I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say this:
The most difficult part of SEO is outranking your competition.
You might be thinking of ranking for your dream keyword that will bring you lots of traffic and leads. But these dreams are soon crushed when you realize that there are big guns who are already sitting where you want to be.
And outranking them would seem impossible to you. But let me tell you this:
You can outrank your competition. It’s been done many times and you can also do it. You’ll have to put in some real work before that happens.
And this is what you’ll be learning in this guide. I have multiple times used different methods to outrank my competition.
Here’s the thing:
There’s no direct process that will help you rank above your competition. But you can do a lot to make this happen.
Let’s see how you can do that.
1. Create 10X Content
There are hundreds of blog posts published every single day. Heck, there might be a piece of content on this very same topic published right now.
With so much content getting published, it’s not at all easy to stand out from the crowd and reach your audience.
To outrank your competitors, you should create 10x content. A piece of content that is the best among all other pieces of content about that topic is called 10x content.
So let’s say you want to publish a guide to knitting. To make sure your content reaches your audience and helps them, you should make it 10x. Your guide to knitting should be THE best on the internet and nothing should even be slightly better than your guide.
So how do you do that? There are three steps to create 10x content:
Let’s jump right into the first step.
Step 1. Find Keywords Of Your Competitors
There are many different ways to find keywords that your competitors are ranking for. But let’s say you know the keyword you want to target.
Is keyword research still necessary?
And the reason why is because if you don’t conduct detailed keyword research and just went ahead to target your competitor’s keyword, you’ll probably end up not ranking for it.
This is something that happened to me a lot. It’s something that I learned after failing to rank for my target keyword multiple times.
Regardless of whether you know your target keyword or not, proper keyword research helps in finding new potential keywords that are related to your main target keyword.
And targeting those keywords can help you rank much better than targeting just a single keyword where the chances of you ranking on top are hard.
Let me show you how it’s done. I’m going to show you two scenarios:
Scenario 1: Having a target keyword in mind and conducting keyword research
This happens when you know what you want to rank for but have no idea who your competitors are. You can be in this category when:
Head over to your keyword research tool. I am using the ahrefs Keyword Explorer tool but there are free alternatives available that you can use.
Enter the keyword you want to target. Let’s do keyword research for the keyword “knitting guide”.
Here is an overview of the keyword. As you can see this keyword has a monthly search volume of 6,100. And the keyword difficulty for the keyword is 11.
In ahrefs, the keyword difficulty scale is based on various metrics. But in a nutshell, they show how many links you’ll need to rank the given keyword. In this case, you need links from 12 websites.
Just imagine that if you would’ve targeted this keyword without this information, you would be struggling to rank and spending time reading hundreds of articles trying to figure out what went wrong.
But that’s just an overview of the keyword. Let’s dig deep and learn more about this keyword.
Here are some keyword ideas for your target keyword. Let’s discover some keywords that have the same terms. You should always target keywords that have the same terms as your target keyword.
This gives you an edge over your competition as you are targeting keywords that have similar words.
Apart from this, you should also check the search suggestions for the keyword. These suggestions will help you know what else people are searching for that is related to your target keyword.
As you can see in the above image, there are a number of searches shown right next to each suggestion. You can get this by using a nifty-little chrome extension called Keywords Everywhere.
Lastly, you should also find long-tail keywords related to the keyword you want to rank for. Long-tail keywords are keywords with 4 or more words.
Targeting long-tail keywords can help you rank easily as they don’t have very high competition. You can find long-tail keywords using KWFinder in your keyword research tool.
In ahrefs, simply enter your keyword and select all keywords. This will give you all the keywords related to the target keyword.
Then, filter the keywords by word count.
And now, you have a list of long-tail keywords you can target in your content. This will not only help you uncover keywords that can be targeted in your page but also gives you ideas of what content you can include to make your content 10x.
Scenario 2: Knowing Your Competitors & Coming With Content Ideas To Outrank Them
This is another way of outranking your competition. In this situation, you know who your competitors are and you want to outrank them.
But you don’t know how to do that. You can fall in this category if:
To proceed with this scenario, open up your keyword research tool and enter the URL of your competition. I’ll be using Ahrefs Site Explorer for my research.
To find what keywords bring your competitor the most traffic, click on the organic keywords report in your tool.
These are the keywords the Quicksprout is ranking for:
Now, depending upon the authority of your competitor, you cannot just go for the high-difficulty keywords right at the beginning.
The best way to outrank your competitors is to target the long-tail keywords they are ranking for.
Your competitor might be ranking for many different long-tail keywords and most of the time, it is a possibility that the page ranking for the specific long-tail keyword is targeting another big keyword.
In a nutshell, find the long-tail keywords your competitor is ranking for and create content targeting just that long-tail keyword.
Let’s do some quick math here. Suppose you are targeting 10 long-tail keywords with 200 monthly searches and you manage to rank on top of these 10 keywords.
And let’s assume that these 10 keywords bring you 100 views every month.
