Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the leading marketing strategy to implement in almost all full-scale digital outreach campaigns. SEO should constitute a large part of a small business marketing strategy because of its high efficacy. It is probably the reason your competitors still have the upper hand to the business you are running.
The best way to beat the competitor is to join them by implementing the same strategies they are using. That will save you a lot of money and time because following a proven SEO strategy does not require a large investment. Here are the 10 main SEO strategies your competitors are using and the best methods of implementing them to help you get started.
1. Conduct an SEO audit
If you are keen on using SEO strategies used by the competitors, your first step would be to conduct some cyber reconnaissance. You have to get a list of strategies to implement and the best way of getting this information is by conducting an audit on the competitor website. Source the best five competitor websites with a high ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
Once you have discovered the websites, the next step would be analyzing them using SEO software that will indicate the strategies implemented by the competitors.
The best software tools that can be used for this purpose include Quantcast, SpyOnWeb, and Ontolo. With the analysis report, you will easily identify where the competitor excels, making it easier to discover the methods they are implementing.
You should listen to a recent webinar from the Creative Allies team – The DIY SEO Audit. They show small business owners how you can get started easily on your own.
2. Improving content creation and distribution
The most effective part of implementing a good SEO approach is ensuring that you have enough content. Since content plays such an integral part in an SEO strategy, you need to monitor the competitor in this aspect. There is a lot to find out about the content creation of the competitors, including their posting frequency and timing.
Identifying how the competitor approaches their content creation and distribution is essential. Doing this and using a professional assignment help reduce the research time of the topics used for content posted on the blog and give you an upper hand over the competitor.
You will also have more insight about when to post and how often this should be done. There are other best SEO practices you can learn from monitoring the content creation and distribution methods of the competitors.
AssignmentGeek and other portals that provide help with dissertations and thesis for students experimented with this for their campaign by understanding the internet usage pattern of students who are their target audience. It pays rich dividends in a very short time and they have been able to place themselves above their competitors.
3. Cleaning up the website periodically
A website should be audited and cleaned up periodically because of how quickly technologies change. What was effective back then could be detrimental to the website now. For example, a couple of years ago, the appearance of a site did not take precedence in the decision-making process of managing the site. Also, the website’s performance was not monitored that much, which is contrary to what is happening today.
Many other examples stress the importance of checking up on your site and updating it constantly. That is what the competitor is most definitely doing to maintain its competitive edge over you.
There are plenty of methods of doing this, including using heat mapping software. You can easily identify parts of the website that aren’t effective and compare them with methods the competitor is using in that section.
4. Targeting competitive keywords
Keywords play an essential role in SEO campaigns and you should be savvy when using this strategy. The worst thing that can happen to a business is using keywords that are rarely searched and drive less traffic to the website.
In this case, targeting keywords that are radioactive on SERPs is the best way to go about implementing this strategy. To do so, you need to objectively research keywords and the sufficient amount used by the competitor.
Once you have identified those keywords, find creative ways to use them naturally on the content created for the business’ blog. Various keyword research tools can be used for this purpose of uncovering competitive keywords. Those tools include SEMrush, BuzzSumo, Google AdWords, and Crowdsourcing Keyword Research.
5. Reducing page loading time
The competitor could be maintaining its upper hand in SEO strategies because of reducing page loading time. There is one thing that all customers have in common: the lack of patience, and rightfully so.
When a customer waits for too long on a loading website page, they will most likely bounce the site. That is something the competitor is most probably aware of and addressed when managing their site.
In this case, to catch up with the competitor, analyze the speed difference between your and the competitor websites. If you are falling short in this aspect, consider using fewer plugins because they might be slowing down the site.
The most important plugin you should not remove that contributes to faster website page loading speeds is the Caching one.
6. Monitoring the competitor’s back-linking strategy
A backlinking strategy forms an important part of SEO marketing and you can learn some tips from the competitor. Monitoring the backlinks they use can give you an idea of the direction that your business should be taking in this matter.
That eliminates the time used in building linking networks, which will benefit the business in the long run.
Using backlink auditing software, you can identify successful linking patterns and resources that can be used on the business website. You can find the perfect backlinking strategy that is specific to your industry without spending a lot of money.
Doing this will also eliminate the need to buy irrelevant links that can damage the corporate image.
7. Making full use of sitemaps
Sitemaps are a great way to make it easy for search engines to crawl websites and identify where pages are located. All business websites should have an XML sitemap file located on the site which will guide search engines.
You need to have a sitemap uploaded to improve your SEO tactics but there is another way these tools can be used. A sitemap can be a finger pointing at how you should structure the business’ website and blog.
Therefore, gather the most successful competitors that get the highest rankings from search engines. Afterward, you can try accessing their sitemaps to identify the website structure competitors are using. That could lead to identifying a very successful and efficient way of structuring a website perfect for the industry you are in.
You can try to do this by searching one of these two combinations “www.domainname.com/sitemap.xml. Alternatively, you can search www.domainname.com/sitemap_index.xml.
8. Taking note of website design elements
Customers like an interactive website page that immerses them and creates a great experience. Your competitor can do all the grunt work of researching the best industry trends only for you to adopt the same practices.
Undoubtedly, you should not rely on auditing the competitor’s website only but each business owner must be up to date about the latest industry trends.
Although that is true, researching website design elements used by the competitor can be more effective. The design elements would be already tested and found to be successful and using them can make you appear competitive. It can also save you time and money that would be spent on an inefficient strategy.
9. Use long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords are the future for SEO marketing because of all the recent developments in users’ access to and use of the internet.
The number of people using voice-activated searched increases day-by-day making it important for a business to adapt. Your competitor could be ahead of you in this matter and that is motivation to get started on catering to voice-activated searched.
The best way to do so is by using long-tail keywords that match with how customers phrase a voice-activated query. Using long-tail keywords will be a great way to adapt to mobile assistants and apps like Siri, Alexa and Google Voice.
There are SEO software that can help you form long-tail keywords but some prefer doing it manually themselves. They do this by using a regular keyword used for SEO and find simple, convenient methods of phrasing it in an audible sentence.
10. Measure how it works for you
The greatest way to implement a strategy that is used by the competitor is to ensure that it works for you. Another man’s pill could be another’s poison. Thus, it is important to measure the success of an SEO strategy or lack thereof. When auditing the competitor’s website and documenting the strategies you are going to implement, also set KPIs to track the performance.
Those metrics should be monitored frequently and detailed reports must be generated for perusal periodically. If you see any inconsistencies or room for improvement, address those issues immediately. There is no surefire rulebook to strictly follow when implementing an SEO strategy.
You have to experiment and see what works best for the business. Bear in mind that what worked for the competitor might not be good for your company, therefore, be flexible.
The bottom line
Following the lead of the competitors does not have a negative impact on your business but rather can benefit the SEO efforts you are trying to implement. Therefore, take advantage of these techniques on how to monitor and implement SEO strategies used by the competitor. Strategies like comparing the results of a heat mapped site and that of the competitor can help you make practical changes on the business website.