Ever wonder how or why your competitor gets better search engine rankings than you do? Does he know something you don't? Well, maybe he actually does…And that's where I come in. I'm here to unveil the secret tricks of the trade that may be giving your competitor that much-needed edge in search engine rankings and to show you how you can reclaim your position without skipping a beat. Quite simply, I am going to give you the key to unlocking the secret chest of information that your competition is using to get better rankings.
It is not that difficult. There are two main criteria to getting good rankings:
1. Content (which is king)
2. Linking (which is queen)
Content is King
Content is easily viewable and just as easy to measure. It basically includes what you see on the site: the text. If your competition has more text than you, consider increasing yours; if he has more keywords, consider increasing yours; if he has bigger headers, consider increasing yours. By all means, I am not saying to make a carbon copy of his site, but do look at the "on the site" factors that you are lacking and evaluate whether to increase them on your site. A note of caution - make sure that any changes you make actually improves the site and increases its value for your customers. In other words, don't sacrifice quality for quantity unless you believe that the added text actually serves to better the overall look, feel and quality of your site.
Some ideas to increase quality/quantity of content:
Write a monthly article about your topic
Write a page about your keyphrase/product/service
If your headers don't have your keyphrase in them, then be sure to add it Make sure the titles on all your pages relate to the content of the page Write, write, write (and then write some more!).
Linking is Queen
Linking requires more research. Look up your competitions site on Google by typing in: link: http://www.competitorsdomain.com/ into the search box (replace competitorsdomain with the URL of your competitor). Now the search results you will be looking at is a list of all the sites that are linking to your competitor. Go through that list, and for each site, figure out how he got that link. Some links might be paid for, some might be link exchanges, some might be directories like dmoz.org or Yahoo, and others might be references or testimonials. Make a spreadsheet with each site linking to your competition, and jot down how he got the link. Then, for each site that is appropriate, get it to link to you. Remember to stay away from link farms and low quality links. Link farms are sites that have nothing but links. Low quality links are sites with little to no content. These sites will often try to exchange links with you: Don't do it! Only link to a site if it will enhance the user experience of your clients.
For more about linking, see my article entitled Linking is Queen.
Getting links takes time and patience, and writing is not usually done overnight. To top it off, once these projects are done, you then have to wait for the search engines to discover and re-evaluate your site. Both the link campaign and the writing projects should be something done on a regular basis, not as a one-shot injection. Try to create new pages every month, and to get some links every month. That way your site will make the gradual climb to the top. And who doesn't want that?
January 5, 2005
Shawn Campbell is an enthusiastic player in the ecommerce marketplace, and co-founded Red Carpet Web Promotion, Inc. He has been researching and developing marketing strategies to achieve more prominent listings in search engine results since 1998. Shawn is one of the earliest pioneers in the search engine optimization field.
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