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5 Must-Do Steps to Outrank Your Competitors on Google

It surprises most small business owners to learn just how easy it really is to break away from the competition when it comes to ranking on Google.

Playing this ‘numbers game’ of optimization is best accomplished when you leverage tools, like our Green Lotus Do It Yourself SEO Tools. Our tools will not only flag where there are opportunities to improve areas like keywords and backlinks, but they’ll also support you in making the smartest choices when it comes to conversion results, by allowing you to track and A/B test which banners or headlines convert better.

Whether you’re already using tools, or considering it in the future, these 5 steps are the most important practices for outranking your competition.

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5 Must-Do Steps to Generate More Leads and Outrank Your Competitors on Google

STEP 1: Fixing technical issues

You can’t rank on the first page of Google if your website has broken pages, broken links or is not mobile-friendly.

One of the simplest things you can do to improve your ranking is making sure that all of your pages, images, and title tags are optimized. It’s incredibly helpful to leverage tools to help you check every page of your website, so you don’t have to do it manually. When you put SEO tools to work for you, you never have to worry about a client calling you to tell you a page is down.  Your tools will monitor all of the ins and outs of your site on a daily basis and alert you immediately if there is an issue. View our SEO Services!


STEP 2: Keyword research

Most of us are familiar with the concept of keywords, and their role in SEO. However, as the area of search engine optimization evolves, so has the way keywords are used – AND how they’re ranked!

While we know that keywords should be determined around relevance and customer intent, effective keyword tools can provide us a lot more insights and actionable data.

In fact, Green Lotus’ SEO toolkit leverages the most effective industry tools into one dashboard, and has recently updated its keyword reporting to reflect five key factors.

5 key reporting factors to track:

  • Factor #1: How a search term ranks locally
  • Factor #2: How a search term ranks globally
  • Factor #3: How a search term ranks against the competition. This is based on bid competition in Google Adwords (Pay-per-click)
  • Factor #4: How Seasonally-relevant is your product. This trend data comes from Google Web Trends and is based on seasonality as it relates to your product or service. This is particularly important for understanding when to make an investment in ads and when to save your money.
  • Factor #5: How effective is your keyword? The KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index) is a score created by Green Lotus to show which keywords to focus on and which to ignore. It measures keyword search volume and competition rate to rank the best choices for your investment.

Spying on your competitors:

‘Spying on your competitors’ is very important, because you’re all vying for the same ranking – and you need to not only match their efforts, but slip ahead where you can.

Using tools that pull in competitor data, allows you to determine which factors they’re  mastering, and how we can match those and ultimately do it better.

Our Green Lotus tools check all 6 verticals for competitor data (ads, images, videos, places, news, shopping), and we keep this data to reference throughout your campaign, so we steadily see the increase in your results climbing, as we optimize each page of your site.


STEP 3: On-Page AND Off-Page Optimization

Pay close attention here, because ‘step 3’ accounts for about 70% of the factors that determine your ranking, and is broken into two buckets: ‘on page’ SEO and ‘off-page’ SEO.

On-Page SEO: On-Page SEO refers to optimizing the content on your website. This includes optimizing your pages and content, fixing title tags, ALT images, etc.

Off-Page SEO: Off-page SEO builds your domain authority, by validating its trustworthiness and relevance to Google’s crawlers.

You can gain credibility in off-page SEO in a number of ways:

    • Submit it to search engines, like Google & Bing. Particularly if your site is new, this ensures all of your pages are indexed.
    • Increase mentions and backlinks. By partnership with relevant brands to guest blog, for example, you can increase the number of relevant backlinks to your site.
  • Share relevant news. By sharing blog posts and press releases, you’ll increase your ranking, your visibility and your credibility and expertise. All important aspects of being trusted – and being found – to secure that new business!
  • NAP consistency. NAP (Name/Address/Phone Number) consistency is a great way to boost your off-page SEO and prioritize the importance of local directories (local searches account for 40% of overall searches). Caution: your listing must consistently match across all directories for this to be impactful. i.e. don’t write One Yonge Street and 1 Yonge St. on different listings.
  • Ensure you’re using ‘follow’ links: There are two types of links: follow links and no-follow links. No-follow links, unfortunately don’t deliver any credibility to search crawlers, so you always want to ensure the backlinks you are building for off-page SEO are follow links.

STEP 4: Local listings

Local listings by far deliver the most bang for your buck. Customers are desperate to find solutions that are nearby and easily available to them. Remember: 40% of searches have local intent, meaning that there’s a good chance local prospects might be looking for your services… but you need to communicate where and how you can be found locally.

Local listing directories are a commonly used resource: YellowPages, Yelp, etc. It’s easy, low-hanging fruit to research and submit your listing to ALL of the local listing directories to help easily boost your search ranking, and help you be found by your prospects. Don’t forget to be consistent about the listing of your NAP (Name/Address/Phone Number).

Once you’ve set up all of your local listings, encourage reviews on Yelp, Facebook, etc. Rather than trying to fudge these reviews, encourage real, satisfied customers to leave genuine reviews. If they need a little incentive, offer a $5 Starbucks gift card (or more) to reward their feedback.

Dominating results on page 1 with local listings:

We can offer you one better than getting onto page one with Google; instead, let’s get you dominating the results.

How do you do this? Let’s revisit the 6 verticals of search results that we mentioned before:

  • Regular listing results
  • Image or video results
  • Local map results
  • Shopping results
  • Ad results

The more real estate you take up on the first page of Google, the more conversions you’ll score. Even a video, that is accessible on your homepage, is still a beneficial search result, because you’ll lose conversion percentage with every additional click you ask prospects to make. If that video is relevant to the customer and can be accessed directly from page 1 of Google, that’s where they’ll click.

Speaking of video results, let’s not forget YouTube, which is the second largest search engine in the world (and also owned by Google). Make sure that you optimize all of your YouTube content with effective title tags, strong descriptions and links to your website from YouTube.


STEP 5: Spend your money wisely

You don’t have to invest big dollars to get great search results. Instead, focus on being relevant to your customer’s needs. You can do this in a few key ways.

Understand the customer buying cycle.

Step 1: Browsing

Step 2: Comparing

Step 3: Decision Making

Breaking down these different behaviours will help you understand how to approach your keyword strategy. As customers get further into their decision making process, they are looking for more precise and specific information. In a search context, we typically call this long tail keywords. For example: “new detached homes in Markham for sale“

When making the best investment for SEO/SEM dollars, focus on the specifics of your business to create longtail keyword results.

  • Be Mobile-Optimized. 50% of all mobile searches lead to a conversion – and often mobile searches are time sensitive and location based. More and more people are buying this way, and looking for ease and convenience, so ensure you are optimized to provide simple, clean information that delivers a solution with minimal clicks.

 

  • Stop sending traffic to your homepage. Your homepage is the worst page of your website! It’s over-crowded and forces customers to search for information you promised them. Instead, leverage landing pages for higher conversion and direct access to a solution to their problems.

 

Want to Learn How to Dominate the First Page of Google?