To put it simply, SEO, or search engine optimization, matters. The competition is doing it, and you need to be doing it too if you want to keep your competitive edge. Here are three ways you can leverage your competition to learn more about SEO.
1. Who is Your Real Competition?
If you don't already know your competition, now is a great time to figure this out. In our experience the majority of businesses can easily identify one or two competitors, but if you aren't certain, a great way to uncover the competition is to think like a customer.
Put yourself in the mindset of your ideal or typical customer. What are they searching for that is leading to you, or to the competition? Jot down some search terms that pertain to your business service or product.
Once you've got a list of 10 or so search terms (also called keywords), start searching! How do you rank? Who comes up in the top 3 positions? Even if they don't seem like an exact match with your business, if they are competing for the same keyword markets with similar services or products, they are competitors. Keep a list of the top 5 competitors and keep an eye on them.
2. What is Working on Their Social Media?
Having a social media presence absolutely has an impact on SEO and the ranking of your site. While the boost your site receives from social media isn't always huge, it definitely shouldn't be ignored. Social media is a great way to drive traffic to your site. And good SEO and engaging content keeps them on your site.
Keeping an eye on the competition's social media can show you the topics that are getting the highest levels of engagement. If your competition found a hot topic, try leveraging their success by jumping on that topic on your own website or social media page. Just be sure to put your own unique company spin on it.
Watch what is trending in social media as a whole and brainstorm if there is any way you can tie it into your specific product or service. Tying into current issues or hot topics is a great way to get new views for your page and show your customers that you are innovative and knowledgeable about your industry. For example, we did that recently with Pokemon Go.
3. How Good is their Web Content?
If you want to reap the benefits of SEO and web marketing, you have to be producing fresh, new and relevant content that speaks to your ideal customer base. In this day and age, blogs are common for businesses of all types. They are a great way to add new content to your site and show the personality of your business.
Is your competition blogging? How often? If they are not blogging, do they have a lot of content on the site? Is the content readable and engaging? Does the content include any industry-specific keywords? Especially notice keywords in the following places:
- Page titles (what you see on the tops of tabs)
- Page headings (H1 tags)
- Text hyperlinks
If the competition is outperforming you on those keywords, try optimizing your own site and checking back after a month or two. In that time you should continue to produce new and relevant content for your site that targets those same keywords.
Rankings don't improve organically overnight. But with some simple changes to your content and a commitment to tracking your performance, your business can begin to outrank the competition.
For more tips on increasing your website traffic, grab our free guide below!