SEO isn’t as easy as it was back in the early days of Google. No longer can you throw a website online and expect it to automatically rank on the first page for the keyword you are targeting. It’s not 2002 anymore, and SEO competition in some niches can be rather fierce.
These days, SEO also isn’t about who can spam the web with the most backlinks. SEO requires thought, hard work, and competitive analysis. However, with the right tools and strategies, you can beat your SEO competitors and get your website to rank in one of those coveted first three spots on Google.
Today, I will be going over six SEO strategies for competitive niches. Use these strategies to get ahead of your SEO competitors, even if you are in a highly competitive niche. Let us get into it.
1. Assess the Competition on a Macro and Micro Level
Before you create an action plan, it is crucial to understand your SEO competition. Assess your SEO competition on both a macro and a micro-level.
On a macro level, look at your niche overall. Is it a saturated niche? Saturated niches are niches that have a lot of websites and content, especially high-value websites with a lot of authority. An example of a saturated niche would be the health and wellness niche, where you have websites such as Healthline, Verywell Health, the Mayo Clinic, and various health and weight loss blogs competing for attention.
The make money online and finance niches are also very saturated. The same goes for the travel niche. Overall, while these niches are possible to rank in, it will be more difficult. Less competitive niches tend to be more specific. For example, the “arthritis in pets” niche is a very specific niche with less competition.
On a micro-level, consider the websites you are competing with for your primary keywords. Use a keyword tool to assess the difficulty score of ranking for any keyword, and take a look at the search results yourself. Look at the Domain Authority of the ranking websites, their age, and how authoritative and professional they look overall. Find out how many backlinks the articles that rank for those keywords have. See how long those articles are.
Once you know what you are up against, you can create a plan to be better.
2. Create a Strong Brand and a Positive Online Reputation
Beating your SEO competition in competitive niches starts with building a solid foundation: A strong brand and a positive online reputation. Without that foundation, even if you do manage to get some of your articles to rank, you won’t be able to maintain your rankings when new competitors break into the scene or when existing websites publish new articles targeting the keywords you are already targeting.
Creating a strong brand starts with your website, but it doesn’t end there. On your blog, publish helpful, informative content on a regular basis. Allow people to comment and respond to comments; active discussion helps boost your SEO.
If you own a local business, make sure to set up profiles on Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Apple Maps, and other platforms. Try to attract good reviews. On your website, publish testimonials and star ratings. Consider getting accredited by the BBB. Get cited in local directories and online yellow papers.
On social media, set up profiles on the major platforms. Those include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, at the very minimum. You can consider creating a Youtube channel or profiles on Pinterest and LinkedIn as well. Publish helpful and informative content on social media and work on building your follower base.
Work with other bloggers and collaborate with them. Publish guest posts on other blogs with backlinks linking back to your site. Start an affiliate program and encourage your affiliates to write blog reviews of your product or service.
All of these steps will help you build a solid online foundation. People will notice it, and Google will see it too. When you target new keywords, you will be more likely to rank.
3. Be Smart With Keyword Research and Consider Long-Tail Keywords
One of the worst SEO strategies in competitive niches is to target keywords randomly, without using a keyword tool and doing keyword research. If you target a keyword that is too competitive, it will be pretty hard to rank, especially in a competitive niche. If you target a keyword that has a low monthly search volume, you might rank – but you won’t get much traffic.
Search for keywords that have high or decent monthly search volumes and low competitiveness. Those keywords can be hard to find in a competitive niche. That’s where long-tail keywords come into play.
A short-tail keyword consists of only 1-3 words. For example, “SEO” is a short-tail keyword. On the other hand, “SEO strategies in competitive niches” is a long-tail keyword. Long-tail keywords can still get decent monthly search volumes, but they tend to have less competition, making it easier to rank for them.
Short-tail keywords like “SEO” can be highly competitive. You’ll be up against some high-authority sites. Right now, Moz takes up the first three spots on Google for the keyword “SEO,” and Google itself, Wikipedia, and Search Engine Land take up the next four spots. After that comes Neil Patel and Wordstream. Since you are competing against those sites, it would be tough to rank for the keyword “SEO,” so search for a long-tail keyword instead.
Fortunately, most keyword tools give you keyword suggestions. Use those suggestions to find long-tail keywords.
4. Write Longform Content
Longform content is also essential. Without long-form content, you will have a hard time getting SEO rankings in a competitive niche. I would recommend writing content that is longer than what is already out there.
When doing your “micro-level” SEO research, you should look at how long the articles that are ranking for a particular keyword are. If they tend to be around 2,000 words, for example, write an essay that has 3,000 words. If they are approximately 5,000 words, write an article that has 10,000 words.
I must stress that it is vital to avoid fluff. Google can tell when you are writing fluff to inflate your word count, and they won’t like it. Instead, focus on writing high-quality content. You can explore the topic in further depth. Make sure your article addresses all the points covered in all the other pieces already ranking for that keyword. For example, if one article addresses A and another article addresses B, address both A and B in your article, so it is the most comprehensive.
5. Focus On a Different Angle
One of the best SEO strategies for competitive niches that will help you stand out in a crowded niche is to focus on a different angle that has not yet been covered. This will kill two birds in one stone: It will allow you to stand out, and it will give you an opportunity to add more words to your article.
If you just repeat what everyone else is already saying, your article won’t have anything unique to say. Google is pretty good at detecting these kinds of things, and if they see that you have nothing to add to the conversation, you will have a more challenging time getting your website to rank.
Addressing a different angle might also attract more clicks, depending on how catchy and exciting your title is. The more clicks you get (the higher your click-through rate), the more your rankings will go up. Also, by targeting a different angle, you can show people that you are unique and can provide unique solutions.
6. Target a Different Portion of the Market
Another fantastic SEO strategy for competitive niches is to target a specific subset of the market, one that most people are not targeting. These people might be using unique search keywords that are not too competitive.
Let me give you an example: If you are in the single parent niche, consider targeting single dads – there are not a lot of websites targeting them, even though there are many single father households.
Or, in the bodybuilding niche, consider targeting students who are on a budget and don’t have a lot of time. You might give tips on ways to work out in public parks without paying for a gym membership or ways to make cheap, protein-packed meals without spending a lot of money. You might give them simple and healthy recipes, for example, or promote affordable but high-quality protein powders on Amazon.
By targeting a different portion of the market, you will be able to uncover new keywords. It’s similar to how targeting a sub-niche can help.
SEO can be tricky, and it requires you to be in it for the long haul. SEO success doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens through hard work, dedication, effort, and research. Hopefully, these six SEO strategies for competitive niches will help you get your website ranking, regardless of how saturated your niche is. Remember: Be patient and continue working, and you will see success. Contact us today to hear how we can help you improve your SEO strategy.