We go to Google search dozens of times every day by typing a keyword or keyphrase in the search box. Then we get results.
However, there is so much more we can do in that little white box that you probably don’t know about.
Today’s article, we’ll show you 7 Google search tips to gain a competitive advantage with your local SEO efforts.
Let’s go! ?
1️⃣ Check If Your Content is Indexed in Google
To do this, you can use the formula
Then press Enter
Google will show you how many pages it has in its index for this business.
Why is this useful? ?
✅ First of all, it allows you to see if all the pages you have created are being indexed in Google and can be found by potential customers.
✅ Plus, it gives you a good idea about the site you’re dealing with in a matter of seconds and compares it with the existing competition.
? You should try this with your own website and make sure all your pages are indexed properly.
2️⃣ Find Out How Your Competitors Target Keywords Through Content
You’re now able to look at all of your competitors’ web pages indexed in Google in a few seconds.
But what if you want to discover what they have written about a keyword that you’re targeting?
site: URL [space] keyword
Google will show you all the pages from this site that mention the keyword you’re targeting.
With this tip, you can see what page your competitor has created specifically to target that keyword.
If you’re familiar with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), you understand that the title of a page is one of the strongest signals to tell search engines what topic a page is.
A truly well-optimized page will always include the keyword you want to rank for in its title.
What we mean is that if you would like to find the page your competitor has optimized for a specific keyword, you need to find out all the pages they have created which include the keyword in a title.
site: URL [space] intitle:keyword
This now shows you all the pages from the URL that include the keyword you’ve specified in a title.
Why is this useful? ?
The answer is because it can narrow down your research to the exact pages your competitor has built to target the specific keyword.
? If you want to beat them, you can simply need to replicate at the very least the same type of content or create something even better.
3️⃣ Identify Content Gaps
If you want to grow your online visibility and you think you’ve run out of ideas to create new pages.
One thing you can do is find out if you have any gaps in your content.
site: URL [space] -intitle:keyword
After pressing Enter, Google will display in its result all the pages that do not include the keyword.
Why is this helpful? ?
? Now you can quickly scroll through the results to identify if there are any pages they built which you should build yourself because you are targeting the same market.
4️⃣ Find Keywords You Haven’t Thought About
One way of doing some fast keyword research is to use Google and reply to the auto-suggestion.
The search box will return those suggestions are based on keyword popularity and therefore you should consider adding them to your content strategy when you feel it is relevant.
Although this is great, the auto-suggestion functionality only completes the query as you are typing along and you can omit a lot of chances.
One way to overcome is to use what is known as a wild-card to uncover new options you may not have thought about.
Just look at an example below
Let’s say you’re running a vegan restaurant in New York. Instead of searching for a keyword like “best vegan restaurant in New York”, you can use formula
best vegan_new york
Look at some of the suggestions you are now getting which you wouldn’t have got.
Why is this helpful? ?
? With this technique, you can cover some awesome alternatives.
Back to our example, you might want to either adapt your menu include those items suggested as part of the keyword lists.
or if you are already serving some of these foods people are searching for, you can create some dedicated pages on your website.
5️⃣ Find The Level of Competition For a Keyword
Not all keywords are worth pursuing.
The more businesses are competing for a keyword, the more difficult it will be to rank.
But how do you find out?
This formula will show you all the results that include all of those words in their page title.
There are 149,000 results for this keyword. You can use many keywords and check if they are worth to rank for.
6️⃣ Look For Internal Linking Opportunities
Internal links are important for two reasons
- They help your visitors navigate through your site
- They help your SEO efforts as they are part of the SEO signals
Google considers ranking your pages adding more internal links. Therefore be useful if you don’t overdo it.
intext:”keyword” [space] site:URL
Google then show all pages on this website where the keyword is mentioned anywhere.
A copy of the quotes around the keywords is telling google to only bring back pages that would include exact search terms how we typed it and in the same order which is exactly what we need to create a link.
All you need to do is to go through each page within the Google results and find the opportunities where they can turn the text into a link.
You had better ignore the first page as it is the page where we want to link to and we don’t want to link the page to itself.
7️⃣ Find External Link Opportunities
As you know external links pointing to your site are the strongest SEO signals any web site can get to rank higher in search results. However, there’s a local business that you really want are local links but because they are valuable, they are also very difficult to get.
Here are 3 ways to source external links opportunities
✅ Finding local blogs you can reach out
“city name” + “industry” + “blog”
Scanning the results on the first page of Google, you can see som blogging sites. You can contact website owners directly to have your site in their page.
✅ Another way of finding external links is finding sponsorship opportunities in your city.
Sponsoring is probably the easiest way to get links.
inurl:sponsorship “city name”
or you can use
intitle:sponsorship “city name”
This will bring up all the local websites which mention the word sponsorship in either the URL or the title of the package and the name of your city.
✅ The last way is to find relevant directories where you can submit your business details. Although directories are nowhere near as powerful as there once was they can still move the needle especially if they are local ones or specific to your industry.
- “Industry” directory
- “Industry” inurl directory
- “Industry” intitle:directory
- “Industry” inurl:links
or if you look for location-specific directories, use
- “City industry” intitle:directory
- “City directory” intitle: industry
- “City” intitle:directory
- “City” inurl:directory
We’re done for this blog. You can find a useful blog for local SEO to knock out your competitors
So which tip you’re gonna try first? Just let us know by leaving a comment below. Or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.