You are operating on an online market which is flooded with businesses vying for the attention of the same target audience. Thus staying ahead of the competition is paramount. Competitor SEO, also known as competitive analysis, is a powerful strategy, whicht can help you not only keep up with your rivals but also outperform them in organic search rankings.
Today we will discuss the key steps and strategies for competitor SEO, so that you have an effective roadmap to gain a competitive edge in the digital world.
What Is Competitor SEO?
Competitor SEO is the process of analysing and understanding your competitors’ online strategies to identify areas where you can improve your own search engine optimization efforts. It involves gathering insights into your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses in terms of SEO, content marketing, and overall digital presence.
Gather Ranking Information about Your Own Site
Before you start looking at what your competitors are doing, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of where your own website stands in terms of search engine rankings. This baseline information will help you assess your progress and the impact of your competitor SEO efforts.
These are the main aspects you must get up to date information on:
- Keyword Ranking: Identify the keywords your website is currently ranking for. You can use tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or third-party SEO tools to collect this data.
- Traffic Metrics: Analyse your website’s organic traffic sources, including the number of visitors, bounce rate, and user engagement.
- Conversion Rates: Assess the conversion rates of your website to understand how well your current SEO strategy is converting visitors into customers or leads.
Find Your Direct Competitors
Identifying your direct competitors in the online space is the first step in competitor SEO. These are the businesses or websites that are targeting the same audience and keywords as you.
- Industry Analysis: Conduct industry research to identify the key players in your niche. Look for websites that consistently appear in search results for your target keywords.
- Keyword Competitors: Use SEO tools to discover websites that rank for the same keywords as your site. These are likely to be your direct competitors.
It is important to be selective, because you do not want to benchmark your site against companies that are not your direct competitors. For example, as a local grocery store, you should not compare your ranking data with large national retailers. They are far above your abilities to outrank them, due to their huge marketing and advertising budgets. Plus, most of your clients prefer to shop local and support entrepreneurs in their community.
How Many Competitors Do You Need to Analyse?
You don’t want to dissipate your efforts by looking at a wide range of competitors. To make a good selection, consider businesses that operate in the same local area and in the same niche. They are the ones fighting for the same market share and the same customers.
For the purpose of competitor SEO for a small to medium sized business, 3 to 5 direct competitors are sufficient.
Find Strong and Weak Points in Competitors’ Content Strategy
Analysing your competitors’ content strategy is a critical aspect of competitor SEO. By understanding what works for them and what doesn’t, you can fine-tune your own content approach. You can also identify topic gaps which you can fill, providing users with the exact kind of information they are looking for.
Here are the aspects to pay attention to:
- Content Quality: Evaluate the quality of your competitors’ content. Are they providing in-depth, valuable information, or is their content shallow and uninformative?
- Content Freshness: Assess how frequently your competitors update their content. Fresh and up-to-date content often performs better in search rankings.
- Content Engagement: Look at how their audience engages with their content. Are their blog posts, videos, or infographics getting comments, shares, and likes?
Analyse Your Competitors’ Keywords
Keyword analysis is a fundamental aspect of competitor SEO. Understanding the keywords your competitors target can help you refine your own keyword strategy.
- Targeted Keywords: Identify the keywords your competitors are actively optimising for in their content.
- Keyword Ranking: Determine where your competitors’ pages rank for these keywords. Are they consistently ranking on the first page of search results?
- Keyword Gaps: Identify keywords that your competitors may have missed or keywords where they rank poorly. These gaps represent opportunities for you to gain an advantage.
Look at Their Website UX
User experience (UX) plays a significant role in search engine rankings and overall user satisfaction. Analysing your competitors’ website UX can provide insights for improving your own site.
- Website Speed: Assess the loading speed of your competitors’ websites. Faster-loading sites often have an advantage in search rankings.
- Mobile Responsiveness: Check if their websites are optimized for mobile devices. Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in its rankings.
- Navigation and Layout: Evaluate the overall layout and navigation of their websites. Is it intuitive and user-friendly?
Take a Look at Their Link Profile to Build Your Backlinks
Backlinks, or incoming links from other websites, are a vital factor in SEO. Analysing your competitors’ link profiles can help you develop a robust backlink strategy.
- Backlink Sources: Identify the websites that link to your competitors. These websites may also be interested in linking to your content if it provides value.
- Anchor Text: Examine the anchor text used in backlinks to your competitors’ websites. This can give you insights into the keywords they are targeting.
- Domain Authority: Consider the domain authority of the websites linking to your competitors. High-authority backlinks can significantly impact search rankings.
Continually Monitor Rankings for Your Site and Your Competitors
Competitor SEO is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring and adaptation to stay ahead of the competition.
- Regular Ranking Checks: Use SEO tools to regularly check your website’s rankings for target keywords. Monitor changes in your rankings over time.
- Competitor Tracking: Keep an eye on your competitors’ rankings for the same keywords. Note any shifts in their positions and adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Algorithm Updates: Stay informed about major search engine algorithm updates. These updates can have a significant impact on search rankings and may require adjustments to your SEO strategy.
Competitor SEO Main Takeaways
Competitor SEO is not a one-time task but an ongoing effort to gain a competitive edge in the digital arena. By analysing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, optimising your content and SEO strategy, and continuously monitoring your progress, you can position your website for success in organic search rankings.
Remember that competitor SEO is not about copying other companies’ strategies. It is about learning from your rivals and using that knowledge to surpass them in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Stay agile, adapt to changes, and focus on providing value to your audience, and you’ll be well on your way to outperforming your competition in the world of digital marketing!