How do I outrank my competition? Be authoritative


The best way to figure out how to take over the top spots in the search engine results is by looking at who is beating you, your online competition.  Chances are they are doing something that you aren’t in regard to search engine optimization.  You can find out who your online competition is by doing a Google search for your business’ important keywords and see who comes up on the first page. You may want to consider scoping this search geographically if you only serve that particular area.

Search engines look at the amount of incoming links to your website to determine how much authority it has for any particular subject.  You can find out how many inbound links are going to a domain by using BacklinkWatch or by Google-ing, “”.  Knowing how many incoming links your competitors have will give you an idea as to how many you should have coming in to acquire that spot in the rankings.

Not only does the quantity of these links matter, the quality does as well.  What do I mean by “quality”?  Does the link contain specific keywords in the link text that correlates to your website’s keywords?  What is the Google PageRank of the link-containing page?

When analyzing your competitors, you should consider all of the following criteria:

  • Competitor rank in the search engines
  • Quantity AND quality of incoming links (prioritized)
  • What keywords are in the title of linking page?
  • Percentage of links containing specific keywords in the link text
  • The Google PageRank or MozRank of linking pages
  • The popularity of the linking domain and the linking page (measured by links & mentions)
  • Click the link to their Site Map page and see what keyword you find in the links
  • Get a savvy web person to find and parse their XML Site Map to find keywords in page names
  • View the HTML title and meta tags of your top competitors to compile a list of needed content

Once you’ve researched your online competition, you’re ready to take action by reaching out to partners within your industry who have a good amount of authority and asking to exchange links containing the keywords you’re optimizing your pages for.  On-page optimization is only one key aspect of overall SEO.  Having these inbound links is extremely important and will help with organic SEO as well as increasing the amount of clicks from referring websites.

Leave a Comment