Outrank Your Competitors with These SEO Tips
Nothing in the search ranking world is more frustrating than when one of your competitors ranks higher than you on Google. It’s like watching a second place baseball team get on a hot streak and shoot into first place. So how do you get your groove back? Don’t panic. You can still overtake them with some nifty search engine optimization (SEO).
There are many programs you can buy that will help you research what your competitors are up to on the Internet.
But do you have the time to devote to isolating your competitors’ successful keywords, backlinks, and landing pages? Probably not. A good alternative is to partner with an online marketing agency that can do the heavy lifting for you. As you might guess, I’m in favor of the latter. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be familiar with the range of data you can glean on your competitors. I want you to know the full scope of information you can gather whether you do it yourself or with an agency.
In order to get back on top of the search rankings, you first have to do your homework. When it comes to your competitors, here’s where you need to start:
Find Your Competitors
It may sound simplistic, but do you really know every company who’s competing with your products? Let me give you an example. Let’s look at computer simulation. There are myriad types of computer simulation on the Internet, but let’s narrow it down to “gaming simulation” and “simulation training.” Now, let’s say your company has a driving simulator that teaches teens how to drive. That’s simulation training.
The gaming companies, on the other hand, have driving programs that allow its players to drive on sidewalks and smash into other cars. That’d be gaming simulation. It wouldn’t be too far of a stretch for a gaming company to modify and reconfigure their driving game as a training tool. A detailed online analysis of keywords, social media, and other online activities can help you identify new competitors in your market.
Assessing Your Competitors
Next, you’ll want to do some detective work to find out what your competitors are doing behind the scenes to be successful at their SEO. First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Exploring the Internet to discover your competitors’ keys to success is not spying. That’s such a nasty term. No, what you’re doing is taking advantage of freely available data on the web to find out what your competitors are doing well to help you determine what you can do better with your online marketing. A little competitive research can go a long way. With the knowledge you gain, you’ll be able to develop more effective content topics, find bloggers and online sites to work with, and enhance your link building.
Focus on Your Site
Now that you’ve got a handle on what your competitors are up to, it’s time to apply that information to updating your website.
Finding the Right Keywords – A lot of companies take the shotgun approach to keywords and throw every word they can think of onto the Internet. Consider a more targeted method to keywords for your site. Find out which keywords help your competitors rank high. You can do this the old-fashioned way by just entering keywords and phrases into Google to see the ranking order, or you could employ a more high-tech method and use a program that can evaluate keyword effectiveness across a range of sites. You can actually enter a competitor’s name in some programs and they can tell you which keywords work best for them. If you’re in a specialized field, concentrate on the main keywords, but don’t forget about long-tail keywords. That’s when you use longer keywords, such as, “Where can I learn how to drive,” or “learning to drive on the computer.” That can help differentiate you from competitors in search results. Again, this is where an online marketing agency can come in handy and save you a lot of time and effort.
Add Fresh Content – If you’re looking to improve keyword search results, you’ll need to keep your website updated. There is probably no better way to support your SEO than by continually adding new content on your site. Your content is the driving force behind the success of your keywords, backlinks, and landing pages. Take up blogging on timely, relevant topics your customers would be interested in, post online articles that you write, and link to interesting topics on other websites. In the case of the driving simulator company, they would want to blog about topics on driver education and driver improvement, and post links to articles on crash statistics for automobiles, particularly teen crashes. Be sure to include keywords that rank high on search results to get the biggest boost from your content updates.
Build Your Off-Site Presence – Here’s one of the most important things to keep in mind for your SEO: search engines love backlinks. If you’re not familiar with the term, backlinks are links to your website embedded in your content that has been posted on other websites. For instance, our driving simulation company may post a blog about the effectiveness of driving simulation. A driving school would then post the blog on their website, which would have links back to the simulator company’s website. Create specific pages for the links, called landing pages, which gives the link added effectiveness. There are programs available that can help you ferret out competitors’ backlinks to their sites. This is invaluable information that you can use to refine your content topics, and help you find other bloggers and websites to work with to expand your link building efforts.
Track Social Media Presence – Don’t forget to keep tabs on your competitors’ presence on social media. You can track your competitors’ postings on sites like Twitter to gain information on a person’s bio, their followers, and where their followers are located. This can make it easier for you to design your own social media marketing program, especially if you’re not familiar with the social media scene.
Get Back on Top
With SEO, you can’t rest on your laurels. Right now, your competitors are updating their sites and content with one goal in mind: placing first on search engine rankings. Don’t let them win. Use your successes and determine their best practices to refine your SEO to keep your company in the lead.