Looking to unseat your competition in your next SEO campaign?
Competition online is brutal. You’re no longer just competing against the local law firms. You could be competing against regional, national or — in some cases — international players.
Did you know that 33% of online traffic goes to the #1 listing in search results? The rest is unevenly distributed among the 9 1st-page listing below it. By the time it gets to the 2nd page, traffic is nearly non-existent.
Where is your site ranking currently? Do you know why you can’t seem to rattle that page 1 competition despite your many SEO campaign efforts?
We’ll help you get to the root of it, as we reveal 9 SEO campaign traits that your competitors hope you don’t figure out. Let’s begin.
Properly Identified Competitors
You may think you know who they are. But you could be completely wrong.
Your competitors would be more than happy if you don’t realise that they’re competing against you. They’d like to float just under the radar, syphoning off clients that would have otherwise come to you.
It’s important to recognise that your competitors online may not be the same competitors that you’ve been battling it out with for decades in your area.
You’re not competing with the law firm down the street. You’re competing with those who are ranking high on the long-tail keywords that you’ve chosen for your SEO campaign.
They may be:
- Do-it-yourself legal services
- Large organizations
- A comprehensive advocate/lawyer search engine
You can use tools like SemRush or KeywordSpy to find out who’s ranking on page 1 for your keywords. We’ll then take a close look at these competitors as we continue through your SEO campaign traits that your competition is going to hate.
A Competitor Analysis
We’ll start by taking a look at our competitor’s domain authority (DA). This is a highly respected measure developed by Moz, a company that provides tools that many SEO professionals use in each SEO campaign.
DA will be between 1-100, with 100 being the highest ranking. You can visit the website or add a Moz toolbar to your browser. It’s free and has some other great features to help you analyse websites.
Why do you care about the competition’s DA? You care because the DA is a representation of how easily that domain is found in search engines. That domain provides “link juice” to the many pages on that domain.
Depending on what your own DA is, you’ll have a better idea about which sites you can surpass in the rankings and which are simply too far out of range — for now.
This tool will also show you the top pages on their domain, so it’s time to take a closer look at those pages.
Evaluate their content. What types of content are they providing to your potential clients? What is the quality of that content?
Take a closer look at the following:
- How they’re using the keyword
- What their URLs look like
- Headings and sub-heads
- Images and their Alt Tags
- Meta descriptions
- Structure of their content
- Length of Content
- How they’re using keywords
- How they apply latent semantic indexing (LSI). In case you’re unfamiliar, LSI involves including words and phrases that relate to the keyword and title to better explain the context of the information. Your goal with SEO is to demonstrate to search engines that your page will be helpful to those performing a certain search.
- How they’re soliciting & interacting in comments
- Where and how they’re using social buttons and other widgets
- Load speed
- The number of backlinks, checked using Moz or SEMrush. You’re only concerned with backlinks that are “do follow”. “No follow” links don’t add SEO campaign link weight to a website, although they have some other indirect benefits like referral traffic. Ahrefs has another great tool to check backlinks.
And don’t forget to check out their social media presence. How are they engaging with your potential clients? What are they doing well? Is what they’re doing being received well, as evidenced through shares, likes and interactions?
Now, it’s time to get honest. How does your site measure up? In order to compete with these websites you need to do 2 things:
- Do what they are doing… but do it better
- Apply your own competitive SEO campaign strategy based upon current SEO best practices
Consider the areas we analysed in the last section. Now place some of your top pages side by side. If you have pages with the same content, that’s even better.
Through this exercise, you’ll be able to see where you’re winning and where your SEO campaign could use some work. This will help you prioritise some achievable and measurable objectives to help you meet your bigger goals.
Well Thought Out Priorities
What are your priorities? One of the biggest reasons for SEO campaign failure is not setting priorities correctly.
One of the biggest reasons for SEO campaign failure is not setting priorities correctly. << Remove
SEO is a long-term strategy. Your greater SEO campaign never actually ends and has a million moving pieces. So when you have a targeted SEO campaign, it should have clear priorities, goals and timelines.
If you’ve applied the first 3 of 9 tactics, you can now narrow in on what those priorities should be, based upon how you compared against the sites you are competing with.
Are your top pages thin on do follow backlinks? It’s time to learn the importance of backlinks and start acquiring them.
Is your content rather uninspired, not helpful or too short? Start expanding your content. Don’t have much content? Start creating it.
Is your page load time lagging behind? Better optimise your page speed to get more traffic.
But, you might be asking: Didn’t I know that these were important to my SEO campaign before analysing the competition? I already knew I need backlinks and page speed.
