What is the secret to winning at SEO? A question many of us ask ourselves. As we all know, SEO can seem somewhat of a mystery. But there are many ways to get ahead of the competition, all it takes is the right information to produce a solid plan that works. And you have to stick to it.
Whilst there are endless possibilities in how you could beat your SEO competition, here are some of the primary methods we have found to be effective:
- Competitor analysis
- Keyword research
- Engaging content
- Technical optimisation
- Monitoring backlink profiles
- Staying ahead of the curve
Do Your Competitor Analysis
It may seem obvious, but any strategy for beating SEO competition should start with a thorough analysis. Researching your competitor’s strategies and activity will allow you to target your points of attack.
Pay close attention to the type of content they are producing, including the keywords that they are using. You don’t want to copy them, but if you can see content that works – take note and make it your own.
But how do you measure the SEO success of another website? Some of the many ways include assessing their keyword rankings, traffic volumes, conversion rates and estimates of the revenue that they are making. You can do most of this by using all the same SEO tools that you would use on your own website.
If your competitor ranks number 1 for several primary keyword terms that attract a lot of traffic, you can be pretty confident that you will want to employ some of the methods they are using. Dive deeper into the pages that are ranking – what are they doing? What do they have that your website doesn’t? Consistently asking these types of question will allow you to roadmap the areas of your website that need improvement.
Carry Out Keyword Research
Once you have scoped where your competitors are outplaying you, it’s time to conduct some research for your own website. Carry out your keyword research with user intent at the forefront of your mind.
Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and think, what would I search for if I was looking for my product? You’ll soon generate lots of ideas but to help you further and cement your targets, use a keyword research tool. We love the keyword magic tool that Semrush offer – it tells you what keywords are being searched, how many times per month and how difficult they will be to rank for (based on competition).
Keyword research opens opportunities to countless targeting options that long term, will allow you to reach your ideal audience. This will be a crucial part of gaining more website traffic, more sales, and higher revenue.
To cover all bases, we recommend searching for long tail and short tail keywords.
- Long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are longer, more detailed search phrases. Because they can be niche, they often generate less traffic, but higher reward. When your audience clicks on a page that targets a specific longtail keyword, they will likely already know what they want and are ready to take the next step.
- Short-tail keywords: Short-tail keywords are keywords that are short and more general. Short tail keywords usually generate a very high search volume and are difficult to earn a top ranking for, because there is so much competition. They don’t always create qualified traffic because visitors are probably not ready to convert — they just want to learn more and scope their options.
Our tip? Use a mixture of both.
Create Engaging Content
So, you have your keyword research in hand. Now it’s time to craft engaging content that will convert your target audience and outdo your SEO competition.
Content can be the most important part of your SEO strategy. Content isn’t about stuffing keywords in here there and everywhere, it’s about crafting information that your audience wants to read.
Your content needs to be strong and consistent. Search engines like to see that your website is regularly being updated with new information. Blog posts are a great way to achieve this alongside your main landing pages.
It goes without saying that content based around your products and services will also be massively beneficial. Keep in mind the keywords that you want to include which will provide you with the highest return. Include them naturally and write content that is useful for your audience, rather than being there just ‘cus. Consider keywords with low search volumes and low competition, as well as the keywords that might seem a little harder to achieve. The main aim is to create content that covers the most important areas that your audience are interested in.
Do a Technical Website Audit
Many of us avoid the subject, but for that very reason, technical website optimisation is important when it comes to beating your SEO competitors.
Think of your website like you would a shop – you’d keep it clean, tidy and easy to walk around, right? Websites are the same.
It’s important to stay on top of any technical issues on your website, if you don’t, your audience will leave and gravitate to a competitor who is. What kind of technical issues might you encounter? They vary, but some of the common issues encountered are:
- Broken links
- Orphaned pages
- Broken redirects
- Broken images and alt text
- Indexing and crawling issues
- Server errors
- The list goes on.
Chances are, you will need the help of a website developer to help you fix these kinds of technical website issues. They are the experts and will be able to advise you with further potential optimisation solutions.
It’s not only errors that need looking at, explore the further possibilities on the technical side of SEO with valuable techniques such as schema markup, website speed optimisation and general maintenance. It will put you streaks ahead of the competition if they haven’t looked at these areas and if they have, you need to catch up!
Monitor Backlink Profiles
Yes, backlinks are important too. Monitoring your own backlink profile is important, but monitoring your competitor backlink profiles as well could prove invaluable.
Keeping an eye on your competitor backlink profiles will allow you to discover potential outreach opportunities for your website and uncover linking strategies that you may not have thought of otherwise. You may be pleasantly surprised and find that your backlink profile is way better than theirs. Or, you may find insightful information that will allow you to optimise your backlinks further and overtake them in the SEO race.
Stay Ahead of the Curve
As well as the many SEO strategies, reading the news can be equally as important if you want to stay ahead of the competition. SEO is a subject that is constantly changing, developing and innovating.
If you manage to hop on a trend or new technique before your competitors, you may well be able to strengthen your SEO lead in the search results. It can be hard to stay on top of the news, so dedicate some every week or month to sit down and do your research. If you do catch the scent of a major change in the industry, take action straight away to avoid falling behind.
Take head, these six points are sure to help you stay ahead of and with any luck, overtake your SEO competition (if you do them right). Need a little help? Get in touch with our Birmingham SEO experts today.