How to outrank competitors on Google Search?
That clearly tells us the sheer magnificence of this platform and the magnanimity of scope for businesses to make the best of this wonderful time we live in- The Digital Era.
In this age of digital where competition is sky high, marketers have started getting creative with SEO identifying ways to outrank competitors.
Your competitors might as well be a part of this 61%, so it’s high time to take the SEO challenge head on.
The estimated amount brands and agencies in the US alone will shell out for SEO services by 2020 is $79.27 billion. (Borrell Associates)
That says a lot about how the competition is going to rise and why SEO success might be tougher in 2019.
Outranking competitors is one of the primary goals of any SEO marketer because your buyer persona is on the internet looking for the services you offer and if someone else snatches that opportunity from you before you even appear, it’s a sad loss.
You should at least get a chance to be visible, right? That comes with adeptness in the art of SEO. Let’s see how you can whip up a strategy to outrank your search competitors in 2019.
No.1: Keep an eye on updates:
There’s no way to negotiate on this part. Businesses find it difficult to navigate through the algorithms because Google rolls out about 500-600 updates every year. Some of them are too small to notice and some create gigantic ripples across the industry. The last time Fred happened, a lot of businesses started investing in real content and reconsidered their ad revenue generation strategy.
The thumb rule is
Follow webmaster guidelines religiously
Think from a customer’s perspective
Think about it. Most Google updates are about making their user’s life easier and their experience better.
Thin Content? Beware.
Not on mobile? Oops.
Intrusive ads? Bye!
It’s important to understand the core of SEO and then check your website’s health based on the factors that define Rich User Experience.
No. 2: Add value to your user’s life, don’t just sell:
The average first-page result on Google contains 1,890 words.
And if those 1900 words are simply beating around the bush, they don’t rank. The fact that 50% search queries are longer than four words depicts that those 50% users are looking for something specific. It’s important to consider those long tail keywords and add real value in your content that your user might be looking for. Don’t just sell!
Suppose you are selling hosting solutions. Think about your buyer persona and what might be their questions. If you provide hosting to beginner bloggers, they might have very basic questions like “how does hosting work” and “which type of hosting do I need.” It’s important you serve your audience with answers to their questions to help them reach an informed decision of buying your product. Don’t presume that your audience knows everything already.
The same goes true with your blog section. If you have decided to create one, do it the right way. Your blog is supposed to educate your audience instead of promoting your products (which should be your secondary objective). To make that possible, think “quality over quantity.”
No. 3: Go Local with SEO
Google “near me” searches have increased by two times over the past year.
Mobile is the future and with it, local SEO stands at a much higher pedestal than other SEO tactics. The rise of mobile phones has led to a tremendous rise in “near me” searches. “Near Me” Searches are transforming Small Business Marketing. Local SEO done right has the potential to outsmart the biggest and smartest of competitors.
Here’s your quick checklist for a Robust Local SEO Strategy created by Dhirendra Kr. Pandey, Co-founder and CEO of Media Search Group:
Use Google My Business
Optimize for local keywords
Build a presence across directories and citations
Make use of Schema Mark-up
Build Local Links on high authority sites.
Get reviews from your customers.
Have a Social Media strategy for local customers in place.
Optimize your website for mobile users.
Create AMPs (Accelerate Mobile Pages) for mobile users.
Optimize your Maps and Contact page.
Optimize your website with Voice search keywords.
With Google’s Mobile-First Indexing, it’s getting even more important to pay attention to improve mobile experience for your website users.
No.4: Focus on Authority
Authority is a real deal breaker when it comes to marketing. The higher your authority, the greater are the chances that people will trust your site.
But, how does Google measure authority? Backlinks.
In real world, your authority depends on how many relevant people are talking about you. In a digital world, your authority depends on how many relevant websites link back to you.
This 2019, if you want to outrank your competitors, make sure you keep a close eye on who is linking back to you. Things you need to watch out for are:
Does the site have any authority?
