Competition is an inevitable and extremely healthy aspect of every activity. Without competition, complacency would set in and there would be no incentive to innovate. Because there is competition, all players are forced to keep on trying to do better in every aspect of their business so that they can steal valuable market share and build enduring customer loyalty. According to https://www.forbes.com, performing competitor analysis enables you to keep on improving and also provides you with an effective benchmarking system so that you know if your marketing strategy is paying off or not. For this to happen, a business has to first identify its main competitors, find out why they are getting better search engine ranks, and then decide what strategy to adopt to get ahead of them. Some practical tips on performing competitor analysis effectively:

Find Out Your Principal SEO Competitors

Most business owners will very easily be able to name the main competitors in their industry; however, it is quite likely that they will end up looking confused if you ask them who their main SEO competitors are because the two are not necessarily the same. It is also quite possible that you may have to contend with several SEO competitors who operate outside of your business niche while competing for superior SERP rankings. The main SEO competitors are those online businesses that rank in the first Google search results page for the target keywords or phrases, irrespective of whether they actually compete with you for the same business. If you operate in several niches, it is quite likely that you will have separate and distinct competitor lists with very little overlap. Luckily, the process of identifying your main competitors is as simple as examining the search results page for every important keyword. You can even use a specialized competitor analysis tool to make the process easier. 

Evaluate the Strength of Competitors

Even before, you jump into tweaking your on-page SEO or adjusting your link-building strategy, it can be a very good idea to analyze the SEO strength of your competitors. Theoretically, you can outrank any competitor for any keyword in any niche; it may not be practically feasible due to the huge amount of resources required. To avoid wasting your resources, you should use a competitor analysis tool to figure out the total domain strength of your competitors. Thereafter, you can analyze specific factors like domain authority, domain age, and location, search engine indexing, backlink data, catalog listings, the volume of traffic and social signals so that you can try to discover any weakness that you can exploit. It is more productive to concentrate on competitors who rank well for niche keywords but have a lower overall score because outranking SEO for strong competitors can be tough and expensive. 

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Identify New Keyword Opportunities

Term frequency-inverse document frequency analysis (TF-IDF) is a very handy method for elevating the quality of your existing content with keywords that are being productively used by the competition, according to the CEO of arguably the best SEO Company in Washington. The complicated-sounding expression is a figure derived by the number of times that the keyword appears in the content multiplied by its expected frequency. This method allows you to optimize your web pages better for SEO and also for discovering keywords with low competition that you may have overlooked. By analyzing TF-IDF, you may find out that many of the top-ranking pages that you are competing against have many terms and phrases in common. If you are not already targeting these keywords, you can gain a lot by adding them to your existing content or even building new content to accommodate them to boost semantic search relevance.

Scrutinize On-Page Optimization and Content

The analysis of the on-site SEO of your competitors using any commonly available competitive analysis tool will unearth lots of valuable information that you can work with for boosting your SEO. Factors like the frequency of content publishing, content types, and target keywords can be especially helpful in tweaking your own content management strategy. Among other things, you should focus on things like metadata, title tags, title keywords, length of the title, internal linking strategies, etc. that seem to be the bedrock of their SEO success. By figuring out the things that your competitors are doing especially well, you can adjust your SEO strategies for better performance delivery. Content analysis is also of vital importance; monitor the topics being published, the type of media used to deliver content, word count or length of the videos, the extent of details, etc. as they all are valuable signals that are picked up by Google bots as they crawl websites.

Investigate the Backlink Profiles of the Competitors

The number and quality of the backlinks are very important signals for search engines for page rankings. Accordingly, you should find out where your main competitors are getting their backlinks and what sort of content is attracting the backlinks. Using that insight, you can improve on the quality and relevance of the content of your website so that you become an equally attractive destination for sites with high domain authority. Backlink analysis is best done with a proper competitive analytics tool, as a manual operation is not feasible.

Study the Site Architecture and User Experience

Among the many recent changes Google has made to its algorithm, quite a few have been on focused on a better user experience; these include improved search results, quicker page loading, improved mobile experience, etc. when compared to your competitors, if your website is unresponsive or has a confusing navigation, you should take steps to address the issues immediately. Essential steps include optimizing the sitemap for improved crawl-ability, prioritizing the loading times of pages according to their values, and ensuring search intent is paramount across all pages.

Conclusion

Competitive analysis is not something that you do once and forget about. Remember, your competitors are not asleep and doing everything that they can to rise to the top of search engine page rankings to grab the maximum volume of organic traffic. You need to keep on constantly monitoring them across the most important metrics as well as finding out the impact of Google updates on the performance of your site so that you can stay on top of the situation consistently. 

Posted by Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized marketing plans depending on the industry and competition.

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