Brodie Cornett

Brodie is an SEO Associate and account lead at Sagapixel. He specializes in on-page SEO and content marketing.

10 Tips on How to Outrank Your Competition in Google

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The average click through rate for a page ranking at position 1 on Google is 39.8% according to Smart Insights. But, by position 3, the average CTR drops to 10.2%. By position 10, the average drops as low as 2.3%. This means that if you don’t know how to outrank your competition on Google, you’re likely losing out on valuable organic traffic and revenue for your business.

In this article, we will dive into actionable strategies that can help you climb the search engine rankings and outrank your competition in Google. From performing a site audit to optimizing your Google Business Profile, these tips are designed to give you a competitive edge.

If you want your business to benefit from an SEO strategy that will help you outrank your competition, click here.

1. Perform a Site Audit

The first step to outranking your competition is to understand the current state of your website. A comprehensive site audit will help you identify technical issues, on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) gaps, and usability problems. Tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Google Search Console can help you pinpoint areas that need improvement. Some key issues that could majorly improve your rankings include fixing broken links, optimizing site speed, and ensuring your site is mobile-friendly.

2. Conduct Competitor Analysis

Analyzing your competitors is crucial to understanding what works in your industry and what keywords you should be targeting. A detailed competitor analysis can empower you to identify key trends, discover gaps in the market, and, ultimately, gain a competitive edge.

Identify Gaps in Content

The first part of a competitor analysis is to identify gaps between their content and the content on your site. What keywords are they ranking for? What types of blog posts are they writing? By understanding what your competitors are publishing, you will easily be able to identify gaps you can fill with more valuable, in-depth content.

With that being said, not all content that your competitors are publishing will be valuable to your site. We’ll help you understand how to identify what keywords you should be targeting (and which ones you shouldn’t) a little later.

Analyze Competitor Backlinks

Backlinks, or links from other sites to your own, are a significant ranking factor. They signal to Google that your site is providing valuable and trustworthy information within your specific industry. You can think of backlinks as a vote of confidence from other websites.

By using tools like Ahrefs or Moz to analyze your competitors’ backlink profiles, you can identify high-quality sites linking to them and reach out for similar opportunities. Most commonly, this is done through guest posting. However, there are a variety of other link building techniques that can help you build a strong backlink profile and outrank your competitors.

3. Do Keyword Research

Keyword research is the foundation of any successful SEO strategy. It’s the practice of finding search queries related to your services or products and the questions around them. Identifying the right queries and related keywords to target through this research forms the very basis of your overall SEO strategies. Without knowing how potential customers look for your services or products, you can’t adequately optimize your site to drive organic traffic.

While ideally, you’ll want to find keywords with high search volume and low competition, it is important that you don’t exclusively focus on search volume as a deciding factor. Your content should provide value to your customers, not just drive vanity traffic that won’t lead to conversions.

Mapping Keywords to Your Buyer’s Journey

When selecting which keywords to target, you should ensure that they align with each stage of your buyer’s journey from problem-aware, informational queries to solution-aware, transactional terms. This ensures you’re capturing potential customers from awareness to decision-making.

Additionally, carefully selecting keywords on your buyer’s journey ensures you are not spending time and resources creating content that will not lead to conversions.

Matching Search Intent of Queries

Your content also needs to align with the proper search intent of individual queries. Whether users are looking for information, looking to make a purchase, or comparing options, your content should provide what they need.

Content with a mismatched search intent will not only not rank for queries on Google, it will also not resonate with potential customers. For example, a query like “chiropractor near me” is a transactional query; people searching for this keyword are ready to make an appointment with a local medical professional. On the other hand, “how to treat sciatica” is an informational query; users searching for this query are not quite ready to book an appointment with a chiropractor yet, but it is still on the buyer’s journey.

Producing a blog article instead of a product page for a transactional query likely wouldn’t rank high in the SERPs, and even if it did, there’s a better chance potential customers would click on competing pages offering an easy way to make a purchase outright. The same goes for informational queries; it will be nearly impossible to rank a service page for an informational query. Even if it did rank, users would likely select another option that more closely aligns with their search intent.

Create Topic Clusters

In order to help Google understand the depth of your content and your expertise on an individual subject, you can organize your content into topic clusters. For example, a Medical Spa may create topic clusters around Anti-Aging Treatments, Skin Care Treatments, or Body Contouring. Within these clusters, you can create content centered around a specific theme that is highly relevant to your business.

This process generally involves taking the keywords you found through your research and organizing them into similar ideas. Doing so helps you produce a “map” of content topics that will support each other and build your topical relevance in the Google search results.

4. Optimize On-Page Content

Optimizing on-page elements is crucial for better rankings. On-page optimization goes beyond simply adding more keywords to any given page (though that is still part of it).

Headings to Keep People On-Page

Using clear, descriptive headings in your blog articles and service pages will help to improve readability and keep visitors engaged. You should also make sure your headings adequately describe each section of content to make it easier for users to skim your pages as most people won’t read the bulk of your text. Skimmability can help improve user experience which, in turn, can increase conversions as your users get a good idea of what your business offers without having to read a page in its entirety.

