How to Perform Competitor SEO Analysis?
An SEO Competitor Analysis is a process of research and evaluation conducted on competitors, to understand their strengths and weaknesses in relation to existing SEO strategy. The main goal of an SEO Competitor Analysis is to identify areas where one can improve their SEO to outrank the competitors.
To conduct an effective SEO Competitor Analysis, businesses need a solid understanding of their SEO strategy and a good understanding of competitors’ SEO strategies. Once this information is collected, we can look for areas to improve SEO to gain a competitive edge.
How to find your SEO Competitors?
There are several ways to find your SEO Competitors. You can use a variety of tools and methods to research your Competitor’s SEO efforts, and find out what they are doing to rank highly in search engines.
One way to find SEO Competitors is by using tools like Google AdWords and Moz. Go to the AdWords site and enter a few keywords that are relevant to your business. Then, look at the “All Results” tab and scroll down to the “Competition” section. This will give you a list of all the websites that are competing for the same keywords that you are.
Another way to find your SEO competitors is to use a tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer. Enter your website’s URL into the tool and it will show you a list of all the websites that link to your site. This can be an effective way to know the list of your competitors and what they are doing to rank highly in search engines.
With the list of your SEO competitors in hand, start to research their SEO strategies. Look at their website and see how they are using keywords. Also, look at the backlinks that they have pointing to their site. This can give you some ideas about what they are doing to get their website ranked highly in search engines.
When should you conduct SEO Competitor Analysis?
Conducting a Competitor Analysis is an essential part of any SEO strategy. By understanding what your competitors are doing, you can learn from their successes and avoid their mistakes.
But when is the best time to conduct an SEO Competitor Analysis?
SEO is not a function in isolation, and is always akin to your competitors. It is also not static. With the constant changes in search engine algorithms, as well as new competitors being launched and digital marketers working tirelessly to beat your own, you should not take your feet off the pedal in the SEO arena. Continuously reviewing your competitors to determine how you compare against them can help you identify areas where you can improve, before they adversely impact your ranking.
Here are some of the key steps and events that must be followed when conducting the SEO study of your competitors.
1. Identify Your Core Competitors
The first step is to identify who your core competitors are. There are the below few ways of going about this:
- Search engine results pages (SERPs): Look up relevant keywords that you’re targeting in the SERPs and take note of the businesses that rank on the first page.
- Industry associations and directories: These can provide you with information on who the key players in your industry are.
- Social media: Another way to identify your core competitors is through social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. You can use the search function to find out who’s talking about related products or services like yours.
2. Review Their SEO Strategy
Once you have identified your core competitors, it is time to look at their SEO strategy. The few things you should focus on:
- Targeted Keywords: What keywords are they targeting? Are they similar to the ones you are targeting? You can use free tools such as Uber suggest and Google Search Console to find this out.
- Blog Posts: What topics do they cover on their blog? Are there any gaps in their content that you could exploit?
- Backlink Profile: Who’s linking to them? You can find this information using tools like Moz or Majestic.
3. Identify Any Gaps in Their SEO Strategy
Once you have reviewed your competitors’ SEO strategy, it should be easier for you to identify any gaps. For instance, they might not be targeting certain long-tail keywords that you could easily rank for. They might not have a blog, which gives you a great opportunity to fill that gap and get ahead of them.
4. Stay Up-to-Date with Their SEO Strategy
Keep in mind that your core competitors are also constantly trying to improve their SEO strategy. So, it is important that you stay up-to-date with the latest changes. An effective way to do this is by setting up Google Alerts for your competitors. This will send you an email notification any time one of your competitors is mentioned online.
5. Try to Copy and Improve Their SEO Strategy
If all else fails, you can always try to copy your Competitor’s SEO strategy and improve upon it. Obviously, this is not the ideal solution, but if you are struggling to produce an effective SEO strategy of your own, it might be worth a shot.
Competitor Analysis in SEO
Keyword Analysis of Competitors can be described as the method of identifying relevant keywords that your competitors are ranking, but your site is not. Keyword Analysis shares a clear picture for website optimization. This process can be used to improve your site’s organic search results by understanding what your competition is doing well and then trying to duplicate or exceed their efforts.
