Navigating the intricate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) world can be daunting, especially when competing against established rivals.
However, you can gain a competitive edge with a strategic approach and a glimpse into your competitors' SEO playbook.
This guide will walk you through the process of conducting a practical SEO competitor analysis, equipping you with valuable insights into your rivals' optimization strategies.
Why Conduct an SEO Competitor Analysis?
An SEO competitor analysis involves evaluating and dissecting your competitors' websites to uncover essential insights about their SEO tactics. You can enhance your SEO strategy by scrutinizing keyword targeting, backlink profiles, content strategies, and optimization techniques. Here's why it's crucial:
Benchmarking Your Efforts
By comparing your SEO endeavors with your competitors, you can identify strengths and weaknesses in your strategies.
Learning from Success
Analyzing competitors' successful tactics can inspire you to develop more effective SEO strategies for your site.
Capitalizing on Weaknesses
Identifying areas where competitors struggle allows you to leverage these weaknesses to strengthen your SEO efforts.
Identifying Your Competitors
SEO competitors can be mapped.
Know Your Digital Foes
Your primary competitors online may differ from your brick-and-mortar rivals. Identify websites ranking on page one of search engine results for the same keywords you target.
Recognize that your online competitors may vary depending on the specific products, services, or topics you offer or cover. Each niche may have its own set of competitors.
Understanding Your Niche
Niche competitors are a good SEO strategy exercise because they a) are probably also your business competitors and b) will be competing in the same keyphrase families as you.
Conduct In-Depth Research
Before entering a niche, investigate your potential competitors. Analyze their products, services, backlink profiles, keyword strategies, content, and authority levels.
Evaluate your competitors' performance to gauge the competitiveness of the niche. High-performing competitors indicate a viable market with potential opportunities.
Identify Content Gaps
Analyze your competitors' content to uncover gaps, opportunities, and weaknesses. This information helps shape your content strategy to compete effectively.
Optimize Business Model
During the analysis, you might discover products or services that your competitors overlook but your audience desires. Capitalize on these gaps to enhance your business model.
Outsmarting the Competition
Once you know who your SEO Competitors are, you need to enhance your strategy to outgun them.
The primary goal of SEO competitor analysis is to identify opportunities to outperform rivals. You can gain a competitive advantage by capitalizing on their weaknesses and improving your shortcomings.
Performing SEO Competitor Analysis
In this section, we'll delve into the step-by-step process of conducting SEO competitor analysis, including:
There are a couple of ways to go deeper in SEO competitor identification and then evaluate just how much of a threat those competitors are.
Manual Search: Start by manually searching your main keywords on search engines like Google to identify top-ranking competitors.
SEO Tools: Utilize tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, Moz, etc., to streamline competitor identification. Enter your domain, then access a list of your main organic competitors.
Check Authority Scores: Assess both your and your competitors' authority scores, which indicate how search engines view domain authority. The higher the score, the more challenging the competition.
Keyword Gap Analysis
The way to strategically maneuver your way up the food chain is to figure out which keywords your site is missing/needs to improve ranking on.
Keyword Gap Tool
Utilize a Keyword Gap Tool to identify keywords that your competitors rank for but you don't.
Explore Missing Keywords
Review the "Missing" ones to discover relevant keywords you should target. Create a keyword list for optimization and new content creation.
Explore Untapped Keywords
Explore "Untapped" keywords that some competitors rank for, offering new content opportunities.
Tracking Lost Keywords
Competitive analysis isn't a one-and-done. Over time, you'll shift positions, but so will your competitors. Keep in mind the ongoing activity of SEO competitor analysis.
Leverage Organic Research Tool
Using an SEO tool, enter a competitor's URL to uncover keywords they have recently lost rankings for.
Consider creating new pages or improving existing content around keywords your competitors have lost. This provides opportunities to overtake them in rankings.
Following these steps, you can conduct a comprehensive SEO competitor analysis, giving your website the strategic advantage needed to succeed in the competitive SEO landscape.