Why your competition online is probably NOT who you think it is.
More often than not, your competition actually hold a lot of the answers to getting above them on Google. Taking a look at what they're doing, and how you can improve on that can be a very important step in getting ahead!
All too regularly, we see business owners thinking that the biggest well-known competitor in their industry offline, is also their biggest competitor online.
This is simply not true.
Your online competition are actually the websites that appear above you, in the page-one search engine results for the keywords you want to target.
For example, let's take a freelance graphic designer based in Berkshire - Joe Bloggs. He may think his nearest competitor is Jane Doe down the road who has 100+ more clients than him and a bigger client and employee base. Buuuut, he would be wrong. Instead, John would be better searching on Google for his keywords, and the top ten websites listed in results are his top ten online competitors (Jane Doe might not even have a website!).
Now, to get ahead of your competition, you need to look at what keywords they are targeting, and their strategy/techniques.
Start off by looking at their html code. To do this, right-click on their webpage, and left-click 'view source', and look for the three key areas of information; Meta title, keywords, and description. If some of the keywords appear in both the description AND the title tags, then these are the main targeted keywords (take note of these!).
Now put their website URL into an online backlink checker e.g. Moz or Ahrefs to see what sites are linking to them (take note of which Anchor Text is used) so you can begin to get a bigger picture of how they are targeting keywords, and using links to rank highly on Google.
Next, use an online site explorer e.g. SEO Moz to get a bigger 'holistic' picture of how the competition stacks up online in terms of authority stats compared to you.
Finally, look at what keywords they are using in their Google Sponsored Ads to find out how they are gaining traffic.
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