What Are Your Competitors Doing To Outrank You?

As a search engine optimization company, we are often asked what’s required to outrank the competition. So, in this post, we’re going to outline the steps to understand what your competitors are doing to outrank you and what you can do to win the ranking war!

Understanding the Domain Authority
To get a good understanding of what it will take to beat your competition, start by entering the number one keyword that you would like to rank well for into Google. Then, copy the URL of the highest ranking Website into Open Site Explorer. By doing this, you will be able to see the Moz rank for the site and page, which gives you an idea of the domain authority and page authority. The domain authority shows you the reputation of the Website. The higher the number out of 100, the greater the authority. Page authority shows you the same thing but it is for the actual page itself.

Analyze the Volume of Domains and Links
Once you have a good understanding of the authority of the Website that you are competing against, you then want to look at the number of root domains (Websites) that are linking to your competitor. The higher the number of root domains, the better their link building is. Then, take a look at the actual number of links they have from external Websites. The volume of links shows you how aggressive they are at link building.

Review the Anchor Text
Once you have a good understanding of the number of domains that are linking to your competitors and the volume of links, look at the anchor text that is being used for all of their links. If they are using the keyword that you are competing for consistently in their anchor text, it’s a strong indication of the quality of their link building campaign.

Determine the Quality of Websites
We then recommend clicking on the linking domains tab in Open Site Explorer to see what Websites are linking to your competitors to determine the quality of links they have. Take the time to actually look at the sites that are linking to your competition. Not only will you get a better understanding of the quality of the sites, but you may even uncover some link building opportunities for you to take advantage of. You’ll also understand what quality of sites you need to acquire links from. The bottom line is that you want to get better quality links than your competitors.

Don’t Forget Social Media
As many of you are aware, social media plays a vital role in SEO and has a direct and severe impact on ranking. Look at how many social shares your competitor has in terms of shares, likes, tweets, and +1s. This is a strong indication of the quality of your competitors content, while showing you how many people are interacting with them.

By following these steps, you will get a good feel for what it will take to beat your competition both in terms of volume and quality. We recommend following these steps for the top three to five sites that are ranking well for your keyword. Rinse and repeat the steps above for your top competitors and all of your keywords. If you need help with this, feel free to contact us or comment below. Also, look out for more posts on competitor research as there are several cool ways to understand what it will take to outrank your competition.