When it comes to marketing, being effective doesn’t mean just showing the value of your business. It’s also about the customers choosing you over your competitors, which means your business should stand apart from your competition. And while there might several different ways to accomplish this, one particular method stands out as being one among the most successful ways of outranking your competition; and it’s quite simple really you just have to get above them on search engine results pages, especially Google. We know all the basics about ranking on search engine results like original content, good SEO etc; but in order to achieve this feat basic knowledge just won’t cut it; so we’re going to study this in depth, understand the three main channels for outranking your competitors on Google and get a leg up on those competitors.
Maybe your competitors have been around a lot longer than you have and as a newbie you might feel intimidated by how good their SEO game is; well fret not, because it’s possible to catch up to them. Go through these 7 ways and you’ll have outranked them in no time at all!
Your customers are people and like everyone else in the world—these people also rely on search engines to find information that they need. The possibility of being one of the top-ranked entries on Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) definitely induces a shiver of delight in us, with or without a formal SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy.
Your competitors, no doubt have in all likelihood already used SEO pertaining to your industry to gain the top spots in Google searches –but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them too. And however strong their SEO game maybe, just remember SEO has many aspects to it and there are alternative paths you can take to surpass your competition.
Step up your Content Campaign.
Your SEO campaign survives on your content; when our content campaign is top notch, it acts as the fuel that sets your SEO campaign apart from the others. The quality, nature, and relevance of your onsite content is very crucial as it gets evaluated by Google to categorize and establish the authority of your site, and that authority can be built by your ongoing content work. Of course it’s true that Google has more pages to index when you have more content, but if it isn’t high-quality, original, well-researched content then all that work is for nothing and it can’t add to your site’s authority, in fact it might even drop your page rankings. So it’s imperative that you do a lot more research and drive a harder content campaign than your competitors to ace this competition. Look for more original topics, delve deeper into the subject and give out more details, and keep publishing often. Eventually, you’ll earn that authority, and more inbound links thereby boosting your organic search position.
Get hold of better inbound links
One strategy that you absolutely need for SEO success is link building and there’s no dearth of ways to build and earn links. Guest posting or publishing content on external blogs is a great way to build and earn quality links, but keep in mind that these links are only as valuable as the authority of the domain you’re linking from. For example: Links on a .edu domain, .gov domain, or any nationally recognized publisher will earn you more more authority and boost up your rankings as well as compared to a link from a sketchy site. So if you want to blow past your competitors (unless they already have similar links).you’ll have to snare as many of these high-authority links as you can.
Attract more links through social media.
Yes quality of the links is a major component but don’t disregard the quantity of links, because if you do you’ll be disregarding a great player in the SEO game. When you have more links from different domains, your site is going to look all that much more attractive to Google. Sure it’s a time consuming and strategic task to build hundreds of links on several different domains, but you can employ a shortcut by allowing your social media followers do the job for you. You need to garner attention so post your best content on social media, and hire influencers and personal brands to spread that content even further. When word spreads, other people will see it, understand its value and link to it–and if the influencer has done their job right it will go viral and you might have those hundred links in just a few days.
Pander to a Different Demographic.
If the whole competing directly with your competitors and all those strategies to get ahead of them isn’t working out, try taking a different tack, something that is bit of an angle on their approach. You could target a different demographic ff your business model will allow for it. For example, you can probably think of targeting new entrepreneurs or less experienced marketers in case your main competitor has stranglehold on keywords related to marketers of well-established businesses. Go to the topic and keyword selection portion of your strategy and implement the changes.
Target other niche keywords.
In the same way, like you targeted a different demographic you can target alternative keywords in your industry, with different products, services, or other offers. For example: If your competitor seems to pop up frequently for “electric ovens,” you could target more niche keywords like “Convection Ovens” or “Fanned Ovens”, it will result in quality traffic with converting customers though you might see a decrease in the number of potential viewers and visitors to your site. And this better traffic could give you that competitive edge you need to succeed in the rankings.
Offer rewards for rich answers.
If you want to get more visibility in search engines, you can’t just rely on good old organic rankings to boost it up for you. You can adopt an alternative, less used yet effective method of answering common user queries succinctly. Google depends on microformatting on websites to get “rich answers” which are basically succinct, objective answers to common questions and queries from outside sources. Though it isn’t a hard task to implement this formatting on the site, a lot many modern businesses have neglected it. But you can implement it; provide concise answers to as many common user queries as you can. Eventually, you’ll get the credit for posting these answers to those queries when they start turning up on search results, and them and draw in more traffic above the fold of organic search results.
National SEO and Local SEO operate on separate algorithms, if your competition is national, going local can reduce the intensity of the competition and your focus can be narrowed. Google in its local 3-pack, at present offers up the top three relevant results for a local query. And if you want to feature among those three results, your NAP (name, address, and phone number) information has to be accurate and consistent on your site and on as many third-party directory and review sites (like Yelp or TripAdvisor) as possible. Now earning more positive reviews and writing local content can increase your chances of getting a local rank.
Now that we know 7 ways to ace our rankings on search engines, let’s focus on Google because where else would you want to rank on top if not on Google?
To Outrank on Google, Understand Google
If your business is on the first page of Google, not only have you outranked your competitors it also one of the best things for your business. But achieving this feat doesn’t come easy, as with all things there’s hard involved in the form of getting to understand the layout of Google search results. For every search query typed into the search bar, Google search displays three different types of results: paid, organic, and local results:
- Paid search results are those that appear at the topmost and the very bottom of your results.
