Keyword advertising. Does it only apply to the phrases on your site?
Believe it or not, it’s possible to rank (and rank well) for keyword phrases that aren’t on your site! This has nothing to do for black hat methods or other so-called spam SEO tactics. The reason that some businesses or entities are able to rank for these keywords is that many people are using the phrases to search for them.
As Matt Cutts explains, if you search for “Cal”, UC Berkeley is likely to show up because many people associate the term with the college. Even though this word isn’t used predominately, or it might not be used at all on the main page, it can still rank well for the Cal term because so many relevant searches are pointing it from there.
How does this relate to organic optimization for your site? If your competitor is outranking your site and showing up for a term that’s not even on their page, it means that they have quality content that other people are finding useful. The best way to go about this is not to obsess over just one ranking. SERPs fluctuate all the time and this concentrated effort in outdoing a competitor can cause you to lose site of your overall SEO goals.
So, what exactly can you do? If you’ve ever heard the saying, “Success is the best revenge”, now is the time to apply it. This is a learning opportunity for your small business and you can expand your online goals by not copying your competitor’s strategy but by doing better. This means diversifying your link building strategies and gaining social momentum through Likes, +1’s and even press releases. Using these other methods of online marketing will amplify your content and make it more visible to your potential customers.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.