. AdAge also reports that the platform is looking to price CPMs between thirty and forty dollars. Whilst these prices may seem high, you have to consider the benefits of advertising on Pinterest. Unlike other platforms, Pinterest is all about planning for the future.
People use it to plan everything from their weddings to their dream homes, making it the perfect place for brands to advertise their products. The fact that the platform is image based and can take users from a pin to the publisher’s page within just a click of the mouse also facilitates easy purchasing, making it an advertiser’s dream. With so many benefits, we expect to see all of the major brands, as well as many smaller brands integrate promoted pins into their marketing strategies once the paid advertising platform becomes available to a greater number of users in the coming months.
Image credits: net_efekt & clasesdeperiodismo
Today many brands are creating unpublished dark posts on Facebook to strengthen their advertising efforts. Those in the know can create unpublished posts that do not appear on their brand page’s timeline, but can be accessed via a direct link from a Facebook advert that appears in users’ news feeds. Basically they are ‘sponsored’ pieces of content that can be targeted at a specific group of users. Here we will explain how to create an unpublished dark post on Facebook and the many benefits of doing so.
What is an unpublished dark post on Facebook?
If you are still unsure what an unpublished dark posts on Facebook is here’s a little clarification. Basically Facebook allows advertisers to promote unpublished dark posts within the news feeds of others. An unpublished dark post can be an update, link share, video or photo. Rather than appearing as an organic post, when you create an unpublished dark post, your content will be used as an advertisement and shown to a selected audience. Unpublished posts do not contribute to ‘People Talking About This’ counts or appear in Page Insights.
When Facebook first allowed unpublished dark posts, they could only appear in the sidebar. Today you can create unpublished dark posts that appear in the news feeds of users, the place where they are most likely to engage with content.
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Whereas in the past dark posts could only appear in the sidebar, Facebook now allows them to appear in targeted users’ news feeds. Seeing as the news feed is the most engaging place on the website, it is no wonder that so many brands are now utilising unpublished dark posts in their advertising campaigns.
How to create an unpublished dark post on Facebook
The first step is to load the Power Editor app and ensure it is synchronised with your Facebook page and account. Power Editor is a Chrome app that is designed for users that regular advertise on Facebook. It is much more functional than Facebook’s own ad platform and allows for better control. To synchronise it with your account you will need to go to ‘manage pages’ in power editor, which you will find on the left in the top navigation bar.
Creating your unpublished post
You will then need to select your Facebook page and press ‘create post.’ If you are creating a link post, make sure that the photo up upload is at the optimal size (100 x 627 pixels) and that any text it features abides to Facebook’s 20% rule, or it may be rejected. Once you have finished, click ‘view post.’ Remember to copy the URL and paste it in a word document in case you want to re-visit it later.
Making a campaign
If you are happy with how your unpublished post looks, you can move onto creating your ad. Go to Power Editor and click ‘create a new campaign’ and then create a new ad within that campaign. Once you have created the campaign, upload it by pressing the green button. Make sure it is selected and then create a new ad, giving it the same title as the campaign. This will make it much easier to identify when you have multiple ads in the future.
Configuring your campaign
Use the Power Editor wizard to complete the following sections:
Select your unpublished post from the drop down list. In this section you will be able to select the type of ad you want to publish e.g. News Feed (desktop and mobile) and / or right-hand sidebar.
Here you will define whom you want your ad to target. You can choose from a wide range of criteria, such as targeting by country, age, gender, as well as people with certain interests. If you are looking to advertise your Facebook page to new fans, make sure that you tick the box that says ‘I don’t want to advertise to people who are already fans.’
Optimisation and pricing
In this section you will be presented with a number of different options. The criteria you choose here will depend on the type of campaign you are running and what has worked for you in the past. Once you have completed this section click the green ‘upload changes’ button.