So, 10 x 100 = 1000 pageviews.
Now, if you were to target a high difficulty keyword that 1000 searches and you manage to rank on the #8 spot. You would get a hard time getting 1000 pageviews.
Not only this, if you successfully manage to rank for long-tail keywords, your website’s overall authority will improve which means that you can slowly start targeting bigger keywords.
So, that’s how you should do your keyword research to find untapped keywords your competitor is ranking for.
Step 2. Analyze The Content Of Your Competition
Now that you have found the keywords to target, you have to analyze the content of your competition.
This is done by reading and examining the quality of the content that is ranking on top for your target keyword.
Let’s go back to our knitting guide example and check the first result ranking for this keyword.
This is the page sitting on top of the keyword “knitting guide”. Now, let’s analyze the content of this page.
This is a very detailed guide as you can see there are images to help readers learn about knitting.
But there’s one thing.
The content length of this page is around 800 words only. The average word count of the pages on the top of the search results is over 2000 words.
So, here you have an opportunity. You can create a guide that is more detailed and longer than this one.
In this way, find ways you can improve the content that is already ranking on top. This helps you understand what it takes you to outrank them.
But don’t just stop at the first result for your keyword. Analyze the content of all the pages ranking on the first page. And if your keyword has a high volume of searches, then analyze the content pages ranked on the 2nd and the 3rd page.
3. Create A Better Version Of Your Competitors Content
The last step is to create your content. But you have to make sure that you are providing much better information and also in a better way than your competitor.
You can do this by improving what’s already out there. Here are some tips on how to do that:
2. Smart Link Building
Link building is one of the most controversial topics in the SEO industry. While some experts say that link building is necessary, others tell us to focus on other ranking factors. In fact, Ahrefs recently conducted research and found out that many On-page SEO factors do not affect your rankings.
And it is impossible for Google to determine the value of a web page without any links pointing to it. So it is still important for you to focus on links.
But let me tell you one thing:
If you are trying to get links by using some old-school methods, then get ready to be penalized. You have to be very careful when building links.
You may have heard many SEO experts say that “if your content is good, people will link to you”.
Well, here is my question then:
How will anyone link to you if they don’t know that you even exist?
I am trying to tell you that people will not link to you until they visit your website or know who you are. You will have to promote your content out there to get links.
My favorite method to build links is:
The Guestographics Method.
This technique coined by Brian Dean from Backlinko is enough to get high-quality links to your website.
I was able to increase the traffic of my website roughly by 37% using this technique. Moreover, Perrin Carrell used the guestographics method to boost his traffic by 963%.
We will discuss this method later in this section. Before that let me show you how to steal your competitors’ backlinks.
So here is what you have to do to steal backlinks from your competitors.
1. Create and publish a really good infographic
The first thing you need to do is to create an awesome infographic and publish it on your website. And by awesome, I didn’t just mean that it should look good. It should also have content worth reading and sharing.
The demand for infographics is very high these days and you can use them to bring traffic and backlinks to your website.
2. Make A List Of People Who Might Be Interested In Your Infographic
The next step is to find people who are interested in your infographic.
You can do this by searching on Google and making a list of all those people who may like your infographic.
Another good way to do this is by searching for the topic of your infographic on Google and making a list of blogs that have published content on that topic.
3. See If They Are Interested In Your Infographic
Once you’re done creating a list of all those people who might be interested in your infographic, it’s time to ask them.
You can email them and see if they are interested in your infographic.
But remember one thing:
Don’t share the infographic right now. This is just you bribing them to check out what you’ve created.
Perrin used this template to ask people if they were interested in his infographic:
If you get a reply to send over the infographic, you can move on to the next step.
4. Share Your Infographic
You might be thinking:
All I need to do is to send over the infographic.
You are completely wrong. Now you have to ask them if they are interested in sharing the infographic on their website. But here is the twist:
You also tell them that you can write an introduction about the infographic for their website.
Now if you get a positive reply like “sure, send me an introduction”, you can send a 250-300 words introduction.
That’s how I did outreach for promoting my infographic about off-page SEO.
How cool is that!
You can read many case studies on the Guestographics method. It works and can help you a lot if you follow it properly.
Now let’s move on to the next step.
Key Takeaway: Focus on building relevant links from high authority sites by using the guestographics method.
3. Speed Optimization
Optimizing your site speed can bring a huge change in your rankings. Site speed is often overlooked because many people just keep focusing on content and backlinks. This is a big mistake that stops your website rank better on Google.
And optimizing your site speed isn’t that hard. Let me quickly walk you through some ways by which you can improve your site speed.
I will show you exactly what to do to improve your website speed.
1. Test Your Website Using Different Tools
First, you need to know the tools that help you analyze your website speed and all other necessary details related to it.
There are three tools that I use and are helpful when it comes to speed optimization:
These three tools will show you how fast is your website and what things you need to do to make your site faster. But here I will be using only GTmetrix to show you how to optimize site speed.
1. Let us first test a random website and see what GTmetrix shows us.
I am searching for chisducker.com.
