written by
Syed Balkhi

How to Write Content That Outranks Competition in SERPs

Content Marketing Search Engine Optimization 8 min read

Whenever your customers search for a product or service online, they are likely to be presented with hundreds of options on the search engine results page (SERP).

As a business owner, your goal is to ensure that your content stands out and ranks higher than your competitors. You can bring potential customers to your website by outranking your competitors in search engine results.

The higher your content ranks, the more visibility and traffic your website will receive. Businesses that don't rank well essentially miss out on over half of their potential audience finding them through search engines (source).

So, how do you write content that outranks the competition? Keep reading. The following steps cover everything you should know about effective content creation to boost your content performance.

Do Thorough Keyword Research

Keywords are the backbone of content optimization. They are the terms your potential customers use when searching for a product or service like yours.

Hence, to outrank your competitors, you need to identify the keywords they are targeting and find ways to improve them.

Start by brainstorming broad topics relevant to your products or services, then expand into specific keyword phrases people might use to find that information. For example, if you provide garden landscaping services and serve the San Francisco Bay area, then some obvious keywords include ‘best garden landscapers’ and ‘san franciso garden landscaping services’.

However, you can also think of more creative and relevant keywords for your brand. In the case of our garden landscaping business, you could also expand into ‘Drought-tolerant plants SF Bay Area’, ‘Sustainable garden design ideas’, and other terms.

You can find hundreds of relevant and related keywords. So, what should you focus on?

This is where you look into factors like search volume and keyword difficulty. It’s likely that ‘best garden landscapers’ will have many searches online. But it will also be difficult to compete for this key term - the keyword difficulty is too high.

Keyword research tools

Use tools like Low Fruits and SEMRush to provide data on keyword metrics. Focus on terms with higher search volumes and lower competition scores.

Or else you can also track the trending keywords and popular searches related to your industry using platforms like Google Trends. These platforms provide insights into what people are searching for in real-time, giving you an edge over your competition.

Ultimately, once you've found promising keywords, analyze the top-ranking pages to understand what it will take to outrank them. Then, naturally incorporate those focus keywords throughout your content in titles, headers, image alt text, and body copy.

StoryChief's Content Gap Analysis pinpoints what your article lacks against the top 10 search results and suggests 40 keyword recommendations to outshine your competitors! Try it free.

The key is to make your content relevant and useful to readers while also informing search engines what your content is about. Remember, never spam keywords into your content or you’ll likely to get severely penalized by search engines.

Create In-Depth, Comprehensive Content

To outrank competitors, you need to understand what you’re competitors are doing through a competitive content analysis. Based on those data, create long-form, comprehensive content that covers your topic thoroughly and goes beyond what your competitors offer.

Content depth is measured by the expert-level coverage of a broad range of subtopics related to the main topic. For example, if you’re writing about pet care as a single broad topic, go in-depth and cover grooming, nutrition, exercise, and all relevant subtopics.

Provide in-depth explanations, multiple perspectives, and more value than shallow, superficial content.

Don't just summarize the basics that everyone else covers. Dive deeper into the nuances, research findings, case studies, and advanced insights wherever necessary.

The more comprehensive and valuable your content, the more likely it will rank higher than thin, low-quality pages. Aim to create the one definitive resource that answers a query so thoroughly that users don't need to look elsewhere.

Throughout the content, incorporate keywords, high-quality images, videos, infographics, and other visual elements. You can use tools like SurferSEO or ClearScope to analyze top-ranking pages and suggest relevant keywords and visual elements to include.


Optimize Content for On-Page SEO

Optimizing titles, tags, meta descriptions, and headers with your target keyword is the most effective on-page SEO strategy for improving click-through rates.

Craft compelling meta descriptions to entice users to click through from the search results. Use heading tags (H1, H2, etc.) properly to organize your content hierarchy.

Optimize images with descriptive file names and alt text for accessibility and image search visibility.

Finally, strategically link internally to other relevant pages on your site, and externally to authoritative sources to provide more context. Following on-page best practices sends positive relevance signals to search engines.

If you find this challenging, consider hiring an expert or using a tool like StoryChief to automate and recommend improvements for your on-page SEO.

