I am sure you want the #1 spot on Google.
Being the first on the SERPs page will get you a lot of traffic and shares. But there are many others competing against you. And outranking them is not so easy.
Or is it?
Well, what I learned is that you can use some simple methods to outrank your competitors.
But you might be wondering:
My competitors are ranked on top because they have a huge number of backlinks and they are experts in the industry.
This might be true but that doesn’t mean you can’t outrank them.
You don’t need to be an SEO expert or anything like that to beat your competition. All you need to do is to follow some methods and you will notice a change in your rankings.
And this is what you’re going to learn from this article. I am going to show you step-by-step, how to outrank your competition in Google.
This article is 2941 words long. Download your FREE checklist to know the actionable tips to outrank your competition.
1. Create Epic Content by Finding the Content Gap In Your Niche
All the SEO experts tell us to write good content. This used to work a few years ago. But recent Google updates reveal that your “good” content is not enough to rank on the first page of Google.
Your content needs to be epic and this is how you can create an epic piece of content:
By finding the content gap in your niche and creating content by filling that gap.
Content-gap SEO is an untapped opportunity to outrank your competition. This basically involves the following steps
1. Find keywords you want to rank for
2. Analyze the content of your competitor
3. Find out what is missing in the content
4. Create your content by filling in the missing part
And you’re done. Is this confusing to you?
Well, if it is don’t worry because I will show you an example of a website which used content-gap SEO to outrank their competition. So let us continue this step-by-step process:
1. Find keywords you want to rank
This is simple. All you need to do is to find the keyword you want to rank for. Before you just go for a keyword with high competition, I would suggest you to target long-tail keywords. As you can see below, long-tail keywords can bring in huge traffic to your website.
Suppose I want to rank on the keyword “best email marketing practices”. So let us search this keyword on Google and find out what comes up first.
As you can see that this keyword has a very high competition with around 8,000,000 searches. Moreover, you can see all these ads on the top of the results page. This is another indication that the keyword has a very high competition.
So let us scroll down and see what websites are ranking for this keyword.
These are the websites that are ranking for this keyword. I have selected the two highlighted posts for comparing the content.
2. Analyze the content of your competitor
Let us analyze the 2nd post first. It is found that this post is just a curated list of best email marketing practices published on their blog.
Now this is a big content gap.
Let me tell you why:
The website ranking on the first page of this keyword is not providing what the user wants. Instead it is asking the user to open each blog post and read it to get what the user wants. In a nutshell, it’s just a curated list of articles.
3. Find out what is missing in the content
As I told above, the ranked website is not providing the content the user wants. Rather it is just a list of blog posts. The biggest thing you can learn from this is that you have to understand the users’ intent to get your content ranked on top.
Now the last step of this method is to create content by filling in the missing part. And that’s what the post ranking above did. Let us see how.
4. Create your content by filling in the missing part
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.
Let us examine the 1st post. You will realize that this is not just a random article. It is a detailed guide covering all the best email marketing practices.
And to make this piece of content stand out, they have designed a beautiful table of contents to help readers navigate through the article.
This is the reason why this article ranked above the others.
So this is a simple way to outrank your competitors and stand out of the crowd. Many times you may not find the content gap in your niche.
When this happens, focus on creating better content than your competition and use different techniques to make it look better.
And if you fail even after trying this, then don’t panic. This is just the first tip to outrank your competition and we have 3 more to go.
Key Takeaway: Creating EPIC content can help you rank on top of your competitors. Focus on making your content better than your competitors.
2. Start Earning Backlinks
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. Infact, Ahrefs recently conducted a 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. With Panda operating in real-time now, you just can’t be careless.
This is the reason why I prefer to say:
[easy-tweet tweet=”Don’t try to build backlinks, try to earn them.” user=”iamahfaz” hashtags=”backlinks”]
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 get links is:
This technique coined by Brian Dean from Backlinko is enough to get high quality links to your website.
I was able to increase one of my websites traffic 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. Find your competitors backlinks
The first step is to find out your competitor’s backlinks. There are many tools (free & paid) that will do your job.
But I recommend you to use ahrefs.
So this is what you have to do now:
a. Open ahrefs site explorer and enter the URL of the article of your competitor.
I am using the same article about which we were discussing in the previous section. Have a look at these results:
You will find that this article itself has 52 backlinks from 28 different referring domains. And it is ranking on the first page of Google.
b. Click on the inbound links tab to find out its backlinks.
As you can see on here, this article has got backlinks from well-reputed blogs like KISSmetrics and many others.
c. Now go and check one of the articles where this article got linked.
I am checking the article on KISSmetrics.
What we find here is that this is also a curated list of “Best blog posts of 2014”.
