An SEO competitive analysis is an important part of any successful SEO strategy. By understanding and analyzing your top competitors, you can learn what strategies they are using to rank well, and then adapt and improve your website accordingly. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of performing a competitor analysis, so that you can develop a more effective SEO strategy and overtake your competition!
A competitor analysis can be done relatively easily and at no cost. You probably already know who your main competitors are in your industry. With this information, you can be researching them and see what kind of tools, SEO techniques, and approaches they are using to rank on Google and drive traffic to their website. In this guide we will walk you through the process of analyzing your competitor’s website, to understand where your site may be lacking.
Let’s jump right into it and have a look at what it means to analyze your competitor.
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What is Competitor Analysis?
Competitor Analysis is the process of evaluating your top competitors, to understand their strengths and weaknesses. By understanding your competition, you can develop a more effective SEO strategy that will help you to overtake them in the search rankings.
There are several different factors that you will need to consider when performing a SEO competitor analysis. Some of the key areas that you will need to look at include:
- Competitor Rankings: What keywords are your competitors ranking for?
- Competitor Content: What kind of content are they creating, and how can you improve upon it?
- Competitor Links: Who is linking to their website, and how can you get similar high-quality links?
In this guide, we will walk you through the process of performing a Competitor Analysis with a five step approach. By the end of this guide, you will have a good understanding of your top competitors, and what strategies you can use to outrank them. Let’s get started with step 1: how to identify competitors!
Step 1: Identify Your Competitors
The first step in performing a Competitor Analysis is to identify your top competitors. There are two main ways to do this. The first way is the easiest for many local businesses that are focusing on local SEO.
Most of the time you will already know the businesses dominating your market in your area. The luxury of focusing on local queries and SEO is that you can easily identify the shop down the street who is garnishing most of the traffic for your industry. Moreover, with local SEO, and service providers focusing on a smaller geographical area, competition is usually quite low. This is because most small businesses are not investing or focusing on SEO for their company. This means with just a little bit of research you will be able to out rank them easily!
The second step is for companies that have a larger area that they are serving and thus more difficult to identify competitors. Therefore, to do this, you will need to use a keyword research tool to find out which websites are ranking for the keywords that you want to rank for.
There are several different keyword research tools that you can use, but our personal favorite is Ahrefs and Ubersuggest. Once you have signed up for an account, simply enter your target keyword into the “Keywords Explorer” tool, and then click on the “Search” button.
This will bring up a list of all the websites that are ranking for that keyword. Take a look at the results, and make a note of any websites that you consider to be your top competitors. It is important to conduct good keyword research however. This is because you will want to focus on terms that matter to your business. Make sure to pay attention to the search intent of the keyword as well as the location of each! Don’t target a keyword in New York if you live in Oregon!
Step 2: Analyze Their Rankings
Once you have identified your top competitors, the next step is to analyze their rankings. This will give you an idea of what keywords they are ranking for, and how well they are performing in the search results.
To do this, we recommend using Ahrefs or Ubersuggest again. Simply enter your competitor’s URL into the “Site Explorer” tool, and then have a look at all of the organic keywords they are ranking for. These tools will also give you an idea about social shares and their activity. Take a look at this and analyze of a social presence will help your company as well. Social shares are not a direct ranking factor but they do send positive signals to search engines, and they are a great way to increase website traffic to your website.
The best way to do this is to export the list to an excel sheet and set up different parameters to sort the information by. This approach will allow you to more quickly find terms your website should be targeting based on their ranking difficulty and search volume.
Step 3: Analyze Their Content
Once you have identified the keywords that your competitors are ranking for, the next step is to analyze their content. This will give you an idea of what kind of content they are creating, and how you can improve upon it.
To do this, we recommend using a tool like BuzzSumo. Simply enter your competitor’s URL into the search bar, and then click on the “View all” button.
This will bring up a list of all the content that they have published on their website. Take a look at the results, and make a note of any pieces of content that you want to create. In our case, we are going to be looking at the article “How to Do an SEO Competitor Analysis”.
Step 4: Analyze Their Links
Once you have analyzed their content, the next step is to take a look at their links. This will give you an idea of who is linking to their website, and how you can get similar high-quality links.
To do this, we recommend using a tool like Majestic. Simply enter your competitor’s URL into the search bar, and then click on the “Explore” button.