Likewise, these headings help web crawlers better understand the topic of the overall pages.

Page Layout & Structure

It is also important to ensure your pages have a logical layout and structure. Using bullet points, short paragraphs, and images to break up text can make it more digestible. These points also benefit your page for skimming, as mentioned earlier.

From a more technical perspective, a good page layout helps web crawlers in categorizing your content. What’s more, placing content higher up on the page positions it as more important over text further down. The structural layout of your content can clarify to web crawlers a page’s top-level topic.

Refresh Older Content

Over time, even the highest-quality content on your site will begin to decay and see a drop in traffic. Regularly monitoring the performance of your pages and optimizing the content on your site will help improve user experience and signal to Google that your content is fresh. Google uses “freshness” as a ranking factor as information develops over time, so old content likely isn’t as correct as new pages.

That said, if your old content doesn’t target anything specific or hasn’t attracted any organic traffic, it’s sometimes best to cut your losses and deprecate those pages.

5. Create Better Content

High-quality content is essential to outrank your competition. Establishing what “better content” means, though, is nebulous at best and entirely unhelpful at worst.

Be More Thorough Than Your Competitors

Covering topics more comprehensively than your competitors can help improve search rankings and ensure that your content provides a detailed, in-depth answer to potential customers.

While some SEOs claim content length matters, it’s not explicitly the word count of a page that ranks; it’s how thorough that content is. Of course, a more thorough article will naturally be longer than a less detailed page, but don’t aim for a specific word count. Instead, identify every sub-topic of your target topic and include sections for them. An article that is too long can actually negatively affect the user experience by making it difficult to find important information.

Write for Skimming

Most online readers prefer to skim content. They don’t want to spend 10-15 minutes finding an answer to their question; they want it to be easily accessible. Use headings, bullet points, and concise paragraphs to make your content easy to scan. This improves user experience and helps web crawlers better understand a page’s topical relevance.

Introduce New or Novel Information

By offering unique insights or data that your competitors don’t, you can set your content apart and potentially attract new backlinks.

In the age of AI-regenerated content, new information is important for standing out within your niche. AI simply aggregates information and reorganizes it (or makes it up, in worst cases). You have a unique experience as a subject matter expert within your industry. Including new information helps separate your content from the repeatedly copied AI text.

Wield Your Authority & Expertise

Showcase your expertise and authority on topics relevant to your industry. This builds trust with your audience and Google.

Human experience is an important element that robots can’t replicate. Including specific experiences within your field adds a level of expertise that can’t really be faked.

6. Implement Technical SEO Optimizations

Technical SEO is the backbone of a strong SEO strategy. Keyword research, on-page optimizations, and off-page efforts are great, but if your site doesn’t run well or isn’t secure, none of that matters.

Add an SSL if You Haven’t

Install an SSL certificate to ensure your website’s security. This is a must for building trust and improving rankings.

Google uses SSL certificates as a ranking factor. More specifically, they look to see if your site is HTTPS or HTTP and prefers the former over the latter. So, implement an SSL certificate not just to keep your site secure but to look better to Google.

Internal Linking

Use internal links to help Google understand the structure of your site and to keep users engaged.

Internal links are just links that connect your site’s pages to each other. This is important to pass authority from page-to-page, supporting your site’s overall topical relevance within your niche and propping other pages up to improve their rankings.

This goes beyond simply having links in your navigation and footer. In-context links are preferable for further establishing how your pages are related to each other. This also helps users in finding related-content, keeping them on your site and improving user signals which Google has acknowledged they use in determining rankings.

Implement Schema Structured Data

Schema markup helps search engines understand your content better and can improve your visibility in search engine results pages.

This is one of the few SEO optimizations you’ll make that is specifically done for the benefit of web crawlers. Essentially, schema structured data is code added to a page which outlines various bits of information related to that page. This includes clarifying the type of page, whether you’re a local business or an organization, and information regarding other, off-page profiles like social media or directory sites.

Site Speed & Page Experience

Improving your site’s loading speed and overall page experience will encourage users to stay longer on your site, interact with your content, and ultimately, convert into a paying customer. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights can help you to identify areas for improvement.

Google’s Page Experience update established that certain technical elements are used as ranking factors. This update identified Core Web Vitals to measure how well your website performs, which included Largest Contentful Paint (loading performance), Interaction to Next Paint (responsiveness), and Cumulative Layout Shift (visual stability).

Mobile-First Indexing

One of the most important technical SEO things to implement is to ensure your site is optimized for mobile devices, as Google primarily uses the mobile version of sites for indexing and ranking. This means building your site around smaller devices for load times while ensuring it presents the same experience to users both on mobile and larger machines.

7. Improve User Experience

User experience (UX) directly impacts your SEO performance. We’ve touched on how various optimizations also improve user experience, but these are more specific tips for further UX to improve organic rankings. Not only will these tips help Google understand and rank your site better, but they can also help improve session duration and ensure your site is easy to navigate for customers.

