To beat competitors in SEO, it’s not just about outdoing them in terms of revenue or sales figures. To truly conquer the business arena, you must first master the art of surpassing your competitors through SEO.
In digital marketing, SEO is a powerful tool for getting more organic traffic to your website. Learning how to beat a competitor in SEO means attracting more interested visitors to your content.
This blog provides the insights and techniques necessary to outperform your competitors, attain higher rankings, and attract more organic visitors to your site.
Table of Contents
What is SEO Competitor Analysis
SEO competitor analysis is the method of identifying and scrutinizing websites that appear alongside your site in organic search results for your keywords. These websites are your true SEO competitors; analyzing them is a fundamental aspect of SEO competitive research.
Importance of Competitor Analysis for SEO Success
Competitor analysis in SEO is vital for uncovering opportunities, identifying weaknesses, gauging keyword competitiveness, and enhancing your SEO approach based on your competitors’ successes and failures.
It empowers you to excel in key areas, such as keyword research, meta descriptions, content strategy, link building, on-page optimization, user experience SEO, and overall SEO strategy.
42 Tips on How to Beat Competitors’ SEO
SEO rules are ever-evolving. To outperform your competitors and secure higher rankings, you must enhance your website and regularly track your rivals’ SEO strategies. Here are 42 simple tips to bolster your SEO rankings.
1. Valuable Content Matters
Creating quality content is essential. When your website features helpful, on-topic, and keyword-optimized content like blog posts, web pages, videos, and articles, it benefits both your visitors and search engines. Valuable content can also boost your SEO by attracting more backlinks to your site.
2. Monitor Your Competitors’ SEO
Regularly check what your competitors are doing with their websites to spot new opportunities and gaps in your SEO game plan. Focus on things like their title tags, page URLs, headings, in-page links, and keyword usage.
3. Track Competitors’ Backlinks
By keeping an eye on your competitors’ backlinks, you can find potential partners or sites to link to you and learn new linking strategies they employ.
4. Keep Up with SEO News
SEO rules change often. Staying updated on the latest techniques can give you a competitive edge.
Regularly check SEO news sites like:
- Search Engine Land
- Search Engine Watch
- Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google
- SEO, or SEO-News.com
If a proven technique emerges, apply it promptly to your site.
5. Strengthen Internal Links
Internal linking is a top SEO strategy, creating a web within your site. When visitors stay longer on your pages, they learn more about your brand and products, increasing the chance of conversions.
6. Do Keyword Research
To outshine SEO competitors, start by researching industry keywords. This reveals what your audience searches for on Google, helping you target the right terms and boost website traffic, sales, and revenue.
7. Watch Your Competitors’ On-site SEO
Keep an eye on your competitors’ on-site optimizations. If they make significant changes, it could mean they’ve found a new strategy or are addressing search engine penalties. Pay attention to their title tags, keyword headers, and other SEO actions.
8. Connect Consumer and Industry Marketing
In a tough market, your business must be visible to both consumers and your industry. This means focusing on brand recognition with consumers and building a strong reputation within your niche.
9. Analyze Competitors at Both Big and Small Scales
Competitor analysis is vital for any successful SEO plan, but it’s crucial in competitive niches. Your strategy relies on understanding what works and what doesn’t for your rivals.
10. Manage Your Online Reputation
In competitive niches, rankings can change rapidly. To stay on top, you and your competitors are often closely matched in SEO and digital marketing. Waiting for Google to notice and rank your site isn’t an option.
11. Focus on Evergreen Content
To outperform SEO competition, prioritize creating evergreen articles. These are search-optimized pieces that remain valuable to your audience over an extended period, as opposed to time-sensitive content tied to trends or short-term events.
12. Find Low Competition Keywords on Their Site
Use tools like KWFinder by Mangools, as explained in my previous article on competitive keyword analysis. This tool provides you with a list of their ranking keywords, positions, and difficulty scores.
13. Use Schema Markup
Schema markup, a structured data type, helps search engines like Google understand your page better. Its primary benefit for outperforming competitors in SEO is the potential for enhanced SERP listings, such as:
- star ratings
- recipe details
- and more
Giving your pages more visibility and appeal in search results.
