How to Outrank Your Competitors [Infographic]

For many people, SEO can get a little complicated if you’re just starting out. There are so many tools to learn and it can be hard to find a place to begin. Since there are so many factors that determine to rank, we’re going to try and simplify it and only focus on one of the factors and that is getting relevant backlinks to your site to improve rankings.  

1. Competitors

The first thing you need to know is your competition. There are a lot of ways that you can do this and some are free and other may cost a little money. Below are three different options you could use.

  • Google

One of the simplest ways is to find competition is to type in the keyword you want to rank for in google search. If you’re selling cupcakes and you types in “cupcakes” then you’re most likely going to see your competition on that first page.

  • SEMrush

What you’ll do here is go to SEMrush, then you’ll click on organic research and click on positions. Onces you type in your domain it will show you the competing domains along with how many common keywords your have.

  • Spyfu

Type in your domain and then you’ll see your organic and paid competition along with shared keywords.

Once you find your competition you’ll need to put them in a list so you can go through each one and see how you rank to them. I would suggest at least five different competitors.

2. Ranking

Once you know who your competition is, it is time to find out how your rank compared to them. The reason you do this is to see if it is realistic to outrank them. Find domains that are slightly higher than yours and work to move up the rankings.

One of the ways that I like to compare rankings is using Link Explorer with Moz. Go to this URL and type in your domain. https://moz.com/link-explorer/. Then click on compare link profiles and add your competition. This will give a break down of the page authority and backlinks going to these domains.

3. Is it Realistic to Outrank

Once you have compared yourself to your competition, it is now time to ask yourself if you think you can outrank them. If one of your competitors is a big company like Nike then it is unlikely that you’ll outrank them. Remove unrealistic competitors from your list and focus on similar competition.

4. Competition Keywords

Now you know your competition and ranking. It is now time to create a list of the keywords you want to rank for. A good place to start finding keywords is using your competition as a guide.

SemRush as a cool tool called “Keyword Gap” what you’ll do here is type in the domains of your competition and it will show common keywords between the domains.

Add as many of these as you can to a list and add any additional ones you can think of.  

If you don’t have access to SEMrush you can use Adwords Keyword Planner to find keywords.

5. Pick Keywords

Once you have a list of keywords you can go through and pick words you find relevant. Here are a few tips for trimming down your list to find the best keywords.

  • Think like a customer
  • Pick keywords for your overall goals.
  • Understand Long Tail Keywords

6. Keyword Search Traffic

Now that you have a list of some potential keywords. It’s time to dive a little deeper to understand how often the keywords are searched and how competitive they are. Here are three things to help you get a better understanding if they are worth ranking.

  1. Volume. “Search volume” refers to how many times it is searched for.
  2. Competition. The highest-volume keywords tend to have the highest amount of competition. It is important to find a balance between the volume and competition.
  3. Relevance. This is probably the most important. Google wants it users to have a good experience and irrelevant keywords will just hurt your rankings. Keep the keywords relevant to your site.

7. Is it work trying to rank?

Go through that list and remove the ones you don’t think are worth the work of ranking. These will be keywords that have very little search volume, are super competitive or don’t relate to your business.

8. Do you have a page?

Pick one of the keywords you want to rank for. Once you have that keyword you need to find out if you already have a page for that keyword. One of the ways to find a page for a keyword is using Google Webmaster Tools. Here are the steps to find the page. If you don’t have webmaster tool then this is how to add it.

  • Log into Search Console
  • Click on Domain
  • Click Overview
  • Click Open Report
  • Click Queries
  • Change Dates to Last 90 Days (Gives more information)
  • Go to the bottom of the page and show 500 rows instead of 50 rows
  • “Control F” and find keyword
  • Click Keyword
  • Switch from Queries to Pages
  • See what pages show up for Queries

That page that you found is what is showing up that keyword. You can either work on that page to better optimize it or you can create a new page. 

9. Backlinks to your page

  • Go to ahrefs.com
  • Go to Site Explorer
  • Type in the URL for the Keyword Targeted Page
  • Make sure the search if for Exact URL
  • Look under backlinks

10. How many more backlinks do you need to rank?

  • Go to ahrefs.com
  • Click on keyword explorer
  • Enter the keyword
  • Look under keyword difficulty

11. Is it realistic to get that many backlinks?

Each keyword is different and some require a lot of work. Decide if you think it is worth the time to get all need backlinks to this specific page.

12. Where are your competitors getting their links?

A great way to build a list for potential backlinks is to find out what your competitors are doing. This saves you a lot of time because you know that they allowed guest posts or will link to others sites because they have done it in the past.

  • Go to ahrefs.com
  • Click on keyword explorer
  • Enter the keyword
  • Look under SERP overview
  • Pick a result and check out their backlinks
  • Find the contact with the sites giving the backlink 

13. Reach out for relevant backlinks

There are many ways to get backlinks to your site. Below are a few options that you can try using.

  • Write a Guest Post
  • Do a Sponsored Post
  • Find Broken Links from Competitors
  • Reach out to Authors of other sites.

14. Send the needed amount of backlinks to your page

In Step 8 and 10 you found the page and amount of links you needed. This can take some time if need to write content and some sites may take some time to get back to you. One important thing to look at when getting backlinks is the sites Spam Score. You can find this with Moz and it will help you decide if you want that link or not.

15. Outrank Competition

Like I said before, this can take a lot of time and it isn’t a guarantee to ranking number one. Backlinks are just one smart part of SEO and there many other factors that go into the ranking process. If you don’t have the time or feel lost doing it yourself, then contact an SEO expert at Big Leap and they can go over what would most benefit your site.

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Taylor Tabile
Digital Marketing Specialist

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