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Let’s be straight for one moment here: in life, you will never run out of enemies. Doesn’t matter what you do, you can be a priest in a church and someone will still hate you and try to bring you down. You could be doing your best to finish work, but the tasks just keep stacking in and you never finish any, at the same time your client’s site is being attacked with negative links. That’s a fact of life.
We SEO’s are like what Bill in “Kill Bill” would call, renegade killer bees. Our lives are a constant battle. It may look like we just sit at our computers all day, but we’re not just some simple worker bee of the SEO world.
If you’re the kind of warrior of the SEO world that still has a shred of dignity and honour, you wouldn’t turn rogue and retaliate illegally like your enemies. I mean… you could, but that’s not my topic so you’ll just have to be all white hat with us here.
So here’s the situation. Your client’s site is being outranked massively. The website (and hence the sales) are falling out of the top pages faster than you can type your way out of this financial nightmare you’ve gotten yourself into. All you wanted was to have a 1st page ranking site that sells calendars and to have a safe post-work night where you won’t be dreading the client’s email the next morning filled with CAPS LOCKED WORDS.
The first things you should know in order to find your way back is to know where you are; understand what the threat really is.
Start with the Keywords. Check if you and your competitor have similar keywords or if they’re either targeting more specific or more broad types of keywords. And a plus here is that until today, web owners out there still keep Meta Keywords. Install that SEO Quake on your browser and check the pages of your competitor. If they’re a bit smart, there are various tools too which can help you determine what kinds of keywords they use. With this information, you can check if you’re using the correct keywords. Are some of the keywords your competitors use applicable to your site and its services?
Check the groups of people they’re targeting. Learn if they’re actually searching for specific services — Services that your site or business doesn’t have. One giant aspect in all of this is learning what your audience is searching for. And if you completely understand what they want, then you can offer it to them and the rest of the blessings will follow. Your site will be sought after, and more people will go to you.
Learn to check the intentions of your enemy. In battle, you don’t just clash swords with your competitor — that’s boring and inefficient. The greatest fighters see patterns and use it to their advantage. You can easily see if a website actually has a goal; see if they are actively targeting specific keywords and such. There will be times that it may look like their performance looks too natural, so you need to make sure. There are also countless tools available online to help you check your competitor’s behaviour online.
*Be careful though. Like you, there will always be a chance where your enemy is spying on your strategies as well. So be ready for their reaction. Like what Bruce Lee always says, always be relaxed but ready. If you’re too uptight, you won’t be able to respond to attacks. But if you’re like water, you can flow one second, or crash in an instant if you need to.
Know what the competitor is made out of. You will also need to check how strong the competitor is. Factors like the length of time they’ve been in the business, the number of backlinks they’ve collected through the years, how much resources they have are all important. Knowing these lets you strategize better. Do you need a straightforward slash, or do you need to systematically fight back bit by bit until you break them down.
Which brings us to trying to set yourself apart from your enemy.
Out there in search, businesses will tend to sound and look the same. That’s natural since you’ll be competing with other businesses that have the same services as you. So it is a definitely good strategy for you to differentiate yourself from your competition.
Enhance or change your set of keywords. Again, you might be using unworkable sets of keywords. Once you’ve determined what your competition is using, you can then adjust the set of keywords you use. This also depends on your intentions, you want to rank better locally? Use localized keywords. You can also either make your keyword’s range broader or more specific. Get those keywords your competitor failed to target. Those keywords people are searching the most. There will be times that you and your competitor may have similar keywords that you guys are optimizing. The only key here is to make sure you double your efforts on these keywords. Fight for these keywords. Sometimes the one that fights the hardest and the longest, stays in the game longer.
Another way is to make sure that you’re on top of your game at all times. Is everything on your site still relevant? Constant updates on your site clearly have more weight these days. A website could have pristine quality content, but if it isn’t relevant, things go bad.
Next is to utilize all those links from your competitor’s link profile. Not only is this a cool, psychologically threatening move, but essentially, you still need backlinks. With those tools we’ve so cleverly hyperlinked on top of the article *wink wink*, you can also find the link profile. Check if you can also land a backlink to those as well.
Produce more kickass content. That’s right, where ever you go in the realm of SEO, CONTENT will always be there. Updating your content to keep it relevant is also now a growing trend. Frankly, in your niche, there will always be times that you may get to create content that will, once again sound and look the same. Make sure yours will stand out. Use images, GIFs — don’t be afraid to go a little bit crazy. Got a competitor that posts daily blogs? You can do that too. Just make sure it isn’t as boring. (yes I’m talking to my competitors. I see you.)
Content isn’t limited to just blogs and texts, you can also dive into other media. Are you close to your target audience? Are you actively interacting with your audience on social media? Video content can go from a dormant, non-violent baby to an angry massive fireball of virility in a span of a few hours. Even if you’re just trying to sell calendars, there are sure-fire ways to create video content about them. Have you ever watched crafting videos on Facebook? I’m telling you, I never thought that I’d be deeply interested and completely distracted from work because of a video about a little soapstone holder. *A video by the way that has 3.1 thousand reactions and 353 shares.
Having competition in all of this shouldn’t ruin your site’s campaign. Or your life and sleep cycle. People that would want to bring you down or make you sink further will always exist. And you can either curl into a ball or fight back the smart (and legal) way.