Top 5 SEO Strategies Revealed by the Competition

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"There’s no rule that says you can’t spy on your competition." Hector Cuevas

As a Web Designer and Inbound Marketing Specialist, clients often ask me for assistance with their search engine optimization. Although I try to stay on top of SEO trends, it’s really not my area of expertise, so I’m happy to share with you Mae Demdam’s advice for checking out your competitors’ top SEO strategies.


Every small business is constantly looking for ways to work smarter and get better results for the efforts it makes. You likely have an SEO strategy that you are using for your website. (If you don’t, you need one!) However, SEO can sometimes feel a little like a moving target. If you are second guessing, changing things up, or simply not seeing the results you want to see, take a look at your competitors. Those who are ranking at the top of organic search engine results can teach you some valuable SEO lessons.

Uncover the Most Effective Keywords

Every small business person with a website knows about keywords. Using the right keywords in your website content can make all the difference when it comes to naturally generating traffic. While there are many tools available to help you come up with impressive lists of keywords, there’s nothing as effective as mining some of the best keywords of your top ranking competitors. The tool SEMrush tells you the top organic keywords of your competitors so you can ensure that you are also using the best keywords in your industry.

Master the Right Links

Are you getting powerful inbound links to your site? If you are not at the top of search engine results, your links are likely not what they should be. Links have huge power. By examining the powerful links of your top ranking competitors, you can learn much about how to get such links. Tools such as Ahrefs or Open Site Explorer allow you to input a domain name and see a listing of all the backlinks to that site.

From such lists, you are likely to discover a plethora of powerful websites that you would otherwise never think to reach out to. Yet, if a website is linking to your competition, there is a strong possibility that it has an interest in your industry. Put out some feelers to try and connect via social media to such entities. Twitter is a great platform for making such connections easily. After initially connecting using a comment or question, introduce yourself and offer to provide content in exchange for a link.

Get Social Enough

You should be actively following your major competitors on Facebook, Twitter and other relevant social media. They are looking to engage the same people you want to reach. Monitor the types of posts/tweets they put out and the amount of engagement each type gets. Likes and comments on a given post will give you an idea of how engaged the audience is. The type of content that is most successful and receives the most attention is also important to note. Typically, useful posts with something out of the ordinary do much better than text only sales-based posts.

Develop Content That Garners Engagement

Take a look beyond social media sites. Check out your competitors’ blogs to see what type of posts they are regularly generating. If they are ranking well in search engines and tend to predominantly have a certain type of blog post – video posts, infographics, etc. – that content may be contributing to their success.

Emulate Successful On-Site Optimization

Take a look at the on-site optimization for several competitors who have impressive organic search engine rankings. Build a checklist for success for your own site, by comparing meta descriptions, page titles, URL structure, site speed, and nav architecture. If you find that several top competitors have similar aspects of on-site optimization, ensure that you emulate those aspects on your site.

SEO success is not about copying the competition. Instead it is about learning from the success of others. Good research into what your competitors are doing right will help you do better online and in your bottom line.

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Mae Demdam is a marketing specialist for Digital Edge Marketing and a creative writer. Her background is in marketing, hospitality, and project management. She loves to travel and try new cuisines. Mae lives a very active life, you will most likely find her at the beach; surfing and running or doing yoga and pilates.

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  1. Avatar Caitlin on May 20, 2016 at 9:56 am

    The right keywords and link are extremely important!

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