Now it is time for you to take action.
d. You can also get links from such curated lists.
But you can’t just do nothing and get backlinks from such websites. It’s time for you now to do some email outreach. You can try this email outreach template by Neil Patel to get backlinks:
You can write an email in your words too but if you face difficulties in doing so, this template can help a lot. But before reaching out to such well-reputed websites, you should first get on their radar. You can do this by sharing their content, commenting on their posts and sending a thank you email.
And never reach out to someone without establishing any connection. So this way you can steal your competitors’ backlinks.
It all depends on how your competitor got the backlink. If it is through guest posting, then you can also provide guest posts.
But I have a better alternative than guest posting. This method will not only help you get some backlinks but it can also make your content viral.
This method is called the guestographics method about which we discussed above. Now I will show you this method works.
2. Create and publish a really good infographic
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 it to bring traffic and backlinks to your website.
3. Find People That Are 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.
4. 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, its time to ask them.
You can mail 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.
5. Share Your Infographic
Now 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.
And in the introduction, you can add a link to your website.
How cool is that!
You can read many case studies on 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 guestographics method.
3. Improve Your Website Speed
Optimizing your site speed can bring a huge change in your rankings. Site speed is often overlooked because many people just keep focusing content and backlinks. This is a big mistake which stops your website to 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.
But first, you need to know the tools with which you can analyze your website speed and all other necessary details related to it.
There are mainly three tools that I use:
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 neilpatel.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. But still the images are not optimized well and something needs to be done about it.
2. Click on the optimize images tab to see more details.
Now you can see what images you need to optimize.
Optimizing these images can reduce the website speed by 17%. Let’s move on to the YSlow tab and see whats there to optimize.
Here are many things that need to be optimized. If you resolve such issues on your website, you can significantly reduce your website load time.
Now there can be many things you can do to make your website faster. This tool will help you do that. Some things may not be easy for you to understand. You can ask your webmaster to do this for you.
You can also hire someone to do these jobs for you. Try Fiverr. You can find many people there who will optimize your website speed for just 5$.
And if you want to do this all by yourself then this guide will surely help you.
When you are done optimizing your site speed, you will notice a change in 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 flood-gates 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.
Here are the top 5 social media channels you must leverage to bring in traffic:
You must first focus on these five networks and then move to other websites.
And here is how you can do it:
1. Identify your target audience
The first most important thing you need to do is to identify your target audience on social media. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter or any other network, you need to know who your target audience is.
Promoting your content to a random audience of a few thousand people will get you nowhere.
Find out your target audience by researching where they hang out. Look out for influencers in your niche and see what their fans like and share.
2. Set A Posting Schedule
Posting on social media whenever you want is not an acceptable choice if you want to grow your social media presence.
You need to identify the right time to post on social media and set a schedule. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite are really helpful in such cases.
This is how a social media posting schedule looks like:
You should also make a social sharing schedule and stick to it.
3. Add Sharing Buttons to Your Website
Adding social sharing buttons on your website will help you generate more shares and hence more traffic.
I think you all know this but there is one thing you may be doing wrong:
Adding too many social sharing buttons.
Yes, I consider this as a big mistake. In fact, when I reduced the number of social sharing buttons in one of my websites, I noticed a significant increase in social shares.
Sometimes users find too many social sharing buttons annoying(even I do) and they may not share your content.
Also, make sure your sharing buttons are responsive. This is because sometimes these sharing buttons may overlap the content on the webpage on small screen devices.
4. Encourage People To Tweet Your Content
You can use some plugins to encourage people to share your content on twitter. By using Click to Tweet you can increase your twitter traffic massively.
This is a very effective way to increase your traffic because just one click will share your content on twitter.
There are many other social sharing plugins you can use to boost your social media traffic.
But remember to use these carefully. By this I mean such plugins should not block any part of your content or make your website look bad and slow.
Key Takeaway: Improving 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 on the 4 tips to outrank your competition.
1. Create better content by finding the content gap in your niche
Finding content gap in your niche and creating better content than your competitors.
2. Start earning backlinks
By using guestographics method to steal backlinks from your competition.
3. Improve website speed
By analyzing what is wrong with your website by using tools like GTmetrix and fixing all the issues.
4. Improve social media presence
Adding social sharing buttons and click to tweet links on website. Moreover making a social sharing schedule by finding the best times to post.
So that’s it. These were the 4 actionable tips to outrank your competition on google. Follow these tips correctly and I can guarantee that you will notice a change in your rankings and one day:
You will outrank your competition. If you have any question regarding any of the tips I mentioned, you can ask your questions in the comments section below.
But before that I want you to answer a question:
What is your favorite method to outrank your competition?