Competitive SEO: Outranking Your Rivals

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Competitive SEO is for authors who want to see their content thrive.  Let’s use a specific news post example that you and a competing radio, TV station, or newspaper break simultaneously.  The story is about an overnight house fire where the dog wakes the residents, and they escape without losing their lives.

Let’s take audience size, signal strength, and other population factors off the table.  Neither entity is promoting the story on air or over social media.  You must follow search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to ensure your post gets more traction.  SEO covers a wide range of strategies and activities based on what we know about how search engines determine their rankings.

SEO is not a science requiring special agencies to handle.  We’ve had clients ask us if we handle SEO as well.  SEO means following steps to ensure your content is created properly.  If you have a WordPress website, you’ve already taken a big step in SEO since the platform is well-optimized for search engines.

Here are five ways your post can outperform theirs.  These tips are not just for this use case.  They should be used daily to ensure maximum exposure for any content you create.

1) Be Keyword Minded

Keywords are short phrases that describe your content’s topic. An excellent way to find the keyword or phrase about any content is to predict what your audience might type into a search engine to learn more about this news story. The keyword for this example might be “house fire” or “dog saves family.”

Once you’ve chosen a keyword or phrase, use it in key places, including the title, a heading within the copy, the content itself, and even the image alt and title tags.

Be smart about the way you use keywords, though.  Filling a page full of the same keyword is known as “keyword stuffing.”  This will appear unnatural or spammy and get your page penalized and pushed lower in the search results.

2) Ensure SEO-Friendly Permalinks

Permalinks are the URLs of your post or page, which people use to link back to your site.  The permalink can become too long if your post title has several words.  So, customize it in the post editor to include the chosen keyword phrase and other relevant words.

3) Incorporate Useful Internal and External Links

Google and other search engines look to see how well your website is connected internally and to other websites.  For this example, you should link to other articles on fire safety or pet heroism.

Using links throughout your posts and pages tells crawlers how your content relates to other similar content.  It also encourages other people to link back to your site, which communicates to search engines that your content is valuable!

As with keywords, this is a strategy you’ll want to use carefully. Your rankings will suffer if you cram too many links into your content or link to irrelevant pages.

4) Optimize Well-Chosen Images:

The quality and size of your images can affect your loading speed, which is a ranking factor. Large images can degrade your overall score and push your listing lower in the results. Also, crawlers will look at specific information attached to images (metadata) such as filenames and ‘alt text’ — when trying to index and understand your site.

Assign a featured image to your article that grabs the visitor’s attention.  Avoid choosing an image in haste.  If you don’t have an image from the scene, use AI tools to create a custom image that might be similar.

Give each image a descriptive filename, alt text, and descriptions.  Every image you upload to your website should have custom “title” and “alt” tags that match what the image contains.

5) Write Long-Form Content When Possible

When search engine algorithms decide how to rank content, they pay special attention to content length. This doesn’t mean shorter content never ranks highly, but longer content has an advantage because search engines consider it more comprehensive and better at communicating the topic.

It also encourages visitors to spend more time on your site.  So, when creating content, try to make it as in-depth as possible.

Bonus Tip: Install an SEO plugin (Yoast SEO or Rankmath) to help identify areas to improve in your pages/posts.

It’s all Competitive SEO

Every piece of content you create is competing for eyes on the internet.  While these tips involve extra steps in your creation process, they ensure your content gets the most exposure.  Consider how these tips could help advertisers find your station’s advertising opportunities.

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