Why Am I Losing to My Competitors in the Keyword Game? Unveiling the Dark Secrets

I just found out that sometimes, despite our best efforts, we still find ourselves lagging behind our competitors in the SEO game for certain keywords or phrases. So, why am I behind competition for certain keywords or phrases? Let’s dive into the dark secrets that could be holding you back from outranking your competition.

Inexperienced Developers and Technical Issues

One major reason why you might be struggling with ranking for specific keywords is the use of inexperienced developers to maintain your websites. Most developers, whether professional or not, don’t fully understand the impact of their work on SEO if they don’t communicate with SEO companies first. When they make major changes to your website without proper consultation, it may confuse Google’s bots and lead to wrongly indexed content.

Google’s bots aren’t super intelligent, and they can get confused easily. Picture this: You’re driving, and you see two signs on the road – one saying Berlin is to the left, and the other sign saying Berlin is to the right. You’d be confused, right? That’s exactly what happens when redirects and other technical changes are done improperly. It’s essential to consult your SEO company first and make changes privately until everything is in order.

Duplicate Content and Confusing Google’s Bots

Another reason you might be behind your competition is duplicate or similar content on your website. Having multiple pages that talk about the same subject can confuse Google’s bots, resulting in those pages ranking inconsistently and decreasing your chances of ranking overall. Ensure that your website doesn’t have duplicate content or too many pages on the same topic, as this can negatively impact your rankings.

Lack of Content Optimization

Sometimes, the problem lies in the fact that you haven’t optimized your content well enough for the specific keywords you’re targeting. It’s crucial to pay attention to the quality of your content and ensure it’s optimized for the keywords you’re aiming to rank for. Focus on creating unique, engaging, and informative content that thoroughly covers your chosen topic and integrates your target keywords naturally.

Over-optimization and Keyword Stuffing

While content optimization is essential, going overboard with keyword stuffing or over-optimization can backfire. Google’s algorithms have become smarter, and they can easily detect when content is stuffed with keywords in an unnatural manner. Instead of improving your rankings, this can lead to penalties and hurt your website’s overall performance.

Ignoring Technical SEO

Focusing on on-page SEO is crucial, but it’s not the whole picture. Neglecting the technical side of SEO, like site speed, mobile-friendliness, and website structure, can hold you back from achieving higher rankings. Make sure to regularly audit your website for technical issues and fix them promptly to stay ahead of the competition.

Inadequate Backlink Profile

Backlinks are a critical factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. A strong backlink profile signals to search engines that your website is authoritative and trustworthy. If your competitors have better backlink profiles than you, they’re more likely to outrank you for specific keywords or phrases. Invest time in building high-quality, relevant backlinks to your website to improve your chances of outranking your competition.


There are several reasons why you might be lagging behind your competition in the keyword game. By addressing these issues and focusing on improving your content, technical SEO, and backlink profile, you can start to close the gap and even surpass your competitors in the search engine rankings.


How can I find out if I have duplicate content on my website?

You can use various tools to check for duplicate content on your website, such as Copyscape, Siteliner, or the Google Search Console. These tools can help you identify pages with duplicate or similar content, allowing you to address the issue by either merging, updating, or deleting the affected pages.

What are some effective ways to optimize my content for target keywords?

To optimize your content for target keywords, you should:

– Conduct keyword research to identify the most relevant and valuable keywords for your content.
– Use your target keywords naturally throughout your content, including in headings, subheadings, and meta tags.
– Create high-quality, engaging, and informative content that covers your chosen topic comprehensively.
– Add relevant internal and external links to support your content and improve user experience.
– Optimize images by compressing file sizes and adding descriptive alt tags containing your target keywords.

How do I improve my website’s technical SEO?

To improve your website’s technical SEO, you should:

– Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and responsive across different devices.
– Improve your website’s loading speed by compressing images, minifying code, and using a content delivery network (CDN).
– Create a clear and logical site structure with a well-organized menu and internal linking.
– Use SSL encryption to secure your website and build trust with users.
– Optimize your website’s metadata, including title tags and meta descriptions, for target keywords.
– Fix broken links, 404 errors, and other crawl errors to improve user experience and search engine indexing.
– Submit an XML sitemap to search engines to help them better understand your website’s structure.

What are some strategies for building a strong backlink profile?

To build a strong backlink profile, you can:

– Create high-quality, shareable content that attracts natural backlinks from other websites.
– Reach out to industry influencers and bloggers to request backlinks or guest posting opportunities.
– Use social media platforms to share your content and increase its visibility, potentially attracting more backlinks.
– Engage in relevant online communities, such as forums and discussion boards, to share your content and build relationships with potential link partners.
– Conduct competitor backlink analysis to identify potential link-building opportunities and strategies.

How often should I audit my website for SEO issues?

It’s recommended to conduct a comprehensive SEO audit of your website at least once or twice a year. However, you should regularly monitor your website’s performance, rankings, and backlink profile to address any emerging issues promptly. Smaller-scale audits can be performed quarterly or whenever you make significant changes to your website.

Last Updated on April 11, 2023 by Bjorn Solstad

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