Survival of SEO’s Fittest – How to Outrun Lions

Two guys are in the jungle when they see a lion running towards them. Frantically, one of the men starts putting on his running shoes.

Surprised, the other man says “What are you thinking, you can’t outrun a lion!!!”

“I don’t have to outrun the lion,” said the man, “I just have to outrun you.”

This story is very relevant to SEO strategy.

It’s not always necessary to be the best or the fastest or the strongest in the jungle – you don’t have to be able to outrun the lion – you just need to be a little better than your competition.

This idea is one of the most important things to keep in mind when you’re looking at the SEO Competition Matrix inside Market Samurai – or considering an SEO strategy.

There is no such thing as the “perfectly optimised” website or the “perfect SEO strategy” – there is always something more you can do; more backlinks to get, more content to post.

So the goal is to just do what it takes to be better than your competitors. In fact, doing this can mean you achieve better results without ever wasting excess effort.

Consider this…

When you perform a Google query you get a page of 10 results. The second result on this page can be expected to get 21% of traffic, which sounds pretty high

BUT! The first result can be expected to get 42% of traffic…

This is a huge difference – the first search result gets double the organic traffic of the second.

So what’s the difference between the two sites? Has the first ranking result done twice the work of the second ranking site?

No way!

In truth, the site that is in second place might be equal in almost every single way to the site in first place:

  • the same PageRank
  • the same domain age
  • the same on page optimisation factors such as keywords in title and meta tags

The difference could be something as small as one backlink on the #1 site being better quality than one on the #2 site.

Just one link!

This is why it’s so important to remember the theme of competition…

…One link could mean the difference between 42% of traffic and 21% of traffic…

…Which means twice (or half) as many visitors, opt-ins and sales for your site.

With 21% of traffic potentially hinging on something as small as one backlink you can make your approach to the SEO of your site more focused.

You need to find out how fast your competition is running – remember that you don’t need to outrun the lion, just your competitior.

When conducting your SEO, examine your competition closely. Look at the specifics of their site and ask yourself two questions:

  1. How much time, money or effort will it take for me to equal the success of my opponent?
    And the second, more important question…
  2. How can I exceed their results?

We’ve seen that small differences can lead to dramatically different levels of expected traffic, and therefore the potential earning power of your site.

But the hard truth is, it’s not always as simple as building one better link. If you can build links, so can your competitors. Anything you can do, they can do too – and if each of you starts committing resources to being better than your opposition (and you get drawn into a “link-war”), you can both lose out.

So, wherever you can, you need to look for ways that you can uniquely unbalance the playing field – to give yourself an advantage that your rivals cannot compete with in the long run.

It could be your ability to produce higher quality content, your ability to utilize your relationships in your market, or your ability to magnify your SEO efforts using a leveraged search engine optimization strategy.

In our next post, I’m going to touch on one such leveraged search engine optimization strategy, and how some sites use this technique to get higher rankings (with fewer, lower quality links) than their multi-billion-dollar competitors.

Until then remember – to get ahead in the search engines, you don’t need a “perfect” SEO strategy – you just need an advantage (no matter how large or small) over your competitors.

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