Regardless of what type of business you have, there will be competitors. When it comes to your Google rankings, you’ll quickly realize how much of a battle it is to get that number one placement for some keywords. So, if you’re putting all of your efforts into SEO and it always looks like your competitors are doing better than you, what’s next?
You’re pulling out all the stops: frequent high-quality blog posts, maintaining your social media profile, engaging with your social media followers, and you’re keeping tabs on your website’s performance. But even with all this, you still aren’t able to boost your keyword rankings. If that sounds like your situation then take the following tips under your belt.
1. Picking Out the Right Keywords
At the base of every great SEO campaign is a great keyword strategy. It’s important that you do your research and discovers which relevant keywords are worth targeting, otherwise, you risk pursuing keywords that won’t benefit your business.
So, how do you find out which keywords to target? One of the best tools to use is Google’s Keyword Planner. All you have to do is type in a few keyword ideas that you want to target and within seconds, Google will show you many more.
As well as giving you a list of keywords to consider targeting, you’ll also be shown their average monthly searches and a rating of how difficult they are to rank for. Google Keyword Planner is free and definitely worth taking the time to use.
2. Which SEO Tools You Use
Now that you have your keywords picked out it’s time for you to move on and actually observe your competitor’s strategy. Ideally, you should do this with a few SEO tools, rather than the unfathomable manual approach.
Again, Google Keyword Planner is a great tool to use. Aside from helping plan a successful keyword strategy for your SEO campaign, it also gives you a gateway to PPC if you take that route in the future. This is a tool that any Google Ads agency would recommend you use.
On the other hand, tools such as Spyfu are also fantastic. This tool enables you to view which keywords another business is targeting and the search volume they’re getting, and it also detects backlink information too.
3. Creating a Backlink Strategy
This takes us to our next tip – having a well thought out backlink strategy. Having a portfolio of high-quality backlinks from reputable websites goes a long way when it comes to your search rankings. Sure, it is going to take a lot of effort to achieve this, but after you arrange even just a handful of backlinks for your website, things will start looking up.
There are various ways of getting backlinks. First, you might want to use a research tool to gather a list of the backlinks which a competitor has. This saves you the hassle of having to approach hundreds of websites and find out if they’re willing to host a backlink for you (the majority of the time they don’t!).
Second, you might want to enter a few keywords in Google and manually find sites that are relevant to your industry.
4. Remember Your Old Content
It’s easy to overlook blog posts that you published years ago when revising your SEO strategy but updating them will have just as much of an impact as publishing a brand-new piece.
When you start to actively publish blogs on your website, potential clients view this as an indicator that you are putting an effort into your business. The same applies to posting on social media. By updating old content you simply reinforce this, and search engines will take notice too.
Here’s how both potential clients and search engines like Google will see it: after you release a new blog post you don’t disregard it. You don’t use it just for SEO purposes and abandon it after a few days. The opposite, you’ve taken the time to update it and add more information to the post. On top of that, some of the things you’ve written about might not be applicable anymore in which case replacing it with correct information is just as important.
So, never forget about your old content. It’s always possible to improve older blog posts whether it be by adding a few extra paragraphs, adjusting the layout, or throwing a few more images into it.
5. Optimizing Your Website
Last off all, optimizing your website goes a long way. Here are a few of the ways to optimize your website and prevent Google from penalizing your keyword rankings:
- Check for broken links frequently. If you recently migrated your website or switched your domain, broken links are likely and it’s crucial that you fix them sooner rather than later.
- Optimizing your images is also important. Large images are one of the top causes for slow page loading speeds, but that’s not the only thing to optimize. Images should also have alt tags and metadata, and avoid having too many on a single page.
- Slow loading speeds don’t just hold back your rankings, they also put a bad taste in website visitors’ mouths. If your site takes too long to load then they won’t hesitate to close the tab and look elsewhere!
Although these optimizations aren’t going to benefit your rankings a huge amount, they will have a minor impact. When a competitor is ranking better than you and you’re struggling to get the upper hand, it’s the little things that count.
Google is constantly making changes to their search algorithm – every day there are some minor updates but every few months we see major overhauls to it. Your SEO strategy has to be flexible so that you can work around these changes and maintain high keyword rankings. If you don’t take the time to research how well your competitors are doing and figure out what exactly is helping them rank, you’re not going to have the advantage.
Keep in mind the tips above and you’ll be as informed as possible about what your competitors are doing. This way you can learn from their mistakes (and from their successes) and benefit your own SEO strategy.
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