There’s a general misunderstanding about SEO where business owners and even marketers think that SEO is tough and takes too long to show results. While SEO generally takes longer than more immediate paid marketing channels to realise its effects, even companies/brands who are in a competitive industry can definitely improve organic traffic regardless of what position they’re in.
Today, we will be taking a look at all the ways we can use SEO to help drive organic traffic to a business that’s in a competitive industry.
Finding the right keywords in a competitive industry
A big part of Search Engine Optimisation is revolved around the keywords you target and use to optimise your web pages. Understanding the relevant keywords available and their competitiveness will allow you to find opportunities where you can achieve SEO wins.
In most keyword research tools there should be an estimated monthly search volume along with a competitiveness indicator or rating. Whether that’s ‘keyword difficulty’ or ‘competitiveness’ this should give a good idea on where to start comparing keywords. The reason you want to be comparing keywords is you want to find the keywords that have the highest impressions but also have the lowest competition. This is particularly useful in competitive industries as finding and optimising for these words can generate great organic traffic without having to elbow others out of the way!
Competitor Keyword Research
As part of your keyword research, you might also want to look at what your competitors are targeting. Find the main keywords your competitors are optimising for and look for LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords revolving around those keywords. In doing this, you’re not optimising for the main keyword (as you already know it’s competitive, thus may take a longer time to rank organically) but rather the surrounding keywords that will help rank organically faster.
How to structure your content for a competitive industry
Not only do you need to find the right keywords you also need to structure the content you create based on your keyword research logically. Having a look at the information architecture (IA) of your website and organising it so that users are easily able to find the information they’re looking for can indirectly help SEO.
How? Well, there are two ways this can assist in SEO.
First, if you take a step back and have a look at the overall purpose of search engines you will notice that their main goal is to help the user (searchers) find what they’re looking for. As much as they may like making money off paid ads, search engines want users to continue coming back to use their services.
In order to ensure user loyalty, they need to provide results that provide the best value to the user. Google has mentioned things like page speed, keywords optimisation and fixing technical errors can help rankings however these are all indicating to better user experience. So although information architecture does not directly relate to page rankings it does improve the user experience which will increase time on site, pages per session and reduce your website bounce rate.
Even for a well-recognised brand, there are always ways to better optimise for search engines as search engines are continuously growing and updating.
Second, optimising your information architecture and content for the keywords selected during your initial keyword research can do wonders for organic ranking. This may mean building content clusters to assist in ranking for a chosen keyword, changing the hierarchy of pages, or adding content such as FAQs to help add LSI keywords into the mix. Landing pages can also be considered here.
There are plenty of ways to optimise your content structure and information architecture for SEO – and optimising this can assist in multiple ways to improve your organic ranking. The best way to get started with content structure is to undergo an IA Audit.
Technical SEO for a competitive industry
More often than not technical errors arise all the time as new pages are created or replaced and changes are made to the website. Keeping a constant eye on the health of your website can keep you in front of your competitors. This is even more important if your business is within a competitive environment as any delays to fix new errors can hurt your ranking much faster due to the number of other brands vying for the top position. Here are some common technical SEO tasks to ensure your website is optimised in a competitive industry:
- Ensure your site has relevant structured data
- Building backlinks (and removing toxic links)
- Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
- Improve site speed
- Remove duplicate content
- Keep an updated XML sitemap
Local SEO for a competitive industry
What you should do with Local SEO depends on your industry and whether it’s appropriate for your business. If your industry is very localised and competitive (for example plumbers/electricians, restaurants, health and beauty clinics and more), local SEO will be very important for your business.
When you first take a look at local SEO you should already know the ‘location’ or local environment you want to target (this might be a suburb, multiple suburbs, a certain radius around a location or a certain radius around multiple locations). With this in mind, revisit the first couple of steps mentioned in this blog. Enter your target keywords plus the location you want to target back into your keyword researching tool and see whether there are more keywords you can find and optimise for.
Besides optimising the content on your site for these location-based keywords, as part of local SEO, you should also look at optimising business listing on third party sites. These can include directories, industry website listings and/or social platforms, for example. Similar to how you would optimise your own site, optimise your listing to ensure that your NAP (Name, address and phone number) is consistent throughout all your listings.
For most business listing platforms you will also be able to include a short description or summary for your business. Use this space to deliver an efficient elevator pitch that will grab your audience’s attention, tell them exactly what you do, as well as optimising for your target keyword. Most often than not this description is used for the metadata description for this listing.
Where to start SEO in a competitive industry
Everything mentioned in this blog is just the tip of the iceberg and if you’re reading this and you’re getting a little overwhelmed, that’s okay. There are so many aspects of Search Engine Optimisation that it’s natural to not know where to start!
At Arcadian Digital we offer a number of SEO services including SEO and IA Audits that can help you identify problems on your website that may be affecting organic traffic. If you’re operating in a competitive environment and you’re looking for experts to look at your SEO, contact us today! We can take the stress away and help you get on track with SEO and maintain in front of your competitors.