With so much competition online, you really have to be good at what you do. However, competition can be a great thing because you can learn a lot by simply following what others have done before you. Keep in mind, some of your competitors have been in business longer than you so they can provide valuable insight into what’s working and what’s not. Over the years, I’ve gained much knowledge in terms of content, SEO, and general marketing by observing those who have paved the way for me in this industry. I try to gain a lot especially when it comes to SEO because this is what matters when trying to boost your rankings within the SERP’s. I always wonder how certain websites are ranking higher than others and try to dig in, gathering whatever information I can.
If you’re a newbie blogger and worried about how you’ll build a name for yourself, then focus on your competitors. Let’s walk through some fundamental things to pay attention to.
I use tools like Ahrefs.com and OpenSiteExplorer.org to find what links are pointing to my competitor’s domain. For example, do a quick search in Google, typing in your main keyword and skim through the results, writing down the top 3-4 domains. Next, head over to these tools and type in the domain and you’ll find a list of backlinks by authority. It’s important you know how to use this information. Here’s something I recommend going forward once you have the data.
First, organize the links by authority and visit each one to get a better idea of the link opportunity. For example, some links will be from FREE article directories, paid links, web 2.0 properties, or other authority sites. Next, look for relevancy because Google has put emphasis on this factor because it’ll help organize data in the SERP’s. With this information, you’ll be able to figure out quickly where you should be focusing your attention.
When browsing the web, you’ve probably seen many of your competitors advertising on different display networks. Over time, I’ve seen this pattern keep developing and it provided insight into potential marketing avenues. For example, if you know competitors are advertising on a network for months, then you know they’re getting a high ROI because why else would they continue to use it….right?
I’ve always believed if you can get your content in front of the right people, it increases your backlinks potential. This is why social media has gained enormous popularity, because it puts the content right in front of relevant people. Advertising networks work the same way and if you have a marketing budget, then consider using the same networks as your competitors. However, you might run into a bidding war over “keywords”, but it’s definitely worth testing.
I currently have 3 accounts on the following networks: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. These networks provide me with the outreach I need when I optimize my campaigns the right way. For example, #hashtags are used to organize “shares” on social platforms by adding relevancy through #keyword. What’s great is the #hashtags used by people in your niche are complete transparent and you can see what big names in your niche are using what keywords. Here’s something I’ve done with great success.
First, I created awesome content better than all my competitors. You’ll learn how to do this in the next section, but I simply created something in-depth with videos, images, etc. When I published it, I shared it on various different social platforms, using the same #hashtags as my competition. Using tools like hashtagify.me will give you a list of popular tags trending over several weeks. Add them to your “tweet” so they get in front of the right people and because you’ve created something better than everyone else, you’ve increased the chances of it going viral with millions of engagers.
What Content Works
The most important SEO strategy you gain from your competition is what content to write. After Google made tweaks to their search algorithm, they’ve started to put a lot of emphasis on quality over quantity. To prove this to you, I wrote a post on “LSI keywords” with roughly 4,000 words, including images and a video. I’m currently ranking on 1st page in 3rd position for the keyword “LSI keywords”. I didn’t do any link building but it generated 611 social shares quickly so it went viral quickly. Here’s the point I’m trying to make…
Through your competition, you can find what content is important to build engagement. I always search my competition to find common problems within my niche and then create something better by going through their content, looking for elements they’ve missed. I can even view their social followers and reach out to them, telling them about the content I’ve written, asking them to take a look.
Your competition has been around longer and written content your audience needs. Research them and find out what’s trending, then create something better.