Outranking competitors in the search rankings is important for any business who relies on free organic traffic. Achieving that goal, however, seems daunting and confusing.
If you want to overtake a competitor’s website in the SERPs but don’t know how to do it, this is the perfect blog post for you.
Following is a five-step strategic guide on how to outrank competitors in search engine rankings.
1. Identify keywords that you can target
The first step to overtake your competitors in the search engine results pages requires a thorough study of the keywords they are targeting.
As you know, keywords and keyword phrases often dictate the direction for a piece of content. Keywords narrow down the topic and help you create a more focused blog post. During this step, you need to identify two types of keywords.
- Keywords that your competitors have been targeting. These are the keywords that drive the most traffic to their website. You can use a tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush to find such keywords.
- During this phase, you also need to identify high-traffic and low-competition keywords that have so far eluded your competitors. These are the keywords that your competitors haven’t used yet. You should start with them to get a head start.
2. Analyse your competitor’s content and pinpoint room for improvement
This is a strategic phase in which you finalise your plan of action. In this stage, you analyse your competitors’ content, thoroughly study the most popular pieces, and pinpoints shortcomings and room for improvement.
Take a critical approach and find things that annoy you as a reader.
- Is the content too short or too lengthy?
- Is there enough visual content (images and videos) to keep interested and engaging?
- Is the copy/content interesting?
- Was the headline good enough to hook your attention?
- How was the article formatted? Was it divided into many subheadings, bullet points, and other such elements? Or was it just a huge wall of text that made reading difficult?
- How was the quality of the content? Did it genuine value for the readers? Did the content have case studies, quotes, data points, etc. for increased credibility?
Note down all the positives and negatives once you are done.
3. Create significantly better content both in terms of quantity and quality
Now comes the execution phase.
Take the lessons you learn from the previous step and implement them to create significantly better content than your competitors.
Make sure the shortcomings you saw in their blog posts aren’t there in yours. Also, increase the length of the quantity. In most cases, for as long as you don’t add fluff and the writing isn’t boring, more words will help you establish authority and increase the engagement rate.
Long-form blog posts also tend to perform better in the SERPs — increasing your chances of outranking your competitors.
4. Make your website mobile friendly
Know that a huge portion of organic traffic will come from mobile devices. In 2018, 52.2% of all internet traffic was mobile. The numbers are only going to go up in the future.
It is, therefore, crucial that your website is perfectly optimised for mobile devices of all types and shapes. This includes smartphones, tablets, phablets, etc.
5. Improve the loading speed of your website
After following the above steps — identifying the right keywords and creating better content than your competitors — you will likely start getting some organic traffic.
However, if the loading speed of your website isn’t good enough, you will not only lose that hard-earned traffic, but you will also find it difficult to stay on top in the search rankings.
The loading speed of a website has become an important search engine ranking factor in the last few years. Google’s aim is that users should have the best user experience when they click on a search result. If that website takes 10 seconds to load, it won’t work.
Ideally, your website should take less than one second to load. For starters, it must load faster and quicker than your competitor’s website.
To learn more on how to improve your website’s loading speed, read our free guide to website optimisation.
Although outranking competitors is a complicated procedure that often takes months, it still has to be started from somewhere. The strategy we mentioned in this article is the most basic one, yet it’s highly effective.
Keep at it, and you will soon see positive results.
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