Outranking your competitors in the search rankings can be a tough thing to do. However, if you are able to find a way to outrank your competitors for your target keywords can generate more traffic and leads that you otherwise would not receive.
I am going to go over a step by step guide on how you can outrank your competitors in the search results. If you follow this guide, you will surely see your rankings improve.
Spend time on keyword research
Before writing your content, you need to have a plan. This starts with keyword research. You need to target keywords that people will actually search. The other part of this is that you need to target keywords that are attainable to rank for.
A good way to find keyword ideas is to use:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google search
These are my favorite free keyword research tools.
With Google Keyword Planner, you can type in keywords or keyphrases and it will tell you the estimated search volume, competition, as well as other keyword suggestions.
I like to use this tool to find some suggestions and then plug those keywords into Ubersuggest. This will give you more precise metrics that you can use to determine it ranking for this keyword will be worth your time.
Determine why your competitors are ranking well
After you have done your keyword research, it’s time to come up with an SEO plan on how you can outrank your competitors for that keyword. I like to look at the websites that are currently ranking for this keyword to come up with my strategy.
You can analyze the website that are currently ranking in the top ten for your target keyword and try to determine why they are ranking high:
- Are they ranking high because they have a high-authority website?
- Do they have very high-quality content?
- Do they just have a ton of backlinks?
After you determine why they are ranking high, you need to do your best to one-up them. Do whatever your competitors are doing but do it just a little bit better. If you can do this, there is no reason you shouldn’t rank high in the search results.
Sometimes this means going more in-depth on your topic, and sometimes it means adding media such as images and videos. No matter what it is, Google does their best to rank the best content available. They want to give their users the best experience possible, so that should also be your focus.
Create high-quality content
- At this point you should have:
- your keywords picked out
- A solid SEO plan on how you are going to get your content ranking higher than your competitors
Now you need to actually put the content together.
It’s important to not rush this step. If you rush this step and produce content that isn’t high-quality, all your other efforts are going to be wasted. Spend some time putting together a high-quality piece of content.
You can see in a screenshot of this blog post; I go step-by-step on how to rank in the Google Maps. I include each step along with images and screenshots to try to be as helpful as possible.
I would recommend spending most of your time doing research and gather data. If you can get some really good information to share, go in-depth on your topic, and have some good media included on your site, there is a great chance you are going to rank high with that content.
Make sure on-page SEO is in place
Once you have your content completed, the next most important thing to do is be sure your on-page SEO is in place. This includes everything from your title, to your keyword usage and alt text.
You want to have an enticing title. It should include some variation of your target keyword, and it should be something users want to click on. It’s helpful to learn the search intent of your target keyword and base your title around that.
You want to include your keywords in the content but be sure that you are not stuffing your keyword. A good tip to avoid this is to use different keyword variations instead of only exact match keywords. Not only will this help you avoid keyword stuffing, but it will also help you rank for variations of your target keyword.
In this article I wrote about plastic surgery SEO, I included variations of keywords to make my content sound more natural, and to hopefully rank for those variations as well.
Google has mentioned that keywords in headings generally don’t carry more weight than keywords in your content, but I think it would be a good idea to include your keywords naturally in headings when possible. This will show that the important parts of your content are based around your target keywords.
Build backlinks to your content
Once you have your content posted with optimal on-page SEO, you can move onto the off-page aspect of SEO. By off-page SEO, I am mostly referring to backlinks. Alongside quality content, backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors.
There are many ways to build backlinks, but I am not going to go into all of the different ways to do that in this post. One of my favorite ways to get backlinks is to determine where my competitors got their backlinks from. This allows me to try to replicate what they did.
The best way to view backlink information is with an SEMRush or Ahrefs account. Unfortunately, these are both paid tools. For free tools, I would suggest using Ubersuggest to find what backlinks your competitors have.
You can reach out to some of those same sites to see if they would be willing to link to your page as well. Here is an email template you can use to try this out.
Backlinks can be difficult to build sometimes, but if you can build similar contents to your competitors and have better content, you are putting yourself in a great position to outrank them.
You should spend as much time as possible researching your competitors and keywords before you even start writing your content. By coming up with an SEO plan before you start, you are setting yourself up for success right from the start.
Be sure to use variations of your target keyword and only use keywords when it is natural. Also, remember that you should always focus on quality and how you can provide a good user experience. If you have high quality content, and build backlinks to that content, you will start to outrank your competitors in no time.