Most web­site own­ers will write-off those search­ing directly for their competitor’s site.

After all, they’re going straight to the source: they know what they want and they want to go straight to it.

9 out of 10 times this will be the case.

There is though, always a slight chance the searcher is sim­ply con­duct­ing a bit of back­ground research; sim­ply sound­ing out an area they may want to do busi­ness with.

We’ll out­line why it’s a good idea to rank for your competitor’s brand in the conclusion.

For now though, let’s cut to the moneyshot:

How to do it:

To rank for your competitor’s brand name, you’ll need to cre­ate a page on your site that promi­nently fea­tures your com­peti­tors brand name.

I can hear you ask­ing, ‘How can I cre­ate a page on my site using my competitor’s brand name with­out adver­tis­ing or defam­ing them’?

Easy. All you need is:

Or, in other words:

  1. A mem­ber of staff who has worked for your competitor
  2. A news sec­tion on your site (par for the course nowadays)
  3. Basic SEO con­tent  gen­er­a­tion skills

Basi­cally, you are going to write an opti­mised news story in which the premise will be you’ve employed a new mem­ber of staff.

(Some­thing you prob­a­bly would have done anyway.)

The head­line might be:

(Your busi­ness name) wel­come (emoloyee’s name) ex-(competitor’s name)

Use the same prin­cu­ple through­out the arti­cle and in all the usual meta-stuff.

Make sure you weave it into:

  • The head­line
  • The meta-title
  • The meta-description
  • Twice in the body of the article

Do this and you will have cre­ated the per­fect land­ing page for your competitor’s brandname.

There’s no rea­son why you can­not be a lit­tle cre­ative with the truth here.

You can release a news story say­ing a mem­ber of staff’s just joined, even if they’ve been on your books for months.

N.B. In case it’s not obvi­ous — I would advise against claim­ing an employee has worked some­where they haven’t.

N.B.2 Make sure you don’t actu­ally link to your competitor’s website…

Now what?

If you already have a strong site, the page might already show up on SERP1 with­out any help.

If not, you might want to do some light link­ing build­ing to it. Syn­di­cate some con­tent, do some social book­mark­ing, whatever.

Don’t for­get to share it through the nor­mal social media chan­nels; Face­book, Twit­ter, LinkedIn etc.

If  the page ranks then great, if not, no biggie.

Don’t lose any sleep if it doesn’t rank and by no means make it your num­ber one priority.

Just keep an eye on your ana­lyt­ics and see if any traf­fic lands on your site through your competitor’s busi­ness name.

The bounce rate here will tell you how many of these visitor’s liked the cut of your site’s jib.

Why do it?

The bot­tom line (as with most things) is money.

By being there on their results page, you make the searcher aware of your busi­ness’ presence.

This can only be a good thing in terms of your business.

Peo­ple don’t sys­tem­at­i­cally work their way through each search results, which is why Google often empha­sises the need for diversity.

Rank­ing num­ber one is great, but it’s not the be-all and end-all.

Your competitor’s busi­ness name may be the only one the searcher’s aware of; a start­ing point for research­ing the options avail­able for that ser­vice in your industry.

Your meta-title may just catch their atten­tion and all of a sud­den they’re root­ing around your other news sto­ries, your com­pany blog, your pre­vi­ous client list.

Although it is highly unlikely you’ll rank above your com­peti­tors for their brand name, if you can put your­self on that all impor­tant SERP1, then you may grab their atten­tion and plant a seed.

The beauty of this is you have absolutely noth­ing to lose. It is by no means the end of the world if you don’t rank, it’s just an added bonus if you do.

Post By Michael Smith (31 Posts)

Michael works at 9xb Dig­i­tal Agency in Har­ro­gate, Mon­day to Fri­day. Click here to fol­low him on Twit­ter or have a look a his Google+ pro­file.

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