November 07, 2018 in Strategy by

How long is it going to take for your SEO campaign to see results? Is SEO the best way to market your company? These are a couple of questions whose answers should consider the competitive nature of your industry.

The other day I took some time to research how competitive many industries are, on Google. Below is what I found out. I hope this helps you set reasonable goals and expectations on what it might take for your SEO campaign to succeed.


  1. I took a list of all the Google My Business categories for 2018. I got this from Classy Brain. I don’t know if this is correct or comprehensive, but it seemed like a good place to start.
  2. I collected keyword data from each. This is more than the “estimated searches” for each of these terms. I combine several factors (in my secret, proprietary formula) to show which is most competitive.
  3. I sorted them by most competitive to least.

The ten most competitive industries on Google are

  1. Hotels
  2. Casinos
  3. Plumbers
  4. Flower Delivery
  5. Moving Companies
  6. Locksmiths
  7. Furniture Stores
  8. Dentists
  9. Ford Dealerships
  10. Personal Injury Attorneys

How can your company compete in Google for the most competitive industries?

Set realistic expectations

It’s going to take a lot to compete against similar businesses to you in SEO. In fact, it might take years. SEO is never a quick marketing channel. In these cases, it’s going to take a long time before you start to see significant results. If your company needs to ramp-up fast, PPC might be a better solution.

It’s also going to take a significant financial investment to do SEO for one of these industries. This is not only an investment over time. Everything is going to cost more. I see this when it comes to lawyers. It costs a lot of money to get listed in some of the most respected legal web directories. Unfortunately, some of these directories charge a lot but offer little value. Use caution when spending money or you could waste a lot, at the same time.

Pursue the long tail

Sometimes companies that start an SEO campaign get obsessed with a particular keyword. This hurts them in several ways. For one, they overlook the easier, long-tailed opportunities.

This would be a great way to compete against other flower delivery services. Sure, a lot of people search for “flower delivery.” If you were to “rank” for that, you’d get a ton of traffic (and customers)! There’s a lot less people searching for reasons you’d want to deliver flowers: a new baby, an apology, love, a funeral, a gift, etc. Of course, these phrases are also less competitive. The more specific and helpful content you can produce on your site, the more opportunities you’ll see. The principal behind the Long Tail says there’s a lot more customers searching for the infinite number of specific terms than are searching for the broad phrase.

Create a unique selling proposition

Why would someone choose your locksmith company over another? Do you offer 24-hour service? Do you promise to arrive in less than 30 minutes? What makes your company better? Feature these distinctions and your company can stand-out from the competition.

Target a specific, niche audience

Don’t ¬†try to be like everyone else. Focus on a specific group of people as your target audience. Sure, this might limit others from using your services. But, you could dominate a specific segment.

This would be a great strategy for a Dentist. What would it look like for a dentist to focus on Millennials? Perhaps they offer free Wi-Fi and have a holder for their cell-phone hanging right above their seat (of course, I’m just speculating and stereotyping here). This could attract a lot of people that would otherwise not care about your dental practice.

I hope this isn’t discouraging. A successful SEO campaign, in one of these competitive industries, is achievable. It’s just going to take a little more time and a little more work.

What’s your experience doing SEO in one of these competitive industries? Leave your thoughts¬†in the comments, below.

WordCamp Greenville, SC 2020

If you attended WordCamp Greenville, SC in 2020 you might have heard David speak about SEO in a talk and on a panel.

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