Using SEO to Outrank Your Competitors

Although SEO is a relatively new form of business, competitive tactics have already begun, most commonly by using keywords related to your competitors. Some companies feel that this tactic is beneficial, but it is important to note that fire is fought with fire. If you want to keep a good relationship with your competitors, then this may not be the best way to go, as you can be sure they will retaliate.

Getting on the Same Page

By optimizing your competition’s name, you may, in turn, reap the benefits if it is linked back to you. Instead of trying to outrank your competition, you can simply make sure that you are on the same search results page for their name and use interesting titles to attract attention to your link.

Misconceptions About Trademarks

Trademarks are not off-limits; they can, in fact, be used at any time. The catch, however, is that you should always use the ™ symbol and accredit the trademarked name to the owner. Now, this being said, it is not, in fact, illegal to use a company’s trademark in your meta tags or titles. These meta tags or titles should not be used to create confusion or misrepresentation; they can, however, be utilized in a comparison. Defamation and slander are taken seriously, so use your better judgment about how you use trademarks; a positive approach is always safer from a legal standpoint.

Comparison Pages

Ranking for a product that is not sold by a company is a harder task than ranking for a product that is. However, it is not impossible and can be done relatively well through comparison pages. Traffic can be converted after demonstrating why one product is better than the product that was searched for; it is up to the website to save customers once they get there.

Pictures and simple bulleted lists are useful ways to convey comparative information quickly; remember that a customer will take less than five seconds on your page to decide whether or not they want to stay and browse. Copy should be appropriately formatted to not only search engine friendly but also readable and appealing to the customer.

Negative Reviews

A more negatively slanted tactic is to focus on the weaknesses of your competitors’ products or services. Customers will often search negative reviews such as “item sucks”; they are trying to see how consumers viewed the product. Owning a review or an “it sucks” page for your competitors’ product is legal, but it must include actual customer reviews and cannot be a misrepresentation. Fabrications or embellishments do not sit well with the law, so make sure that everything is legitimate.

These tactics may help rankings for a competing product that is not actually sold by your company. However, depending on the degree to which these tactics are used, they can cause bad blood between competitors; they may even begin to fight back, so it is important to know what you are getting into. These tactics do not necessarily have to be malicious, however, especially in the case of a comparison, and can be an excellent way to convert and drive traffic to your site if used correctly.

Audrey Powell