A lot of new organizations do not understand the importance of this and often skip this altogether. When you are new in the business you do not know what works and what does not in search engine optimization of your page. Therefore, it is very important that you do an SEO competitor analysis with the competitors in your niche.
Before you start any kind of SEO campaign, do this analysis. It will help you get better insights into what works and what does not.
You will also have a better understanding of who all get the most organic visibility and what works for them.
But even before you get started on how to do a competitive analysis, you should know why it is important to do an SEO competitive analysis.
Why Should You Do A SEO Competitor Analysis?
There are more benefits of an SEO competitive analysis that you can know of.
It is a very important step because when you analyze the SEO strategies of all your competitors, you get data regarding which all strategies and tactics work in your industry and also how and what you can do to improve your keyword rankings.
The insights that you get after an SEO competitor analysis will help you understand better which tasks are on a high priority zone and how is it going to benefit your SEO campaign.
This analysis also helps you get an insight and a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.
It will also give you an idea about what all you can do to outperform your competitors.
How To Do SEO Competitor Analysis?
It is not a simple one or two-step process that you can get done overnight. It takes time and there are several steps that are required.
You have to research and watch every move of your competitor in the industry to know what they are doing in the SEO field. Here’s everything that you should do to analyze competitor SEO properly.
Step 1: Research for keywords for your own website
Even before you start analyzing your competitors based on their SEO strategies, you have to identify the keywords for your own website that you think you can target and achieve.
If you pick a major keyword that has worked for other brands and you want it to work for your brand as well, you have to first check if your brand has the goodwill and budget to compete with the biggest name in your industry.
If you do not have that budget or that brand authority, the possibility that your chosen keyboard will rank is, almost zero. Just because a certain keyword works for other brands, does not mean it will work for your brand too.
What you have to do instead as the basic goal is that, you have to find keywords and an achievable niche in your industry. You can use tools like Mindmapping for identifying and organizing your achievable set of keywords.
Step 2: Identify and choose who are your top competitors in the industry
Now, the question is who are your competitors?
How would you identify them?
Well, your immediate competitors are those companies who have the same set of the target audience as you and have the same business objectives and purposes as you.
They are your biggest threats. But you cannot pick a fight with them if you want to survive in the highly competitive web world.
You have to peacefully co-exist with your competitors, while constantly trying to outperform them.
How would you identify them?
The easiest way to do that is to utilize your list of keywords that you have derived after following Step 1.
Type those keywords one by one in Google and whichever page shows up in the first few positions are all your top competitors. Do this on all search engines.
Once you have identified your competitors, you can always find ways to connect to your customers through various ways to increase your brand awareness and brand visibility.
Email marketing, surveys are great ways to connect to customers and let them know about your brand.
Step 3: Analyze your competitors and every move of theirs
Once you know who all your competitors are, you have to then keep a close check on their moves and strategies and analyze their already existing strategies.
When you analyze your competitors, you get better business insights into their SEO strategies. Check for factors like the website design, page layouts, titles, the content of the course and the call to action that your competitors provide.
Now, there are few things to do if you want to analyze your competitors. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Download and analyze their backlink profiles:
For this, you can use a tool called Ahrefs. Using this tool, you can sort out all your competitors by their Domain Ranks and actually look at their backlinks which are most and least authoritative.
This will help you determine how many and which all high quality links you have to target in order to get traffic to your website.
2. Identify the industry average:
For this, you can use the Link Research Tool and use its Competitive Landscape Analyzer feature to establish the industry averages.
When you successfully establish this data, you will have some full proof guidelines for yourself that you can follow, before launching any SEO campaign.
3. Research about how they market their content on social media:
Content marketing and social media presence and strategies are an important part of any business these days.
When you have information about your competitors’ backlinks, you can utilize that to get information about their content marketing and social media presence.
Check for details like how strong is their social media presence, how often do they share posts on their various social media handles, how they connect with their target audience (which is your target audience as well).
You can follow a certain online social media audit questionnaire to know what all factors you have to analyze.
Not just that, check their various social media accounts and check their blogs thoroughly too, to have a clear idea about how many times ideally in a day you should post and share stuff and what are your initial goals when it comes to gaining followers and setting targets.
4. Analyze their highest ranking keywords:
Going by the definition of competitors, there is a high chance that they have a similar set of keywords as yours and those might be ranking better for your competitors than for you.
If that happens and your competitors outperform you, it won’t be good for your business. So, how do you make sure that does not happen?
You can use various online tools to research for various keywords. Using these tools you can check in on the keywords that your competitors frequently use.
All the keywords that this tool shows, you are not going to need all of them. You just have to make sure that in order to find keywords that work for your competitors, you are not trying to rank the keywords that are working better for your competitors than for you.
What you can do instead is that in that list you can find the keywords that are relevant to you but are not doing a great job for your competitors in Google search results.
As in, find those keywords which are not placing your competitors on higher ranks in the Google search results.
5. Analyze the backlink gaps:
When you analyze the backlink gaps for your competitors, it will tell you all the websites that are linking back to your competitors’ websites but not to you.
It is very important to know this because it will help you bridge the gap that exists between you and the backlink profiles of your competitors.
This will, in turn, boost your own ranking by helping you get backlinks from the websites that are already linked to your competitors.
For websites that are linked to more than three of your competitors will mean higher rates of success for your website, provided that you reach out to them and create guest posts for them.
6. Determine your own strategies and the shortcomings that you might face:
Once you have collected all the data about your competitors and analyzed them properly, you will now have better insights into the existing SEO scenario. That will help you to set your own targets and achieve them. The data and averages that you have collected will help you set your own initial strategies.
The first thing you will need is to know how many backlinks you would need and the quality of each of them. You should know which all links will lead your website to show up in the search results.
As we already told you before, you should avoid the very popular keywords that have a strong presence in sites with huge domain power. It is impossible to beat these well established and strong domains in the initial days.
You will also have to figure out other factors like how many articles should you share on social media and how often, how many posts should you upload in your blog in a week, what is the best time to share these articles on different social media handles, how many followers you can acquire in the initial months etc.
Figuring out all the above data is so important because without these you won’t be able to launch your own SEO campaign. Without SEO what will happen to your business, we don’t need to tell you that. These data will be the base of your SEO campaigns.
By now you know how important it is to do an SEO competitor analysis before you launch your own SEO campaigns. SEO is an unavoidable aspect of any online business.
The great thing about SEO is that it is constantly changing. You have to constantly monitor your competitors and their moves and strategies even after you have launched your own SEO campaigns.