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So you woke up this morning and discovered that your website is not showing up at the top of Google search results! Instead the top search results are held by your competitors! Let’s be honest, at this point you are getting a little bit jelly. Well, what are you going to do about it? I am about to teach you  a couple of the best hacks for finding quality links and improving your website so you can compete for those top spots on Google too.

Steal their playbook: How do they set up their website?

Obviously your competitor is doing something right. Take a minute to admire the work their SEO guy has done. Check out the site structure and set up. How do they use title tags and header tags? Do they have a lot of internal links or outgoing links? Take a good hard look at the site, because it is about to be second to you!
Feel free to copy their techniques, use tags in the same way they use tags, structure your site in a similar way. (Btw. Just to be clear, you are free to copy their techniques, but not their content.) Also, it is good to realize that their site is not perfect, so feel free to one up them if you see room for improvement. For more on this, check out an article I wrote a couple of weeks ago.

Steal their plays: who links to them?

Now that you have mimicked their successful internal tactics, it is time to get their links too! One of the major factors that Google looks at whenfoosball deciding the relevance of your page is your link profile. So, if your competitor is ranking above you, then they probably have some links that are better than yours. Here is the good news: you can have those links too! Using easy to use backlink profiler tools, you can see a list of all of the websites that link to your competitor.
Now that you know who they are getting links from, you can get those links too! Some of the links they have might be in blog comments. If this is so, drop your own link in the comment thread. In Disqus you can do this using html code <a href=”http//”>anchor text</a>
Directories also can be a great find on your competitor’s link profile. These days, you never know what directory is going to give you link juice and which one is going to be penalized by Google, however, if your competitor is beating you in search results, and some of their top links are from directories; you can assume that those directories are not penalized by Google.
There are going to be a large variety of links on their profile, almost all of them are accessible to you! However in some cases, you may have to be creative to get the link.

Get a leg up

lemonadeNever be content with being catching up with your competitor. Stealing their links and successful internal site tactics will only get you to their level. The key to success is to do more. Keep a blog for your website, make YouTube videos for your site, sponsor a scholarship at the state university and get a .edu link. The possibilities are endless and thus I cannot give you a comprehensive list of things to do. Just remember, you are smart, you work hard, and you deserve to take a day off every now and then and sip lemonade by the pool :)

photo credit:opensourceway, Mimolalen, @sage_solar via photopin cc

Jamie Bates
Online Marketing Director