The answer is “yes”. But what you didn’t know is:
- What would make a difference
- Where the quick wins are
- The specific strategies to apply to rule page one for a keyword
If you look up “effective SEO campaign”, you could spend hours reading through tips and tricks. But now you have a clear roadmap for SEO campaign success.
A Competitor One Up
It’s time to “one up” the competition. You don’t want to just be as good as them. You need to be better. Your top pages must beat their top pages. Your domain authority must continue to gain ground against theirs.
While overall SEO is important, to overtake someone in the rankings, your site must be strong where theirs is weak and stronger where theirs is strong. You accomplish this through a targeted SEO campaign.
Measuring the Right Metrics
Your competition hopes that you don’t know how to effectively measure your progress in your battle to overtake them in the rankings. They’re counting on you being like so many other competitors of theirs who develop and implement strategies but aren’t measuring the results.
The first metric will be whether or not you’ve met your very tangible objectives based upon your competitor analysis. These would vary, but include things like:
- Number of do follow backlinks on your top pages versus the competition
- Amount of content compared to competitors
- Metas and headings versus the competition
Before a visitor to your website becomes a client, they must go through a couple of major stages in the buyer’s journey. Measure each of these steps.
Next, you recognise that you’re moving in the right direction through easy to measure micro-conversion metrics like:
- Number of visitors (new & repeat)
- Bounce rate (people leaving your site without doing anything)
- Your domain authority (DA)
- Which content is gaining the most interest
You can review these metrics in a tool like Google Analytics (GA) and Moz (for DA). When you’re doing well in these metrics, it’s a good sign that your visibility and brand awareness have increased. More prospective clients know who you are. You have more opportunities to turn brand awareness into interest and interest into paying clients.
Measure this by looking at how people are interacting with your website. Do people click on multiple pages before leaving the site? Do they follow a certain path through your site? You can view this in GA.
Finally, you look at conversion. How many visitors are actually contacting your legal practice for a consult?
The above metrics only mean so much if you’re not converting visitors into clients.
If you have a low conversion rate then your site might not be attracting enough people in your area if you’re a local law firm.
Improve your content to convert more visitors to seal the deal.
Leverages Social Media
Many people still don’t realise that social media is an important SEO campaign trait.
In order to improve your ranking in search engines, you need to demonstrate to them that your website has what people are looking for.
One very important way to do this is to drive traffic to your site through various social channels.
You analysed your online competitors’ social media profiles. Now, it’s time to put that knowledge into practice. If you don’t have social media marketing experience, start by mimicking what you see your competitors doing.
Measure how it impacts your engagement in social media using free tools provided by the social media channel.
Identify what’s working best for you and do more of it to generate increased interest in your website.
But beware. One of the worst things you can do with your SEO campaign is to mislead people so that you can get more visits (click bait). Search engines consider how people interact with your website as part of their ranking factor. Learn how to make the right impression.
Here are some quick tips on social:
- Create headlines that get attention and clearly communicate where a click will lead.
- Be social on social to help followers connect with you.
- No direct selling on social. You’ll lose followers fast. Your goal is to provide value to get more people back to your site where they’ll develop interest and then become clients. It’s okay to post occasional special offers though. People love discounts.
We’re talking about your online competition mostly. But we don’t want to give the impression that the law firm down the street isn’t still a threat.
Among the 9 traits, your competitors don’t want in your SEO campaign is strong local SEO.
Search engines use a searcher’s location as a ranking factor to show a person the most relevant websites in a search.
If the searcher is in Birmingham, for instance, then the search engine will give preference to sites that are local.
Some quick tips for local SEO would be:
- Make sure your information is consistent across the Internet. Search for yourself to see what comes up and revisit any submissions you’ve made to directories. Your name, phone and address should all be consistent.
- Submit your information to local directories if you haven’t already.
- Create a website for each location you serve.
- Claim your Google My Business and Bing Business.
- Take advantage of Near Me
Exploiting Your Winners
One of the most important traits of an SEO campaign is that it exploits its winners. By this, we mean that you:
- Recognise what’s working for you
- Keep it up
- Do more of it
- Improve on it …we can always do better
Each practice is a little different. What works like magic for your competitors may not be “your magic”. Use tools like Google Analytics and social media analytics to determine what new content is a winner.
The 80/20 rule applies. About 20% of the content on your website does about 80% of the work, attracting new clients. Identify what your 20% is and …
…create more like it.
Your Next SEO Campaign Will Exceed All Your Expectations
When you apply these 9 traits to your SEO campaign, you can create a campaign that is targeted and meets its goals. You must understand who your competition is and what they do well to identify where you can make the biggest impact.
To learn more about how we can help you with your next SEO campaign, reach out to us today.