• How to win at SEO amidst strong competition

    Date: 2009.02.11 | Category: seo expert india, winning at seo | Tags:

    Are you tired of seeing you competitor’s links on the first page of search results, while your website on the other hand is flailing behind somewhere on Page 11 or 18?

    Are your competitors stealing your traffic? And if they are, are you ready to fight back?

    Does your SEO expert shy away from targeting keywords which face stiff competition? And offers no viable strategy to combat the same?

    The reasons for this could be many.

    A few key ones that came to mind are listed below:

    1. Yours is a new website (or new domain)

    Websites with new domains generally have a hard time getting indexed and ranked in search engines. The reason for this is that search engines do consider the age of the domain as an important factor while calculating rankings. Even in the real word if someone has been in the business for a year, they will have more credibility than a startup.

    What to do about it? Well prove it to the search engine that you are credible (don’t forget on-page optimization) by creating fantastic content (search engine friendly content) and then syndicating that content across popular user, web and social communities. If other websites and users deem your website/ content as of value, eventually so will the search engines.

    Stat a blog! Yes, it’s an easy way to get noticed by search engines in a short span of time. Search engines love blogs, and so should you! Update your blog frequently with interesting and informative content, and use your blog to create relevant links back (with proper anchor text) to your primary keyword pages. Don’t forget to promote your blog across blog search engines, and blog directories.

    Write articles! This is a great way to build credibility, popularity and quality link backs without the fear of getting trapped by the duplicate content filter. Write articles that are focused around topics/ keywords you want to target. Write your article to resolve the query of the user who typed in that keyword to find something they were looking for. Promote your articles by posting them on your site or blog first, and then syndicating them to various popular and credible article submission sites.

    Find long tail keywords! You may think you know your business, products, services and customers dam well, but that still does not ensure you any traffic. There are keywords (and keyword combinations) that people are using right now that you may be unaware off. Spend maximum time in finding the right keywords, tweaking those pages around the keywords (keyword placement), and in analyzing the traffic potential of those keywords. Expert SEO’s use various projection tools, analysis, statistical and research tools to do this.

    Make a creative video! Wondering how to get a traffic and ranking boost with the least effort? Make a creative and innovative video, post it on your website or blog, and then syndicate to popular video submission sites like YouTube. If this sounds easy, it is, you just need to know how to optimize your video content for search friendliness. Keep in mind this is not an alternative to good on-page optimization, and quality link building.

    Build those links! This is the most important aspect of getting higher rankings for your select keywords. If you have a new domain, start with building links across popular web directories and announce your new website/product/service using online PR network services. It’s the easiest way to start building some good links. In parallel you can use social networking and bookmarking to spread the good word through friends and colleagues. Join communities and forums that are relevant to your business and industry, and participate in them. Comment on relevant blogs.

    Find sites that are relevant to your business and market, and request for links with your relevant anchor text. It is important to have a healthy mix of social, user and web communities in your link building matrix. Creating great content that other webmasters will want to link back is the best form of link baiting. Don’t participate in link exchange, reciprocal linking and automated linking exchanges.

    Syndicate all the original content! All your hard work needs to be syndicated to select article and video submissions sites depending on the type of content, and then promoted to user and social communities by tagging your content link across social bookmarking sites. This will not only give you good links back to your content, but also enable you to reach out to new users across user, web and social communities.

    Submit your sitemap to Google, Yahoo and MSN. These are the top search engines, and submitting your sitemap is like introducing your website to the search engines and inviting them to come visit your online home.

    Go Local! Start with your locality, your city, country and then go global. Like any good business expansion plan it works well to start from where you are right now. Get listed in online local directories, yellow pages, Craigs list (work well too) etc. List your business with Google local business listings, Google maps, Yahoo local, MSN local etc.

    2. You have purchased an old domain for a new website, but it’s not helping you getting ranked faster or higher

    You have been smart about your online business. Maybe you heard that it’s better to buy an older domain, or you had a domain name in mind and paid big bucks for it without knowing why, it does not matter. But the age of the domain does matter to search engines.

    For seo purposes, it’s better to have an older domain to work with. The search engines look at the age of domain as one of the factors while calculating the credibility of the website.