14. Build Valuable Resources and Tools for Backlinks
An effective way to outshine your SEO competition is by developing valuable resources and tools. This strategy is harder for competitors to replicate, reducing the risk of them mimicking your digital marketing approach.
15. Repurpose Your SEO Content
Maximize one article’s potential. Repurpose it into different formats to cater to various audience preferences and draw visitors from various online sources. Repurposed content is unique to your business, making it challenging for competitors to duplicate.
16. Create an Email List for Competitive Edge
The last tip for outperforming your online competitors with SEO might not seem directly related to search engine optimization, but it’s a potent strategy to stay ahead.
17. Study Competitors’ Keywords
To gain an edge, spy on your competition’s keywords. If your main keyword is “walnut tables,” don’t just analyze it; also see what keywords your rivals are using. Discover their specific keywords and leverage them to your advantage.
18. Take Advantage of Local SEO
Local SEO often gets overlooked as businesses focus on global keywords. But it’s potent. Ever noticed local results when searching for something like “plumbing”? Those businesses use local SEO, and the key thing to remember is the acronym NAP.
19. Get Personal Referrals to Your Website
Recommendations are powerful for your SEO strategy. Here’s how: If someone, like Customer X, is searching for sweatshirts, there’s no guarantee they’ll find your site among competitors. But, if Customer X asks a question on a platform like Quora, and you provide a personal response, they’re highly likely to visit your site.
20. Fix Competitors’ Business Names
Google aims for accuracy. However, some competitors use Google My Business to enhance their SEO in ways that aren’t entirely above board. The good news? You can address this issue, especially when businesses try to keyword stuff their way to an advantage.
21. Check Competitors’ Addresses
In just four words, “Correct your competitors’ addresses” conveys valuable information. If your competitors employ a PO Box or a virtual office, you can report them.
Detecting a PO Box is straightforward, but identifying a remote office is more challenging. The most reliable method is to double-check the address.
22. Reporting Spam
Exercise caution when using this strategy. It’s crucial not to report spam to Google falsely. While the temptation to misuse this tactic may arise, it must be used for legitimate purposes.
23. Watch for Different Keyword Overuse
In the early days of SEO, using focus keywords excessively, even in every sentence, was common. Nowadays, SEO experts have come up with subtler ways of overusing keywords, some less obvious.
24. Stick to a Consistent Content Schedule
In content marketing, the key is to be consistent with your publishing schedule. Whether it’s 2-3 times a week or just once a month, what matters most is maintaining that regularity. Successful blogs vary in frequency, so find what works best for you.
25. Focus on the Right Word Count
While word count isn’t the sole focus in content marketing, it’s essential to have enough words to cover your topic thoroughly and outrank similar articles. Typically, aim for at least 1,500 to 2,000 words, with 2,500 words often being an excellent target for many topics.
26. Check Spelling and Grammar
Before publishing, run spelling and grammar checks. It’s a good idea to have multiple people review it. Check when you create the content, check again before publishing, and if possible, have an editor review it. Tools like Grammarly can be helpful, but sometimes they highlight issues that aren’t really problems.
27. Check Plagiarism When Needed
Copyscape helps you spot plagiarism in your content. It’s handy for reviewing articles bought from freelancers to ensure your website only features original, non-copied material.
28. Use Reader-Friendly Formatting
Readers often skim blog posts in search of quick answers and valuable nuggets of information. That’s why it’s beneficial to keep your articles concise. Shorter posts still provide ample opportunities to cover the specific topics your readers seek.
29. Add Top-Quality Original Images
Avoid dull stock photos, ensure you have the right permissions for images from the internet, and keep them reasonably clear, not overly abstract. Images should serve a purpose, ideally offering examples and enhancing the content’s value.
30. Optimize Your Meta Data
Metadata matters. Your meta title is the most crucial part of your blog post, appearing in Google searches and influencing clicks. It’s not something you can skip. While Google uses meta descriptions less frequently, ensure they are filled out and optimized, too.
31. Check and Resolve Search Console Issues
Google Search Console is important for monitoring your site’s performance and addressing problems Google may find. Keep an eye out for indexing problems, site rendering errors, and any manual actions taken against your site.
32. Conduct Yearly Content Audits
You can opt for monthly content health checks if needed, but this may be excessive based on your content volume. A content audit allows you to remove underperforming content, ensuring your site showcases only your top-performing material.
