Standing out on Google isn’t just about having a good ad, but also about leveraging SEO best practices and the tools Google offers, so you can drive long-term organic traffic while getting clicks to your website, service pages, and blog posts. When done right, you can beat out your competitors right when potential customers are ready to buy.
If you want to stay competitive in your industry, you need to evaluate your SEO and PPC strategy and create a plan that ensures you’ll stand out from competitors once and for all. Start by evaluating these seven foundational elements of your current marketing plan, each of which will move the needle for your visibility efforts.
How can you stand out from your competitors on Google?
Google’s search engine results pages are filled with opportunities to stand out, in various forms. There are ads, organic results, local results, images, shopping results, and more. Below are some attainable ways to stand out above your competitors on the search platform.
1. Make killer Google Search ads
There are a lot of ways to produce awesome Google ads that stand out from your competitors. Do your keyword research, test out ad variations (maybe you focus on keywords in one headline, and creativity or storytelling in another), make use of ad extensions, use customer feedback for ad copy, make your ads locally focused, and the list goes on. For more help with coming up with effective Google ads, check out the tips in these posts on the following:
2. Try running Google Display ads
To stand out on Google with display advertising, one strategy is to target keywords that perform best in your Search ads, if you are running them. You may also want to look at top-performing pieces of organic content to get a feel for what resonates best with your audience. Also, make sure your ads are being served on the right sites. You can get a feel for which sites would be best by checking out your referral traffic in Google Analytics.
Perhaps the most important element to pay attention to is your creative design. If you’re uploading your own design, make sure that you create different sizes of the ad to fit various placements and devices. If you are using responsive display ads, make sure you focus on headlines. While you will be asked to provide a short headline (25 characters), a long headline (90 characters), a description (90 characters), and your business name (25 characters), Google will never run both headlines at the same time and sometimes excludes the description, so make sure both your short and long headlines are enough on their own. For more help with headlines, check out this post.
3. Optimize your landing pages
Review your key landing pages to make sure the content is optimized. The goal is to increase organic traffic to your revenue-generating pages so you get more eyes on the pages that really matter. The more relevant eyes you get on your pages, the better your traffic. The better your traffic, the more engagement you’ll get on your pages. The more engagement, the higher you will rank and stand out on Google.
To optimize your landing pages, the first question you have to ask is: do we have a primary keyword for this page? More importantly, is it sprinkled throughout the page in all the right places? For example:
- In your H1 tag
- In at least one alt tag
- In at least one H2 tag
- In the URL
Don’t forget to add high-quality external links, relevant internal links, images, and rich media. With these simple changes, you can start ranking your landing pages, allowing you to drive more traffic to the pages that matter most.
4. Create (and maintain) your Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile is packed with information to help you stand out, but what carries the most clout is reviews. Get your reviews right in search with a Google My Business account. With an account (which is free), you can manage and respond to reviews, which encourages even more of them. Your responses can also reveal a lot about your business brand and values—and with 96% of customers reading a business’s responses to reviews, you should definitely take advantage of this opportunity to stand out. If you’re still not convinced, consider these stats from BrightLocal’s 2020 Local Consumer Review Survey:
- 93% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year.
- 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020.
If you haven’t already claimed your address and set up your Google My Business account, make that a priority now. You can share updated photos of your business and respond to reviews and questions from customers. Check out our tips on how to optimize your profile so you can set your business apart from your competitors in local search.
5. Leverage Google snippets
Rich snippets refer to the various types of results that Google includes in the search engine results pages (SERPs). While a standard snippet will include a standard meta description, a rich snippet will answer a user’s question or show a star rating, encouraging them to click on the link. As such, rich snippets provide a better search experience and increase the number of clicks to your website. To create rich snippets for your site, you need to contain particular information in the form of Structured Data on your website. Structured Data is a way of classifying information on your pages so that Google knows to pull that information up for particular searches.
Google also has the Featured Snippet, otherwise known as “Position Zero.” The featured snippet is a box that shows up organically to highlight the best answer for users. Some pointers for creating Feature Snippet-friendly content include:
- Target specific queries (“free ways to get on the first page of Google,” for example)
- Make answers explicit in your content—use bulleted or numbered lists.
- Look at the “Related searches” and “People also ask” sections and target those keywords in the same article. Thi swill help strengthen your signals to Google that you have the best information for that query.
Identify what you want to get out of your SEO efforts and build your content around those goals.
6. Focus on high-quality link building
Of Google’s 209 ranking factors, your backlink profile accounts for 47 of those factors. This means you can’t ignore link building when developing a strong marketing plan that allows you to stand out from competitors on Google. Here are some proven link building tactics to boost your SEO:
- Publish quality content: The better your content, the more likely people are to link to it.
- Guest post: Share your insights on relevant blogs and websites.
- Do your competitive research: Assess your competitors’ links to see how you can rank higher than them.
- Create case studies: These are filled with link-able data.
Blend all of these into your marketing plan to build a strong backlink profile that allows you to compete on Google.
7. Create SEO-optimized blog content
To boost your rankings, you have to focus on more than just landing pages. Blog content allows you to target more keywords, driving more potential customers to your website, while also providing value upfront.
How often should you publish to see the best results? Michael Brenner, CEO and founder of Marketing Insider Group says two to four times. Why? “This is the answer according to the data we have seen from multiple studies, as well as much of our own client work across more than a dozen client websites in B2B, B2C, and with companies large and small,” explains Brenner.
Don’t forget to optimize that content by placing keywords in all the right places, using internal and external linking best practices, and driving backlinks to that content with guest posting. Check out this free keyword research guide and the Yoast WordPress plugin to ensure all blog posts are SEO-optimized.
Stand out from your competitors on Google
Compete with your competitors where it matters most: on Google. Use these strategies and tactics to rank your important landing pages, build a stronger backlink profile, put your reviews front and center, and more. The better you rank on Google, the easier it is to stand out and win business from your competitors once and for all.
- Create killer Google Search ads
- Try Google Display ads
- Optimize your landing pages
- Create (and maintain) your Google Business Profile
- Leverage Google snippets
- Focus on high-quality link building
- Create SEO-optimized blog content
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