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Why your competition will influence your SEO timeline
SEO is like a sports tipping comp.
It doesn’t matter how well you do, because you’re competing with other people trying to get the top spot. You might get 7 out of 10 results correct across each weekend’s fixtures, but if your competition gets 9 out of 10 correct each week they’ll always be on top of you.
If you’re running an SEO campaign, or thinking about investing in SEO, it’s crucial you keep an eye on your competition.
Your competition will be every business in your niche who is targeting the same keywords. So if you’re hoping to rank for “Los Angeles commercial electrician” you’ll need to bump another LA-based contractor off the first page to claim your spot.
This is much harder than it seems because a). the fact they’re on the first page typically means they know how SEO works and they’ve optimized their page to rank and b). you don’t know what their SEO strategies are which makes it hard to know what you need to improve on.
The SEO metrics that matter when we talk about your competition are:
Competition’s content: Does it cover the topic fully? Does it answer people’s questions?
Competition’s backlinks: Are they from relevant sites? Are they from high authority sites?
At Tradie Digital we use competitor analysis to understand what keywords your competition are ranking for, and what backlinks they’ve earned to help boost their SEO. Once we know what works for them, we know what we need to do to get YOU above them.
If you’re not using an SEO agency this step can be tough. SEO software like Similar Web, Ahrefs and Moz can give you the insights you’ll need to check out your competition’s SEO, but you’ll need to pay a few hundred bucks a month for each software and the learning curve is steep. Like Mount Everest steep.
Once you know what your competition’s content and backlinks look like, you’ll know what the benchmark is.
How to improve your SEO rankings – content
YThe first step towards ranking on Google is getting your content right.
Google looks for the most valuable content for any given search. If your content is more valuable than anyone else’s content, you’ll be doing your part to increase the speed of your SEO results.
Getting on the first page of Google is worth big business – and every tradie from Perth to Sydney knows it. SEO leads convert at an average of 14.6% compared to 1.7% for traditional marketing. If you get your business on Google, you can start getting more work from quality leads – and less word of mouth jobs from your mate’s cousin’s sister who needs some help around the house.
Keen to learn more about SEO? Download our FREE Report: – Tradesperson Businesses: Don’t Invest A Dollar in SEO until you read this!
Since SEO is the proven shortcut to a higher conversion rate, you can’t publish thin, rushed and average content and expect to rank. There are too many trade businesses who know the value of being on the first page and their content has been written carefully and to a high-level.
It’s always worth your time to improve your content – whether you do that yourself or find an SEO agency is up to you.
You’re also in control of the keywords you target – and some keywords will come with more competition than others. If you want to rank for a keyword that’s got Bunnings and Kmart in the top spots on Google, you could spend years trying and not outrank them.
But there are plenty of long-tail keywords that aren’t being occupied by the industry big boys. Launching a long tail keyword strategy – that’s things people search for in 3 or more words – can help you snap up low-hanging fruit and rank quickly.
Google considers backlinks a priority ranking signal because they’re hard to manipulate.
When they come from sites that are relevant to yours, for example, a hardware store linking to a handyman, this helps your SEO. So if you’re a mechanic and you have backlinks from Tyrepower, Beau Repairs and Tyroola, it’s a pretty good sign your website is trustworthy and that gives Google confidence they can improve your rankings.
Although backlinks are crucial to get on the first page of Google, the quality matters. You could end up paying a “backlinking expert” who ends up building irrelevant links that HURT your SEO. In short, only deal with reputable link building agencies if you’re going to pay for link building services.
You can also kill two birds with one stone by publishing amazing content that people naturally want to link to. This way you don’t have to chase up backlink opportunities on your days off because people love your content, find it valuable, and share it on their own sites and blogs without you lifting a finger.
Want to learn more about SEO? Download our FREE Report – Don’t Invest A Dollar in SEO Until You Read This!
Can you pay more for faster rankings on Google?
Yes, you can pay for immediate rankings with Google Ads.
If you want to get more leads in the next 6 months so you can sell your business or retire, you can use Google Ads for fast, qualified leads and ignore SEO. (Although selling your business with page #1 rankings on Google will definitely boost it’s value too).
But if you have a vision for your business that goes past 12 months, SEO is worth investing in even if results won’t appear for 3 to 6 months. Google has a bit of a problem with young sites, so if you’ve just launched a website for your trades business, you’ll need to let it age a little until Google respects your URL.
It is possible to rank new websites, but the older your site the more advantages you’ll have. If you’ve had your website for years and you’re thinking about running some SEO, you’ll be sweet. And even if you have just launched a new site, creating great content and earning backlinks are two proven ways to move above your competition, so it’s worth focusing on content and backlinks while your site ages.
How long does it take to rank on Google: Final thoughts
Remember, page one of Google has 10 spots, and you don’t need to be in spot #1 for every single keyword.
It’s common for people to open up multiple tabs, or jump from one result to the next, so if your content is the most valuable you’ve still got a great chance to generate leads even if you haven’t cracked the top spot yet.
Focus on long tail keywords, create helpful content, and build and earn links – cover those bases and you can see results from 4 to 18 months, with your results only improving the more time goes by.
Ready to put your business on the first page of Google to earn more work and make more money?