Website Ranking Strategies for Competitive Markets
Website ranking in today’s competitive markets can be a daunting, if not frustrating, initiative. Regardless how long your company has been in existence, competing for those coveted top 10 Google search positions among all those companies may not be realistic. Especially if your company is small, you haven’t paid much attention to search engine optimization (SEO) before, or you’re just getting started.
The truth is, it takes time to build a successful presence and if your competition is already years ahead of you, the cost to catch up quickly is probably not practical. There are no gimmicks or quick-fixes, even with a substantial budget, that will immediately reverse this situation. Do not be discouraged. Here are a few ideas that may help improve your website ranking in a highly competitive market:
The idea is to find a way to market yourself in such a manner as to distinguish your business from your competitors focus on a niche. Look for ways to make your products or services differ from your competitors in some way they cannot match – making your product more unique. For example, if your company makes doorstops, your competition is vast, and the search field is broad-based. However, if you offer custom-made doorstops or ornamental doorstops, you can set yourself apart by specialization. You may have a smaller target market but the quality of visits to your site will improve.
Focus on Local Website Ranking
Instead of trying to compete for business nationally, think in terms of concentrating on a more localized market – even if your company serves the entire US. There are a lot of technical reasons that make this strategy worthwhile, but the main idea here is focus efforts on raising the local SEO ranking first. Based on the success of your increased local presence and quality of local reviews, in time, your national will increase also. By generating quality local traffic to a website, ROI improves quicker and helps build a quality presence for the long-term.
Use Long-tail Keywords
Building off the “make your product unique” idea above, its time to address the keyword issue. It is commonly known that one to three words (“keywords”) searches have a much higher search volume than long-tail keywords that have more detail. Yet, from a competition perspective, there is a distinct advantage to using long-tail keywords – less volume equals less competition. Instead of using the keyword doorstops, one might use a long-tail version such as affordable custom-made doorstops. It may seem like a guessing game but there are tools available to assist in choosing some potentially useful long-tail keywords. The idea is to attempt as many as possible.
Avoid the “Number One” Chase
It may sound counterproductive to avoid attempting to hit the top spot on Google searches. The truth is that the competition for “Number One” is brutal since it reaps more than a third of all traffic on a given search page. Less obvious is that any position in the top three or even top five still produces results with a fraction of the expense and effort. Instead of focusing on the top spot, develop a strategy that targets a lower SEO ranking (say number two or three) and build from there. Garnering several of the lower seeds will be easier and still produce results. This is an especially effective strategy when focusing your efforts on local website ranking as discussed above.
Do a Competitor Analysis
It may be impossible to overtake your competition, but you can learn from them without following the same trial-and-error path – they’ve already done it for you. Research your competitors’ inbound link profiles (using one of the tools available) and search for the linking sites most responsible for boosting their authority and relevance. Then incorporate more of these links or ones like them in your strategy. Mimicking what has already proven successful for the competition can be replicated. Further, pay attention to their blogs, social media, and other marketing efforts and try to tailor your strategy in a similar fashion. The research may be a bit time consuming, but the results will be worth the effort (and limited expense).
To the point, there are no quick-fix approaches or magical formulas for creating an effective SEO ranking strategy. However, through research, setting realistic goals, and a more narrowly focused approach, you can find success in your SEO strategy. It is also not a bad idea to engage professional help in developing and implementing a reliable plan.