Search engine optimization is a way to rank higher on Google. However, certain industries are more competitive than others and are more susceptible to algorithm updates.
Many SEO professionals will resort to black-hat methods to get Page 1 positions in highly competitive industries like FX, insurance, loans, casinos, and other financial services.
Google is the most used search engine by consumers. It makes weekly algorithm changes and it is still the most popular. Companies may experience a slowdown in their initial SEO efforts, which could lead to significant revenue and traffic loss.
This guide will give you some key tips to help you rank in the most volatile and penalty-stricken search results on Google.
Select a domain
SEO professionals may consider choosing a domain that is very similar to the “big money” keyword when trying to rank high for a competitive keyword. It is clear that SEO professionals will get a boost if a domain has competitive keywords. You can use onlinecasinos.com and carinsurance.com as examples.
This isn’t as important in today’s marketing landscape. Google considers brands more than keywords within a domain.
Companies that have a partial or exact match domain (i.e. However, it is important to be cautious if you have a domain that matches the exact match of your company’s name. This is due to the likelihood of more ‘dangerous’ words being used in content, meta-data and links.
SEO professionals must be aware of keyword stuffing or the over-use sensitive words in their brand’s Anchor text. This is what Google will most likely look at if it decides to penalize a company.
Analysis of strong competitors
Competitors can be a great starting point for SEO professionals. The first two pages of Google’s search results will give insight into what works and which don’t.
SEOs can then replicate the best practices for the industry and can see who has fallen in the search rankings, been affected by algorithm updates or penalties.
SEO’s in the casino and insurance industries will have to pay close attention to the ranking of the landing page or homepage. URL structures, meta titles and the frequency with which a keyword is mentioned on a page will all need to be considered.
Google may prefer a particular layout when looking at URL structures. Taking an example below from the loans industry, they use https://dollarhand.com/installment-loans/ instead of ‘loans/installment’ or ‘/installment/loans’.
SEOs must also be aware of the language used in competitor sites.
It is therefore important to look at the competition when ranking in highly competitive and specialized industries. Established firms are more likely to have been through the motions and to have overcome penalties in the past to be in such strong positions.
Low-risk link building strategies
SEOs who assist firms in industries that are more penalized will need to be careful about the links they build and acquire.
It is very risk-free to add brand links to a website’s homepage. These links can be spread across many resourceful blogs and guides to help build authority for a business while still appearing organic.
It is easier to punish links to guides and homepages than embedding them within “money pages” of hyperlinked words such as casino or loans. Firms must ensure that their content does not contain thin links and contains real statistics, graphs, and images to validate their resources.
SEO professionals should review the percentage of links that go to their company’s homepage, money pages, and guides. Comparing this data with other companies can prove very helpful. Majestic, a tool that allows you to quickly see this information, is a great way to do it.
Use caution when using link anchor text
SEOs should be cautious when choosing anchor text for links. No legitimate website will provide hyperlinks to ‘car insurance’ and ‘best casino’. Instead, SEOs should focus on linking to phrases such as ‘find more information’ or ‘check you eligibility’.
Hyperlinking to phrases that can be implemented – such as ‘quotes starting at $300 per month’ – is also more likely to work. These techniques can be combined to make money pages look more natural.
Synonyms are also helpful in deciding which phrases to link. For example, the word “car insurance” can be used interchangeably with “motor insurance”. SEO professionals also use rephrasing. Instead of using ‘car insurance policies,’ try ‘insurance to your car’.
SEOs also use abbreviations to avoid confusion. Instead of using the term “VPNs”, a synonym for virtual private networks can be used to anchor text.
Patience are key
The competitive industries listed in this article are so important that they draw a lot of attention by SEO professionals. This means black hat methods who try to manipulate the system and generate traffic quickly.
While it may take several months for cautious strategies to make an impact, companies can rest assured that they will maintain good rankings and traffic and avoid future penalties.
Companies that pay attention to competitors and don’t overuse big keywords in content and links are better off!
Search Engine Watch’s first article was titled How to Avoid SEO Penalties in Algorithm-Stricken Industries.
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