This will bring up a list of all the backlinks that they have. Take a look at the results, and make a note of any websites that you want to get links from. In our case, we are going to be looking at the website “Moz”.
Step 5: Develop Your Strategy
Now that you have gathered all of this data, it’s time to start developing your SEO strategy. Using the information that you have gleaned from your competitor analysis, you should be able to develop a more effective SEO strategy that will help you to overtake your competition!
Why Competitor Analysis is Important
SEO is constantly evolving and changing, so it’s important to keep up with the latest trends and changes in order to stay ahead of the competition. One of the best ways to do this is by conducting a competitor analysis. By understanding your top competitors and what they are doing well, you can develop a more effective SEO strategy that will help you to overtake them.
Competitor analysis can also help you to identify new opportunities for your website. If you see a competitor ranking well for a certain keyword, for example, you may want to consider targeting that keyword yourself.
Many different factors go into a successful SEO strategy, and an SEO competitive analysis is just one piece of the puzzle. However, it is an important piece and one that should not be overlooked while your company is looking to improve its visibility and prospects online.
How to Conduct a Competitor Analysis
There are many different ways to conduct a competitor analysis. Here are a few of the most common methods:
- Look at their website: Take a look at your competitor’s website and see what they are doing well. Is their site easy to use and navigate? Do they have fresh, original content? Are they using any interesting or unique SEO techniques?
- Check their backlink profile: A backlink is an inbound link from another website. Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors for SEO, so it’s important to see who your competitors are getting links from. You can check your competitor’s backlink profile using a tool like Ahrefs’ backlink checker.
- Analyze their keywords: Keyword research is an essential part of SEO. By understanding which keywords your competitors are targeting, you can better optimize your site for those keywords. A tool like SEMrush can be helpful for this.
- Monitor their social media: Social media can be a great way to connect with potential customers and promote your content. See what kinds of things your competitors are doing on social media, and see if there are any opportunities for you to do something similar.
By conducting a competitor analysis, you can get a better understanding of the current SEO landscape and develop a more effective strategy for your website. Competitor analysis is an important part of any successful SEO campaign.
Tools for Competitor Analysis
Many different tools can help you to conduct a Competitor Analysis. Here are a few of the most popular tools:
- Moz’s Open Site Explorer: This is a great tool for analyzing a competitor’s backlink profile. You can see who is linking to their website, and what kind of links they are getting.
- SEMrush: This tool can help you to see which keywords your competitor is targeting, as well as their website traffic and organic search ranking.
- SocialBee: This tool can help you to analyze your competitor’s social media activity, and see what kinds of things they are doing well on social media.
- Google Analytics: This is a free tool from Google that can help you to track your website traffic and see where your visitors are coming from.
- Ubersuggest: Free keyword and website analysis tool to research competitors
By using these tools, you can get a better understanding of your competition and develop a more effective SEO strategy. Competitor analysis is an important part of any successful SEO campaign.
Key Takeaways: SEO Competitive Analysis
An SEO competitive analysis can provide invaluable insight into competitors’ websites to help you understand just how to outperform them on search engine results pages. By understanding your top competitors and what they are doing well, you can develop a more effective SEO strategy that will help you to overtake them. Competitor analysis in SEO can also help you to identify new opportunities for your website. There are many different ways to conduct a competitor analysis, and there are many different tools that can help you to do it. Competitor analysis is an important part of any successful SEO campaign.
Take a look at what Ahrefs is doing in the SEO/digital marketing field. They are a great example of an industry that is outperforming its competitors. Another great example would be Backlinko. Although they are newer when it comes to SEO, Backlinko has begun dominating the market because of their solid SEO performance, as well as stellar competitor analysis. They have identified what was working for their competitors, and have done it better,
When it comes to your website make sure it is easy to use and navigate, has fresh, original content, and uses unique and interesting SEO techniques – there is nothing worse than a website that just copies the rest of the industry. Your website traffic will know, and so will Google!
Finally, work to develop a strong backlink profile, and be active on social media and in your specific industry on forums. By understanding what your competitor is doing well, you can develop a more effective SEO strategy for your website. Just remember, make it unique and offer value. If you do that, website traffic will start to flow in!
Need help analyzing your competitors? Contact us today so we can do the research for you. We will provide you with a full report of your competitors, as well as actionable steps for your company to dominate your competitors on search engines!