33. Remove Unnecessary System Pages
Certain content management systems (CMSs), like WordPress, generate extra pages automatically, such as tag and attachment pages. If you don’t use them, make sure to remove them from indexing.
34. Review and Remove Harmful Backlinks
Regularly check your backlinks for any from private blog networks (PBNs), spam sites, or low-quality/unrelated websites. SEO standards have evolved, making once-beneficial links now harmful. Remove these links by requesting removal or using Google’s Disavow tool.
35. Optimize Website Speed with PageSpeed Insights
Utilize Google’s PageSpeed Insights to analyze your website’s loading times on mobile and desktop. Strive for a score of at least 90/100 for both versions.
36. Steer Clear of Excessive Link and Keyword Optimization
Optimization is crucial, but overdoing it can make you seem like you’re trying to manipulate the system. Avoid practices like keyword stuffing, anchor text manipulation, and PageRank sculpting.
37. Avoid Buying Backlinks
While it might offer short-term gains, these links are typically low-quality and will likely get detected and removed. Remember, if you can easily and inexpensively buy a backlink, many others have probably done the same.
38. Say No to PBNs
Private Blog Networks (PBNs) are a shady tactic that might show short-term gains but are a risky investment. The real winners here are the companies taking your money. Remember, a domain’s history and reputation are paramount.
39. Prioritize Mobile Optimization
Ensure a great mobile experience! With over 50% of users now on mobile, it’s crucial. Many websites were initially designed for desktop but overlooked mobile content and user experience.
40. Get Ready for Voice Search
With the popularity of voice assistants like OK Google, Siri, and Alexa, optimizing for voice search is crucial. Search engines are placing increasing importance on voice search usability.
41. Analyze and Track All Data
Track everything you can, starting with Google Analytics as the minimum. Utilize social analytics, link tracking, UTM parameters, and heat maps. Every piece of data collected can offer valuable insights.
Conduct split tests to discover the most effective call to action, monitor page click-through rates, and pay attention to time on site and bounce rates.
42. Keep Going
SEO is a continuous effort. To maintain and grow your position, never stop. In the competitive online world, your competitors won’t stop, so focus on regularly producing high-quality content and ensuring a great user experience.
Competitive analysis in SEO isn’t a one-time task; it’s an ongoing process. You should revisit it regularly, especially when:
- Doing keyword research to identify your competition, uncover overlooked long-tail keywords, and assess keyword difficulty.
- Engaging in link building to target high-quality backlinks your competitors have acquired.
- Developing a content strategy to fill gaps and create content that stands out.
- Experiencing a sudden ranking drop, as compared to your competitors’ performance, can help diagnose the issue.
- There’s a change in domain authority, ensuring you stay on par with your competitors.
- There’s a Google algorithm update, particularly if it leads to significant changes in rankings. Monitoring your competition is a wise move during such times.
Regular competitor analysis helps you stay ahead in the dynamic world of SEO, adapt to changes, and refine your strategy for better results.
Identifying Your SEO Competitors
In SEO, your competitors fall into two categories: direct rivals and content competitors. Direct rivals are businesses offering the same products and services as you, while content competitors, such as blogs and publishers, compete for the same search rankings, regardless of what they sell.
For instance, if you’re Dermstore, selling skincare products, only a couple of the top ten results on Google’s first page directly compete with you by selling skin care products when targeting a keyword like “pH balance of skin.”
Navigating Major Algorithm Updates: Strategies for Long-term Success
Following significant Google algorithm updates, it’s crucial to assess your and your competitors’ key keywords:
- Check if both maintained their rankings.
- Note if a competitor surged higher for your keywords.
- Observe if any competitor fell out of the top 20 search results.
This analysis helps you adapt to algorithm changes and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.
The Ongoing Process of Competitive Analysis
To stay competitive, regularly rerun SEO competition analysis, typically every six to 12 months. For ongoing competitiveness, check your competitors’ new keywords monthly and monitor their SEO strategies to respond and implement your own.
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SEO isn’t just about keywords and algorithms; it’s about staying agile, continuously adapting, and knowing when and how to outsmart your competitors. Contact us today and watch your website climb the ranks with our SEO services.