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SEO is a powerful tool marketers use to outrank competitors on various search engines. It is crucial for businesses seeking to maintain their financial position.

Implementing an SEO strategy is beneficial, and companies worldwide have noticed. Therefore, business owners must remember they are not the only ones doing their best to utilize this valuable tool. The hard truth is that somebody out there has a stronger SEO strategy than you do. Embracing this fact can be the key to your success.

Identify Your Audience

Former Google employee Cody Jensen has a strong appreciation for analytics and that led to him starting Searchbloom, an agency that provides SEO-specific services. He suggests that businesses grasp the importance of understanding their target market.

“Understanding your online target audience should always be the first step of your SEO strategy,” says Jensen. “This process is especially important if you are trying to reverse engineer search results in your favor. After you have pinpointed your audience, you are able to identify the keywords they are using, which will allow you to identify direct competitors. Once you have an understanding of what your competitors are doing, you will be well on your way to reverse engineering the SERPs and beating out your competitors on Google.”

There are many ways to identify your current or desired audience. If you have a website, chances are you already have a plethora of information about your visitors’ demographics. This information, coupled with demographic data from other channels, such as social media, can provide insight into the types of people seeking your product or services.

Identify Keywords

The second step in reverse engineering search results is identifying the keywords used by your defined audience. This process can take a variety of forms. Hannah Trivette, a digital marketing expert at NUVEW, recommends using Google as a guide.

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“Keyword research can be done manually through Google searches,” says Trivette. “After performing a search, take a look at the questions featured under the section titled “People Also Ask.” Here, Google provides questions searched by others that are similar to your original search. By optimizing your keywords and blog topics according to what others look for, you’ll choose content that improves your rankings in these searches.”

Identifying a searcher’s intent also provides valuable information regarding your audience during this research phase. Understanding your searcher’s intent involves specifying the type of solution an individual seeks when they enter a search. For example, a person’s search might be commercial, meaning the user is looking for a product or service. Other times, an individual will seek information found in a long-form article or blog rather than a product. Finally, searchers may be looking for solutions or information that is located more locally to them.

Understanding why prospective clients utilize search engines will give you insight into the types of content they need and the keywords they use. This information will also help you rank higher in algorithms that are also aiming to understand their searcher’s intent.

Identify Your Competitors

Now that you have a firm understanding of your audience and their keywords, you can use the keywords to see where your competitors are gaining their advantage on search engines.

Pay attention to how your competitors design or optimize their websites for SEO. Where are your competitors placing their keywords, and how often? What type of content are they creating? What kind of pages rank highest when you use your keywords?

Analyzing what your competitors are doing correctly will help you build out your own SEO strategy. Using this information to optimize your own website will help you become more competitive within your sphere.

The reverse engineer process for SEO provides companies with valuable information throughout every step. However, it does take intentional time and strategy.

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