The most common scenario for a lot of new companies is the one where no matter how hard they try, they can’t get the upper hand on their competition. And this must be your problem as well, which brought you to our page.
This is no beginners’ guide, in the sense that we won’t talk about longtail keywords or how to link build. We’re here to give less-known SEO tips to boost organic traffic. This is also not a complete guide, as each business has different tactics at their disposal. Depending on your niche, and the current state of your website, the tactics you use might differ from what we suggest here. These are just little tricks that can prompt you to look deeper for effective SEO techniques your business could use.
“Know Thy Enemy” – Starting Off
There are two steps you need to take first. They’ll give you a better idea of which tactics hold the best chance against your competitors.
Step 1: Get an SEO Audit
How will you know which tactics to use to surpass your competitors, if you don’t know where you stand right now? First, you should perform an SEO audit. It gives you a rundown on how your website stacks up against others and highlights problem areas. Whether it’s the site’s speed, keyword ranking, duplicate content, broken links or others.
Step 2: Know your Competition
After the audit, analyze your competitor’s SEO strategies. Do keyword research, content review, and look at their search rankings. What effective SEO tactics are they using? Is there something they missed that you can utilize?
Maybe you can go for other keywords in the same niche, without directly competing with them. For example, if they write about pasta, you’ll write about pizza. It’s still Italian fast food.
Or, if they’re not investing in social media, put effort into building an online community.
Knowing your competition helps you know where you can get an edge over them.
“It Takes a Village” – Engage With the Community
Use social media to the fullest. Let users spread your content and backlinks for you, but make sure it’s quality content. You won’t have to rely on guest posts, if your blog post is interesting and offers genuine insight. People will naturally want to share it to their friends and family.
Some other tips include:
- A referral program for existing customers, with custom backlinks to your website;
- Collaborating with influencers to promote your brand (also custom links their followers can use);
- Engaging in forums, comments, and reviews as a way to connect with your audience and link back to other existing content;
- Organize events, giveaways
Build a small community, and use their help to grow it. Building user trust and loyalty is one of the more advanced SEO tactics that pay off in the long run.
How to Win With Search Engines – Directories and Rich Answers
Search engines go through changes every few months. Google’s algorithm updates have a big impact on search engine optimization. And the 2016 Pigeon update is one you’ll find especially useful.
To make full use of Google searches under the Pigeon, you need to find backup. Because no company can stand on its own. There are two prominent trends:
- Directories – this 2016 update tends to favor search results for companies or services that are featured in directories. For example, searching for Italian restaurants in California, the following results come up:
- Rich answers – they are short descriptions quickly explaining the searched term or phrase. Google takes explanations from high-ranking websites and then forms what it believes to be a short and clear answer to the search. Like this:
Making your titles and descriptions more concise helps Google recognize your content as useful for users.
“Don’t Keep All Your Eggs in One Basket” – Think Locally
A good marketing strategy is to start thinking about local SEO. We previously mentioned the Pigeon algorithm update. Surprisingly enough, it also boosts local businesses closest to the user’s IP. This means using locally targeted keywords and updating your location info makes your search results rank higher.
Additionally, focusing on better local ranking gives you an initial upper hand over the competition. After dominating that niche, you can slowly expand into international waters.
“A Tree is Known by its Fruit” – Schema markups
Schema markups are a huge help for tactical SEO. They are a vocabulary of tags for your links, which helps Google recognize and catalog your webpage. Their most useful feature (when used correctly) is that they instantly win over any other page in the search results page. How?
Here’s an example:
Markups give users more detailed information about a specific search. Including such things as a price tag or a rating is already enough to boost your company’s search ranking.
What can we conclude?
We can confidently say that the only way to stack up against your opponents is to get to know them. Know your weaknesses and work on them first. With that already you’ll find plenty of ranking factors that affect your current search traffic. The best SEO tools are often the most subtle ones, and those rarely used. We hope that, with our guide, you will start looking into all the nooks and crannies of the Internet to find those tactics that work best for your business.