Using your competitors to improve your Google ranking

06 December 2010

Search engine optimisation, particularly for local search, is one of the topics I come back to on this blog time and time again - and for good reason. Many estate agents fail to understand the level of investment that their website deserves in comparison to their other marketing spend and are losing out because of that.

And I don't say that just because we build estate agent websites! :o)

Having an attractive and interesting website built is a good first step of course, but it should also be capable of generating you new business on its own - rather than just a tool to help you encourage leads you've already got.

And in order to do that, as we all know, the first step is to get visitors making tracks to it. (A subtle enough snow reference?)

The site listed at the top of Google will probably get 40% of the total number of visitors. If you're an estate agent in Brighton, that top listing might mean as many as 600+ qualified visitors a month. How does that compare with the response you get from your newspaper advertising and leaflet drops?

If you're not top, it goes without saying that one of your competitors is. Fortunately, they'll have done a lot of the hard work for you - and you can now piggyback some of their efforts.

All you need to do is find out the other websites that they are listed on or linked to from, and get yourselves added alongside them.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to run a Google search for "[competitor] directory". This will find all of the directory websites that your competitor is listed on. (And the fact that Google already knows about every page returned means you are not wasting your time adding yourself to a website Google isn't interested in.)

Visiting each of those websites to see how you can add your company to their directory takes just minutes.

Set yourself a reminder to do a couple on a Friday afternoon before you go home and, over time, these links and mentions of your company (called citations) will help you rise up the Google rankings.

When you're the top listed site it gets a bit more interesting, but those are the sorts of problems that football managers call "nice to have"!

Leave your comment:

What you said:

07 December 2010 14:59:05
Great tip, I have been having a look at some of the directorys that get 1st page google results. Its seems many of them require a link back to them posted on your own website. i not sure that directing trafic away from my own site is a great idea. so worth looking into
07 December 2010 15:08:14
Hi Wardy,

Most sites that ask for a link don't specify what sort of page it has to be on.

There's nothing particularly wrong with adding a "proud to be listed on" page, deep in the depths of your site somewhere, where most traffic will miss it!