Some methods of Competitor Keyword Analysis include:
– Looking at the titles and descriptions of the pages that are ranking well for the keywords you want to target
– Using a tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner or SEMrush.com to look at the estimated monthly search volume for the keywords you want to target
– Checking out the backlinks that your competitors have pointing to their sites
– Analyzing social media posts associated with the keywords you want to target
– Conducting a SWOT analysis of your competition’s overall SEO strategy
Content Analysis of Competitors
Keywords are certainly a key component in any SEO competitor evaluation. However, your evaluation does not have to begin and end with keywords. It is also important to boost your SEO by drawing the inspiration of the best performing content of your competitors. Assessing the content of your competitor’s website can be a challenging task, but luckily there are several analytical tools to make this easier. Some of these analytical tools are even free!
The elements of content you must be paying attention to optimize your content so that it can beat your competitors on a specific subject are:
- Format for content
- Keywords used to create the website page
- Meta title and meta description
- Word count. Research shows that organic results for searches which appear at the top of page one on Google have the average number of words as 1,447.
- Content readability
- Structure of pages, such as information architecture and headings
- Supporting videos, images, and other media files
- The format of the answer to the question. Are they using bullet points? Infographics? Q&A?
- The existence of structured data
- The frequency of publication
Analysis of Backlink Profiles of Competitors
While content is still a significant ranking factor, getting reliable, high-quality backlinks is a crucial element of any effective SEO strategy. Backlinks are also referred to as inbound links or web links that point to your website. Search engines utilize backlinks to determine the trustworthiness of the site. As your site becomes more valuable and reliable, it will rank higher in search results and receive more organic traffic. However, despite their importance, research has shown that most internet pages do not have any backlinks in any way.
Analyzing competitor’s technical SEO
Content, keywords and technical SEO are the three primary components in every SEO Competitor Analysis. Content and keywords have already been addressed. Now, it is time to shift your attention to the auditing of technical SEO. This is, checking the technical aspect of your site in comparison to the competition, and making sure that you fill in any gaps in your SEO that could cause your rankings to slide.
Important technical SEO elements you will need to study your competition for are:
- Internal linking: Internal links assist search engines discover the index and understand the content of a website. It is Google’s most effective practice to use distinct keyword phrases as intended destinations within the content, and make use of them as anchors towards those pages.
- Structure of the website: Structure of the site influences the user experience as well as the ease with which it is explored by Google. A well-designed website must have a simple, well-organized structure that allows for free, simple crawling. It is also helpful to check the depth to which your primary target pages are within the web’s structure. The ideal is that a crucial site should not be greater than 4 clicks from your homepage.
- Speed of page: The speed of your website is another important ranking factor. Your website should not take more than three seconds to load. 47% of people anticipate that they will load within two seconds.
- SSL certificates: Is the website secured by HTTPS? Search engines place an enormous focus on providing a safe browsing experience to their users. The presence of an HTTPS encrypted site is an important Google ranking factor, and can stop a site from receiving a “Not Secure” label on their website’s name in the search results.
- Mobile optimization: There are a few things to consider when optimizing mobile devices. Make sure your website has a responsive design, is speed optimized, and avoids using pop-ups or interstitials that could annoy mobile users.
- Off-page SEO: Off-page SEO refers to the factors that influence your website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). These factors include the quality and quantity of links pointing to your website, as well as the images and videos people share about your brand online.
Assuming you have Google Analytics and Search Console set up (if not, do that first), start by looking at the average time spent on your site versus the competition. If you notice a discrepancy, that could be a sign that your site is slower to load, or otherwise less user-friendly. Another metric to look at is your “bounce rate”, which measures the number of people who come to your site and immediately leave. A high bounce rate could indicate that your site isn’t relevant to what people are searching for, or that it’s difficult to navigate.
Next, check your Meta descriptions and title tags. Are they optimized for click-throughs? Do they accurately reflect what users will find on your page? If not, you may want to reconsider your keywords and make sure they are more closely aligned with what people are searching for. Finally, look at your backlink profile. How many high-quality links do you have pointing back to your website? The more links you have from authoritative sites, the better your chance of ranking highly in search results.
In conclusion, performing Competitor SEO Analysis is a crucial step in understanding the digital landscape of your industry and determining the best way to improve your own ranking. By analyzing your Competitor’s SEO strategy, you can learn from their successes and avoid their mistakes. When you are ready to start your own SEO Competitor Analysis, contact TBA (Texas Business Analytics) to get started.
Jack Owen is a search engine optimization specialist at Texas Business Analytics who specializes in the technical aspects of search engine strategies embraced to gain traffic and leads. Following the tidbits of SEO information, Jack turns his innovations and methodologies into words on paper to focus solution on B2B marketing and digital marketing solutions.