Structure Content for Topical Authority

Structuring your content to build topical authority involves creating comprehensive content clusters or hubs around core topics.

This means publishing an in-depth pillar page covering the main topic broadly and then creating additional supporting content pages that dive deeper into subtopics and link back to the page.

The pillar page should provide a broad overview, while the cluster content adds depth to specific areas. This approach demonstrates your expertise on the subject matter. Internally linking related content together reinforces relevance and helps search engines understand your topical authority.

For example, if you run a cooking website, your pillar page could be ‘The Ultimate Guide to Italian Cuisine’.

Cluster content would include ‘10 Classic Italian Pasta Dishes’, ‘How to Make Authentic Italian Pizza at Home’, ‘The Ultimate Guide to Italian Cheeses’, and so on.

Linking these related posts into an organized topic cluster signals your comprehensive coverage of Italian cooking. In this way, having complete content on a subject builds your reputation, authority, and expertise.

The added benefit is that each topic piece builds on another. By covering different and relevant topics, you boost the chances of individual pieces of writing to rank higher on SERPs.

Optimize for User Experience

It's a fact that search engines prioritize websites that provide a positive experience, leading to better engagement and higher rankings. Hence, to rank higher than your competitors, ensure your website is easy to navigate, and offers a seamless user experience.

Now, how do you optimize for user experience?

  • Page loading speed: Ensure your website loads quickly on both desktop and mobile devices. Slow load times can lead to high bounce rates and negatively impact rankings.
  • Mobile-friendliness: With the majority of web traffic coming from mobile devices, having a responsive, mobile-friendly website is essential. Search engines prioritize mobile-optimized sites.
  • Easy navigation: Provide a clear, intuitive navigation structure that allows users to easily find the information they're looking for. Complicated menus and confusing site architecture can hurt UX.
  • Engaging visuals: Use high-quality images, videos, and other visuals to enhance the content and make it more appealing and engaging for users. For creating such visuals there are several free tools like Canva, Piktochart, and Venngage. Remember, Google's AI is now able to scan and understand visual content, making it a valuable factor in ranking decisions. However, ensure these elements don't slow download times.

By prioritizing user experience, you'll not only improve engagement and satisfaction but also signal to search engines that your website provides a valuable experience, helping you outrank competitors.

Leverage Content Promotion

Your content won't automatically rank high just because it's comprehensive and optimized. You also need to promote it effectively to reach a wider audience and attract backlinks, which are contributors to improving rankings.

According to Outbrain, "Promoting your content through multiple channels increases its chances of being seen by your target audience, driving more traffic, and ultimately improving your search engine rankings."

Thus, leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to share your content and drive traffic to your website. Engage with industry influencers and encourage them to share your content with their audiences.

Additionally, paid promotion tactics such as sponsored posts or targeted advertising should be considered to boost visibility and reach a wider audience. Email marketing can also be an effective way to promote your content to your existing subscriber base.

Continuously Update, Analyze, and Improve

Writing once and forgetting is not a viable strategy.

Maintaining fresh content is not optional; it is a must-do for sustaining high search rankings. Google's algorithms favor websites that regularly update their content, as it indicates the site is active and relevant.

Repurpose and refresh older content to keep your site updated without constantly creating new content from scratch.

It's also important to respond to feedback and comments from your audience. This shows search engines that your content is engaging and valuable to users. Incorporate feedback to improve existing content or create new content addressing common questions or concerns.

Also, monitor your content's performance metrics, such as bounce rates, time on page, and conversion rates.

If needed, use analytics tools like Google Analytics or StoryChief to track and analyze your content's performance regularly. With the help of analytics data, you can identify posts that need a refresh or ones that need a complete rewrite.

Adjustments and improvements will better meet user needs and search intent which will boost your overall SERP performance.


Google's algorithm is constantly changing, and with more businesses competing for online visibility, building topical authority and ranking high on search engines is becoming increasingly challenging.

However, outranking competitors to rank higher is possible with high-quality, relevant content. Just focus on helping people.

It takes time, effort, and constant monitoring to consistently outrank your competition, but the rewards in terms of increased organic traffic and greater conversions are worth it.

content marketing