In today’s tech-driven world, every brand has an incredible digital storefront in the shape of a website. Some marketers use eye-catchy layouts to attract audiences, while others offer top-notch customer support through live chat. After all, everyone wants to safeguard their position on the search engine’s top results. However, with millions of web pages competing online, it is quite challenging to gain an edge over competitors.
Do you know how to outrank rivals? Unsurprisingly, conventional social media or email marketing campaigns won’t work in 2021. Since competitors are getting smarter day by day, you also have to explore new techniques and marketing tactics. So, how about you upscale the SEO campaign? Indeed, search engine optimization (SEO) can be tricky due to the ever-evolving algorithms, but the benefits it offers are second to none.
Whether your website is fully optimized or not, delve into the technical aspects of SEO. Learn the art of keyword research, understand Google passage ranking, and most importantly, conduct a competitor analysis. In addition to streamlining your SEO campaign, these impeccable strategies can help you become a market leader. If you are thinking about how to make it work, have a look below. Here are ten effective SEO strategies to beat competitors in 2021.
1. Focus On Core Web Vitals
In November 2020, Google announced that core web vitals would be becoming substantial ranking signals in 2021. In addition to the page experience, web vitals will combine mobile-friendliness, safe, and HTTPS browsing. These signals will measure your webpage’s loading speed, responsiveness, and visual stability. If this update doesn’t seem like your cup of tea, look for reputable marketing services to design a brilliant campaign for 2021. If this update doesn’t seem like your cup of tea, look for reputable marketing services to develop a brilliant campaign for 2021. It would make your website stand out from the crowd while swiftly increasing the webpage’s rankings.
As the news suggests, Google might include labels in the search engine to suggest which websites offer the optimal experience. And unfortunately, not many pages will qualify for this label because of poor user experience. Therefore, start working on page experience signal to pass the core web vitals assessment. Here are few tips that can help you optimize for core web vitals.
I. Preload all the essential resources – images and videos. It will help speed up the visual content loading time that can positively impact overall page speed.
II. Website security plays a crucial role in page experience, which means you must audit the site for security alerts. It would unfold malware, phishing, and deceptive content.
III. Are you aware of input delay? Unexpectedly, there are many issues behind the scenes that can prolong the response time. Before anything else, optimize the main thread activity and limit the volume of long tasks.
2. Master Search Intent
In the coming years, you will hear a lot about search intent in the SEO world. After all, the content that doesn’t match the search intent won’t rank on SEO. As Google is getting smarter by every passing day, generating search intent-oriented content has become inevitable. Firstly, identify the keyword’s intent because there is always some intention behind making a Google search. Some people are in search of information, while others want to buy something.
And usually, the intent is right in the keyword itself. Generally, there are three types of intent – transactional, navigational, and transformational. Once you know the plan, publish content that gives searchers what they want. For instance, a person searching for woolen blanket reviews intends to purchase, but he hasn’t reached the realization stage. As a result, you have to target keywords on your ‘product category’ page to direct the user towards the product automatically. It can significantly increase conversion rates while leaving competitors far behind in the race.
3. Generate Interactive Content
After a rise in demand for visual content, interactive content has begun to gain traction amongst audiences in 2021. Hence, instead of spending all your resources on creating videos, podcasts, and infographics, invest in new content forms. Interactive content marketing is all about using the power of words and graphics to engage with customers. A simple example could be free quotes given by financial institutions. You visit their site, fill in the mortgage details, they email you a quote.
As a result, it encourages potential customers to compete, compare, and consume information, helping you achieve results quickly. According to Outgrow, 96% of people finish their BuzzFeed quizzes, making them an ideal content format. It gives rich consumer insights while convincing people to spend more time on your site, leading to higher rankings.
Are you running short of ideas? Let’s suppose you own an accessory brand, which means you can create quizzes around ‘which accessories suit your style?’ It would let you determine the accessories people like wearing these days, allowing you to predict future demand. Besides this, you can create polls and surveys on social media to get audience insights and feedback. All this information can be super useful when launching products or marketing campaigns.
4. Keyword Research & Optimization
Are you targeting relevant keywords? When it comes to winning over competitors, you have to be particular about the keywords you choose. At times, keywords with high search volume do no good for your business because of excessive competitiveness. With evolving times, you have to be smart about your keyword research. In addition to leveraging a tool, keep tabs on your competitors’ keywords to stay one step ahead.
Firstly, enter their URL address on your keyword research tool and start inserting keywords in the basket. If they are optimizing for short-tail keywords, you can switch to the long-tail ones. For instance, if they target ladies’ shoes, you can be specific and optimize long-tail keywords like sneakers for ladies. Similarly, if they are spamming content with keywords, learn from their mistakes, and ensure your content doesn’t seem promotional. It would increase your rankings while allowing you to outrank the competition.
5. Competitor Analysis
Can you measure a site’s success? Of course, rankings, traffic, and conversions are clear indicators of the site’s performance. While looking at these metrics for your site, consider conducting in-depth research on the competitors. Start by finding your biggest rivals in the industry with the help of online tools. It will generate graphs and tables showing sites that are above yours. Visit those websites one by one and see if they offer substitutes to your offerings or not.
