It is very frustrating when your main business competitors are always performing better than you in the search engines, however, with a little work it is possible to steal traffic from your competition. This may sound a little sneaky, but there really is nothing wrong with what we are about to suggest. In a way, it is no different from seeing a competitor’s ad in a newspaper and deciding to place your own alongside it. So, how is it done?
Target The Same Keywords
Keywords drive search traffic. There are several tools available to determine what keywords your competitors are currently performing well on. SEMRush is one of the best tools on the market at the moment, and it provides a reasonable amount of information for free (we have the fully paid version if you need it). All you have to do is enter your competitor’s URL into SEMRush and it will display the ten most popular search phrases that deliver traffic to their website.
Let’s look at an example. Say you’re an architect in Chelmsford. A search for “architect in Chelmsford” brings up Chelmsford planning offices and Yell first, but then Glynnwilliamsarchitects.co.uk in third place, who is in Danbury. According to SEMRush, his main keywords include: Essex architects, Chelmsford architects, architects in Essex, architects Chelmsford, and architects in Chelmsford. Ensure that you have these keyword groups on your homepage and main service pages and you should notice an improvement in ranking.
More insights can be seen in the very competitive plumbing niche. For example, “bathroom fitters in Chelmsford” brings up several directory sites (Mybuilder.com, Checkatrade.com and Trustatrader.com) and then Barefootbathrooms.co.uk as the first independent company. According to SEMRush, the keywords that they are receiving traffic from include (not limited to):
- essex bathrooms
- bathroom shops in essex
- bathrooms complete
- bathroom fitters uk
- bathroom stores essex
- bathroom planner uk
- complete bathroom fitting service
- bathrooms porcelanosa
- bathroom installation essex
- ideal standard bathroom planner
It is interesting to note that although they rank well for “bathroom fitters in Chelmsford”, they are getting most of their traffic from searches for Essex, and even some for UK searches. You should be optimising your site for your local area, nearest large town and county already, but some of the other search terms are interesting: Stores, planners, installation, Ideal Standard, Porcelanosa, complete – these are all terms that they are getting business on, which may be missing from your own web site.
To steal their traffic, build some useful content around these keywords, either by enhancing some of your pages or creating new pages. Also, think about the products that you currently supply – you may not fit Porcelanosa products, but you may fit other brands, so create pages for these. People search for brands as well as generic terms, so create some pages to highlight which brands you provide and install.
Domain Authority is the new PageRank. Google decided to stop providing new PageRank data to the public a few years ago, and stopped displaying archive data last week. This has made it hard to determine how well ranked a website is. Moz decided to create their own metric to rate websites, and they call this Domain Authority (DA).
DA is on logarithmic scale from 0 to 100 and is largely determined by the number and quality of links that point to a website. Sticking to the example given above, Barefootbathrooms.co.uk has a DA of 10.33. In theory, if you can get your DA above this figure, and provide similar content on your website, you will start to compete more effectively with them.
One of the key skills of SEO is link building – building quality links that are natural and support your business online is a time consuming and complex task, which is why you should consider outsourcing to an SEO company.
Now we are entering slightly shadier ground, as this is considered a more aggressive tactic. You can use tools such as Majestic.com and Ahrefs.com to determine who is linking to their website. You can contact the websites that are linking and suggest updating their link to that of your website.
If your site contains more up to date, of just better, information, then you could use this as a bargaining tool. A kind email or even a phone call might persuade them to update the link on their website to point to you instead.
Become an Influencer
By improving the quality and usefulness of the content on your website, and becoming more active on social media, you can become an “influencer” in your niche. By making yourself more visible across multiple platforms and interacting with a larger audience, you can increase the likelihood of people discovering your brand and business.
Sticking to the plumbing theme, a popular way to achieve is through the use of YouTube – add useful videos that show DIY enthusiasts how to fix minor problems. Forums are also effective in this manner – become a well-known name on a DIY forum and you may find that you develop some leads from your profile page.
All the above, as effective as it is, takes time. If you want to leap ahead of the competition quickly, use Google AdWords to ensure that your site appears above the competition in Google. If your competitor is using AdWords already, SEMRush will show what keywords they are bidding on – bid higher.
AdWords can be expensive to run, especially for beginners, but there are several ways to reduce click spend and increase conversions without compromising the best keywords. Speak to our AdWords managers to learn more.
AdWords is not the only tool though. Facebook can be very effective for brand building, which is especially important for local traders. If you create a post on your company page in Facebook, you can “Boost” it and target the local area. By targeting your local market you can quickly make more people aware of your business, and if you are sharing an interesting story, this will get Facebook shares and likes, to further enhance your brand.
As you can see, there are several ways to steal your competitors search traffic, and we are skilled in all these methods, so contact Freelance SEO today if you want to start beating the competition.