Use These Strategies to Outrank High Authority Sites - SST Blog
Is it possible for a small website with average domain authority and a subpar backlink profile to outrank a big, high-authority website?
Interestingly, the answer is YES. It's possible!
The big question is “How?”
And it is this “how” part that is holding a lot of small websites back from potentially gaining top rankings and growing their audiences.
But you're in good hands today because in this guide, not only are we going to explain why it is possible to outrank bigger websites, we are also going to discuss the strategies we have found to be effective for gaining the upper hand against these high authority competitors.
Let's see the strategies.
HOW TO BEAT BIGGER COMPETITORS TO THE TOP OF SERPS
1. Start by Targeting ‘that ONE Page’
The truth is that it is extremely difficult for a new website to outrank the ENTIRE DOMAIN of a high authority website.
Reason? These big guys pack a hefty punch in terms of their domain authority (think 80+), backlink profile, and a host of other relevant ranking signals. So typically, yes, you can outrank authority websites, but don't think of it as outranking their entire site. Go for that PARTICULAR PAGE for THAT particular keyword it is ranking for. You can more easily outrank a given page than an entire site.
Will they outrank you for some keywords and some pages? Of course! But for the ones you're gazing on, you can outrank them if you go for it with full force. To start, find the competitor's page that is ranking for your best keywords. Make unflinching efforts to beat it by increasing your own page authority (PA) and by using the other tactics discussed below in this guide.
2. Publish Content BETTER than the Competition
How can you publish content “better” than your competitors?
There are two ways to do it:
Publishing MORE CONTENT
Publishing MORE IN-DEPTH CONTENT
The first suggestion considers quantity while the second does quality. If your competition is publishing two posts a week, why not go for four? If you do, you're opening yourself for an opportunity to outrank them. After all, Google and users love content.
Look at it this way:
By publishing more content, you'll be able to use more keywords. More keywords mean greater opportunities for Google to return your site in the search results. More content also means greater opportunity for your pages to get indexed.
And the more of your pages that get indexed, the greater the amount of traffic that'll be visiting your site. Now, here's where it gets rippled: The more people that visit your site, the greater your popularity. The more popular your website is with Google, the “more” higher the search engine will rank you.
Also, more content brings about longer dwell-time and reduced bounce rate. These two are some of the most important factors Google RankBrain looks at for improved ranking. In summary, Google will rank your page higher when they notice that you are publishing more content than your competitors.
But it's not all about quantity.
For your content to compete effectively, it must be of quality. Some high authority, big sites publish tens or even hundreds of articles daily. In such a situation, it'll be nearly impossible to beat them on the basis of content quantity. Your only saving grace?
In fact, when it comes to quality, we recommend DOING WHAT YOUR COMPETITION IS DOING — BUT BETTER.
There's a concept called The Skyscraper Technique (thanks to Brian Dean of Backlinko). It's a technique designed to dramatically improve your search traffic with better quality content of the same topic as your competition. To use the skyscraper technique, pinpoint and examine your competitor’s best content. Basically, it should be one that has a good number of shares, many backlinks, and the biggest impact on their rankings.
Once you've identified the specific piece of content, you’ll want to 10x the content either on the level length, depth, or both.
Add more and updated images, data, information, statistics etc. Make it answer users’ questions more helpfully. Do you get the point?
If your new content is bigger than the competition's piece, or if it contains updated information, not only will people cherish your content over the other one, Google will do the same.
3. Create Backlinks like Crazy
If there is one reason why small sites do not outrank high authority websites, it is because their backlink profile is still low. This is generally why smaller website owners seem to get frustrated with SEO. It's not because Google favours big guns; it is because Google sees a strong link profile from them and sees a very tiny link profile from you.
All you have to get is a developed backlink profile, and with that, you can easily outrank the big guys.
Backlinks are so important that Google even calls it one of its top three ranking signals, along with content and RankBrain. So apart from content, you'd also have to work on building backlinks. The best backlinks are those that are dofollow, contextual, relevant, and on high DA sites. Also, try to get the same backlinks that your competitors have… only if they are high quality, of course. You can do this by spying on their sites' backlinks (here's a tool for that).
