If you’re struggling to outrank your website’s competitors in the search results, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Basic SEO strategies like blogging, meta tag customization, and general link building won’t always cut it. For competitive industries, you may need to use advanced SEO strategies. When executed correctly, the following advanced SEO strategies can help you outrank your website’s competitors in the search results.
Leverage Topic Clusters
You may want to use topic clusters when creating content for your website. A topic cluster is a group of similar topics. Each topic cluster has a single broad top-level topic and two or more narrower lower-level topics. The narrower topics are more detailed and specific, but they are still related to the broad topics of their clusters.
All of the topics in a cluster are related, so you can link them together. You can link the narrower topics to their respective cluster’s broad topic page and vice versa. These relevant internal links can boost your website’s SEO.
Using topic clusters also allows you to create an SEO-friendly URL structure. Rather than a flat URL structure, you can create a multilevel, hierarchical URL structure that search engines love.
Optimize For Conversational Keywords
Optimizing for conversational keywords is an advanced SEO strategy. Conversational keywords are phrases structured as spoken, conversational dialogue. They are typically complete sentences except for punctuation and capitalization.
Search engines today are more intelligent than their counterparts in the late 1990s and the early 2000s. In the past, search engines could only process short-tail keywords. Performing a search for a long-tail keyword would likely yield irrelevant and low-quality results. Search engines today, however, can provide results for keywords of all lengths. Therefore, many users now search for conversational keywords consisting of questions.
Crush the Core Web Vitals
Optimizing your website for the Core Web Vitals is an advanced SEO strategy. In 2020, Google’s search team announced a set of new performance-based ranking signals. Known as the Core Web Vitals, they reveal how quickly and easily visitors can load a given page.
There are three metrics included in the Core Web Vitals. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is the speed at which the page’s largest piece of content loads. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is the stability of visual elements while the page loads. First Input Delay (FID) is the time delay between a user-initiated action on the page, such as a link click, and the page’s response to that action.
Stand Out With Structured Data
If your website doesn’t feature it already, structured data can improve its rankings. Adding structured data is an advanced SEO strategy that can give you a competitive advantage in the search results. It’s a type of search engine-readable data that defines, clarifies, or categorizes the content on a page.
Unlike the Core Web Vitals, structured data isn’t a direct ranking factor. Nonetheless, it can help you outrank your website’s competitors in the search results. Structured data will make your website stand out by enhancing your site’s listings with additional information.
There are many different kinds of structured data, each of which will inject new information into your website’s search engine listings. You can use article structured data to include the publish date, author name, and a headline in a page’s listing. You can use Q&A structured data to include a list of questions and answers in a page’s listings. Regardless, structured data can make your website stand out so that it attracts more visitors. Some of these visitors may share your website on social media or link to it from their own sites.
Refine Your Sitemaps
You can boost your website’s SEO by creating and optimizing sitemaps for it. Google uses them to not only identify where pages are located; it uses sitemaps to understand pages and the content on pages.
Google supports several different formats for sitemaps, including Extensible Markup Language (XML), plain text, and Really Simple Syndication (RSS). Using any of these formats, you can create sitemaps that help Google identify and understand your pages.
While it doesn’t support the “priority” value or “changefreq” value, Google does support the “lastmod” value for page sitemaps. You can use the “lastmod” value to tell Google when each page on a sitemap was last updated. You can also include images and videos in your page sitemaps, or you can create separate sitemaps for pages, images, and videos.
Create Complementary AMP Pages
Another advanced SEO strategy is creating complementary Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) pages. AMP is a Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)-based framework released by Google. Pages that use the AMP framework are lightning fast, making them ideal for mobile device users.
Google says that most AMP pages load in under one second, which is a fraction of the average load time of non-AMP pages. And speed is a key ranking factor. If a page is fast, Google may rank it higher than slower pages.
You don’t have to delete your website’s current pages to take advantage of the speed- and SEO-boosting properties of AMP. Instead, you can create complementary versions of your pages. These complementary versions should feature the same content but use the AMP framework.
Mend Broken Links
To outrank your website’s competitors in the search results, you should mend broken links. Mending or repairing broken links is an advanced SEO strategy.
When a link no longer works, it’s considered broken. Visitors can click them, but they’ll encounter a 404 error rather than the intended destination page. Broken links promote a poor user experience, and because search engines emphasize user experience in their ranking algorithms, they are bad for SEO.
Broken links can be internal or external. Internal broken links are those published on your website. They point from one page on your site to a different page on your site. External broken links are published on other, external websites. For better SEO, try to mend both types of broken links.
Some SEO strategies are more advanced than others. If your website’s competitors are dominating Google’s results, you should diversify your SEO approach with both basic and advanced strategies. Advanced SEO strategies may require more work, but they can pay off in the form of higher rankings.