Sometimes, irrelevant sites can also happen to rank for the keywords you have targeted. Hence, it is best to cross-check before taking the research forward. Once you know your competitors, compete with them with every trick in the book. From content promotions, link building, user experience to site optimization – identify where your brand is lagging. Likewise, compare your ranking position and link profile and learn from their smart tactics. For instance, if they use online directories for creating backlinks, you can turn to resource pages.
6. Perform A Technical Audit
At times, websites have stellar content and hundreds of backlinks, yet they cannot outrank competitors. Perhaps, due to bad user experience and web design. If you want to get your SEO strategy in line, conduct a technical SEO audit. It checks the technical aspects of SEO, determines your website’s health, and unfolds potential glitches. Here is a step-by-step guide to performing a technical audit if you are unaware of SEO’s technicalities.
I. Start by crawling your website to determine if bots can index your site or not. They find errors and glitches on the site, such as broken links, low-quality images, and irrelevant keywords. Most importantly, these bots can recognize duplicate content and excess redirects, damaging your site’s rankings.
II. Check the HTTPS content to identify common issues. It could have irrelevant content, broken redirects, and mixed content. Fix all these problems and install an SSL certificate for your site.
III. Next up, you have to review the sitemap. You can check if the redirects or URLs are blocking indexing. Similarly, make sure the URLs are short and concise as Google doesn’t recommend long URLs. Also, don’t forget to register your site on the search console because it informs Google about your sitemap.
IV. Test the site speed to ensure the page is not taking ages to load. If your webpage takes more than five seconds, it can increase your bounce rate by 90%.
7. Optimize For Featured Snippets
Surprisingly, featured snippets steal a lot of clicks from the search engine results page (SERP). Is your content optimized for snippets? If not, this could be the best time to find featured snippet opportunities. Find your brand’s organic keywords and add a snippet bait on your webpage. It is a 50-60 words content description that would display under your webpage’s link. This description should have an overview of your content, so make sure it is captivating.
Besides this, you can choose amongst various snippets. You can rank for a paragraph, lists, or even table snippets – anything that aligns with your content. Alongside this, match the snippet content with SEO title with proper keywords usage. You can also set up structured data with proper standards as Google reads codes more quickly. Honestly, since the snippet optimization process doesn’t exhaust resources or time, do it before your competitors steal the show.
8. Understand Google Passage Ranking
Are you aware of the new search technology? In October, Google created waves in the digital with its announcement of ‘passages.’ This feature allows Google to rank specific sections of a page independently rather than the page itself. As this ranking factor small section of the content, long-form content can be super useful. Thus, if your competitor is not covering the topic in detail, you can readily outrank them with this ranking factor.
Moreover, you can organize your content into discrete sections or break them into subheadings. Create visible and compelling page titles as it helps Google understand whether the results are appropriate for the query. Likewise, insert some header tags to let Google readily locate information. Also, use designated headings like H1, H2, and H3 for better understandability.
9. Manage Your Online Reputation
In a competitive marketplace, things change with a blink of an eye. After all, competitors are at neck and neck when it comes to SEO and digital marketing. Thus, alongside waiting for Google to index your site and give rankings, you have to circulate content across different channels. In addition to building an online reputation, it will keep you one step ahead in the market. You can begin by keeping a close eye on reviews and customer feedback.
Look up on sites like Bing, Google My Business, or other online directories. If you come across negative reviews, take a proactive approach, and respond to them positively. You can offer additional customer support, product exchange, or anything that satisfies the customer. However, if you neglect these reviews and comments, your competitors will see these as your business weaknesses.
Moreover, dig into the social signals as they have a significant influence on your online visibility. You can adopt a multi-channel marketing approach to access new marketing channels. It offers audiences more opportunities to interact with your company. The stronger your reputation in the market, the more quickly you can capture customers.
10. Find New Link Building Opportunities
Whether it is early 2010 or 2021, link building is a timeless SEO technique. If you already have backlinks, consider updating them with new ones. It will uncover new webpages while determining your rankings on the search engine to outrank competitors. Here are two ways to update your link building strategies.
I. External Link Building
Undoubtedly, creating external links is quite time-consuming and requires patience. You might come across black-hat SEO practices, but they do no good except for putting your business into hot waters. Therefore, reach out to influencers and bloggers for mentions and reviews of your product offerings. You can also ask them to publish your content on their blogs while directing a link to your site. Above all, create unique and high-quality content as compelling content naturally gains external links.
II. Internal Link Building
Although the internal linking method is quite underrated, it can notably improve your website’s rankings. But there a few other things you should keep in mind. Firstly, place the link on the correct and appropriate anchor text. Similarly, check the page quality before linking to them because the search engine always inspects where you are sending the users. Hence, the internally linked page should contain useful information. Do you know the best part? You have total control over an internal link, which means you don’t have to request others for adding backlinks.
In 2021, you have to go beyond the primary SEO strategies. It is time to hop onto advanced tactics because they hold the power to make a brand stand out even in the most competitive niches. In addition to concentrating on your competitors’ strategies, find holes, and bring those gaps with your unique SEO methods. You can use interactive content, use new ranking factors, and even perform technical audits to stay one step ahead. That way, you won’t be relying on a particular technique to beat competitors, increasing the probability of higher rankings.