Why not copy a rivals SEO strategy

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Copy A Rival Brand’s SEO Strategy

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – so said Oscar Wilde. However, when it comes to SEO, there are a number of dangers involved in attempting to emulate the efforts of high-ranking competitor websites.

That said, you do need to learn from brands already occupying the top spots where you want to be in the search results. The trick is to strike the right balance between taking them into account and going over the top.

So you have to be aware of what the competition is doing in order for your own strategy to align with the way the major search engines ‘reward’ well-placed sites. However, here are the dangers of copying a competitor’s clearly strategy too closely:

  • A loss of connection with your audience

You may not be parroting another brand’s content word for word (that’s plagiarism, apart from anything else), but if you are driven by copying, you lack the unique perspectives that allow for authentic engagement with your target audience.

  • Possible legal action

To be fair, the chances of any legal action actually happening are probably pretty remote. However, if you plagiarise content, and ignore trademarks, copyrights and the like, you leave yourself open to this prospect. Why run the risk?

  • Potential brand confusion

You won’t stand out enough in your own right if you are too similar to a competitor. You need to forge your own brand identity and image.

  • Google could filter you out

Without enough unique content, Google could filter you out of its search results while your competitors remain high-ranking as the authors of the original copy.

  • What if a competitor’s strategy is poor?

If you follow another brand’s strategy too closely, you run the risk of introducing below-par SEO strategy yourself. For example, poor-quality content could be masked by high-quality links.

  • It stops you being strategically proactive

Simply copying another business’s strategy is not a strategy in its own right. You need to be proactive in terms of exploring new ideas for content, and establishing your distinct authority. Find out where you can beat your competitors, rather than merely imitating them.

  • You may not be measuring the right performance metrics

It’s impossible to truly appreciate just how well an SEO strategy is working for another website. Therefore, you risk copying them with no overall understanding of whether what’s right for them suits your own specific needs, or what achieving their rankings could do for you in terms of ROI.

  • Failure to understand the wider landscape

Being overly focused on the competition means you risk losing sight of the wider landscape, and any new competitors who may emerge and overtake the more established high-ranking websites with a different, better approach in terms of strategy and content.

For all these reasons, you do need to develop your own SEO strategy so that it’s uniquely tailored to your website and needs. Talk to us at Front Page – it’s something we’re ideally placed to help with.