Anyone who has an understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) or struggled to achieve those highly sought after top results and rankings, will know it is a constant race to stay that one step ahead of your competition.
As SEO Sepcialists, seo agency in London, we’ve put together some ‘top tips’ (5 to be exact!) to give you a head start to beat the rest to the finish line… A.K.A, achieving that top spot.
#1 Content Creation.
It doesn’t matter how much money you pump into SEO, PPC (pay-per-click) or any other digital marketing campaign. If you don’t have any content (and quality content at that), you won’t get anywhere at all. Not any more.
Firstly, lets face the obvious, having fresh new quality content regularly updated on your website is great for people visiting your site, and with regular content comes regular visits to see what’s new with “you”.
The added bonus with shareable fresh content, is exactly that – it is shareable. If readers deem your content worthy and interesting, they share, and others share alike. This in turn increases the number of external backlinks pointing at your website, further improving your SEO.
Secondly, and as importantly, regularly updated quality content looks great to Google. Fresh updates are picked up regularly from Google’s automated indexing programs, showing them that you are not only ‘current’, but you are a voice to be listened to when it comes to your chosen business or subject area.
Create a blog on your website (read our post about setting up a successful company blog here), a news reel for the company and events around the office, even downloadable products such as e-books all count towards key content helping your rank begin to climb.
#2 Keyword Planning.
Once you have created your content, take a step back and look at your list of keywords you are targeting and trying to rank for. Now, read back over your content (or of course, create more ‘keyword rich’ content!) and see if you can sensibly add in your keywords.
The operative word there is ‘sensibly’. Word of warning, don’t ‘stuff’ your content full of the same or similar keywords over and over again. Firstly, Google hates it, and will send you and your business page to search-engine-Siberia never to see the light of page one again (or a fair while anyway…)!
Secondly, the key part of content writing (as highlighted above) is the ‘quality’ element. If your writing makes little readable sense, why would anyone want to read anything else you post, or want to share it with anyone?
What you need to focus on are the search queries that yield the highest total traffic. To determine which keywords are most effective and which ones can be ceded to competitors, look at the traffic data for different search queries using Google Analyticz to determine which keywords are producing the most conversions.
#3 SEO and Search Engine Changes & Updates.
The internet is ever changing, ever moving, and SEO is no different. Keeping up to date with the industry you want to master is the best way of staying ahead of the game (and your competition).
For example, the latest Google Roll-out – “Penguin” – released a new set of regulations and areas of ‘black hat’ techniques that they are particularly cracking down on.
When the new algorithm hit, hundreds of thousands were penalised over night (sadly, including some innocent websites wrongly identified by Google algorithm as infringing their rules), losing their top spaces to others than were deemed more compliant.
The thing is, these penalties were easily avoidable, if said websites and digital-bods had kept up to date with the news in the industry. By taking action right away, or jumping on a new technique or growing trend before your competitors, you could cement your lead in the organic search results.
#4 Check out the Competition: Part 1 – Backlinks.
While it is of course important to monitor your own website and subsequent back-link profiles, it is always worth keeping a close eye on any changes in in the links or work your competitors are building.
As with keywords, sometimes techniques with backlinks are a matter of trial and error; keeping an eye out for new partners and websites to work with for quality backlinks on offer, be it locally or nationally (or even globally!).
By monitoring your competitors’ back link strategy, you might stumble upon a potential untapped source that you too can link with and use new strategies to stay ahead.
#5 Check out the Competition: Part 2 – Onsite SEO Activity.
Knowing your foe is a key part of winning any battle, SEO is no different. Look at title tag structures, structure of keyword optimised headers, along with other key SEO onsite activity.
If you spot any major changes occurring in your competitors, it could be one of two scenarios.
One, they have discovered a new way to optimise their page to challenge their status in the search results (perhaps from an eagle eyed spot on a SEO news website about a new change or method), or of course, they are already lagging behind in the search engine race, and rectifying/responding to a penalty from poor practice from the search engines.
Either way, they always say to keep your friends close, and enemies closer, and when it comes to digital marketing and SEO, this sentiment is safe in its place when it comes to knowing your competiton. Getting ahead is the easy part, but staying ahead is committing your SEO to the long haul.
Remember, SEO isn’t a 100 meter sprint to the top spot, its more a marathon. Pace yourself and use our tips to maintain an ongoing long term plan to stay searchable indefinitely.