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Winning the Search War Against Dominant Competitors

 
Does anyone pay attention to any of the search results after the first three in Google or any other search engine? How important is it to rank #1 for a term or phrase? The answer is very important! The top 3 ranking positions are the positions that people pay the most attention to. Some studies suggest that the #1 position is worth double the traffic of the #2 position; while other studies cite that there is a much lower difference between positions 1, 2, and 3 but that the top spot always gets the majority of click through attention.
 
As a domain owner you must keep in mind that user experience for the same search query can be significantly different from one person to the next. The differences are based on: search phrase being used, geographic location of the searcher, whether the searcher is logged in to Google and has past search history, or Google+ social network activity. As a company, when you are considering “ranking” in search results, you must understand that your personal search experience may be very different from that of customers in other parts of the country and with different Google/search engine usage.
 
If you are not ranking in the top spots for a search phrase, here are a few tips on how you can work your way to out-rank the competition:
 
1. Find out who your direct competitors are.
Check who is ranking for the same keywords you are targeting. If you see that huge name-brands like Amazon and Sony are ranking for that phrase, you might want to rethink the key phrases you want to target. Big brands like that are too hard to beat, they’re name is too well known and more than likely you will never be able to outrank them. Once you’ve found the right keywords and you don’t see big names, then you know that those are your direct competitors. Once you have that information you are ready to go through and see what they are doing to get their rankings.
 
2. Check out competitors’ SEO practices.
Now that you know who your direct competitors are you can start drawing comparisons and differences in your SEO. You will want to look over the following:
 
  • Domain age
  • Domain authority
  • Page authority
  • Domain's backlinks
  • Page's backlinks
  • On-page content strategy
  • Meta titles & descriptions

After you've finished, take a look at your comparisons. If all of your competitors highly exceed your site in the mentioned factors above, than you know you have to work hard to outrank them. You have to create better content; you have to get better quality backlinks, and so on. Some competitors will be easier than others, but as long as you work towards increasing the quality of all the things mentioned above, you’ll definitely be headed in the right direction.
 
3. Browse through competitor social accounts.
Analyze your competitors’ social media pages. Social media is a big part of brand recognition and awareness and you should keep up with what your competitors are doing on their social media accounts. You should track social mentions of your competitors' sites as well as your own site. Get a picture of who is being mentioned more and why they are being mentioned more. Social media may not directly influence a site's rankings, but social media can definitely drive lots of traffic to a site, so it is still important.
 
If your competitors are not active on social media platforms, it can mean:
  • They haven't tried it yet and may start doing in the future
  • They've tried it, but it didn't prove to be effective for their business goals.
Researching your competitors can give you an insight on if social media is right for your industry. More than likely you will want and need to be on several social media platforms. And even if your competitors aren’t on social media, you being on at least one platform will make your site ahead of the curve. 
 

 

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