Organic website traffic is priceless. When you are able to attract traffic to your website 24 hours a day, those sales you generate have a much higher ROI than the sales that are generated by high cost social media ads and Google AdWords PPC clicks.

When SEO is done right, the traffic scales and eventually its value in terms of the SEO cost is essentially priceless. That is why the best SEO firms in the world are able to command a blank check and why the biggest brands in the world spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on premium authority link building every month.

When everything clicks, and the traffic is pouring in, everyone is happy. But there is one kicker: SEO is far from easy. While there is an endless supply of so-called practitioners, very few know how to do it properly, in a way that results in consistent upward progress without the possibility of the house crumbling down.

Not everyone can afford to pay an SEO agency $20,000 a month, so they end up attempting the search engine optimization on their own, which is perfectly fine, as it’s much safer than hiring a company for a few hundred dollars and having them torch your domain.

My agency sells plenty of links to business owners and brands directly, as they handle the SEO themselves.

SEO is something that can take several years to grasp, so what do these companies do when they want results? It’s actually quite simple and common sense when you really think about it.

They copy their competitors and then put in a little extra effort to skate right past them. They take their keyword rankings in Google, their website traffic, and eventually their sales. It’s almost like walking into their business, opening the cash register, and walking out with their money in your pocket.

Some might say it’s not ethical. I call bullshit on that.

I can PROMISE you that every website ranking on page one for the most competitive and valuable keywords is closely monitoring (and copying) their competition. That’s how it works.

So, if you are ready to steal your competitor’s SEO glory, read on. If you don’t think it’s ethical, you will never rank.


Discover and Steal Your Competitor’s Links

I’m not going to spark a link debate. Anyone that follows my blog (or understands SEO) knows that I don’t shy away from saying it how it is. Links are still the number on factor in Google’s algorithm, regardless of what the “content is king” crowd says. Yes, content is important, but that is because it’s used as bait to secure links.

So, if you can score the links without writing page after page of content, doesn’t that make sense? You are essentially just skipping a step. That is why my agency does a lot of link volume. Big companies with deep pockets don’t want to wait for a piece of content to be brainstormed, created and then pitched.

So, once you identify the links your competition is using to outrank you, there are two options. You can start to pitch writers and sites or you can straight up purchase the links via an agency like mine. I’m not trying to be self-promotional here. I’m just letting you know your options and how it works in the real world.

To start your link spying, there are three tools you will want to use. Moz’s Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs, and SEMRush. The trial versions and free report options are usually very limited, so simply search forums and do some Google searches to find trial coupons. I know people that use the tools all the time and don’t pay a dime, simply by using new email addresses and virtual credit cards to keep registering new trial accounts.

So, if you are on a tight budget there is no excuse. Get creative to get access, because these will help you greatly. The stronger the metrics, the more of a benefit the link is providing. When you just start out you will have a lot of catching up to do, but once you match the link profile of a site you can simply run reports every 2-3 days and see what new links the secured and grab them for yourself as well.

If you have a healthy budget and really want to streamline this process, consider hiring a virtual assistant to run daily checks and then also do outreach to secure the same links.



Be Faster Than Every Website on Page One

This is probably the easiest way to make sure you have a competitive advantage over every website outranking you. Simply load faster than them. Anyone that tells you page speed doesn’t impact rankings is clueless. It most certainly does.

Run speed tests on Google PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix. These two are free to use and they not only give you a score, but they tell you what needs to be fixed in order to improve your score.

Create an Excel spreadsheet with every website that is outranking you and run them through both GTMetric and Google PageSpeed, and record their scores. Now, work on improving your speed until your score is better than every site on your list. Most of the fixes are simple coding, but if you aren’t comfortable editing code, hire a freelancer. They will all be simple tasks for an experienced coder.

Before you even run any tests, if you are running a WordPress site, you should install the W3 Total Cache plugin. This is the best caching plugin available (it’s free) and it will really help your speed. There is a good setup tutorial here that I suggest reading.

Also, since images are one of the leading causes of slow load times, WordPress users should also consider installing the plugin Smush. Once you install the plugin you can have it compress all of your images and then moving forward it will automatically reduce the file size of all images you upload to your website. Since there is more of an emphasis on visual content (images) it can be a large contributing factor when it comes to slow webpage load times.

Every millisecond you shave off your time is worth the little effort it takes.


Steal Your Competitor’s Money Keywords

Having a ton of keywords ranking on Google is great, but when you are trying to improve your website (and your bank account) you want to focus your time and effort on the keywords that are going to help you attract the most relevant traffic.

