Improving Search Results Starts with Your Competition

I get asked all the time, “How do I pick the right SEO firm to help with my website’s organic search?”.

The answer: when comparing search firms, find out who did their homework. A reputable SEO company will not only look at your site,  they will fully examine the competitive landscape.

Why is competition so important when all you care about is fixing what’s wrong with your website? Because it’s what the websites ranked higher than yours are doing (or not doing) that determine how much work needs to be done.

Keep this in mind: getting your site optimized is often the easy part. Closing the gap between your site and the competition is where the hard work begins.

Here are 4 factors you need to make sure a search firm has considered in their proposal to you:

1. The number of search results per keyword. The more results, the higher the competition. The higher the competition, the longer it will take to make headway.

2. Domain age
– older sites usually have more content and more links. If you’re industry has 10 websites with domains all older than 8 years old, that will require a lot more work than an industry with domains all created in the last 12 months.

3. Inbound links
– the higher a competitor’s page rank, the more quality inbound links pointing to their site. How many more quality links do your competitors have? 10? 100? 5,000? Accumulating links take time and effort. The more links required, the more work it will take to catch up. Remember, there are no quick fixes!

4. Quality and consistency of content
– do your competitors have a blog? Do they look like they have a plan to regularly churn out quality content? If so, your website has to not only catch up (build a lot of pages and get a lot of links) but it will have to, at some point, grab some eyeballs from your established competitors.

If you are a business owner considering investing in improving your organic search results, make sure the firm you hire has properly assessed your competition. If they haven’t, chances are they don’t know how much effort it will take to get better results.

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