Trying to rank in a competitive market is not easy. To beat the competition in a market that is saturated you need to focus on search engine optimisation.
There is a chance that the businesses that are already dominating the market know a few things about search engine optimisation (SEO) or marketing in general. Reputation management is another important domain that you need to know about.
Just basic knowledge of SEO is not going to make a difference. You need to plan a competitive SEO strategy to help your business gain visibility even in the most saturated markets.
Here we are going to share 3 tried and tested SEO strategies that will help your business to outrank even the top-performing competitions and put your business at the top.
- Pair Up Consumer & Industry Marketing
If you are in a competitive market, your focus must be gaining visibility among your customers as well as within the industry.
While brand name recognition at the customer level is important, creating a brand reputation within your niche is also mandatory. In terms of SEO, it means making use of informative and transactional keywords as well as commercial keywords.
Informative vs. Transactional vs. Commercial Keywords
Most people are aware of the target informative and transactional keywords as they are the ones that grow the most potential customers.
Queries like “what is…” and “where to buy…” are often targeted because here the intention is clear. A searcher is trying to find information about the service or compare costs or discover new brands.
However, commercial keywords are different as they involve some degree of brand recognition. When you are in a competitive niche, you will find that search results are dominated by household name brands. This makes you wonder how can you position yourself against such big names.
The solution is not as hard as one might think.
You can use the brand name of established businesses to your advantage. Try to target keywords that allow you to compare your brand with a well-known brand.
Here we are talking about review style keywords like “Amazon vs Alternatives” or “Brand A vs Brand B.”
If your brand has no recognition yet, targeting the keywords that compare your brand against the competition’s will not only get you recognition but will also ensure that it’s your site that’s ranking for your brand name and not the competitors by association.
While competing in the main market when you are just getting started can be a struggle you can tap into submarkets within your niche.
Finding a submarket within your industry gives you a chance to gain momentum and rank faster than trying to lock horns in the competitive industry. For instance, if you are trying to focus on e-commerce, then you can go more specific like drop shipping business.
- Macro & Micro Level Competitive Assessment
Any successful SEO strategy is not complete without competitor analysis. If you are in a competitive niche, it becomes even more important.
This is true because in a closely packed and saturated market, your strategy of success is highly dependent on what is and what is not working for your competitors.
Hence, in a competitive niche, you have to look for macro and micro ranking signals when you are doing the competitive assessment. While the macro signals can be the primary ranking signals, the micro ones could end up being the difference-makers for the competition.
Macro vs. Micro Signals
You can start by analysing the top performing websites within your niche at the macro level. The macro ranking signals include:
- The primary keywords your competitors are targeting
- The website structure of your competitors
- Local SEO strategy in place
- Mobile Optimisation Techniques
- User Experience
- Type of content they are publishing
- How often your competition is publishing new content
- Backlink profile of their websites
While at the micro-level, you will look into less obvious factors that might be giving your competitors an edge. These factors can include:
- SEO structure of their web pages
- Internal and outbound linking structure
- Quality of inbound links
- Off-site marketing strategy
- Partnership with local companies
- Voice search optimization
- Local listing and Google My Business optimization
- Ratings and reviews
Remember you are trying to find your place in a competitive niche so you cannot leave any stone unturned.
This is why need to focus on the “best practices” macro-level ranking factors as well as the micro-level signals.
- Create & Control Your Online Reputation
In a competitive niche, things move quickly. The competition that is ranking at the top today might be at 5th position the very next day.
This is because at the top the competition is always neck to neck and everyone is improvising their SEO and digital marketing strategies.
This is why you cannot wait for Google to take notice of your website and rank accordingly. Your focus must be on taking all the steps necessary to circulate your content to multiple channels and actively build your online reputation.
Reviews & Reputation Management
You must be aware of what people are talking about your business on important places like Google My Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages and Bing Places.
Reviews left on these websites can create first impressions about your business. You have to be proactive about responding to negative comments while continuously working to generate positive reviews.
Be actively involved in monitoring reviews and user engagement on social media. You must be able to respond to comments and negative reviews promptly set to ensure that it’s you who is controlling the narrative and not the other brands.
If left to chance or neglected, your competitors can use the negative reviews and reputation to beat you in the competition.
You have to be aware of the fact that your SEO strategies do not exist in a bubble. Social signals create and influence your online visibility as well as contribute to your organic rankings in search engines.
Stop waiting for Google to take notice of your website and adopt a multichannel marketing approach to increase the reach of your content across platforms. Utilise email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing and even paid search marketing. Such a multichannel marketing approach will:
- Funnel more traffic to your website
- Boost brand name recognition.
- Generate reviews
- Influence online presence for your business
All these factors together give you a competitive advantage.
Ranking in competitive marketing requires more than basic SEO. You will need advanced strategies to analyse competition, create brand recognition and get more out of your marketing efforts.
Focus sharply on what your competitors are doing right, find loopholes in their marketing strategy and then fill this gap with your own competitive SEO methods.