The reason your competitors have the competitive edge, and what you can to do solve it

At this very moment…as you read through this article, potential customers of yours are most likely searching for your service or your product online.

They’re searching for it on a platform that receives 5.8 billion searches per day, the biggest online directory that has ever existed.

Sean Dexter

SEO Consultant

At this very moment…as you read through this article, potential customers of yours are most likely searching for your service or your product online.

They’re searching for it on a platform that receives 5.8 billion searches per day, the biggest online directory that has ever existed.

Yes, we’re talking about Google.

And the unfortunate truth is that for a lot of you when these customers search for the answers to their questions, when they search for a place to buy the product they want or to hire the service they need, they end up finding your closest competitors and shopping with them instead of coming to you.

This is not because their service or product is any better than yours, in fact, a lot of the time it isn’t as I’m sure you’ll agree!

But it is simply because they didn’t know you existed and chose the most readily available option.

The good news is that the success of your closest competitors online can be replicated, and I’d like to help show you how this can be done.

The shift to shopping online

Depending on what generation you are from, shopping for your services and products online is either something you’ve always done, or something you’ve recently adopted, or perhaps something you are still just getting to grips with.

None-the-less, the trend towards purchasing online is becoming un-ignorable with more and more people doing so than ever before, and businesses that are not staying ahead of this trend are most likely going to be left behind.

Now, if you’ve never looked into the numbers behind how users search on Google, some of this information may shock you, but here is some stats you may want to know:

  • Local & service-based businesses: 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information & 86% of consumers rely on the internet to find a local business

You can see more statistics compiled in this infographic here.

  • E-Commerce businesses: 39% of E-Commerce traffic comes from Google Search. Within 10 years, 50% of retail sales will be online

Sources here and here

To add to the above, I can tell you from personal experience that in a lot of cases I have worked on, I’ve seen over 50% of businesses sales coming from online, with up to 75% of online revenue being generated from organic traffic from Google.

And this is only the beginning.

 

What can you do to capitalize on this?

The topic of SEO is quite complex – there is so much information out there, and even after doing SEO myself for 5+ years I am constantly needing to keep up to date, learn new things and & conduct new tests.

However, I do believe that some of the core principles can be explained to help give a foundational understanding of how you can get yourself ranked highly on Google.

What Is SEO? And, what is Google?

To learn SEO, you first have to know what SEO actually is. And to know what SEO is, you need to know Google.

Google is not a person. Google does not have a brain and Google does not think (yet!)

Google is simply an algorithm.

What is the purpose of Google?

Googles only goal is providing accurate results to its users, that’s it!

If people are happy with the results they find on Google, whether it be searching for a plumber or looking to buy some high-quality new jeans, then they will continue to use Google when they need to do future searches instead of looking elsewhere.

And…if they continue to conduct searches on google it means they are likely at some point or another to click on ads in Google, which is where Google makes 85% of their yearly revenue from (a whopping $28 billion per year!)

So providing a good high-quality non-paid results is what attracts people to Google in the first place and something Google takes extremely seriously.

So how does Google choose what results to show?

Well…now we land on the topic what SEO fundamentally is.

Google, being an algorithm, has certain criteria that it uses to judge what sites show up on the first page, and what sites show up in the top positions.

SEO fundamentally is understanding what that criteria is, and taking all necessary steps to show Google that your site is the most relevant site to show for your particular query – meaning more visitors, more bookings and more sales.

What can you do to push your visibility on Google?

The problem lies in the fact that there are over 100 different ranking factors that Google looks at to rank a site highly – so for a website that is not showing up on the first page, or even showing up lower down on the first page, it can seem impossible to know exactly what is needed for your business to show up higher!

I’ve had clients ask me if it is because they have not yet formed a limited company. No, it has nothing to do with this.

I’ve also had clients ask me why they’re not ranking highly when they provide such a great service to their customers. Unfortunately, this also has nothing to do with it.

What I’d like to cover below is a to-the-point overview of specific steps you can take today, to help lay the foundations for your business on Google.

