How to Outrank Your Competition in Search Results

With basically all consumers driven indoors and online, it is more important than ever that businesses step up their digital marketing game. In particular, businesses need to be cutthroat about improving their rankings within search results for related queries — and that definitely means ranking higher than their competition.

Search engines drive a huge amount of web traffic, and that amount is only growing as more people become accustomed to living their lives online. The sooner businesses learn how to outrank their competition, the sooner they can survive and thrive in the digital space. Here are a few tips and tricks for beefing up your SEO and beating your competition in search.

Outsource to a Better SEO Firm

Some business leaders already recognize the value in outsourcing important and time-consuming efforts to professionals — but it should be said that if you haven’t considered migrating your SEO efforts to a qualified digital marketing firm, you truly should. SEO isn’t something you can task a junior marketing associate; it is incredibly technical, and the field often shifts, requiring a rapid pivot in strategy and technique. You should strive to identify the level of firm your competition uses — if they use any — and find an SEO optimization company with more experience and bandwidth.

Generate More and Better Content

These days, SEO and content marketing are inextricably linked. Google and other search engines have developed algorithms better at identifying low-quality link-building and keyword techniques that make content less valuable to real-live internet users. As a result, many SEOs focus on developing a content strategy that suits both search engines and web users, alike. You should research the kinds of content your audience gravitates to and develop a glut of it, so users are compelled to visit your web assets over your competition’s.

Make Your Website Better in Every Way

Many factors of your website affect how it will rank — not just quality and quantity of content, but factors like site security, page load speed, mobile-friendliness, metadata and domain age. The general rule of thumb is that if a change to your site will make the experience better for site visitors, it will help your site rank higher in the SERPs. Again, you should research how your audience interacts with business websites, evaluate your competition’s site and work on improving your site however you can.

Build a Better Backlink Portfolio

Backlinks are the backbone of Google’s ranking algorithm. However, contrary to popular belief, more links doesn’t necessarily equate with a higher ranking. Instead, you need to concentrate on placing links to your webpages on high-quality, relevant websites — which is a task much easier said than done. Building a strong backlink portfolio is the main reason to rely on an SEO company who have experience communicating with publishers and typically maintain networks of authoritative sites for placing client links. To start, the pros will audit your competition’s backlink profile, so they can better develop a backlink strategy that beats it.

Be Better at Keyword Research and Optimization

You need to integrate keywords into the content on and off your site, but rather than stuffing as many keywords as possible onto your site, it is much more critical that you properly identify and deploy the right keywords. Keyword research isn’t something you can do with a free online tool; it requires skill and expertise — and it is likely that your competition isn’t using keywords to the best possible effect. If you can find a trustworthy SEO to manage your keyword strategy, you could develop an edge in the rankings.

Step up to a Better Social Media Strategy

It isn’t exactly clear how social media affects a website’s ranking. On some search engines, it seems that a strong social following directly raises the rank of associated domains; on others, social media could indirectly affect ranking by driving more traffic and engagement to certain webpages. In any case, you should strive to beat your competition on relevant social sites. If possible, your SEO team should work closely with your social media marketers to develop a strategy that boosts both.

SEO has always been important, but it is becoming increasingly clear that businesses investing in high-quality SEO services are continuing to thrive while those new to SEO are losing out on potential business. While you cannot oust your competition from rankings entirely, you can work to rank above them. Businesses that gain the most attention online right now are best poised to survive the crisis — so it is worth your time and money to be better than your competition at SEO.