An ePublication from Ecommerce Partners

Beating Them At Their Own Game – Outranking the Competition

By | September 4, 2008 1:00 pm

Ever been frustrated by the competition?  Let’s face it – they have huge advertising budgets and, well, you don’t.  What if I told you that there was a way to use their search engine rank to get some more attention for your own ecommerce site…would you be interested?

First, a preliminary note:  This process involves the use of keywords, and it will take some time and effort on your part.  Larger SEO companies will invest a lot of man hours into these steps but it is still possible for you to use them to your benefit, even if it is on a smaller scale. 

Now the point of this is to potentially outrank your competition in a search engine page result for a specific keyword for which they currently rank higher than you.  It can (and does) work even if they are currently ranked number one on a particular keyword search.

Step 1:  Google it!

First things first.  You want to know who has the highest search ranking for your keyword so go to Google and do a search for your keyword.  Now take a look at the number one ranking.  You should see the title of the page, a short description and the URL of the page (usually in green).  For our purposes, we want the entire URL that the link goes to, regardless of how long or short it is.

Step 2:  Get Your Sleuth Hat on!

Now we want to find out how many links there are to this magical number one page.  To do that we will visit the Yahoo Site Explorer page.  Enter the complete URL you just copied into the box at the top center of the page and click the “EXPLORE URL” button.

When the results page comes up you will see something like this:  Pages (127) | Inlinks (2,340)

The only thing that matters for our purposes is the number of Inlinks.  These are links to the ecommerce web site in question that come from sources outside of that web site’s domain.  This number is magic, and you’re about to work some magic of your own using those Inlinks.

Step 3:  Research!

Now you want to click on each of these Inlinks one-by-one and find the anchor text that is being used in the link to the website you found in Step 1 above.  There is probably going to be a wide range of anchor text, so you may want to use a spreadsheet program to help you keep them listed and organized, because you will want to know how many backlinks are coming to your competition using each of these anchor text keywords – this is crucially important!

Step 4:  The Real Work Begins!

Okay, we are armed with a list of anchor text links to your main competition, so what do we do with this newfound information?  Well start by sorting your list by the keyword links that are used the least often and work your way up.  The point is that you want to get more backlinks using these keywords and anchor text phrases than your competition.

For example:

Your competition has 30 backlinks that use the anchor text phrase “maxi-widget mega store”.  You want to get more than 30 backlinks to your web site with that text phrase as the anchor text.

Step 5:  Get The Job Done!

The first thing I would do (and have done) to start getting these links is to contact the sites that are linking to your competition directly and ask them for a link.  This works more often than you might think and it is definitely worth the time it takes to send an email.

This isn’t to say that you should not continue to seek out other links to your site as well – you definitely should continue to do so.  In fact, you need to keep a check on how many links you are getting at one time.  Don’t send all those requests at once!  You are better off having a steady growth of your backlinks over time and soon enough the search engines will repay you by raising you in the page ranks!


Again, this process works but it will take some time.  In fact it can take a lot of time.  If you stick with it though, you will see guaranteed results.  This is a process used by SEO experts all over the world and it is a secret that is rarely revealed to anyone who isn’t in the business.

Shhh!  Don’t tell on me!

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About Ecommerce Partners:

Founded in 1998, ECommerce Partners is a full-service, ecommerce and interactive agency headquartered in New York City. Best known for our unique process methodology, we combine Internet expertise, creative talent, and business know-how to help clients across a variety of industries achieve rapid, measurable online marketing results.

True to our motto, "We build businesses, not just websites," we provide large and mid-sized companies with a full range of Internet marketing, website design and ecommerce solutions geared to maximize online revenues.



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