Sometimes the best way to win the SEO battle is to not out-compete your rival, but beat them at their own game. But few are aware that there are white hat methods that allow you to spy on the competition and direct some of their visitors to your websites. In this article, we’re going to give you five ways to drive your competition’s web traffic to your site. Note that all of these methods are legal, white hat SEO methods, not black hat SEO strategies that could get your site banned by Google.
Find Your Real Competitors
Determine which sites are truly competing with yours. Which channels are bringing the most paying customers to your website? Which key search terms are associated with the highest conversion rates? These are the search terms you need to dominate. Determine who else is competing for these search terms, so that you know which terms you need to rank better for. You aren’t going to beat “productname.com” in searches for the product name, but you could beat local rivals who outrank you on searches like “product type in our city”. Don’t worry about outcompeting sites that outrank you on very long tail key search terms that don’t generate actual sales.
Key Search Terms
It can be considered a violation of another company’s intellectual property and other rules if your site’s key search terms are predominantly the keywords associated with your rival’s brand or company name. However, you can legitimately use their keywords in relation to your brand with the right type of content. For example, create articles about your product A versus their product B. The comparison article captures search traffic intended for the competitor’s product page as well as your own, while giving them many reasons to buy your product. Integrate long tail keywords into blog posts and long pieces of content, though remember the most important search terms should be used in the title of the content.
Report Rule Breakers
Review your rival’s business directory entries. Do not claim their business directories and hurt their SEO; this practice, if caught, will result in severe penalties. Instead, report them to Google if they are putting keywords in business names that they are using in violation of Google’s policies. Report rivals if they are using employees’ addresses as their business address in order to increase their local SEO footprint. Inform business directories, or Google, if someone has arranged for many fake five star reviews on their business directory or generated false one star reviews to hurt your rankings.
Target Their Keywords
You cannot legitimately target the competitor’s brand name as a keyword. Where you can compete with them is on keywords related to the product type or service. You should aim for better quality content that ranks well for those search terms and then leverage social media, influencer marketing and improved use of conversational search terms that match searcher intent to outrank them on those keywords.
Don’t try to dominate search results for the city you live in, unless it is small, but maximize the local SEO for people searching for your product or service in their immediate vicinity. This can be considered hyper-local SEO. You can improve your local SEO over your rivals by ensuring that business directories use the exact same format for business name, address, phone number and website while placing this same information on your website in at least two locations. The home page and an “about us” or “where are we?” page are good places for this information. You can improve your local SEO above that of your rivals by adding very specific location references such as cross streets on the “about us” page or driving directions on the “Where are we?” page. Remember to include highly local references like nearby landmarks and cross streets when posting blogs and use location specific references in image captions.
Can you think of any more white hat ways to steal traffic? Let us know in the comments.