When searching for products and services online, people will rarely ever go beyond the first page of search engine results. For this reason, competition can be fierce for organic positions on the first page. A prominent position will help to boost the traffic to your website, hopefully resulting in more enquiries and sales. This could prove to be a major advantage over your competitors and help to take your business to the next level, building your reputation and brand and making sure you stand out in your field.
The level of competition you have to contend with will depend on several factors including the key terms you want to be found for and the location. Naturally, it should be easier to secure a good position if there are a smaller number of businesses offering the same thing you provide in the area. In more crowded markets, you’ll have to do more in terms of search engine optimisation (SEO) to climb to the top of the results.
Whatever SEO strategy you choose, it is important to remember that your position will rise and fall over time. This occurs for several reasons including different strategies, updates to ranking algorithms and the fact that not all websites will be indexed at the same time. You don’t want to be bogged down by checking your rankings every day, as this can not only make you feel discouraged but can also result in a disjointed strategy rather than a consistent one that works over time.
If you do find yourself losing out in the rankings, there are a number of things you can do to catch up with a competitor who is outranking you. Five potential options are:
1. Diversify your search terms.
The aim of diversification is to find a new way to compete. You can do this by changing your keywords slightly, by targeting a new demographic or by introducing a new service they don’t provide. You may need to reposition your strategy, but you can step away from a highly competitive area to one where you can secure a position without the back and forth.
2. Look at their links.
Strong links to your website can provide huge rewards when it comes to ranking. There are many online tools available to help you do a link checker on both your website and your competitors’. If they have strong links that you don’t, you can try to replicate them or look for similar beneficial ones.
3. Create unique content.
The quality of the content on a website is a major ranking factor because it is the quality that attracts visitors, satisfies their needs and keeps them coming back. There are so many different options to choose from that you’ll definitely be able to produce unique content your competitors aren’t. You can use standard articles and blogs as well as videos, graphics and even research. The key is to capture the interest of your audience and make them come to you for answers. Do a little research to find out what your target audience want to know and provide them with content that satisfies that need.
4. Keep your focus local.
Competition for national search terms is naturally higher because you’ll be competing with every other business in your industry. By concentrating your energies on local SEO, you can improve your focus and reduce the number of competitors. You can build a much stronger presence by adopting this kind of strategy and can grow gradually to target different areas and then look at a national picture.
5. Work on your site architecture.
Navigation is important for end users so it is equally essential for ranking. You should ensure your website has a suitable navigation bar and that visitors can access pages and find the information they need effectively. A site map is crucial too because it can include all of the pages you don’t need or want on the navigation bar.
If you are being outranked by competitors, whether you are new to the search terms or have spent a long time battling for positions, it’s always a great idea to look very carefully at your strategy and what the competition is doing so you can see what changes need to be made.