For most starting out with their first SEO project, the initial stop is to read article and view those training YouTube videos. After establishing the basic knowledge of great content, great backlinks, make your site fast and mobile friendly, you are on your way. These basics although crucial, are not enough by themselves, SEO strategies are needed to rise above the rest.

To help with the understanding of what level of link building or how much content is required, the basic strategy taught is called reverse engineering. This is where we use certain 3rpd part programmes like-

  • Ahrefs
  • Majestic SEO
  • SemRush
  • Screamin Frog
  • Moz

These platforms allow you to analyse the useful websites, such as backlinks and content, so you can reverse engineer what the done. No-one is saying this is a bad strategy and I certainly would so this initially. However, many SEO guys, even professionals, put far too much trust in these 3rd party platforms, and link sellers have made their careers out of them.

Where many SEO beginners also fail, is thinking this is the only strategy to follow. Using the same strategy as everyone else doesn’t always get the same results when everyone else is doing it.

Value Add, Do More Than The Competition

You need to reverse engineer then value add. In better words use your brand and add more than the competition. So if your competitor shows 5 tips how to do something, then you need to work on 10 tips. If the average content is 1500 words, then aim to write 2000 (quality don’t fill it out to make it up 2000) words.

This is where you will gain real traction, as the natural ambition of most of your competition is trying to rank the highest by doing the least amount of work, As strategies go, think about always doing more than your competitors, ironically when that strategy is in place, you often need far less backlinks to rank in the same position.

A favourite second step strategy is not to look for websites that rank the highest and reverse engineer but look for websites that are “Kicking above their weight” and really should not be in the position. Then find what it is they are doing better than everyone else. My experience is that it will most likely be better content, either more words or a better detail descriptions and data that Google loves to use.

Websites For Users

Google will argue that you create websites for the user not Google, but the reality is often very different even if the intent is there. After all it is just an algorithm that determines quality, find why a website ranks higher than the rules allow.

Many digital marketers can rank websites without backlinks because they take their content to level 3 or 4 times higher than the competition. They will spend a whole week, researching writing and rewriting the content and designing unique and compelling images. Their strategy is to be the best.

They don’t do what everyone else does, they don’t just reverse engineer a website, they look beyond those levels and add much more value, which in turn gets them top rankings. It is hard work, nothing worth having is easy. Which leads me to the biggest mistake many starting out in SEO make. And is thinking it is easy, because they watch some videos on you tube and read some articles.