- Organic search results will show up in between paid results, and
- Local search results are those that are between the top paid results and organic results.
If you want to outrank your competitor on Google, you’ll need to use all three channels.
Outranking Competitors in Google Organic Search
If your page doesn’t appear on the first page of results you’ve already lost the race to outranking your competition. Because if you aren’t among the top results, users are going to ignore you because statistics show that 90% of users don’t look past the first page of results for their search. And besides 61.5% of clicks are captured by the top three organic results on a results page.
So if competitor is in the top three results and you’re result #5, they’ll get at least about 3-25% more clicks than you. Upping your search engine optimization (SEO) game helps you stay on top of your competitors, but that doesn’t mean just doing basic SEO practices once and a random run through of your website. Instead you have to:
- Update your content, make sure you have fresh, quality content that is optimized for search and if you have a business blog, all the more better.
- Keep homepage and product pages up-to-date.
- Get more premium backlinks to your site.
Keep Conversion in Mind
It’s not just appearing on the first page of results, which while being very important isn’t the be all and end all, but it is also important to pay attention to the specific pages on which you are looking to outrank your competitors. To have better SEO than your competitors, aim to get more clicks for your website than them will and it also helps with brand awareness. Ultimately, your focus should be on outranking your competitors on Google for search terms that will draw in new customers to your site. Try these tricks to rank on the right pages:
- Make use of local keywords.
- Conduct a keyword research for words pertaining to your industry/target audience.
- Find out which terms are bringing visitors to your site by checking the website analytics.
Google Isn’t Everything
It’s not necessary that when you outrank your competitors on the right pages of Google, you get more customers because you will see an increase in the influx of qualified traffic. Optimize your website for conversion if you want to benefit from outranking your competitors, and here’s how you can do it:
- Make sure you have great landing pages that are product or service-specific with a Call to action phrase and buttons.
- Navigation should be simple and intuitive.
Outranking Competitors on Google Paid Search (Adwords)
Building up your organic repertoire takes a long time, because organic rankings are a long-term strategy that yields great results in the long run. But that doesn’t mean you sit around and do nothing for the time it takes to get organic rankings, build up your visibility with paid search ads, or SEM campaigns, while you build up your organic repertoire.
Reach the Top of the Page
We did tell you earlier that the top three results of Google searches get a major share of clicks — 61.5%. However, in actuality the top three organic results are not really the top three results of a Google search results page. Paid listings that are purchased through pay-per-click advertising (aka search engine marketing) make up the very top and very bottom of the page.
For the most part, organic results are the most sustainable route to success on Google; you still feel the very first result you see in a list is the best. SEM can help in securing the spotlight your business by getting it at the top of Google.
Find a proper Balance
SEM campaigns are not about just investing in it and waiting for results to show up first. Organic search results and paid search results are determined by a similar algorithm, but financial factors are involved as well. Get your SEM savvy shoes on and you can outrank your competition through paid search advertising. And by SEM savvy, we mean that you should know how to adjust the multiple factors that affect the success of a SEM campaign, which includes:
- Budget: All kinds of budget applies here like, daily budget, campaign budget, cost per click, cost per lead
- Targeting: who is your audience and where are they located
- Content: Content with the proper keywords, negative keywords, a killer ad copy, and attractive landing pages.
Outranking Competitors on Google Maps
Most of us ignore the fact that Google Maps is also a great part of search engine optimization on Google. Google will use the data available on your Google My Business account, data regarding your business and its pages and then rank you in its local results. This is vital for local businesses—because not only will you get noticed over other local competitors, but it also helps your target audience find you over national/franchise competitors.
Make sure to:
- Create an account on Google My Business
- Your Google listing must be checked and updated with accurate and consistent information
- List your local phone number on Google
- The Google maps location of your business must be embedded on the contact us page of your website
- Promote and encourage people to leave reviews- when you create a buzz about your business and it spreads, you will rank higher.
- Add attractive photos that will appeal to the customers
Obtain Reviews Online
After optimizing your organic, paid, and maps listings on Google, ensure that your business gets listed in online directories and review sites. Google will trust you more and recognize your site when you build up a great online presence with lots of positive reviews from your customers. Trust plays a great role in Google’s ranking of your pages. You can grab an extra advantage over your competitors by using online business directories that includes (but not limited to):
- Bing Local
- Yahoo Local
- Angie’s List
- Houzz, etc
The present scenario offers buyers millions of options and businesses to choose from, and with access to online research they can make a wise and informed choice. In this race to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to stand out and make sure they notice you and choose you and you should capitalize on their online usage to get ahead of your competition.
These strategies might seem straightforward techniques that you just apply to get the desired results, while it is feasible for you to outrank your competitors on search engines, you still have to get your hands dirty and put in a lot of hard work because simple, fast, or easy it is not! Even with months and sometimes years’ worth of prep work, this will take up a good chunk of time before it shows you any tangible results and that is also dependant on how competitive your industry is and how authoritative your competitors’ sites are. But you can’t give up because all you have to do is direct your efforts toward improving user experiences, comply with Google’s standards, and ensure the technical performance and structure of your site; your efforts will eventually pay off in the SEO world.