    Having said that you will still need to do all the above things mentioned in point 1 to get higher rankings.

    3. The competition is very strong for the keywords you have selected

    What if you find yourself facing very strong competition for the keywords you selected, and your top competition is beating you by thousands of back links. We know that building quality links is time consuming and building thousands of quality links can take some time. So what can one do if you don’t have the time or the budget to compete with existing competition?

    Create a seo strategy! Many online business owners don’t realize that seo or search engine optimization needs a strategy to work well. “Hey, I am putting up great content, have a great list of keywords, have optimized my pages, and am building the links”. Yes, it’s true that in doing these things you will stand a better chance at ranking well for your keywords. But what if your competition has spent years building content and links?

    A basic seo strategy when the number of competing links is very high, and your competitor site has thousands of back links linking to it:

    1. Identify 2 primary keywords that have max relevance, best traffic and least competition.

    2. Optimize your home page and services/product page (any other key page would do as well)
    around the primary keywords.

    3. Identify 10 – 15 secondary keywords that are three-word, four-word long tails that are
    extensions of the primary keywords (Eg. “How to Hire a SEO Expert” could be an article,
    and ‘SEO expert’ is one of my primary keywords).

    4. Write articles focused around your secondary keywords. Search engines prefer to send a user to a content page that’s useful, informative and resourceful rather than a services or products page that’s selling something to the user.

    5. Optimize your article pages around secondary keywords. Each article is written around ONE secondary keyword you are targeting, and the page name, title, description, keyword and other relevant Meta tags are optimized around that keyword.

    6. Create links from your article pages to the pages which are focused around your primary keywords using proper anchor text.

    7. Syndicate the articles to article submissions sites, and create link back using “primary keyword” as the anchor text.

    8. Focus your link building campaign (web directories, forums, social bookmarking etc) around the primary keywords ONLY, and build links from various popular web, user and social communities. In this way you will not dilute your link building campaign.

    9. The idea is to build as many quality links back from these communities with the anchor text as the primary keywords you are focusing on. When search engine spiders will see the anchor text as used by popular web, user, and social communities to describe your website and your services, and then compare it with your optimized page (that’s focuses around that specific keyword), it will give you a good boost in rankings for your primary keywords.

    4. You have not identified the right keywords (with traffic potential)

    And I am not talking about ones you copied of your competitors website or smartly guessed. Keywords are based on pure factual data, charts, and analysis of keyword/user behavior and trends across search engines which are computed using projection tools, analysis tools, research tools etc (and a dash of business and marketing logic). Do you know what is the traffic potential of your select keywords?

    5. The on-page optimization on your website lacks focus

    It’s advised to target each page of your website around ONE keyword only, and focus the page name, title, description, other relevant Meta tags, and the body content (copy) of that page around that keyword ONLY.

    6. Stale, boring or duplicate content on your website

    Search engine dislike websites with badly written, copied, old or irrelevant content for its users. So make it a habit to create unique, compelling and resourceful content often that the users will value. If users value your content, the search engines will too.

    7. Clean up those broken links, redirect errors, and 401

    Search engines don’t link encountering broken links, missing redirects and 401 errors on your website. These types of errors are recorded by search engine. It is not very difficult to clean up your website, so get down to it. If you have a website over 3 years old with good content, and you have the same number of links as your competitor’s site, and yet you can seem to move up the ladder, your culprit could be the errors search engines are encountering while spidering your website.

    8. Most of the above

    Don’t be disappointed if you fall in this category. This is generally the case with 90 per cent of the websites.

    There was a time where doing some simple keyword research and Meta tag optimization was enough to get ranked in search engines. As the web population grew, the search engines algorithms became more complex to weed out the bad ones.

    Today SEO is not just about optimization of pages, keywords and link building ONLY, but about building a complete strategy for a successful online business. In these times of recession SEO may just be the most powerful tool for any business to succeed.

    Also please enjoy the free seo training on basic and advanced seo strategies that will work to get your website and keywords ranked high on search engines.

    Now what excuse will you give when you know the secrets to winning at SEO even amidst strong competition? If you don’t know what to do yet, then go back to the beginning of this article and read it again.