A critical aspect of the SEO stratagem is analysing the competitors. If you want to improve your rankings on search engine results (SERPs), undertaking competitor analysis in SEO is necessary. The analysis provides insights into where your competition ranks and for which keywords. When you know what your competitors are doing and the opportunities you are missing you can use those insights to enhance your rankings. A proactive approach to SEO competitor research will help you understand
- Where are the keyword opportunities
- The type of content users responding to specific keywords
- The type of SEO strategies that you are working for competitors in your space
- Where you will be focussing on time to optimize for your conversions
What is SEO competitor analysis and why it is important?
Competition analysis in SEO is all about identifying the websites or brands that rank you higher on SERPs. Being aware of what is working for your competitors enables you to apply those insights to your SEO strategy. Your business would have undertaken competitor analysis from marketing strategy to product development uncovering opportunities and finds inspiration for improving.
It is not only about keeping your friends, closer but adopt the same strategy with your enemies. By SEO competitor research you can figure out where your competitors are spending their time and resources and how they are responding to industry trends. Competition analysis in SEO permits you to find weaknesses in your competitors plan. In any case, you can use those keywords as a source of creativity when coming up with brand-new, very effective keywords.
The reasons to undertake an SEO competitor analysis
You may start learning from the competitors by following the simple steps
Identify your SEO competitors
The first step in your SEO competitor analysis is identifying who are your competitors. An ideal way to do this is to note down each and every competitor of yours. This may include your direct competitors and indirect competitors
- The direct competitors are the ones who have similar product offerings like yours.
- Indirect competitors are the websites or brands that you are competing with rankings on SERPs.
You may start googling high-value keywords and see what SERP surfaces. You may be surprised by some of the websites that outrank you. Be aware that when you are competing with high value brands or websites simply do not go ahead.
Identifying important keywords
At this juncture you will have an idea about the keywords that you are targeting and the ones important to you in driving consistent organic traffic. If you are not sure which keywords to target, get help from a keyword research tool.
The most important thing that you can learn from analysing competitors’ keywords is that you can start to learn the reasons why they are targeting those queries. Once you have an idea on why your competitors are focussed on certain topics you will have an idea about what you are missing out on the content front.
Research competitor’s SEO strategy
A suggestion is to approach SEO competitor research by SWOT analysis. One of the important things to remember about this analysis is not to assume anything. A straightforward method is to use Google as your keyword research tool where you can identify the pages and articles where your competitors are ranking well.
From here you need to figure out how your competing content matches up. This is going to provide you with a baseline on which queries to target and which are not worth the bargain now. Finally, you should pay attention to the amount of content that your competitors produce.
Formulate content gap with your competitors
You will be keen to find keywords of your competitors that are ranking and not yours. This is referred to as competition analysis in SEO. For each competitor you need to dig deep and figure out what you need to do in terms of content gap, search intent and the content required to placate that intent.
Consider what steps you need to take to fill in the content gaps. In case if your competitors are ranking for keywords that are not relevant to your niche, it is better to skip them.
Establish link gap with the competitors
By now you would be keen to observe the competitor’s link profiles, link profiles and where gaps exist in your own links. Things tend to become clear once you undertake a competitor gap analysis but you have to focus on what links your competitors think
The algorithm of Google changes at regular intervals. An example is that a keyword that ranks on page 1 for a particular month will stoop down to the 5th page after a month. It is stated that backlinks from highly authoritative websites will go a long way in improving your rankings and organic traffic.
Figure out the website’s technical health
So as to obtain the most from your SEO competition analysis, there is a need to understand your websites technical health inside out. Poor technical website health may turn out to be the difference in ranking on the top 5 on SERPs and the top 50 on SERPs. Google wants to provide you the best in terms of experience.
So, it is clear that if your website loads slowly or is not mobile friendly like your competitors it is a guarantee that the rankings of the website will drop in SERPs. It is fair to say that the websites health and technical SEO strategy is crucial for organic traffic, rankings and overall, SEO strategy.
Monitor your competitors and progress
By now you are aware where you stand in terms of the competition and have started to enhance your strategy. The most difficult part in this journey is to remain consistent. To remain ahead of the game, you need to continue to monitor your competition and your own progress. At the same time be aware that you should focus a lot of time and resources on SEO competitor search analysis. Just use your competitors as a source of inspiration and you may leave it there.
To conclude, competitor SEO analysis is a vital step in improving your rankings and organic traffic. Though it is a step that is never complete. Undertaking a competitor analysis in SEO
involves a deep and recurring process providing you with a competitive advantage in your SEO efforts.
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