If you are a little fish website on the wide web with limited resources how do you skip over the ups and downs of testing your SEO and get a jump start at the expense of you big competitors?
These are some old SEO master tricks which are common sense, but are often never thought of due to lack of on the job experience. Normally the goal doing this is not to take over the top spot from the big players (though it would be nice). What you are looking to do is leverage the resources of the big players to become the King or Queen of the small players.
Pay the $10 or $40 a month and set up proper SEO monitoring program. My favourite freebie is lipperhey.com but pay the extra and set your self up. Otherwise if you want to go all out use seoprofiler.com. Take the time to add your keywords in and your competitors. Now use the tool to adjust your Technical SEO to match. Note where what their back-links are and copy them. Part of the beauty of doing this is you may find somethings you have done are better. Don't blindly take whatever they have as the best way to do it. Take the best stuff and leave the rest. You have more luck coming out on top if your better even if your smaller.
Note: Make sure you have your Analytics installed so you can measure the traffic.
Follow the big players in the market on social media. See what types of things they post and measure there reach and see which post are more popular and which ones bomb. Note the blog topics which are hot or not. Then replicate the topics, style into your own social media campaign.
Note: Do not copy and paste their posts/blogs as your own. This is while kill your ranking, due to plagiarism not help it. Also, do not share your competitors posts via link in Facebook etc, you're helping them not yourself.
Google Dev tools. See exactly what technical SEO code they are using. In Chrome or Firefox browser simple right click on the section you wish to view the code and select inspect
You can now view all their winning SEO code and copy and paste it for your own benefit.
Website structure will effect your SEO ranking. To quickly see how your competitions website structure is different from yours run a sitemap generator on them.
You can use a free sitemap generator XML-Sitemaps.com.
In a few minutes you will have the keys to the kingdom. Compare and contrast your structure to theirs take the good and leave the bad.
Pay Per Click advertising.
Find the competitor obsessed with being number one in paid advertising. Then increase your bid to use up his budget fast (real fast) just before peak times if possible or just do it when ever you see their ad. Soon as s/he are out then drop your bids and coast through getting all the traffic at a lower cost.
Tip: Most small business only spend 50-100 a day max on PPC ;)
If their PPC budget is to big to push them out concentrate on being number 2,3,4 position (I refer to try and be the one just above the organic listings). It is cheaper so you will be able to operate longer. Also use the same offer and under cut it, offer it free even and upsell anything to drive them nuts and help you get more traffic.
Keep a close on eye on their ads. Whenever their ads are off in peak times turn your ads on.
If you are a small player and the big players are using picture ppc mimic them (without copyright or trademark infringement). Often users won't click on an ad of interest until they have seen it quite a few times. You can capitalise on this.