The skyscraper terminology refers to the idea that only a few people are incredibly impressed by the 5th or 6th tallest building in the world. Show us the tallest building on the planet, however, and you’ve got something worth talking about.
Dean explains that content works much the same way.
Few people are interested in anything less than the best search engine result possible.
The key is in following certain steps to figure out what your competition is doing so that you can do even better.
The steps to outrank your competitor include:
Identifying and analyzing your highest performing competitors
Creating content that’s even more impressive
Reaching out to the right people
Let’s dig a little deeper into specific ways to execute each step.
1. Analyze Your Competition
You know the old saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer?” The first key to outranking your competition lies in this saying.
Competitor analysis tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs have everything you need to keep an eye on your competition from afar.
They offer insight into everything from the most successful SEO keywords a website is using to trending topics and backlinks.
They can even help you figure out exactly who your competition is by providing top results of industry-related keywords.
You can then dig deeper into each company to figure out exactly why they’re outranking you and other competitors.
2. Increase Your Linkability
While tactics like well-placed SEO are a great start, alone they will not be enough to launch your content to the top.
A great way to score bonus points is to create content that other pages are likely to link to via backlinks.
Whenever a site features a backlink to your site, they give you a validation boost.
The more backlinks you manage to get from other legitimate websites, the higher your domain authority score will rise.
Domain authority is a concept created by a company called Moz that scores a website based on how high it’s likely to perform in a search engine result.
Moz’s tools can conduct backlink analysis, perform keyword research, and suggest helpful hints to make your content stronger.
3. Capitalize On the Competition’s Success
Now that you know what’s working for your competition, it’s time to use it to your advantage. How you go about this will largely depend on what your research reveals.
If you see that your competitors are using keywords that you’re not, then it’s time to work them into your own site.
If they’re pulling in a great deal of traffic with a certain blog topic, can you write one of your own that’s longer and even more thorough?
It’s also important to notice where your competition falls short. For instance, maybe they’ve got great content but no images.
This could be your chance to get a leg up, as BuzzSumo found that articles with images every 100 words or so are twice as likely to be shared as opposed to blogs without images.
4. It Takes a Village to Raise a Google Ranking
Remember when we talked about how backlinks can help increase your SERPs? Generating great content is an excellent way to increase the odds of another site linking back to your page.
But why stop there? Sometimes the best way to get a great site to backlink to your page is simply to reach out and ask.
Just keep in mind that the key to successfully utilizing this tactic lies in being specific and intentional.
Being featured on spammy or questionable sites can actually do you more harm than good.
Reach out to sites that it would actually be flattering to be featured on, preferably those that are relevant to your industry.
It’s also important to understand the difference between dofollow and nofollow backlinks.
Nofollow backlinks are those that won’t do your ranking any favors. The nofollow concept was developed as a way to keep spammers from attempting to artificially boost their rankings by flooding comment sections, social media platforms, and even Wikipedia with mentions of their own companies.
5. Keep Learning
At the end of the day, outranking your competitor is largely about understanding the rules of the content game.
The more you learn about what makes great content stand out, the more SEO tools you’ll add to your SEO toolbox.
As with most things in life, it’s equally important to boost your knowledge of what to avoid.