After getting a hang of where they're getting their links from, see if you can get your links placed on some of those same sites. Need a tool for generating free quality backlinks in a few seconds? Try our Backlink Maker tool.
4. Use “OPR” to Your Advantage
In business and entrepreneurship, OPR stands for “Other People's Resources.” Now, the idea behind using other people's resources to outrank authority sites is this: If your website is new or has a low domain authority/backlink profile, there's a very little chance of beating websites with 80+ domain authority and a huge number of backlinks.
What to do?
Don't bother using your own website to beat the competition. Use other people's websites with high DA to get to #1 position. That means, instead of creating the best posts and publishing those on your new or small website, create your best posts and publish it on higher authority sites.
This is possible through guest blogging. Pick your target keywords, find websites with high DA, create an outstanding article, and give it to them to publish. Don't forget to mention your business or website in the post (whether within the body or in the bio section). With the help of the host website’s reputation and authority, your content and business information will be sitting on top of Google even if you are new.
5. Outperform the Competition from a Technical Standpoint
In addition to creating better content and backlinks, you ought to get your technical SEO on track, even better than the competition.
If a website has technical issues with their SEO, it's likely to not perform at its fullest capacity in search. So first off, spy on your competitor’s website to identify some technical SEO issues (there's always likely an issue).
Once identified, check your website to ensure it doesn’t have the same issues and glitches.
Some technical SEO issues?
Absence of XML Sitemaps
Low page speed load time
Poorly structured permalinks
Poor internal linking
Heavy, complex layout
These are all problematic situations that can deter a site's search performance and you'll be smart to outfox the competition on those ones.
For instance, if you find that the page you want to outrank is not optimized for mobile and so does perform slowly, get to work by optimizing your own site with Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages for mobile-friendliness and faster loading.
Google loves and honours both mobile compliancy and speed. Again, this will directly impact user experience and ultimately the length of time visitors stay on your site (improved dwell-time).
6. Target Long-tail Keywords
Here are two realities:
Most big websites are ranking on top for short-tail keywords (mostly seed keywords). But search users mostly use specific search terms to search for specific information. This means, they mostly search with long-tail keywords…
… because long-tail keywords are usually specific.
Now, although high authority sites target short-tail keywords, they still do show up for long-tail searches… because website owners tend to ignore long-tail keywords in their optimization. Yet, long-tail keywords receive more search queries. In fact, one report finds that 50% of search queries are four words or longer (WordStream, 2016).
Did you spot the opportunity there?
If you optimize your content for long-tail keywords, you're more likely to outrank big competitors for specific searches…
…even if it’s a search query they’re already covering. Also, long-tail keywords are less competitive but have the potential to convert better than short-tail ones.
But usually, the trick for using long-tail keywords effectively is to target many of them. While one short-tail keyword can drive tons of traffic, ONE long-tail keyword may not. However, when you target a group of long-tail keywords, you may even be able to drive a lot more traffic than their popular short-tail counterparts.
Ensure that you optimize your “skyscraper” content to rank for these long-tail keywords as well. A great example is Amazon which makes 57% of its sales from long-tail keywords.
Statistics also show that long-tail searches make up the majority of Google searches, running into about 70% of Google’s entire search traffic.
You can use our free long-tail keywords generator to create quality long-tail keywords in less than a minute.
If top-ranking pages are raking in an enviable volume of traffic and lead for your bigger competitors, imagine what you'll be getting if you successfully outrank them. But then, you'll have to devise a winning strategy to not only overthrow the competition but perdure on top for long.
The tactics outlined in this guide will help you develop such a winning strategy. Don't wait. Go ahead and put ‘em to work, and before long, you'll be sitting over high authority sites in your industry in search.
Found this guide helpful? Don't forget to share it with your friends using the social buttons on this page, or like it on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We publish more SEO strategies over at our SEO blog and also run loads of free premium-standard SEO tools to help you win your game easily.