Are you looking for a new SEO strategy to implement in the New Year? Is 2020 the year you finally get your website SEO sorted? Then you need to develop your own SEO strategy for 2020, not copy anyone else’s.
And here’s why.
Essentially, even if the site whose SEO strategy you want to copy appears to be doing phenomenally well, step away from duplicating their efforts. Because here’s what you might not be aware of – many big sites, whilst hugely successful in their own rights, are doing SEO wrong.
Yup, you read that right.
So if you see your competition doing incredibly well with their SEO strategy, it can seem tempting (and like a good idea) to copy what they’re doing. If it works for them, why wouldn’t it work for you eh?
You have no way of knowing for sure that what they’re doing to optimise their site is SEO best practice or if they just got lucky. And if it’s the latter, well you could be copying them ‘til the cows come home and you’ll never achieve their success – lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice.
Don’t create duplicate content
There is a BIG difference between checking out what your competition is up to and actively taking what they’re doing and making it yours. Not only are you setting yourself up for plagiarism (Google really frowns upon duplicate content after all), you’re also setting yourself up for failure.
Why failure? Because you aren’t showing your customers what makes you unique and different to the competition, you’re merely giving them more of the same thing. And people don’t want more of the same thing, they want a point of difference.
So yes, do your market research, find out exactly what your competition (or the big players in the industry) are up to, and then work out their weak spots and exploit those.
That is your SEO strategy right there.
Not copying, but differentiating yourself, giving yourself a USP. That’s what turns you from a just another copycat into a powerhouse player.
Besides, unless you have a mole in your competitor’s company giving you exclusive insights, you’re never going to know exactly what keywords they’re going for and what their exact SEO strategy is. You’ll be wasting your time (and money) trying to copy something you don’t fully know.
The key to effective SEO is to do your own research and execute your own SEO strategy based on what your own audience actually want and need. Not what your competitors’ audiences are looking for.
How the competition can help your SEO strategy
Whilst copying your competition’s SEO strategy is a no-go, we aren’t saying you shouldn’t check them out altogether. Far from it.
What we are saying is whilst you shouldn’t copy your competitors’ SEO strategy blow for blow, researching them thoroughly and gauging how the market reacts to them is how they’re going to help you develop your own SEO strategy long term:
- Study their digital marketing tactics
- Check out their social media practices
- Learn who their customers are (and who they’re trying to target)
Once you know this about your competition, then you strike, taking advantage of any holes in their digital marketing strategy and exploiting any weaknesses they may have.
Why not just copy their SEO strategy? Because as we said before, the odds are your competition don’t have a firm idea of what they’re doing either. Ever heard the phrase ‘the blind leading the blind?’
Also, how do you know that they haven’t partaken in nefarious black hat SEO strategies that if you copy will see you hit hard in the rankings, and not in a good way?
It’s just not worth it.
Rather than think ‘what can I do to get the same results as the competition?’ Think ‘what can I do to set myself apart from the competition (and get even better results?’.
And here’s something to remember – it might be that you have a killer SEO strategy in place already, it just needs tweaking in order for you to get the results you’re looking for.
Conduct a Technical SEO
So before you go off and rethink your entire SEO strategy, first off check how your website is doing as it is, and make sure that it’s performing as well as it should be.
According to Google’s John Mueller:
“A lot of technical SEO is not a matter of blind trust or hope, it’s not a magical black box where you have to believe, there’s no “Person X said Y, therefore Y must always be true.”
It’s something that’s very deterministic, and you can logically find the answer, just as you can often test it out for your case. You can do it right, or you can do it wrong (though to be fair, search engines will try to help when you do it wrong, because lots of sites get it wrong).”
Even if you have limited technical SEO knowledge, here’s a guide to how to perform a quick technical SEO audit of your website.
Undertaking a regular audit of your site won’t just help improve driving more organic traffic to your site, it will also help you further develop your SEO strategy.
And if you need help to get started there, consider trying out these three easy SEO hacks to get your SEO strategy for 2020 off the ground.
1. Make sure your page content isn’t thin
Give your audience good quality content. Use free tools like Google Analytics to give you website traffic data or use Screaming Frog (a freemium website crawler) to show you where your page content is thin.
2. Have a point of difference, like a YouTube channel
After Google, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. If you’re keen to develop an SEO strategy that will see a boost to your organic traffic figures, make sure your target audience can find you everywhere they look.
3. Use Facebook to boost traffic
Utilise social media in your SEO strategy. It’s one of the biggest and best digital marketing tools you have at your disposal, so put it to good use. And if you aren’t sure how to do that, learn.