From here on, the fate of your ad will be in the hands of Facebook. They can take anything from minutes to days to check and approve your ad. Sometimes they will even approve your ad and then unapproved it if it violates their 20% text rule.
If you want to see if users are engaging with your unpublished posts, open Power Editor, locate the post and click ‘view post.’ This will allow you to see the post in Facebook. From there you will be able to view notifications, like you would when you receive a comment or like on any other Facebook post.
Once your unpublished posts have been approved, you should monitor them to see which have the highest click through rate. The higher the click through rate of your ad, the more effective it is. If you have a low click through rate, it will suggest that your post is not engaging with users and is therefore not worth spending any time or money on. Posts with higher click through rates will help you save money on a cost per click level.
Why create an unpublished dark post on Facebook?
There are many benefits to utilising unpublished dark posts on Facebook. Below we have outlined some of the key reasons why they are worth experimenting with.
Gain access to users’ news feeds
As we previously mentioned, the news feed is the most engaging part of Facebook on both desktop and mobile. It is where users spend the most time, scrolling through never-ending status updates, events, photos and the alike. Although the majority of Facebook ads are delivered to the right hand sidebar, unpublished post ads can be delivered straight to users’ news feeds. This provides you with a great opportunity to engage with users and encourage them to fulfill the call to action.
A blend between content and advertisements
Unpublished dark posts offer the perfect balance between content and advertisements by combining traditional engagement marketing with the reach of paid advertising. Advertisers have a number of different options when it comes to creating unpublished page post ads. They can create a status update, a photo, a video, a question or even a shared link. Embedding links to external websites provide the perfect way for brands to direct traffic from Facebook to their own website.
Advertisers can use unpublished dark posts on Facebook to facilitate split testing. By creating two or more versions of the same advert, they can test them to see which audiences engage with the most.
One of the main benefits of unpublished dark posts is that they allow advertisers to carry out content testing. Before ‘dark posts’ existed, if brands wanted to test post content, they would have to publish it on their Facebook page and as you can imagine, many were reluctant to do this after spending months building up their fan base. Thanks to the unpublished posts feature, advertisers can now test different content for their page post ads without bombarding their fans with multiple posts.
It is not just text based content that can be tested but ads, images and videos too. The fact you do not have to publish the content to your Facebook business page means that you can be a little more adventurous with your posting. You could even use colloquial language and regional words to engage with specific audience groups.
A/B testing tips
The best way to carry out A/B testing using Facebook dark posts is to create two or more versions of your advertisement and promote it to a small target audience. You can then determine which advertisement is more effective by the number of people clicking through and engaging with the ads. Once you have determined the best ad, you can then use it for a bigger audience.
Unpublished posts give advertisers complete control over who sees what content, allowing you
to create posts for the sole purpose of promotion, without them having to show up on your page. Facebook allows advertisers to select the users they want to target using a wide range of criteria like age, location and interests. The great thing about having the option to use unpublished posts is that advertisers can show content to some users and not others. For example, they could show one version of their ad to new users that they want to ‘like’ their page and a different ad to existing fans whom they want to engage with.
They could also set up promotional offers that they could advertise to some users and not others. For example if a takeaway pizza company was only offering a discount at one of its franchises, they could use unpublished dark posts on Facebook to ensure that only people living in the surrounding area received the promotional message.
Unpublished dark posts allow advertisers to target specific audience groups with their content. This can be useful if they want to promote a certain deal with users located in a specific geographical location or if they want to test content on a certain type of person.
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Unpublished posts do not have the same limitations as ‘targeted posts.’ Whereas targeted posts could only be defined by location, language, gender, age, relationship status, education status and gender interested in, unpublished posts allow users to segment their audience in many different ways including by the things they are interested in. This allows advertisers to target their ads more effectively and ensure they are only spending money on adverts that are reaching the intended audience.
Unpublished dark Facebook posts can prove to offer an excellent return on investment by increasing the reach of your content. Not only can you capitalise on users who are already ‘fans’ of your page and therefore know they are in the market for your product or service, but you
can also capitalise on people who do not know they are in the market for your product or service and convert them into ‘fans.’