Click-Through Rate Optimization

One of the best ways to improve your organic traffic is by optimizing your title tag and meta description. By crafting compelling meta data, you can improve your click-through rate from search results. Google has admitted to using user signals, including click-through rates, to improve rankings, so your title tags need to be optimized for target keywords while also being more enticing than your competitors.

Reducing Bounce Rate

Bounce rates are, essentially, the percentage of visitors that visited your site without taking an additional action (like clicking a link or visiting a new page). High bounce rates signal to Google that your content is not very engaging, which could ultimately lead to a decrease in rankings. On the other side of the coin, a low bounce rate signals to Google that you have high quality content that is actually providing value to users.

Create engaging, relevant content to reduce bounce rates. Ensure your site is easy to navigate and loads quickly. Again, Google uses these user signals to support rankings. If someone stays on a page longer than others, Google may be inclined to rank that page higher in the search results.

Improving Site Engagement

When users engage with your site, it is a clear sign (to both you and Google) that your content is performing well. Encourage user interaction with your site through comments, social shares, and interactive elements.

Once again, any user signals support your rankings. Comments and clicks on your site show Google that users are engaged with your content, which may help your rankings.

8. Build Better Backlinks

Quality backlinks can significantly boost your search rankings. Quantity is less important as there are countless services offering hundreds, or even thousands, of low-authority backlinks.

In order to have a significant impact on rankings, your link building strategy needs to hit relevant and authoritative websites.

Advanced Link Building Techniques

Using advanced link-building strategies like digital PR and broken link building can help you acquire high-quality backlinks for your site.

Digital PR is the process of creating unique assets that could be newsworthy and send that out to journalists and site owners for links. Some assets that attract quality backlinks could be calculators, infographics, research reports, or interactive quizzes Broken link building uses 3rd-party SEO tools to identify competitor 404 backlinks that you can offer your own content to as a way to snag those links.

9. Use Video & Social Media

Leveraging video and social media can actually enhance your SEO efforts. Generally, this is more for improving brand awareness as people learn of your business or organization and search for you on Google by name. But, this then improves your organic traffic as Google tracks those user signals.

Additionally, connecting your SEO strategy with your video marketing strategy can actually help save you time and resources. Sagapixel’s unique approach to social media marketing allows your content to work twice as hard. By turning your video transcripts into blog content, you can boost your online visibility, increase user engagement, and improve search rankings.

Video for Improving Visibility & Time-On-Page

Creating engaging video content will keep visitors on your page longer and improve your search rankings.

Video is a fantastic way to keep people on your site and is an easy way to encourage user engagement, as users have to click on your video to play it. Giving a face to your business also helps in building trust with potential customers or clients which can help in driving conversions.

Social Media for Brand Awareness & Trust-Building

Use social media platforms to build brand awareness and trust. Share your content and engage with your audience. These tips help in driving both organic traffic through branded search and conversions as potential customers feel more connected with an actual person.

Repurpose Already Written Content

Turn your existing content into videos, infographics, and social media posts to reach a wider audience. Snippets of content can be used as text posts, videos can be cut into short-form content, and visuals can simply be cross-posted. Using your previous efforts to support future tactics is simply a good use of time.

10. Monitor Your Efforts

Another top tip is to regularly monitor your SEO efforts. This is crucial for long-term success. Use tools like Google Analytics and Search Console to track your performance and adjust your strategies as needed.

How to Outrank Competitors For Local Businesses

Local SEO requires specific strategies to stand out. While you can use the same general ideas in your SEO efforts, there are more elements to include to rank in your area.

Build Pages for Each Location in Your Service Area

Create dedicated pages for each location you serve to improve your visibility in local searches. General searches might have higher search volumes, but they carry less intent than someone looking for that service in their area. For example, a business in Philadelphia will also likely want to target nearby locations like Ardmore, Media, or Phoenixville.

This helps establish your business as a local business over simply targeting top-level, generic queries.

Optimize Your Google Business Profile

Ensure your Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business, is complete and optimized. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews.

Optimizing your Google Business Profile includes:

  • Using an appropriate, non-keyword stuffed business name
  • Adding your address
  • Adding your service area
  • Choosing an appropriate category
  • Choosing related secondary categories
  • Adding products (both for actual products or services)
  • Adding photos of your location and team
  • Asking for and responding to reviews

Get More Reviews

Actively solicit reviews from your customers. Positive reviews can boost your local rankings and build trust. Google reviews play a big part in ranking higher in the local and map results, so ask for reviews and respond to them to show future potential customers that you’re attentive to feedback.

Start Climbing The Search Results with an SEO Strategy from Sagapixel

Outranking your competition in Google takes time and effort, but with these strategies, you can improve your search engine visibility and drive more traffic to your site. Focus on creating high-quality content, optimizing your site technically, and building a strong backlink profile. Start implementing these tips today and watch your rankings climb!

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