Coworkers playing chess stock photo.

Search engine optimization is complex process that requires plenty of strategy and it takes time before results are seen with any SEO campaign. There are some businesses that can do minimal SEO and still rank well; especially if they’re a local business with little competition. If your products and services cater to a national or even an international audience, then the SEO strategy needed to succeed becomes even more sophisticated. So what are the most competitive industries to rank in when it comes to SEO? Believe it or not, that answer typically lies within which industries spend the most money on advertising with Google Adwords.

Why you ask? If a company is spending large amounts of money on Google Adwords, that means they're maybe not having success with their search engine optimization efforts. The second possibility is that they're trying to ensure their advertisement appears before the first search result because the industry is so saturated and competitive. According to Statistic Brain, the industries that spent the most on Google Adwords in 2014 include

  • Finance & Insurance - $4B
  • Retailers & General Merchandise - $2.8B
  • Travel & Tourism - $2.4B
  • Jobs & Education - $2.2B
  • Home & Garden - $2.1B
  • Computers & Consumer Electronics - $2B
  • Auto Industry - $2B
  • Internet & Telecom - $1.7B
  • Business & Industrial - $1.6B
  • Gifts/Novelties - $1.2B

The corporations that spent the most on Google Adwords in 2014 include 

  • State Farm - $43.7M
  • Progressive - $43.1M
  • Amazon - $55.2M
  • Ebay - $42.8M
  • - $40.4M
  • Lowe's - $59.1M
  • University of Phoenix - $46.9M
  • AT&T - $40.8M
  • Home Depot - $50.3M

There are business niches so competitive and tough to penetrate that a hefty marketing budget is the only way to succeed. If working towards a long-term SEO campaign is not an option, Google Adwords will provide your business with a seat at the table as long as you’re willing to spend the money. One of the first places you might start is to spend money bidding on the branded names of your competitors. For example, a digital marketer working for Chase Bank might bid on branded searches for Bank of America or Fifth Third Bank. This would put the Chase Bank’s Google ad at the top of the page ahead of Bank of America and Firth Third Bank’s ranking in the search results.

Display ad campaigns in Google Adwords are great if your business offers a product that appeals more to impulse buyes; retail, travel, etc. These are the banner advertisements that you'll see on the sidebar of popular blogs and news websites. Creating display advertisements will require the services of an experienced programmer or web designer who will need to create the advertisements using code. Search campaigns are the most common types of advertisements used through Google Adwords. These are the advertisements that appear in the search results and appear based on keywords and search queries. If your business offers a product or service that customers need right that moment, then you’ll want to allocate most of your Adwords budget towards your search campaigns.

Other competitive industries when it comes to local SEO campaigns include

  • Law/Attorneys
  • Real Estate
  • Healthcare
  • Restaurants
  • Flowers/Gifts

What steps would a business owner or an SEO specialist need to take to rank a website well in the local search results for a competitive niche? First and foremost, it’s vital that you’re using only “white hat SEO techniques” and traditionally they include

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is largely centered around content creation. The best content that a brand owner could publish is content that provides value, engages readers, solves a problem and answers questions. What questions do your customers typically ask? Are there any “how to” articles you could publish to your blog? Start there. Eliminate all insecurities about what gets published because as the quantity of your blog posts increases, so does your organic traffic from the search results.

On-page Optimization

On-page optimization is also sometimes referred to as on-site SEO. Some of the most important aspects of on-page optimization include making sure all of your website’s pages are properly titled with the proper meta descriptions. Are all of your website’s internal pages interlinked to allow for easier navigation throughout the entire site? Do all of your website’s images have the proper descriptions? Are all of your broken pages and broken links redirected to live pages? Addressing these common problem areas can go a long way towards increasing your website's page authority.

Mobile Optimization

Does your website have a responsive design for mobile devices? If not, your website is likely suffering in the search results. Google is giving priority to websites that deliver a quality user experience, especially on mobile devices. If your website is not optimized for mobile devices, you’ll need to reach out to a web designer that can make this change. Most web designers will be able to complete this project in as little as a few days.

Link Building

Link building is the second most important aspect of search engine optimization because they’re what vouches for your website’s popularity. Google tells business owners to create content that people will want to link to and to let the readers build links for them. That approach is much easier said than done. Especially for brick and mortar businesses. The best places to start building backlinks to your website include citation listings, social media channels, social bookmarking websites, local directories, directories specific to the products and services your business offers, and blog creation websites like Tumblr, Blogger and Medium. Put your links where people will see it! The more websites that are linking to your website, the higher your website will rank in the search results.

What you should absolutely avoid using are black hat SEO techniques. Black hat SEO techniques include the more frowned upon practices like spamming other websites with links to your website. Remember, there are no shortcuts when it comes to building a successful and long-term SEO campaign.

Contact John Mann SEO Consulting

Are you a small business owner in the Nashville area that needs help increasing your website’s visibility in the search results? John Mann SEO Consulting is a Nashville SEO company that provides digital marketing solutions such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, email marketing consulting and content marketing and development. We are passionate about helping entrepreneurs scale their business via a stronger digital presence and provide free consultations to all businesses that inquire about our services. To schedule your free consultation, give us a call at 615-491-9819 or complete our inquiry contact form