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  • How Google Tells You Exactly What It Wants To Rank In SERPs

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    Every day I see people on Facebook sharing their "new secrets" to ranking in Google. Most of these people are "SEO experts" who make a living off of selling their strategies instead of actually ranking websites.  They play to their audience's desire for flashy new toys and sell them a $1000 course that is typically a rehashing of some other actual SEO authorities information and research.

     

    Instead of trying to offer you some super secret method, I'm simply going to show you an easy method of using the information that Google is already giving you, to know what you need to do to rank for a search phrase and if it's even cost effective or not.

     

    Competition Analysis Example 1

     

    So let's start off with an example.

     

    Let's say you come to me and tell me that you would like to rank your used car dealership in Google for the following keyword - "used cars detroit".

     

    I'm going to take the following steps:

     

    1. I'm going to go to Google and search for "used cars detroit"
    2. I'm then going to review the returned search results.
    3. I'm then going to review the returned search results.
    4. Based on this information I'm going to determine whether ranking for this keyword is going to be realistic or not.

     

     

    So let's break this process down.

    • I open Chrome
    • I search Google for > used cars detroit
    • I then review each returned result of the first page
      • https://www.carfax com/Used-Cars-in-Detroit-MI_c20830
      • https://www.autotrader com/cars-for-sale/Detroit+MI-48226
      • https://www.cargurus com/Cars/spt_cheap_cars-Detroit_L16090
      • https://www.cars com/shopping/detroit-mi/
      • https://detroit.craigslist org/search/cta
      • https://www.truecar com/used-cars-for-sale/listings/location-detroit-mi/
      • https://www.auto com/used-cars-for-sale/detroit-mi
      • https://www.carsforsale com/cars-for-sale-in-detroit-mi-L106961
      • https://www.usedcars com/find/mi/detroit/
      • https://www.autolist com/detroit-mi

     

    Now, what am I looking for in this step?

     

    I'm looking to see if Google is favoring huge authority websites or if it's letting in any relevant local sites.

     

    Why does this matter?

     

    Because if it's not letting in any local sites, then attempting to rank for this exact keyword is likely not going to work for you, cause you a lot of frustration and likely a lot of money in your attempt at ranking for it.

     

    Now back to the results, I can tell that all of these returned results are very large authority websites, but let's say I didn't recognize one or multiple of them. What would the next steps be?

     

    For any unknown resulting websites, I'm would run the website through a website metric analysis tool to get an idea on overall backlink power. Something like Moz's OSE, Majestic's Site Explorer, Ahrefs Site Explorer or one of the other tools out there.

     

    So back to the step-by-step.

    • I will then run any unknown websites through ahrefs and get an idea of the power of the website by looking at the overall referring domains of the root domain.
      • carfax.com = 17,900 referring domains
      • autotrader.com = 20,000 referring domains
      • usedcars.com = 1390 referring domains
    • Alternatively - I could also look at the Domain Authority of the ranking websites as well to get an idea of the authority of the website.
      • carfax.com = DA 87
      • autotrader.com = DA 81
      • usedcars.com = DA 48

     

    Clearly, these are very powerful websites, with a massive amount of referring domains and inbound links. 

     

    The likelihood of a normal used car dealership being able to compete with these websites is honestly pretty small.

     

    This is where many people, SEO's and SEO companies will gladly take your business and try to rank you for a search term like this. They will tell you that their special version of SEO will allow you to rank for a search term like this, but the honest truth, is that unless you have a massive budget and are committed over a couple year process, you're likely never going to be able to outrank these massive sites.

     

    So, what's the alternative?

     

    Competition Analysis Example 2

    So our next example, we'll take the same first few steps and then take it further.

     

    Let's say you come to me and tell me that you would like to rank your used car dealership in Google for the following keyword - "used cars detroit".

     

    I'm going to take the following steps:

    1. I'm going to go to Google and search for "used car dealership detroit"
    2. I'm then going to review the returned search results.
    3. Based on this information I'm going to determine whether ranking for this keyword is going to be realistic or not.

     

    So let's break this process down.

    • I open Chrome
    • I search Google for > used cars detroit
    • I then review each returned result of the first page
      • https://www.fivestarautomi com/
      • https://www.autotrader com/car-dealers/Detroit+MI-48226
      • https://www.autotrader com/car-dealers/Used/Detroit+MI-48226
      • https://www.yelp com/search?cflt=usedcardealers&find_loc=Detroit%2C+MI
      • https://www.kalsauto com/
      • https://www.expertise com/mi/detroit/used-car-dealerships
      • https://www.detroitchampsauto net/
      • https://www.gusautosales com/
      • https://www.fmauto1 com/
      • https://www.expresscarsales net/

     

    • I will then run any unknown websites through ahrefs and get an idea of the power of the website by looking at the overall referring domains of the root domain.  I'm also going to include the website's DA here.
      • https://www.fivestarautomi com/
        • RD: 13
        • DA: 25
      • https://www.kalsauto com/
        • RD: 18
        • DA: 18
      • https://www.detroitchampsauto net/
        • RD: 29
          DA: 29

     

    • Based on these results, I like what I see. I know that we will be able to rank your car dealership, even in the first position of this search term.

     

    The next we will proceed with best practice on-page and off-page SEO steps.

     

    I'm going to go ahead and end this here.  I hope that you've found this information useful!

     

    About Author

    Daniel is the head at Decrypted SEO Agency, a search engine optimization agency based out of North Florida, but with locations throughout the United States. They specialize in prospect attraction for service based small businesses.  By helping a business rank in Google, Bing and Yahoo, they are able to position their client's websites in front of "buying now" prospects which increases exposure, leads, inbound business generation and profitability. 

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