Competitive SEO analysis The Pitfalls of Copying.
Why you should never try to imitate your competitor’s SEO techniques
Some SEO professionals, I know, have this tendency of getting over indulged in competitor’s analysis and follow in the footsteps of their competitors. So much so, that their entire SEO campaign revolves around the idea of imitating the methodologies employed by their competitors. They’ll spend hefty amounts on software and tools to keep an eye on the on-page or off-page optimization tactics of the websites who appear to be doing better than them.
Now, I am not against keeping a tab on the websites who’re doing good in pursuit of higher ranks, in fact, it is one of the few ways to know what actually works and what doesn’t work in Search Engine Optimisation. But, there are some inherent problems that you can face when relying solely on this copy-paste approach.
Just go through the following points and tell if you agree with me or not.
Correlation does not imply causation:
In other words, you can’t really single out what’s actually working for their websites. Those, who are too keen to identify and follow the methods employed by their competitors, keep missing a very basic point. They see a website climbing up the ranks with impressive speed for a number of keywords e.g. 123inkjets coupon or 4inkjet Discount code, that they’re also targeting, and off they go, wasting no time they quickly start scanning through the back links or on-page practices to see what they’re doing differently. The word “differently” is the key, because as soon as they find something different, they waste no time in declaring that particular variation as the sole reason of their good ranks.
It’s not very difficult to predict what follows this discovery, their entire SEO campaign suddenly starts focusing on those techniques. They waste no time in putting those methods into practice and eagerly waiting for the awards to come, except that never happens. Mainly because, it is next to impossible to single out one simple reason for which a website might be ranking high. Thanks to a very complex ranking algorithm, good ranks are usually a result of literally hundreds of factors (and of course, some luck). And you don’t need to stalk anybody to be aware of those factors.
You might end up following your competitors into a ditch:
Another basic problem in religiously following the good performing competitors is that you never know if their tactics are good in longer term or not. When you start listening more to your competitors than Google, or industry experts, you stand every chance of becoming a victim of a Panda-like update.
If you’re new to SEO, you might think that Panda was a one-off instance. In reality, Google has a history of making changes to their algorithm, every so often, that punishes some SEO practices that were working wonders up till now. In other words, when you are blindly following your competitors, you are prone to follow them into a ditch sooner or later.
It hurts when you devise a strategy and it fails, but it hurts more when you try to copy others and fall flat. Ever heard of the phrase “adding insult to injury”?
The frame of mind – You start looking for short cuts:
The third and the most damaging problem is the mind-frame that you develop. The approach in itself is nothing but an aversion from the hard work. Those who are doing nothing but trying to follow their competitors are actually those who find it difficult to keep themselves updated and current with the latest developments in the SEO industry, and they are not competent enough to set down a proper SEO strategy for their websites. The strategy might work for a short period of time, but in the longer run, you will fail to get anywhere near the top with this frame of mind.
Misheal is an SEO expert, currently working for weightlosstriumph.com, a resourceful website sharing all types of discounts and coupon codes, from SEO tools to office equipment like 4inkjets or 123inkjets. You will find 123inkjets coupon and 4inkjets coupon at her website.