And whilst each of the below points could be expanded upon into 100’s of articles, I believe the core ideas can make an impact and is something that you can choose to build upon in time.

The Foundational SEO Tips You Can Use To Grow Your Businesses Revenue

How many people are searching for your service?

Before you can start to optimize your site and take actions that will influence your visibility on Google, you need to know what visibility you want.

This is called keyword research.

You’ll need to research what terms relating to your product or service people are searching for, and how many people per month are searching for those terms.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll use a free tool that anyone can access known as Uber Suggest.

Step 1 – Head over to: https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/

Step 2 – Type in a ‘seed keyword’ and select ‘English / United Kingdom’ from the drop-down.

A seed keyword is a term relating to your industry that you’re fairly sure people are looking for.

In the example below I’ve typed in ‘plumber in Norwich’ as my seed keyword.

Feel free to write down a bunch of seed keywords, this tool will help you build off this list and give you answers as to which keywords are of the most value

Step 3 – Click on the ‘Keyword Ideas’ tab on the left-hand side.

Step 4: You’ll now see a large list of suggested keywords based on your initial ‘seed keyword’.

The ‘vol’ column is the only column of importance for the moment. It will tell you how many people per month are searching for the list of suggested keywords they have given you.

Step 5: Now for some manual work!

You’ll want to go through this list and ascertain what terms you believe to be relevant to your site.

Clearly terms such as ‘plumber jobs Norwich’ are not relevant as these are people looking for a plumbing job.

Since I am not in the plumbing niche I would have to make a guess and say that the terms listed below are probably the ones most relevant to a plumbers website:

  • Plumber in Norwich
  • Emergency plumber in Norwich
  • Plumbers in Norwich area
  • Plumber Norwich UK
  • Plumbers in Norwich Norfolk

In total, these have a combined search volume of 1180 searches per month. That is 1180 people every month searching for these combined terms.

This is a good start.

Put your main terms in your title tag

So, you now have a list of some of the main terms that people are typing into Google & you know how many searches per month these terms have.

Now let’s take this small list of terms and use it to have the biggest impact that we can for your website.

Your ‘title tag’ what shows up in Google when someone conducts a search.

There are two main reasons to put your main keywords here:

  1. Satisfying the user: since this is what will show up in Google, it makes sense for you to relate to the user’s query in your title tag and give them something relevant to their search that will make them want to click on you.
  2. Satisfying Google: Your title tag is one of the biggest signals to google about what your page is about.

Since your Title Tag is a strong indicator to Google regarding what your site is about, you want to try to get all major variations of your key terms in there.

A possible title I would select based on the above list of terms would be:

  • Emergency Plumber In Norwich| Serving Norwich & Norfolk Area, UK | XYZ Company

Here I have capitalized on every variation of the main terms, and have giving me the best possibility of ranking for all of them.

How do I change my title tag?

Whether you are using a website building software such as Squarespace or Wix or using a WordPress site, you should find clear tutorials on how to change your Title Tag by searching it on Google or Youtube.

If you’re using WordPress for example, just type in ‘WordPress change meta title’ and you’ll find a host of tutorials on what to do.

Notes:

  • It is important that you do not change the title of every page of your website to the above. Every page should have a unique page title so as not to confuse Google.
  • You may be tempted to do something called ‘keyword stuffing’ which involves adding your keywords as many times as possible. We’ll cover this below in greater detail, but this is a BIG no no.

Sorting out the remainder of your On Page Optimisation

Whilst putting your main keywords in your Title Tag helps tell Google what your page is about, there are also elements within the page that also require your attention and will influence how well you are ranked.

To quickly get a clear picture of what content to put on your pages, it’s always best to look at a competitor who is ranking in the top positions. Google has already decided that they are a high-quality site, so you can know that the way they’ve optimised their page is essentially…perfect.

Note: when looking at competitors pages, you’ll want to completely ignore big directories like Yell and others, and instead find a local / e-commerce site similar to yours.

The two MAIN things to look at are:

  1. What Heading Tags (also known as H tags) are used on competitors pages & how many times are your target keywords mentioned here?

