How Can a Digital Marketing Pivot An SEO Strategy in Response to Competitors?


    How Can a Digital Marketing Pivot An SEO Strategy in Response to Competitors?

    In the fast-paced world of SEO, staying ahead of the competition often requires swift and strategic pivots. We've gathered insights from Founders and CEOs, who recount times they had to quickly adjust their SEO strategies, from countering a competitor's link-building shift to adapting strategies to outrank a competitor. Discover seven compelling tales of agility and foresight in the realm of search engine optimization.

    • Counter Competitor's Link-Building Shift
    • Adopt and Enhance Competitor's Strategy
    • Pivot to Content Strategy Around New Law
    • Prioritize Google's Algorithm Over Competitors
    • Get Aggressive with Link-Building
    • Create Content for Specific Services
    • Adapt Strategy to Outrank Competitor

    Counter Competitor's Link-Building Shift

    As an SEO consultant for over six years, there are often times when I have to take a strategy and flip it completely upside down in response to a competitor's actions. A specific instance I had last year in the flooring industry was when a competitor of my flooring client decided to shift nearly 50% of their Google Ads budget and put it into link-building efforts.

    For the previous six months, I had been focusing my attention on building out a great resource section on our site with installation guides, material comparisons, etc. When we realized our competitor's domain authority was jumping one to two points every six weeks, we became concerned, and we had to slow down on our content production and earn more high-quality backlinks.

    Thankfully, our site was more authoritative, and we were monitoring our competition's growth, which allowed us to catch their shift in strategy early. However, it is a reminder to all marketers that you are never safe, and even if you think there is a barrier to entry, it can be crossed. Always be sure you are monitoring competitors at least quarterly to avoid having to be too reactive.

    Austin Stouffer
    Austin StoufferFounder & Lead Consultant, Loading Leads Marketing

    Adopt and Enhance Competitor's Strategy

    We constantly monitor our clients' competition for content growth, backlink growth, and other major SEO wins, we have had to be dynamic in our approach, within reason. When one competitor in New South Wales successfully used Programmatic SEO—a strategy at which we are expert-level—to generate bulk pages for all New South Wales suburbs, we quickly highlighted this to the client and suggested taking their approach as our concept, but making our approach many times better.

    This strategy worked better than expected and still works to this day for service location page strategies, far better than using AI-generated content that search engines immediately recognize. We have used this strategy in similar circumstances for local movers, cash-for-car services, real estate, plumbers, and more.

    Joe Ryan
    Joe RyanFounder & CEO, Digital Search Group

    Pivot to Content Strategy Around New Law

    We were doing a link-building strategy for a client when we noticed that a competitor had started marketing a new service based on a new law that had just been passed locally. After mentioning this to our client, he asked us to pivot to a content strategy around that same law.

    Isaac Hammelburger
    Isaac HammelburgerFounder, Search Pros

    Prioritize Google's Algorithm Over Competitors

    An instance where I had to swiftly modify my SEO approach was mainly in response to a Google algorithm update, rather than actions taken by a competitor. In SEO, while monitoring competitors is beneficial, it's crucial to recognize that Google's algorithms are the ultimate arbiters of rankings, prioritizing content they consider most useful and relevant to users.

    Merely mimicking competitors' strategies isn't always effective; such an approach can lead to both you and your competitors falling behind in rankings following Google updates.

    Therefore, while it's wise to keep tabs on the competition, adhering to Google's guidelines is essential for sustained success in search rankings.

    Olga Natalchenko
    Olga Natalchenkopr manager, Wiserbrand

    Get Aggressive with Link-Building

    There have been multiple instances over the years where a client will be doing very well within their niche, and then, out of nowhere, the competition really ramps up, and all sorts of new players start to pop into the first page of Google for your keywords. When that starts to happen, it is pretty easy to look at the backlink profiles of these new competitors.

    Paying attention to the anchor text ratios of these newly ranking sites is important. We typically will have to get more aggressive with the link-building strategy at that point in order to stay ahead of the competition. Monitoring the link profiles of these competitors will also now need to happen at least once per month as well. And keeping a log of this monthly data is also very important.

    Miguel Salcido
    Miguel SalcidoCEO, Founder, Organic Media Group

    Create Content for Specific Services

    Last year, our marketing team focused on ranking locally for general 'landscaping' terms. We wrote numerous location pages for the areas we serve. However, our key competitor was significantly pushing their projects and services. At the time, we didn't have any pages that covered the specific services, so our competitor was taking all of the leads for people searching for 'patio design,' 'custom pergola,' etc.

    Our team pivoted quickly and started cranking out content surrounding our specific projects/services. We wrote a lot of helpful content regarding each of these and targeted high-search-volume terms. Within a few weeks, our rankings for these terms significantly improved, traffic to the website increased, and we received more inquiries for these specific projects. Taking a deep dive into what your competitors are doing that are ranking above you helps give you insight into what kind of sites Google is rewarding.

    Brian Mauer
    Brian MauerPresident of Brian-Kyles, Brian-Kyles Landscaping

    Adapt Strategy to Outrank Competitor

    A few years ago, our team at AdmissionSight was working hard on implementing an updated SEO strategy for our website. We had done thorough research and were confident that this new approach would greatly improve our online presence and increase organic traffic. We lacked backlinks and relied heavily on keyword optimization. Everything was going according to plan until one day; we noticed that a competitor had significantly changed their website and SEO strategy.

    It seemed like overnight, they were ranking higher than us for many of our target keywords. This came as a shock, and we knew that if we didn't act fast, we could lose a lot of traffic and potential clients. We immediately gathered our team and brainstormed ways to pivot our SEO strategy in response to this new development. We analyzed our competitor's changes and devised new tactics to incorporate into our strategy, which was also influenced by algorithm updates.

    We changed our website structure, created new content targeting the same keywords, and focused on building backlinks. After two months of hard work and dedication, our efforts paid off. We saw a significant improvement in our rankings, and organic traffic increased by over 30%. This experience taught us the importance of being adaptable and proactive in business, especially regarding digital marketing strategies like SEO.

    Eric Eng
    Eric EngFounder and CEO, Private College Admissions Consultant. Business Owner, AdmissionSight