How can I beat my SEO competitors?

You know the potential of Google as a source of new business, so you’re investing in search engine optimisation (SEO) as part of your digital marketing strategy. But despite this investment, you’re failing to consistently rank higher than your competitors.

It’s an all too common problem. In ranking what it deems to be the most relevant and valuable results, Google makes SEO somewhat of a zero sum game: one business wins the top spot, the others lose. “If you’re not first, you’re last,” as Ricky Bobby so eloquently put it.

So how do you convince Google that a link to your website is more relevant, more valuable than a link to a competitor for a targeted search term?

How do I win against my competitors in SEO?

How to beat competitors? SEO is this challenge distilled in its purest form. 

On the internet, your business is pitted against rivals from around the world. Competition is fierce, and it’s inevitable that some businesses will have bigger marketing budgets than you. So rather than working harder or spending more, the key to winning the SEO battle is to fight smarter.

There are a number of clever strategies that can help you to outperform your competition while maximising the return on your SEO investment.

Strategically target keywords

It begins with research. You need to identify and target truly valuable keywords, which may not be what you think they are, because customers will often describe your products or services very differently to how you do. By targeting these often surprising keywords and search terms, you’ll enjoy less competition for top spot.

Consider the buyer journey

It can be tempting to exclusively target keywords used by people who are ready to buy. But doing so ignores the overwhelming majority of the buyer journey. Before compelling a customer to buy (transaction phase), you can let them know about your brand or offering (awareness phase), and give them compelling reasons to choose you (consideration phase). To outperform competitors you need your website to rank high on Google for the entirety of the customer journey.

Work towards a goal

The goal of strategic SEO is to design an SEO strategy that delivers a specific outcome, whether that be increasing web traffic, generating leads or making more sales. Keywords and tactics are then chosen with your goal/s in mind, and success is determined by more than just your ranking. This approach allows you to get a true sense of the return your SEO investment is delivering.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”

The importance of competitor analysis

By analysing your competitors, you can identify their strengths and weaknesses. You can then work to replicate and ultimately outperform those strengths and exploit those weaknesses.

SEO competitor analysis is the process of gathering deep intelligence about your market and your competition, which can then be used to craft a more effective SEO strategy. The process is designed to answer everything from the big questions, like who your online competitors are and what their market share is, to the minutiae, like the keywords a specific competitor ranks well for.

A surprisingly low number of organisations bother with competitor analysis. And this presents you with a golden opportunity to get ahead. 

Here’s a short guide on how to do competitor analysis in SEO:

  1. Identify competitors: Work to understand who your competitors are. Consider online-only and indirect competitors – those who don’t sell the same things as you, but may still take business from you (think Jenny Craig vs McDonalds).
  2. Identify key areas of comparison: Consider the most important areas of analysis and comparison, whether ranking, keywords, backlinks or any other SEO element. The areas you focus on will depend on your competitors, your goals and your current SEO situation.
  3. Gather data: You need to know where to find the necessary data, then you need to collect, organise and analyse it.
  4. Generate SEO insights: Use purpose-built tools to generate competitor insights from the SEO data, then use these insights to inform your SEO strategy.
  5. Monitor and analyse: SEO is never ‘complete’, and as soon as your competitors notice your improved performance you can be confident that they’ll work to improve their own efforts. Continuously monitor, analyse, adapt and refine your SEO strategy over time, searching for new opportunities and working to stay ahead of the chasing pack.

If it isn’t already obvious, SEO success demands specialised tools, skills and expertise. From identifying unlikely competitors, to sourcing and crunching data, to converting insights into an actionable strategy, there are a number of challenges that are unique to SEO competitor analysis. So while you may be tempted to do it yourself, the reality is that such efforts can simply end up wasting time and money.

That’s where our expert team at Growth Partners comes in.

DigitalArchitect: the ultimate data-driven marketing system

Growth Partners isn’t an SEO agency. We’re an expert team that focuses on business growth, and who know the critical role that SEO plays in spurring that growth.

We work to identify your most important competitors, both direct and indirect. We compare your online presence with theirs, to identify issues to solve and opportunities to exploit. And we create a strategy that methodically grows your market share, and maintains that growth in the long term.

Our SEO strategies are built on our proprietary DigitalArchitect System®, which creates your comprehensive blueprint for digital growth. It even comes with a three-year ROI projection, granting you unmatched clarity on the strength of the business case for your investment.

If you’re looking to not only rank higher than your rivals on Google, but have your ranking translate to meaningful business growth, we’re ready to help. Get in touch for no-obligation chat and kickstart your growth journey today.


Mal Jack

Mal Jack, Director and General Manager of Growth Partners, is passionate about helping businesses realise their growth objectives while helping the people within an organisation to achieve their own goals, dreams and aspirations too. A seasoned marketeer, Mal enjoys sharing his deep digital knowledge and experience with clients. As a hands-on leader, he places a premium on building personal and professional relationships (and the line often blurs between the two). Outside of work, Mal likes to spend his time enjoying good food with his family, and indulging his passion for adventure-focused travel.

You are currently on Growth Partners New Zealand

For localised content please visit our Growth Partners Australia website.