The more diverse my SEO clientele, the more I hear them express their desire to mirror their competitor’s SEO strategies.
Businesses want to use the same keywords, the same website design and even use the same page content to increase their search engine page rankings. Needless to say, I cringe whenever I hear them say: “We want to be like X company. Why can’t we just copy them?” The straight answer is: “No.”
There is a huge difference between engaging in competitive research before and during SEO, Social Search, Social Media, Link Building and PPC and just flat out copying the competitor. My motto is: “Information is abundant. Wisdom is scarce.” When engaging in SEO, it’s all about adding quality and turning a blind eye to this can cause big problems for the SEO expert and business client.
1. SEO is not just about keywords and most definitely not about keyword stuffing.
Search engine optimization is about, literally, optimizing your content for both the humans and search engines. The search engine spiders are not purchasing your products or services – the humans are – so stuffing your content with competitive keywords and forgetting about your target audience will alienate your customer base. Also, too much information leads to analysis paralysis and you don’t want to make your customers think or confuse them.
2. Using competitor keywords and content is misleading and frustrating.
Let’s think like a customer for a second. Customers searching for a specific brand or term want to end up at the relevant website. Misdirecting customers away from your competitors is unethical and most customers will refuse to do business with a company that wastes their time.
3. Respect and fear the SEO duplicate content algorithms.
Search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo! have gotten wise to websites that scrape information and strategies from other websites. It’s easier to copy content and tactics than it is to create new ones – however, search engines pride themselves on providing quality and unique content to their visitors. In order to prevent content duplication and unethical (black hat) SEO practices, they developed algorithms to not only penalize websites that duplicate their competitors SEO strategies but also blacklist them from the search engines.
Successful SEO Strategies
The goal of ethical, natural and white hat SEO strategy tactics is to be able to compete for business with the right keywords and rise above your competitors in the search engines. It’s about highlighting the quality in your business and being proactive in your SEO strategies – not reactive. Become an authority leader and make others want to copy you.