Search engine optimization (SEO) is an increasingly complex matter. Recent innovations are making things more difficult, and it’s easy to become distracted by the new strategies that seem to pop up every day. Do you need to focus more on videos or written content? Should you use paid advertising, or should you focus on more natural traffic acquisition? Perhaps you should be spending more time trying to get traffic from social media sites. There are so many questions out there when it comes to earning traffic, and every internet marketer seems to believe that their way is the best. That’s making it increasingly difficult to understand any of the individual strategies that are out there.
A Strategy That Works
While you can certainly see results from some of the more antiquated SEO tactics, you may have more immediate success by looking at your competitors as examples. It’s a simple matter to find competitors who outrank you in the major search engines, but it’s another thing entirely to actually learn from what they’re doing. There are certainly some things on the surface that can help you out, but others may be more difficult to analyze as they aren’t visible directly from their home page, for example. This article aims to teach you some of the tactics that are available and can help you learn from your competitors. With enough effort, you can increase your SEO rank, and possibly even outrank your competitors if you can also find deficiencies in their strategies.
Find Your Competitors
While you can certainly find many of your competitors in a matter of seconds by searching for your main keywords, there are probably competing websites that are also outranking you in a number of smaller keywords. These other keywords could be driving a huge amount of traffic if they’re ranking highly for a number of them. Some of these keywords may have very low competition in reality, and if you can just target enough of them, you may easily be able to outrank many websites. This could have a huge effect on your traffic in a fairly short period of time. Try searching for some less important keywords along with the ones that are most important to your site, and take note of the websites that rank highly for all of them.
Watch Your Competitors
After you’ve made a list of all the sites ranking highly for your major and minor keywords, visit each of their sites and examine them. Take the time to look at the design of the site, both aesthetically and mechanically speaking. Are the keywords they’re targeting visible on their home page? Take a look at their menus and see if there are categories that specifically target certain keywords. If they have a search function, you might use this to find out how many articles have instances of the keywords for which this site is ranking highly. You should also look at the site’s social profiles, particularly Google Plus, to determine what their social presence is doing to target these keywords.
You may also need to take a look at their internal linking structure. Internal linking is something that is ignored by many websites, and there’s almost certainly something that you can learn from many of these competing websites. If tags and categories are available for you to see, you should also pay close attention to how they are used.
Find Other Keywords Your Competitor Is Using
Spend some time reading popular articles on the competitors’ websites and see if you can find other words or phrases that are frequently used. If you see a particular phrase that is repeated a number of times in an article, it may be worth your time to use a keyword research tool to find out whether the search volume and competition for that particular phrase are favorable. There are surely some great keywords that you aren’t yet targeting that could fairly easily drive traffic to your site.
Examine Your Competition’s Backlink Strength
Depending on what niche you’re in, backlinks may be extremely important, but could also be difficult to obtain. If you can see that your competitors have strong backlinking from major websites, you may want to do a little bit of research into how they’re able to do this. You may find that there are things you can do to get backlinks from these sites as well. For example, if you notice that a particular site gets a lot of backlinks from another major competitor, perhaps you should take a look at the social media profiles for these sites and their editors. Are the editors interacting with one another on social media? Perhaps this has helped them create a mutually beneficial relationship, and you may be able to do the same. If you want to try this, be careful not to be overly self-promotional. You want to be polite and helpful above all else, and allow the relationship to progress naturally. Eventually, these more influential members of your industry may begin reading and sharing your content.
- 23 Sep, 2015