This a practical tutorial on how to defeat your competitor on a specific keyord, part of my suggestions SEO techniques 2012. Depending on how smart will be your vision and on your ability to anticipate your opponent next move, will determine your rankings and conversions.
There’s a SEO factor you can’t determine and this is the age of your domain. A part from this factor that has its big relevance on ranking, you can fight your competitor on the rest of the factors.
The King move – Use SEOmoz to understand which forces you and your competitor have. You can set a campaign or at least use the “Competitive Link Finder” to find that. Always rememeber that “external links” are the most important source (juice) of ranking power and SEOmoz can help you in understanding your SEO strong and SEO weak points.
The most meaningful data is “Followed Linking Root Domains” that is to say “the number of domains with at least one followed link to any page on the root domain”. If you have less links than your competitor it’s time to adopt a link building campaign.
Anyway also consider the “External Followed Links” that is to say “the number of followed links from outside the source domain” but remember that 1000 links coming from the same domain have less value than 1000 links from 1000 different domains.
You also have the “Total ” that includes also the no followed links (rel=”nofollow”). Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across these links even if they may have a positive influence in ranking. An entry from a website with known authority is valuable even if the link has “nofollow”. It lends credibility to your website. So, in a way, this is “reputation management”, another ranking factor.
The Queen move – Disseminate your keyword around the elements of the Page:
In the firs part of the Title of Page;
In the first part of the Meta tag Description;
In the H1 H2 H3 tags;
In the first readable text of the Page;
In the text of the Page (from 4 to 6 times is enough);
In the title of a link;
In the title and alt tags of the most important image;
In the name of the image of the Page;
In any downloadable file (pdf, doc, etc…).
The keyword of this post should be “SEO techniques 2012” and you should find it in the above elements even if not always it’s possible.
The Rook move – Try to name your URL in full harmony with your keyword. If you have to rank for green vegetable, your URL should be something so simple like “green-vegetable.html”. If you have to change the URL remember to place a “permanent redirection 301” inside the old URL towards the new URL. If the old page is just a simple html file, then use something so:
<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0;url=http://www.yourdomain.tld/newURL.html” />
The meta refresh will redirect in zero seconds the old page to the new URL and it’s considered the only chance to create a SEO redirect in a page that can’t execute scripts. If you want a smooth transition, place the rel canonical on the old and on the new page inserting on both the pages the new URL. Google will undestand that the old URL should not to be considered.
The Bishop move – This move we’ll speak about link equity. If the keyword you are fighting for is not in the Home Page, verify in how many steps it’s reachable from the Home Page. The fewer steps it requires the best chances you have to rank first. Check how many links the page receives. If the page is not easily reachable, try to create an incoming link directly from the Home Page, it’s a very effective move. Remember that link equity is the number of in bound links going to any given page on your web site. You have to optimize your internal links as they pass the juice, they influence the PageRank.
The Knight move – If your followed incoming links are equal to your competitor, try to analyze the keyword density of the competitor that rank better. It’s an old SEO technique but it might become the winning move. You can also try to measure the proximity of your keyword(s) where the higher are the keywords the better you should rank.
The pawn move – The last move is around Social. It’s probable that your competitor will not have developed a Social Campaign to strengthen its keywords ranking.So it’s time to anticipate your opponent next move. Lever your social networks contacts to build appropriate incoming links. Remember to suggest to your followers adecuated anchor texts for your links, provide the code to be inserted in blogs and websites including the title of link with your keyword(s). Any social network can be a proper place where you can find people interested in what you are offering.
I personally like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Linkedin, Foursquare (useful for a localized market), Tuenti (for the spanish) but also hi5, myspace, etc.. could be nice places to find help. Many of these Social Networks also offer incoming links to your website, use them !
Create Pages about your website/product wherever possible (Google Plus and Facebook) and connect these pages to your website so that social users will be able to become fans of your social page and contribute to your social popularity and finally your better ranking.
The next move, your move
This is the end, my friend. I hope you enjoyed my SEO techniques 2012 and I just have to wish you Good SEO! May you checkmate your competitor! SEO is like a Chess game so I wish you to be smart enough to anticipate your competitor. Till the next post.