SEO is an important part of marketing, and it's all about getting more traffic. That's it!
People have made SEO very complicated, but it is not as complicated as you think. In fact, SEO can get better if you think of your competitors as your confederates.
In simple terms, SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization." By the term itself, you can understand that it's all about optimizing your website, content, and other stuff just to be more visible and get more traffic from search engines.
A lot of companies, in fact, all the companies that are into digital marketing, spend a significant amount of time and effort on their SEO strategies and campaigns. The reason is that it is a low-cost and organic digital marketing strategy that brings a target audience to your business.
That is why many young professionals are looking for digital marketing courses that can grow them as digital marketers and boost their career prospects.
Understanding competition is one of the most important factors when it comes to a successful SEO campaign. Generally, we study our own brand, website, and content to look for what improvements can be made.
But ideally, we should look at the competitors too, to improve our SEO and to know what they are doing to make themselves more visible on the search engines. We can use the data from this competitive analysis to improve our content, social media strategies, and analytics.
Let's go through the points explaining how SEO Competitor Analysis is beneficial and what we can learn from it.
What is SEO Competitor Analysis?
An SEO Competitor Analysis is an investigation of content, keywords, links, and other elements that the competitor has used. It can be understood as a comparison between two competing websites that include:
- Keyword Gap Analysis
- Keyword competition
- Backlink analysis used by competitors
- Content analysis, and a lot more...
It's an effective practice as it helps you determine where you are lacking and what you should include in your own SEO efforts. Most marketers nowadays adopt SEO competitor analysis by using tools like Ahrefs, Moz, etc. Not only does it improve the SEO of the company, but it also makes it competitive within the market.
How is SEO Competitor Analysis done?
Now that we have clearly understood what SEO Competitor Analysis is and why it is used, it's time to understand how we can do it. Let us go step by step:
Identify the competitors
The first step is to recognize your actual competitors competing for the desired keywords in organic search.
Your organic search competitors may not be the same as your direct competitors. If you want to enhance your organic search traffic, find the competitors' rankings for the same keywords, which are the foundation of your SEO strategy.
For example, taking a hypothetical situation, an online e-learning platform may have organic search competitors that rank for keywords like "online courses with certificates," but they may not be the direct competitors.
- Please note: An organic competitor is a website that competes against the keyword position. Organic competitors may not always be direct competitors.
For e.g., Let's run a Google search for "online courses with certificates," and we can see that the top five competitors for this particular keyword are Alison, Coursera, Greatlearning.com, and edx.org. The results we always get might not always be those of the direct competitors.
- Tip: Searching organic competitors with a single keyword is not the best idea to recognize your competitors. You should use tools like Ahrefs, a more advanced tool, to find out which Competing Domains are.
Run the page analysis
This is the next step where one should look at the top-performing pages of the competing websites to know what keywords are being used and how they are used in the content. We can also term it "Keyword Gap Analysis."
We can analyze what keywords competitors are ranking, and we are not. This can help create content that includes those specific keywords, which might attract the traffic the competitors have attracted.
For this, you can also use the Keyword Gap tool, which identifies the keywords of the competitors, whether those are shared by you or not. You just have to enter your site and the competitor's site to get an overview of top keyword opportunities for you.
For e.g., Look at the screenshot attached below. The Keyword Gap Analysis of three ed-tech competitors in India is made here. The analysis shows you the missing, weak, and shared keywords for mygreatlearning.com.
By Shared, we mean that Great Learning and competitors share the same keywords. By Weak, it means that the keyword position of Great Learning needs to improve. By Untapped keywords, it means that Great Learning is not ranking for those keywords and Unique keywords mean that only Great Learning is ranking on them.
Prioritize keywords with a high ROI
To gain top spots in Search Engine Result Pages, give priority to the keywords with the highest ROI. It will definitely drive more traffic and conversions for you. The high ROI keywords are the most searched and have seen higher engagement from the target customers.
