5+ Creative SEO Hacks To Beat Your Competition
[This is a transcription from the Clickx Marketing Hack of the Day video series.]
Observe Your Competition & Execute Better
First, I have a quote from Tony Robbins that goes, “If you want to be successful, find someone how has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”
So, what I usually do when I am looking at competitors is to find out what are the important things that I should be looking at and how these things play into their current success of their campaign.
By kind of reverse engineering it, I get so much insight into what they are doing and how I can play a better game than that they are. How can I succeed and take the same customers that are going to their site to come to our site? That is what I am trying to break it down for you today.
Now, you got to understand there are two types of competitors. You might have learned this in your business school.
Learn From Your Direct Competitors
You have direct competitors that are doing exactly the same thing that your business is doing. They are going for the same kind of service or they are trying to sell the same product, to the same people, in the same location. Those are your direct competitors.
Learn From Your Indirect Competitors
Then you have your indirect competitors. They might be selling something else, but it is the same dollar that they are going for. They are looking for the same buyer, but they are not necessarily selling the same product. They might be selling some other kind of product. So keep in mind as you are doing this, that you are doing more of this with the direct competitors, but also study your indirect competitors; because there might be some ways that they overlap. There are instances where customers punch in one keyword into Google, but they really mean something else. They know the indirect competitor’s product, but that is not really what they are looking for, they are looking for the thing that you sell, but they do not know what to search for in the search engines.
Think About Messaging, Design, Strategy, & More
When you’re looking at your competitors, think about their messaging. How are they attracting them to understand their fears, their uncertainty; the things that really cost them to make a better decision, or the doubt that they have in their mind.
You have to understand that part and then you have to look at the layout. How do they actually design this content out? Where did I put their call to action? Where do they have the form and how are they A/B testing this. Do they have two columns? Three columns? Whatever it is. Do they have a video on the page? All these things have to be emulated.
Finally, look at a strategy. Where they spend all their money sending the traffic to and where they are advertising today. So you too can get a better edge into marketing in the same places that they’re advertising and they’re getting success.
Become A Consumer Of Their Product, Emulate It Better
One other thing that I would really urge you to do is take a look at the funnel in how they design their website, or their landing pages, or the steps that they are making you go through. Try to become a consumer of their product. Go through the process figure out what do you get when you subscribe to that email newsletter. What do they send to you? Do they send you a coupon? If they sent you a coupon, how big is the coupon? Is it ten percent? Is it twenty percent?
You have to really understand and go through that process. If you have to buy their product to see all of this, then do it. Spend the money because it is well worth it to understand what is it that they are doing in their successful modeling. You have to go after the top leaders, the ones that are really on the top of their game. Find out what is it that they are doing and try to emulate that.
Take The Steps To Understand Their Proven Model
You could literally go through the steps, look at their thank you email, look at their follow-up emails, and how much nurturing do they do. I do this, so that’s why I’m telling you that it is really important, because you cannot just go off of a hunch, you cannot really understand. You can’t say, “I got a gut feeling that this is what they are doing.” You have to put yourself through it, because chances are, they have already tested this quite a lot. They have done their research, they’ve spent a lot of money on A/B testing. They know what they are doing, because if they’re the leader, they have already passed the same sort of struggles. The same grind that you are going through, that level, they have passed it and they made it to that level. So you should be able to get there faster, if you can go through the steps, and understand their proven model to their products and their services that they are selling.
Also, Analyze Your Competitors From A Technical Perspective
Now, let’s get to a technical part. Some of the things here that I am talking about has a lot to do with looking at the competitor from a technical perspective. So this is not about their messaging, their strategy, their copy, or the position of their landing page, but it’s about the things that are helping them grow in their organic presence and their paid media.
So, these are some things that we track in our platform. When you add a competitor, just go to Clickx and punch in the competitors URL, and immediately you start to see this information populate.
Technical Component Hack #1: Backlinks
The first thing that I put a lot of importance into are the backlinks! The backlinks are based on the quality; based on the citation flow and trust flow. We break this down so that we understand what are the most trustworthy links this competitor has and how many of them, sorted from the most important or the least important. This is the first thing that I would look at in the platform and study them. Look at where they get these links from, how old the links are, and how often do they actually go back and acquire new links. This information is really critical for that long-term success.
Technical Component Hack #2: Anchor Text
Secondly, anchor text plays a really important role in SEO, depending on what you are trying to rank for and depending on whether or not they’re direct competitors or indirect competitors. You want to look at the anchor texts, see if it’s all branded terms and if they have any non-branded terms in their anchor text.
Anchor text is simply the link, the hyperlink text, that the link is linked to the website that you are linking to. So, if your company name is ABC Company, if it is a branded link, they are just linking ABC Company to the website or a link to the services page. So let’s say your services are in roofing, so they would type, “roofing contractor,” and then they take that and link it to the actual roofing website. Google is not a big fan of having a lot of non-branded anchor text, Google is going to think that it is over optimized. They’re going to think that you are playing with the system, and Google does not like that. So what you want to look at is the anchor text ratio, which is something we display really easily in the competitors section of the dashboard.
Technical Component Hack #3: Website Pages
The other thing that I like to look at for competitor, see what their top pages are, their most visited pages, and what pages get the most amount of links going to (other than the homepage)! I will take a look at how that is laid out and how are they organizing the information. This is critical information to emulate, because your job here is to hack the competitor strategy, their messaging, and find out what is it that they are doing. So you can make it better, but still take a look at what is really helping them!
Technical Component Hack #4: Organic Keywords
And finally, I will want to look at their organic keywords. Inside Clickx, there is a way to get the organic keywords that they rank for today. That is really important because you want to know what keywords they really are working hard to rank for. These keywords give you insight into their content marketing strategy.
This, my friend, is the most valuable information you can get.
No matter how much money they are spending, no matter how many companies they use, no matter how much content they are writing; this information gives you real time insight into what these guys are doing!
So I can go back and reverse engineer what is it that they are doing? It is a lot easier to see what your competitor does then you guess what your competitor does!
Ultimately, Understand Everything About Your Competition!
Essentially, what you really need to be looking at are not just the on-site things that you could read. Like a call to action, the things that are really personable that you can relate to, their backstory, what they are trying to sell, all those things are really important, but I cannot really measure that in a platform. From a platform perspective, you should be trying to get backlinks, the anchor text data, the top pages, and the organic keywords and paid keywords. Also take a look at their social media strategy, because it is really important that you understand what it is that they are doing!
You know you are benchmarking yourself against your competitors and when you have to do this across 5, 10, 20, 30 competitors. Let me tell you, the amount of work that you have to do is massive, so you got to make it really easy on yourself. You can accomplish this in a timely manner, because having this insight does not do you any good unless you are actually going to work on it! My hope is that you got some insight into what you need to do to beat your competitors.
Thank you for watching another edition of Marketing Hack of the Day.
Solomon Thimothy is the Co-founder of Clickx, a Chicago-based white label digital marketing platform. He has been in the agency space for over a decade and has helped 100s of entrepreneurs build 7 and 8 figure agencies. He helps agency owners on a 1:1 basis to scale sales and fulfillment. Follow him on twitter @sthimothy