If you are looking for an effective way to increase the reach of your Facebook advertising content, try creating unpublished dark posts. Not only can you target existing fans of your Facebook page, but non-fans too.
Image source: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3105/2365562832_33ed8d7b35.jpg
Things to keep in mind
Whilst unpublished dark posts are great for testing content, it is important not to get too carried away. Even though your content will not be published on your page, it is still essential that the message it delivers is true to your brand or you risk alienating your audience.
Unpublished posts have the potential to extend your reach beyond anything you have ever managed before on Facebook. Not only can you advertise to existing fans of your Facebook page, but non-fans too. Out of all of the benefits unpublished dark posts have to offer, the opportunity for split testing is probably the best of them all. Using this feature you can test different content without bombarding your current fans and causing them to unlike your page.
If you haven’t already, we suggest creating and utilising unpublished posts several times a week, trialing new content and new audiences to see what works for you. When it comes to creating unpublished posts, the hardest thing will be locating it within the Facebook interface, so be sure to read through our ‘how to’ steps a second time until you get the gist of things.
Once you have created a couple of unpublished posts, you will find the process easy as pie to complete.
For more information about unpublished dark posts on Facebook or for assistance in creating effective campaigns, feel free to get in contact with a member of our team.
Image credits: dannysullivan, gw225, Just call me Jac & lumaxart
Small website owners often feel frustrated that they are not getting as much traffic as well-known, national or international brands, despite having better content. What can you do about it? Is there a way you will ever be able to compete with larger sites in search results? According to Google’s Matt Cutts, the answer is yes and it’s all about producing great content.
Improve the performance of your small website by creating better content than your competitors and offering superior user experience.
Produce fresh website content
One of the ways small websites can go on to outperform larger sites is by updating their content quicker than larger sites. Small sites are more agile and dynamic, giving them the flexibility to be updated much quicker than larger sites, which often take longer to update and therefore might not be updated as frequently. Google and other search engines thrive on fresh content. The more frequently you update your website with unique, industry-related content, the more likely you are to achieve ah higher ranking in relevant search results.
Provide an excellent user experience
Another way small sites can out perform larger sites is by providing a better user experience. It is important to create content that adds value to your website. If you can offer higher quality content or more insightful content than your larger competitors, then over time you will find that your website performs better and better in search results. Google values sites with excellent user experiences, whether they are small or larger, so it is essential that you keep your users in mind every time you create a piece of content for your website.
Focus on a niche area
A challenge that many small website owners face is trying to compete with larger competitors who have a number of people working to improve their sites. If you are running a small website by yourself, you need to start small and not take on too much at once. Concentrate on producing content on a smaller topic area, a niche if you’d like. Make sure you cover it really well, as you want to become known as an expert in that niche area. Once you have mastered the niche, you can build your content out from it, until your site becomes larger and larger.
Remember that the top websites were not always the big players in the industry. They started out small, just like your website.
In the webmaster help video featured below Cutts explains that automatically assuming larger and more well known sites outrank small sites is incorrect. In fact many of the highest ranking and most well known sites today like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram started out small and built their content up to achieve higher rankings. Remember when Facebook outranked Myspace and when Google took the lead over Alta Vista? This was all to do with the sites producing superior content and offering a better user experience than their competitors.
Although at times you may feel your small website is never going to overtake the larger sites in your industry, you should not give up. Be proactive in you attempts to outperform competitors by working hard on your content and ensuring your site is frequently updated. Start small, covering a single niche area and build your content up so you become an expert that users go to for information about that particular subject. Ensure the user experience your site offers is top notch and you will see improvements in performance over time. You never know, with a little hard work, you could one day end up being the large site that all of the small sites are trying to outrank.
Image credits: Daniel Waisberg & Rosaura Ochoa