Launching a website often means competing against much bigger sites to attract visitors and customers. Of course, larger sites have a larger SEO budget, allowing them to set up efficient strategies.
If you don’t have the budget to compete with larger sites, there is another way you can still beat them, but it doesn’t involve cash.
The right content and a flawless presentation will put you in the running to rank your site higher than bigger websites, which can increase your traffic, visibility and ultimately, conversions.
In this article, we’ll explore how it works and what you need to do to surpass your competitors on Google’s SERPs.
Are Large Websites Dominating Google’s SERPs?
While it might look that the first page of Google results belongs to top agencies websites, Google improves its algorithm regularly. The platform is always looking for ways to increase competitiveness and allow smaller websites to reach the first result page.
Instead of focusing only on on-site design and content, Google’s algorithm also promotes sites with rich snippets, video content, infographics, and other helpful content.
The belief that larger sites dominate the first page on Google’s results is simply untrue. They usually use a lot of keywords to appear higher in many different searches. That gives smaller sites the perfect opportunity to focus efforts on only a few keywords and build a strong SEO strategy around them.
According to Alexa, small and medium-sized sites that appeared in the top 1,000 sites in 2018 had an increase in organic traffic of 34%. These sites built their campaigns around organic keywords rather than new content.
While this technique used to work in the past, it resulted in an average decline of 14% in organic web traffic. Less than 1 out of 5 sites saw growth, and most of their keyword rankings dropped by 25%.
Therefore, domain authority isn’t the only KPI that matters. Your site can have a lower domain score and still outrank larger brands with the right content strategy.
The Details and Importance of Domain Authority
Domain authority still plays an important role in ranking on Google. In short, domain authority tells Google if your site is credible and trustworthy or not.
The domain score is a part of Google’s ranking system, and it defines the credibility of a site. 3rd party solutions, like Moz, found a way to guess Google’s domain authority criteria accurately, allowing website owners to perfect their content and increase SERP ranking.
Domain authority is affected by the following factors:
- Domain age
- Current SERP rankings
- Content rankings
What Can Lower Domain Authority Sites Do to Stay Competitive?
Generally speaking, there’s a big difference in content presentation between bigger and smaller websites. Smaller publishers have more time to focus on content quality, so their articles are usually longer than similar topics covered by larger websites.
Smaller sites tend to dig deeper into the subject, offering better content to visitors. Most of these sites start building authority by populating their titles with “how-to” or “who is.”
On the other hand, larger websites often have way more backlinks and longer content titles. They also use other forms of content such as videos, slideshows, image galleries, and others to increase engagement while reducing the number of words per page. They have to diversify their efforts on more elements which usually results in fewer words and shorter posts.
While longer titles tend to attract more visitors on social media, they don’t do that well on Google. “How to” content is favorable on Google, and it allows easy backlinking when compared to long titles.
The problem is that some titles work better on social media, while others perform better in organic search. That gives smaller websites a perfect opportunity to disrupt large sites and steal a portion of their traffic.
Larger sites want to reach a much wider audience. They focus their efforts on traffic diversity, so they use methods other than Google to attract customers. They create content to attract audiences outside of Google’s search engine to increase visibility and attract more traffic.
An increased amount of traffic gives smaller sites a chance to focus all of their efforts on creating content optimized only for Google. That’s a small window of opportunity, and if their SEO strategy is good, they can outrank larger websites.
How To Focus Your Efforts to Increase Your Site’s Google SERP Ranking
By now, as a small website owner, you don’t have to fear that large websites will push your site out of Google’s SERPs. Not only that, but it’s also more likely that Google will help push your site higher in the SERPs instead of larger publishers.
With that said, success still largely depends on your keyword research, ranking, as well as organic traffic growth. Here are some quick tips that will help you get onto the right path.
1. Look for Weaknesses
The first thing you’ll have to do to find a way to outrank much bigger sites than yours is to identify their weak spots and use the knowledge to your advantage. Of course, for that to work, your site needs great content that follows SEO best practices.
Ensure that your site’s code accommodates the latest SEO techniques and offers helpful content that displays expertise and authority. You want to reach a wider audience, so try to use multiple keywords and synonyms.
Once that’s done, make sure that all backlinks are in place and use analytics to ensure all elements are optimized. The next step is to compare your website to your competitors.
However, instead of looking for what they are doing to succeed, look for what they aren’t doing. That will give you a chance to build a content strategy no one else has come up with. Unique content a
After you identify their weaknesses, you can start using that to your advantage. Weaknesses might include small things like longer product descriptions, and other details can help you dominate much larger sites than yours.
2. Create Engaging, Expertly-Written Content
As you know already, content is king when it comes to Google ranking. However, populating your pages and blog posts with 4,000-word articles that analyze the topic to the smallest detail is not the only option. The best approach is to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and see if the content is something you would search for.
Ask yourself questions such as:
- Is the title something people will click while searching for answers?
- Does the content answer all forms of the same question?
- Does your content offer answers to search queries you want to target?
Google’s native feature called “people also ask” can help you create more accurate content by using the related search queries in your H2s. That way, your content will reach a wider audience and help you write more compelling articles.
Backlinking is important when it comes to building trust, and it’s an essential part of content syndication. However, you don’t have to build your strategy around them.
Yes, you’ll need some backlinks to set up a strong SEO strategy, but you won’t be able to see how they affect your site’s ranking or overall health.
You will see that larger websites can build a strong backlink strategy more quickly, but the best way to gain an advantage over other sites is to create content based on real-world data. That way, you are sure that your content has value, and the more value it has, the higher the engagement rates will be.
4. Write Content with Your Audience in Mind
Touching the subject again, larger publishers aim to engage a wider audience. That makes things much harder when it comes to content production and SEO.
Smaller publishers can focus their efforts on building better content and ensuring that it reaches the targeted audience. The right approach can help smaller sites outrank larger brands.
Of course, the content has to be curated according to the audience. The data-driven approach to content production is the best way to go. However, apart from providing your audience with high-quality content, you also have to tune it with the platform that posts it.
Generally speaking, the audience can be divided into two main categories – those who look for answers, and those who want an interesting read.
The first group of users is more likely to click on titles that contain phrases such as “how-to,” “why,” “who,” “what,” etc. The latter will engage with content that explains what they should avoid and other similar tips regarding something they already know.
The number of active websites on Google keeps growing every year. That means that you’ll be facing more and more competitors over time, which will make your SEO efforts more difficult.
However, instead of trying to reach your audience on multiple fronts, you should focus all of your efforts on dominating Google’s SERPs.
We explained how Google ranks websites and what are the most important factors when creating content. Therefore, define a specific niche and build your content for your audience, but do so according to Google’s algorithm.
Remember to analyze your site’s ranking and content engagement rates frequently to identify new opportunities and optimize your site according to the best industry practices. Good luck!