7 SEO Steps to Take If You Want to Outrank Your Competitors

Search engines are your primary means of attracting customers. With millions of sites online, search engine optimization (SEO) matters. SEO has become increasingly vital for top ranking websites. Below, we outline the seven steps that will help you outrank your competition.


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Step 1.   Campaign Smartly: Increase Quality Content

Look at your website and strategy as a campaign. As such, your content is your primary means of connecting with your customers. The quality, nature and relevance of your content affect Google’s ranking. Why? Google uses these items to determine the authority of your site. As you add content, it can increase your authority. This is because it gives Google more to evaluate. However, it is important to note that Google ranks differently.  Quality, original, and well-researched content is of higher value. If you want to beat competitors, you need to put in the effort. Do more research. Use this to delve deeper into your original content or topics. Increase your publishing frequency too. All of this will earn you more authority. (In addition, it will give you more pages for Google to evaluate. It can provide better inbound links too.) More authority, web pages, and links all lead to a better ranking.


Step 2.   Link Building: Inbound Links for SEO

Links are important to your rankings as well. However, did you know the quality of the link matters to your ranking? One of the best ways to establish an inbound link comes from guest posting. (Guest posting refers to publishing content on an external blog. The link back to your site generates an inbound link.) Guest posting to high-ranking websites or domains gives you more authority too. For example, posting on an .edu domain carries more credit than doing so on a new personal blog. The more you post to high-authority links, the better your rankings become.


Step 3.   Socialize: Use Social Media to Get Links

While link quality is vital, quantity helps as well. Having links on different domains is also attractive for Google ranking. It takes time and strategy to build links across different domains. Social media, however, can help save you time and effort. If you post your best content to your social media sites, followers or hash-taggers see it. When they see your content and the value it provides, they may share it themselves. In doing this, your link distribution occurs much faster. What may have taken you weeks could occur within days through social media.


Step 4.   Demographics: Diversify Your Keywords

Your competitor may have a lock on specific keywords. To combat this, you might want to consider a different tactic. For example, your competitor may target established businesses. Instead, you could target entrepreneurs or new businesses. This opens your SEO campaign to a larger audience.


Step 5.   Niches: Alternative Keywords

Like demographics, niches can also increase your SEO campaign. Niches allow you to target specialized groups within an industry. For example, your competitor may target “retirement accounts”. If you want to hone in on a niche, you could target “self-directed 401(k) accounts”. Yes, this may affect the number of viewers. However, Google will consider it “higher-quality” traffic. This, in turn, increases your rank.


Step 6.   Rich Answers: Micro-formatting Matters

Rich answers provide succinct, objective answers to common questions. When visitors use a search engine to look up an answer, your site will pop up. The more often this happens, the more credit you get for posting these answers. Most online businesses do not provide rich answers. Because of this, it can give you an edge over your competitor.


Step 7.   Go Local: Local SEO Rankings For The Win

Local SEO and National SEO rankings operate differently. Many companies only take into account national rankings. If yours does this, focusing on local SEO may help. This strategy can reduce the intensity of your competition. In addition, it gives you a new avenue to consider. Google currently lists the top three local responses to a query. For example, if you search "best pizza place", the top local responses come up. There are a few steps you need to take to target local rankings. First, make sure your name, address, and phone number are accurate and consistent. This includes listings on your site, third-party directories, and review sites. Second, you will want to earn positive reviews from locals. These should post to review sites, social media, or elsewhere. Publishing local content can also help increase your local rankings.


Outranking Competitors is a Process

If you are competing with a long-standing website, it is not hopeless. However, it is a process and it can take time. There are many analytic tools available. They can help you learn more about your competition. They can help you identify where your content is lacking as well. Knowing your competitors' strengths and weaknesses, as well as your own, is useful. Still, following the steps above can help to ensure your rankings increase. Before you take these steps, however, you should evaluate your SEO campaign. You may need to re-evaluate your strategy and goals. Need an expert? Our team is here to help!

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