Competitor backlink analysis
According to numerous studies, backlinks are an important ranking factor in SEO. Have a look at the sites that are linking back to the competitor's content. You can then conduct a similar backlink strategy to gain the same results. Check out the number of backlinks created, the domain authority of the linked sites, and how relevant the linked content is.
You can use the Backlink Analysis tools that give an overall idea of your and your competitor's backlink structure.
Dig into the site structures and UX
Google gives a major focus on improving the UX, and that is why you must dig deeper into the competitor's site structures and UX to know how fast their pages load or what the customer experience is with their site. Compare your own website with the competitor's, optimize your sitemap, prioritize page speed, and ensure that the site elements are built with the user's intent.
Identify strengths and weaknesses of competitors
Conduct employee surveys or team meetings to know your strengths and weaknesses and compare them with the competitors'. These strengths and weaknesses can be based on Authority, Content, Technical SEO, Linking, Keywords, or more factors. Work on them after finding the gap.
Prepare a content plan
After collecting the relevant data, prepare an SEO Competitive Analysis report. Build your SEO strategy on the basis of that report.
Observe the progress
After preparing the Content Plan and implementing the new content or optimized content, check whether you have made any progress or not. There are many free SEO tools available to track your progress for different keywords. There are free SEO competitor analysis templates available that you can use for this purpose.
What can you learn from SEO Competitor Analysis?
Performing an SEO Competitor Analysis, let us learn:
- What works in the industry we work in
- The weakness of competitors
- The strength of competitors
- Which SEO tactics actually need to be prioritized
SEO Competitive Analysis is no doubt a crucial SEO strategy that helps SEO teams gain valuable insights, that includes:
Details about the competitive landscape
To thrive in any industry, one should have a deep understanding of the competitive landscape. By conducting SEO Competitor Analysis, you can identify your top competitors, their content strategy, market share, and their strengths and weaknesses. Using these insights, you can work better on your own marketing strategies that could do wonders for your business.
Details about industry trends
It is so crucial to keep up with the industry trends in which you are. By performing SEO Competitor Analysis, you can always stay on top of trends and developments that take place in your industry. That's the need of the hour!
Opportunities for business
By performing SEO Competitor Analysis, you can learn what new opportunities are out there for your business. For example, you can find out the keywords for which your competitor is ranking, and you haven't given a thought about it.
Changes required in your marketing campaigns
Tips for a successful SEO competitor analysis
SEO Competitor Analysis might sound like an easy affair, but it's not! Here we have discussed with you some tips that you can follow while performing this analysis:
Always have a defined goal
Before starting on the SEO Competitor Analysis, decide on your goal and your target audience. This would make your progress very clear, and you will not be misled anywhere in between. The goals can be to increase website traffic, reduce the bounce rate, increase the conversion rate, or anything else.
Dedicate enough time
It might happen that you start the process in haste but then don't devote any time to the analysis. This is not going to give the results you expected. If you are starting SEO Competitor Analysis, you need to put in the necessary effort to complete it and analyze its progress. Completing the process would give you new opportunities and the successful results that you hoped for!
Always track your progress
This is the most common mistake most marketers make, and they start the process and don't track it. To monitor the competition, follow the industry trends, and meet your goals and objectives, you need to track what progress your SEO efforts are making after the SEO Competitor Analysis.
Include a mobile analysis as well
As mobile devices and their usage are on the boom, you need to focus on mobile-specific results as well. Make sure that your mobile websites too are optimized and easily navigated. Making changes in the desktop version might not automatically be implemented for the mobile versions.
Data-driven results are the best and ensure the success of your business. SEO Competitor Analysis gives you data to analyze your SEO efforts against your competitors in the industry; on that basis, you can make changes in your SEO efforts.
Use the different available SEO Competitor Analysis tools to make your process easier, faster, and more reliable. You may find the SEO Competitor Analysis process a little tedious initially, but the results it produces can blow your mind away. Also, to start with, you can take a free SEO for Beginners course that can clear up your basics for the road ahead.
And if you are looking for best-in-class SEO services, contact us to rank your business higher on SERPs!