A successful SEO strategy includes many essential components such as SEO best practices, proper focus, connecting with your target audience, and competitive factors.
Best practices and audience aspects are generalized and specific to your brand. It is also important to conduct a competitor analysis. Because you want to learn from brands that are already well positioned in the field you want to enter.
However, if you follow the leader and try to match what your top competitors are doing, you run the risk of overdoing it.
Ignoring your competitors or those who are currently ranking for topics within your target audience will hurt your chances of reaching and overtaking them. It can have more harmful effects.
You need to make sure you know what other brands are doing and align your strategy with what search engines are “rewarding” to those sites.
But be aware of the 8 dangers of copying another brand’s SEO.
1. Brand confusion
Most businesses want to build a unique brand image and identity. The goal is to be recognized and known for something, whether best defined by creative, message, or thought leadership.
If the idea of building a brand is to copy other brands’ SEO too closely, it will naturally start to look and sound similar. This can lead to the danger of brand confusion and a loss of brand awareness.
Even if you show up in Google search results and get your target audience to click through, there’s a low-profile risk.
A website is not distinctive enough if it has many of the same elements as other sites, such as page content, pages, navigation structure, keyword focus, etc.
If a searcher comes back later and finds your competitor’s site, will they remember you?
2. Lack of connection with the audience
Copying another brand’s SEO can also cause you to lose connection with your audience.
Even if you aren’t duplicating your competitor’s branded or trademarked content (because you shouldn’t), if you’re driven to copy someone else, you don’t have a lot of unique content or perspective.
Beyond brand confusion, your content will be less original and less likely to offer something unique and different to your target audience.
Why would they want to give you money, time, or attention if you can get the same content and experience elsewhere?
By mimicking your competitors’ SEO, you are trading off the unique opportunities you need to reliably engage with your site visitors.
3. Content duplication and filtering risks
Naturally, if you’re literally copying a competitor’s SEO, you run the risk of copying the competitor’s copy itself.
Yes, they have some features such as web copy and content being highly ranked by Google. However, there are so many variables and ranking factors that you can focus on moving forward.
Additionally, copying content verbatim or in bulk is expected to result in content being excluded from the SERPs. Because you are not the original author, or do not have the same authority as your competitor, or you have not provided sufficient original copies, while your competitor continues to be ranked as an author or originator, Your site will likely be excluded from Google search results. copy.
4. Possibility of legal action
We don’t see many threats or real legal actions in organic search, but they can happen.
Copying content, ignoring copyrights and trademarks, and damaging business relationships that affect SEO performance can get you closer to legal action.
It’s hard to come up with a reason to mimic another brand’s SEO, or follow in detail what they do enough to take such a risk. don’t do it
Even if you avoid legal action, items 1-3 above should be reason enough not to get too close to what they are doing.
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5. React strategically
You need SEO. If the main driver of your strategy is to copy another site’s SEO, it’s not really a strategy.
Again, look at your competitors and what your efforts are working for them. Follow them blindly and you’ll stay firmly in the position of chasing them or parodying them.
It should include positive aspects such as:
- Explore new content areas.
- Identify topics that you own.
- Establish your authority.
Beat them in fields they don’t compete in. Find the gaps to fill and take a visionary approach to getting there.
6. Follow your competitor’s poor strategy
Associated with being passive is the risk of implementing bad SEO. They may be ranking well on key terms that you want to rank for.
Perhaps you misjudged which SEO factors were actually driving that ranking.
What if it was strongly supported by quality links and brand mentions, but not by the quality of the content?
Mimicking their content strategy, without those links you fail and look ugly at the same time.
Additionally, the emergence of SpamBrain from Google and the way it further evaluates content quality creates a stronger incentive to differentiate than follow when it comes to on-page and content SEO strategies.
7. Measuring the wrong performance metrics
There are some great “spy” tools out there that can help you analyze your competitors, but they’re not perfect.
You can’t really know how well your SEO strategy works on other sites (unless you have access to a CRM or analytics, or some other direct source of your competitor’s brand).
What you can probably see is where they rank and tie that to the estimated search volume for a particular ranking or query. increase. However, the more data points you extrapolate and sum, the less accurate your numbers will be.
Ideally, your focus is on the end goal. Whether it’s some conversion to sales, leads, or any other aspect of his ROI that’s meaningful to the business, you need to start there and work backwards to know what your traffic and approach should be. I have.
If you focus only on your competitors’ rankings and getting to that position, you’re copying them without fully understanding what gaining their rankings will bring to your business in terms of ROI. will be
Even if you spend a lot of time and money copying their SEO strategy to help you get on par with your rankings, you can find out it’s not worth it for your specific needs.
8. Risk to New Competitors
If you focus too much on copying other brands’ SEO, you may not be able to pay attention to the wider picture.
I focused my clients on one or two other companies competing for top SERP spots, answer boxes, and other major real estate. (or a set of competitors) emerged, looking vastly different and leapfrogging the top established sites over the years.
Blinded by looking at one or two sites can narrow your SEO focus for all the reasons mentioned above. It also puts you in danger of being overtaken by new competitors or competitors with different and better strategies for building authority status and relevant content.
Develop your own SEO strategy
Remember that applying best practices, paying attention to your audience, and paying attention to the competitive landscape are all important to a solid SEO strategy. You won’t get very far in terms of ranking, traffic, and conversion goals by just doing one or two things.
Competitor analysis and reverse engineering can be helpful. However, if you know someone who ranks high or is seemingly doing well in the space you want to own, be aware of the dangers of copying that brand’s SEO strategy.
Between aligning well with your competitors on ranking factors and usefulness to your audience, and building awareness without selling your brand or being legally on the wrong kind of radar. There is a balance.
Additionally, you want to resist as much as possible from letting their mistakes beat you down or distract you from the people who come after you. Include it in your strategy to gain benefits and minimize risks.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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