Ranking Rivals: Outsmarting the Competition with Superior SEO
For decades, businesses have looked for the magic formula for high Google rankings, the SEO secret to that coveted number one spot. This isn’t always easy when eight out of ten first-page results for your target keywords lead directly to the website of your main competitor. So, what is the best way to outsmart the competition with superior SEO to get the visibility you need for your business?
Don’t compete on the same keywords:
Successful SEO is often a matter of recognising that you can’t win every fight. Highly competitive keywords are tough to rank highly for, and are often dominated by large, well-funded, and well established competitors. You may find greater success in optimising your content for more niche and less competitive keywords. By researching who your target audience is and what they are searching for, you can expand into less competitive fields, ranking more highly and gaining a larger proportion of search traffic. Long Tail keywords are also a good avenue to explore, as these often have lower competition but higher intent, and may lead to higher conversion rates.
Research what your competitors are doing well, and where they are falling short:
Understanding what your competitors are doing and saying online can provide valuable insights into what you can do to increase your search visibility. A good place to start is your competitors’ top performing content, paying close attention to the keywords they are targeting, the topics they are covering, and their backlink profile. Visiting these pages individually and using competitor research tools can help with this, and may identify gaps in your own content strategy and opportunities to outperform your competitors. Also pay attention to what your competitors’ customers are saying about the business on Google reviews and social media, noting what they are doing well and any recurrent complaints. These could provide an opportunity to highlight your own strengths and value proposition.
Optimise your website for search visibility:
Wise SEO starts with making your website easy for both human users and search engine algorithms to understand. This will involve getting your hands dirty with technical SEO elements like improving site speed, optimising your site for mobile devices, creating a logical site architecture, and implementing an SSL certificate for security. On the customer-facing, content side, optimisation includes using your keywords strategically in page titles, meta descriptions, headers, and image descriptions, among other factors. Technical SEO can turn into a bottomless rabbit hole – we recommend working with an experienced agency partner if you are unsure what you are doing.
Quality, quality, quality:
High quality, informative, and enjoyable content is ultimately what attracts and retains users on your website, and Google knows this, so quality and relevance are key factors in determining which web pages rank the most highly in the search results. Strong search results aren’t really about outsmarting your competitors or anyone else, but simply about providing the best answer to keyword search queries. The better your content, the more likely it is to earn backlinks and shares, too, as well as high rankings, so make sure that everything you publish accurately addresses user queries, provides value, and genuinely engages your audience. Go the extra mile to provide unique and relevant content and the search engines will reward you – this is the most important factor that will make you stand out from all the generic and samey-sounding content now cluttering the Internet. Regularly updating your content base with new and interesting material also signals to search engines that your site is actively providing fresh information, and you may be rewarded accordingly with high results.
Regularly update and adjust your strategy:
Search engine optimisation is a dynamic and ongoing activity, not something you do once and then forget, so regularly monitoring your content and adjusting it to improve position is a necessary part of staying ahead of your competitors. Make the most of analytics tools such as Google Analytics and HubSpot to track the performance of individual webpages, blog articles, and social media accounts against important keywords, identify which SEO strategies are working the best, and adjust your content assets when necessary.
In many sectors, an SME’s biggest rivals are large national or internationally-based companies. This actually gives an advantage to locally focused businesses, and optimising your website and content for local searches can often help you stand out from your competition on Google. You’ll find it easier to rank well for local searches by creating a comprehensive Google My Business profile, encouraging local customers to leave reviews on Google, and making sure that your business is listed on relevant local online forums and directories. Local SEO also involves optimising your web content and metadata with local keywords.
Search engine optimisation solutions from JDR
SEO is one of the main pillars of digital marketing, giving your business the visibility it needs to drive web traffic, generate leads, and increase sales. For more information about SEO and how to outmanoeuvre your competitors on the Google search pages, please contact one of our inbound team today by clicking here.
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