To find out what keywords you competitors are ranking for you will want to run a detailed SEMrush report on their organic keywords. This will show you every single keyword that their website ranks for, along with the search volume for each and the average cost per click.

Common sense tells you that the expensive keywords with the largest search volume are worth looking into, as their price will tend to be high because advertisers are willing to shell out more for clicks originating for that specific search intent. Bottom line: they are “buyer” keywords.

If you are going to take the time to pull a detailed SEMrush report you need to be willing to put the work in. Creating an Excel spreadsheet and constantly adding to it is the best approach. You want to take small steps in the beginning.

For example, if you have a dozen sites that constantly outrank you across all keywords, start with the smaller competition keywords and then work up to the monsters.

Think of it this way: if you are able to quickly rank on top for ten keywords that have a search volume of 400 a month, you have the potential to quickly attract a couple thousand new visitors a month with little effort. Now, imagine ranking on top for hundreds of smaller volume keywords. All of that traffic helps generate the money needed to rank the more competitive keywords.

You have to take baby steps. Now, if you don’t have the time or feel like putting out the effort required above, consider running a quick Alexa site info report by clicking here. You can enter in any website and find out the top 5 keywords they rank for. This is a great way to get some keyword ideas if your site is fairly new.


Have a Better User Experience Than Every Competitor

I talked about website speed and page load times above, and while that is part of the user experience, that is from more of a technical aspect. I want to talk about user experience in terms of the people visiting your website.

Now, you could have an endless budget and spend $100,000 on links from the best websites in the world, rank for every keyword you want and pull in referral traffic around the clock, but none of that matters if the people hitting your website leave without doing whatever it is you want them to do.

This could be making a direct purchase, submitting a lead form, or subscribing to a newsletter. If your design, navigation or message sucks, you will lose. Too many companies hire a fancy web designer, and while they might be very artistic and have wild imaginations, they have no idea how website conversion optimization works.

Have you seen webinar offers that all look the same? Or ClickBank products that all have the same sales page layout? They might be ugly or seem “scammy” to a marketer, but to the average consumer they work. This is why solutions like ClickFunnels are so popular. They take what works, and make that simple foundation highly customizable.

Visit every competitor and make a list of what is good about their site and what is bad. You have to be honest with yourself. Give credit when it is due but don’t be afraid to rip them apart as well. You need to make sure that whatever they do, you do it better. And you need to be certain that you shine where they suck.

Before you spend any time or money on pulling in traffic, make sure that it is going to convert when it does hit your website.



One-Up Their Top Content (Value and Length)

Google loves long-form authority content and website visitors love content that provides them with a ton of value. So, you need to kill two birds with one stone here, and there is one simple tool that you can use to quickly find content ideas and articles to pass on to your writer to have improved.

BuzzSumo is a great tool and their feature that identifies the most shared content on any website is perfect for those that want to be certain they are writing content around topics that their target audience is going to want to read and engage with.

So, run a report on all of the competing websites and see if any content stands out as highly successful. Posts with a lot of shares are great to help you get some topic ideas. Once you have some winners picked out, run a link report on them. The posts that have high social shares AND a lot of links are ones you should duplicate first.

You can simply send the URLs to your content writer and say, “make this better and longer” and you are already ahead of the game. Posting a lot of long-form content is going to have Google crawling your website often, and you will start to see more organic traffic, especially if your writer working in some long-tail keywords and terms.

Anytime you post new content, throw a few bucks to promote it on Facebook. That will get the sharing started and when organic traffic lands on your content the social proof there will also encourage them to share it.

There are only so many topics in any given industry, especially relevant ones, so there is nothing wrong with taking a successful article and having it re-written for your own blog.


Final Thoughts

SEO is easy.

Just kidding. It is incredibly difficult.

Simply copying your competition might help you push up slightly, but guess what?

They are not sitting idle, waiting for their competition to creep up. They are going to be constantly building more links, publishing more content and working on strengthening and improving their search engine optimization.

So, knowing how to copy SEO is one thing, and it will help you, but you also need to have an understanding of what you need to be adding to the mix on a regular basis. Content. Links. It’s all relevant and important.

Once you are on top you have every other website in your niche gunning for you. Everyone wants the top spot and you become a target.

Use the tips above, but don’t forget that SEO is something that requires constant momentum and forward progress. The second you stop to catch your breath, you can be passed by the sites behind you.

If you have any questions about competition hijacking (stealing) then leave them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them and help you. Also, if you use this strategy and have anything to add I would love to hear from you as well.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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