  2. What is the total word count of your competitors’ page & how many times are your keywords mentioned here?

Once again, the purpose of doing this is to help give Google the page that we know it wants to see.

For purposes of this blog post, I’ll suggest adding a free Chrome Plugin called ‘SEO META in 1 click’ to help with Headers part of this.

Step 1:

Download this chrome extension, find a ranking site in your niche, and click onto the site.

Once you’re there, click on the chrome extension.

Step 2: Go to the ‘headers’ tab and have a look at the breakdown that is given.

In the above screenshot I’ve underlined all the important areas you’ll want to focus on:

  • There’s an H1 tag called ‘Plumbing’
  • There are two H3 tags which include the word ‘Plumbing Services’
  • And finally, there is an H2 tag with the word ‘plumbers’

Use this as a guide for how you structure your page

You now have a guide as to how you should structure the ‘Header Tags’ of your page and the extent to which you should use your keywords there.

Regarding the rest of the content on your page, for ease of this tutorial I would suggest you write your content for users, and occasionally use your target terms only where it is natural. Do not force the use of these.

A more in-depth way of performing your on-page optimisation would involve the use of tools such as Cora, Surfer, and Page Optimiser Pro to be as granular as possible with this.

Link Building

We’re now in the last section of the tutorial.

Link building and ‘off-page SEO’ is one of the biggest ranking signals that you can give to your website. These are signals that you can point to your site which tell Google you are of relevance and authority.

How does this work?

To simplify this, imagine if someone applied for a job at your company. If you see they have recommendations from 5 other notable sources, you are a lot more likely to trust them and hire them.

A very similar situation applies with your website. If other sites reference you, this helps Google trust your site more.

How do we give Google these references?

Simple – these references are given via links. If another site links to you, this is a reference.

People sometimes get confused with what a link is, but you see and click on links all the time. As an example, if I link to my site over at seandexter.ai, I have given my website a seal of approval.

The same goes for the many other sites I have linked to throughout this article.

The categories of links:

Links break into two categories:

  1. Manufactured links
  2. Earned links

Manufactured links are links you can create yourself on Local Directories.

Earned links are when sites link to you because of the quality of your service, or because of the quality of a piece of content you have put out etc…

  • Earned links are what tends to push rankings the most, but they are the hardest to acquire and involve a lot of outreach and content production to do this effectively.

Setting your foundation with manufactured links

Manufactured links are also a very important part of the link-building process, and these should be the foundation of every site.

Best of all, they can be done by yourself!

You can find a general list of the top 100 business directories to list yourself on here: https://business.clickdo.co.uk/top-100-uk-business-directories-list/

You’ll also want to do some research as to what niche-relevant directories your competitors are listed on in your industry, and ensure you are listed there too.

I recommend 500 words of content for each one, and fill out each profile as best as possible as this will help each of these listings get indexed by Google.  

The glorious results of a properly executed SEO campaign

As you probably know by this point, a properly executed SEO campaign can completely change the tide of a business.

I’ve seen first-hand how service-based businesses find themselves fully booked due to the amount of leads they receive, and how E-Commerce businesses can rise to over £100,000 per month in online sales just from their high rankings on Google.

The above pointers are a fantastic start to put you on the right track, but pushing yourself to the top positions for a competitive term requires quite a lot of testing, lots manual outreach for link-building, and a slightly more granular approach to every aspect of what was discussed.

What kind of impact can it have for your business?

From position 46 to position 1 on Google for a highly competitive term in the Online Food Delivery niche, with over 1000 searches per month.

Position 107 to position 2 for a competitive term in the Dog Grooming niche with 12,000 searches per month.

Position 12 to position 1 for a large term in the Cake Delivery niche with 6,000 searches per month (outranking big sites like Marks & Spencer).

If you’d like to know more about how you can take your visibility and sales to the next level, contact Furthermore Marketing on +44 1603 273131.

Alternatively, email on hello@furthermoremarketing.co.uk or just visit the contact page on our site.

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