Now as you can see this is not a fast-loading website. On the top, you can see the overview of the website’s speed.
This includes performance scores and page details. On scrolling down, you can see the full details of the website speed.
Now here you can see what you have to fix on your website.
As you can see here, everything looks optimized in the page speed tab. The only two suggestions we see here are to optimize images and leverage browser caching.
Similarly, you can use different tools to get detailed information about your website performance and how to fix it.
Now, let’s see how to optimize speed to outrank your competition.
2. Analyze The Speed Of Your Competitors
One last time, let’s go back to the example of the ‘knitting guide’ keyword. Let’s test the speed of the website ranking on top for this keyword.
Here are the speed stats of this page:
Now, these speed stats are really bad. Let’s take a look at the PageSpeed stats of this page:
As you can see, there are many problems with the performance of this website. This gives you an advantage as you can optimize your page and have higher chances of outranking them.
3. Improve Your Website Speed
After analyzing your competitor’s website speed, it’s time for you to optimize your website speed.
There are many ways to optimize your site speed. If you don’t handle the technical side of your website, you can hand this task to your webmaster.
But if you’re doing it all by yourself, you can take on two approaches to optimize your website speed.
If you’re on WordPress, you can use some WordPress plugins to optimize your speed. Or, you can take the manual approach.
Let’s discuss these two.
WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins
There are many WordPress plugins for speed optimization. Some are all-in-one solutions while others are for only a specific purpose.
Here are the best WordPress speed optimization plugins:
1. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is the best speed optimization plugin for WordPress. There’s no one close to them.
With this plugin, you can optimize your site’s speed in just simple steps without running into any troubles.
Now, I’m not going to dwell on how the plugin works, since there’s so much to talk about this plugin.
Nevertheless, let’s discuss the pricing plans for this plugin:
WP Rocket costs $39 for a single-site license. This license comes with 1 year of updates and support.
If you ask me, the plugin is quite affordable and worth purchasing if you’re really serious about your website performance. Here’s a tutorial on how to set up the WP Rocket WordPress plugin
2. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is a free plugin for speed optimization. It works very well when it comes to speed optimization.
But there are too many settings with the plugin that sometimes might be overwhelming for you. Here’s a tutorial on how to set up W3 Total Cache WordPress plugin.
Optimizing your website speed manually requires some technical knowledge. So, be cautious when you’re optimizing speed manually.
Manual optimization involves finding issues that are slowing down your website speed and fixing them.
To do this, you’ll have to heavily rely on the speed testing tools mentioned above. Let me walk you through how to optimize speed manually.
Here’s the speed overview of the website ranking on top for the keyword “knitting guide”.
Click on the issues that are slowing down your site to see how they can be fixed. For instance, here’s the issue with the browser cache:
Now, this issue can be solved by editing the .htaccess file. Similarly, other issues can be fixed manually.
Optimizing your website speed manually does take time but it’s beneficial for the long term as it significantly improves your rankings.
Key Takeaway: Optimizing your website speed can help you improve your ranking on Google. Analyze your website speed and fix all the issues to make it faster.
4. Improve Your Social Media Presence
Social media can bring huge traffic to your website. There are many ways to bring floodgates of traffic to your website.
There are many social media channels where you can promote your website and content. But it is important that you promote your content properly.
And here is how you can do it:
1. Find Social Platforms Your Competitors Are Using
The first most important thing you need to do is to identify the social platforms your competitors are leveraging.
This helps you get an idea of where their audience hangs out. This way, you can turn their audience into your audience.
2. Analyze Their Social Performance
The next step is to analyze their performance on different social platforms. Take a look at their engagement rates and social following.
Also, analyze their social strategy. This includes figuring out their posting schedule and what kind of content they post often.
3. Hijack Their Social Media By Creating Better Content
Now that you know the social platforms your competitors are using, their audience, and their social media strategy, it’s time to hijack their social media.
No, I don’t mean posting mean comments on their posts.
What I mean is that you should now create a social strategy like your competitors. The only difference should be that you should create better content.
Now, how do you create better content for social media?
The only answer that comes to my mind is:
Providing more value than your competition.
Offering more value works like a magnet. You can attract more and more people to your tribe just by offering more.
It’s simple as that.
Key Takeaway: Improving your social media presence can help you outrank your competition. Find out the social media website your competitors are using and make a sharing schedule.
Let us have a quick recap of the 4 tips to outrank your competition.
1. Create 10x content
Finding the content gap in your niche and creating better content than your competitors.
2. Smart Link Building
By using the guestographics method to steal backlinks from your competition.
3. Speed Optimization
By analyzing what is wrong with your website by using tools like GTmetrix and fixing all the issues.
4. Improve social media presence
Analyzing your competitor’s social strategy and creating better content by offering more value.
So, that’s it. These were the 4 actionable tips to outrank your competition on Google. Follow these tips correctly and you can start noticing changes in your website. Who knows that one day you wake up and:
You are ranking above your competition.