Is the site relevant?
Is the content around your backlink relevant?
If the answer is YES, reward points from Google. If the answer is NO, negative points from Google.
It’s simple. If irrelevant sites are linking back to you with spammy content, Google construes your site as a spammy site and your ranking might drop or never rise or worse, your site can be penalized.
You can in fact say that there’s a direct relationship between quality backlinks and Google search rankings. Basically, the better your backlinks, the higher are your rankings.
Now, how do you check your backlinks? There are tools to do so.
This rather old but useful video is a perfect guide to understand the link building strategy:
No.5: Keep the Basics in Place
You might think that your SSL can wait or that website revamp you have been thinking about can be put on hold for another year, but, not anymore!
A secure website is the most basic prerequisite for a user to visit your website. If yours users are getting a security pop up too, consider almost half your traffic moving away from you.
Switch from http to https to indicate to Google and users that your website is secure. It only takes a few hours to get an SSL certificate and it’s not expensive.
An SSL is not the only thing to need to cover the basics. The other basic prerequisite is a decent page load speed. Ideally, your website should load in 3 seconds.
You don’t want that to continue happening in 2019, do you?
Improve your page load speed and if you have been thinking of a revamp, do it now because…
No.6: Create Rich Landing Pages.
Chunks of text stuffed with keywords lying in your landing page is not going to make you rank. It will neither impress your users nor Google.
With 80% of traffic predicted to be spent on video, it’s high time you start investing in and exploring various forms of content.
A landing page with rich forms of content engages users.
A page that engages users has lower bounce rate.
A page with lower bounce rate and high user retention rate is more likely to rank higher.
Google is a “valuable content hungry” ecosystem that gives preference to websites that add value to their user’s life. Most of Google’s algorithms point towards the fact that user-convenience and a rich user experience tops the chart of Google’s priorities.
To outrank your competitors in 2019, you have to stand out from the crowd, and content can be your differentiator.
No.7: Content Marketing
Content Marketing and SEO run hand in hand. You can’t isolate either. Content that educates your audience is, as mentioned above, your biggest weapon to outrank your competitors and rank higher in SERPs.
Consider adding a blog section to target your long tail keywords as mentioned in Point No. 2 above. A blog section can represent your business values in the most pristine of ways. It’s a canvas where you educate your audience about the importance of your services, your industry insights, how to put your products to good use and what not!
Moreover, plan to create content for various phases of your sales funnel.
Websites w/blog content have 434% more search engine-indexed pages than those that don’t publish.
Content Marketing allows you to spread meaningful content across the internet that drives relevant traffic back to your website.
It’s more important to focus on Content marketing in 2019 more than ever considering that machine learning is at play and the algorithms are getting smarter. And if you haven’t already acquainted yourself with the Rankbrain algorithm, it’s high time you do so.
It’s more important to think of how to improve your user experience than worrying about outranking competitors because ultimately, improving user experience will lead to outranking competitors. While doing your research of avenues that need improvement, consider doing a thorough market analysis of what the competitors are doing and what can you do better.
2019 is going to be a year dominated by rich content, local SEO, lightning-fast websites, and interactive experiences. However, nothing happens overnight. Don’t aim to hit the first page on the very first day of 2019, instead, work towards long lasting strategies that aim towards improving experiences.
Moreover, don’t put all the burden on the shoulders of your SEO guys. Expand and improve on other forms of marketing techniques.
Spend 20% of your time creating. Spend the other 80% of your time expanding your reach in different formats and to more channels to reach a wider audience. See who it can help. Reach out to them. Share it on all your networks.”
Go social and explore how Influences can help you. Allocate some budget to paid media and create a holistic marketing blueprint for the year ahead.
Remember, Google is watching and every other form of marketing, directly or indirectly, impacts your search rankings.
So outranking competitors is just a matter of strategy. Go ahead and create yours.
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