Any marketing strategy you choose should be guided by the competitive environment in which you’re operating your business. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) competitor analysis is one of the critical aspects of your marketing strategy. It helps you understand your SEO capacity against other businesses within your niche and how you can improve your current standing.
However, an excellent competitor analysis is more than simply analyzing some backlinks and keywords. It’s much deeper and can give you valuable information to leverage and help you match and even outdo your competitors. It’s also not something you do once and forget about. You need to conduct the analysis regularly and change your strategy to match the market trends.
Thankfully, this article is a five-step guide to help you accomplish your SEO competitor analysis effectively, allowing you to stay on top of your SEO game:
1. Identify Your Competitors
First, you need to identify your most relevant competitors, but not everyone who ranks higher is your competitor. Conduct thorough and accurate research towards discovering whom to consider in your competitor analysis. You don’t want to waste your resources, time, and energy analyzing those who won’t make a difference. So, pick your top competitors by doing an SEO comparison and research on top keywords,
taking note of the top businesses in both areas. You can use the available online tools for this step or hire an accomplished and reputable SEO agency to guide you through.
2. Analyze What Makes Them Rank
Next, you want to know the factors that make your competitors rank higher. Look at their top-performing pages, backlinks, keywords, and other ranking factors to determine what features make them rank. You’ll simply be checking their sites and identifying the gaps in your own. The purpose is to determine why they’re ranking when you aren’t.
If you’re not working with an agency, use online competitor analysis tools that have features for checking the content gap and other ranking gaps. For example, you can use it to identify keywords ranking on your competitors’ sites. When you find the keywords that are relevant to you, find a way to incorporate them into your site effectively, enabling you to attract traffic your way and away from your competitors.
Similarly, analyze the competitors’ backlinks by identifying the sites linking back to these sites and how it impacts their domain authority. When you get these insights, use the same strategy when creating backlinks. Some of the insights you should get from the backlink analysis are the authority of linked sites, link relevance, and the number of backlinks.
While keywords and backlinks are significant in SEO competitor analysis, don’t forget other ranking factors, including:
- Web design
- User experience and site speed
- Meta tags
- Google My Business (GMB) profile
3. Focus On What Matters
Your competitor might be ranking for numerous competitive keywords. But you don’t have to compete with each of them. Instead, focus on the keywords that’ll bring the most benefit in revenue. It’ll be better to focus on a smaller but relevant keyword pool and excel rather than use many keywords and risk pulling your efforts down.
Sift through the keywords and come up with those that’ll give you the highest Return on
Investment (ROI). Identify your high-profile product or services and rank them with keywords that’ll bring the most relevant traffic to them or related products. You can also create quality content on a subject your competitors haven’t touched. Successful SEO competitor analysis is all about identifying and leveraging areas competitors haven’t exploited.
4. Identify And Use Competitor Weaknesses
You shouldn’t only focus your analysis on the areas where your competitors are doing well but also on gaps in their strategy. Their weaknesses are a perfect opportunity to have a competitive leg over them after you’re at par with them in other areas. It could be improving your site with easier navigation, unique content, or better visuals.
5. Track Your Progress And Do Regular Audits
Once you’ve identified areas that make other businesses rank higher than yours and their weaknesses, as well as taking the necessary measures to improve your SEO, don’t forget to track your performance. You want to know that your efforts are working for you and, if not, where you’ve gone wrong. Tracking will also help you know if you’re meeting your SEO competitor analysis goal.
It may not be easy to carry out SEO competitor analysis, but it can significantly benefit your
business if you get it right. It lets you see exactly why your business isn’t ranking and why others appear high on search engine searches. It also helps provide you with the necessary information, helping you improve and outdo your competitors. Hopefully, this guide can act as a pointer on how to do the analysis effectively and benefit from it.