There are many companies competing to appear on the first page of Google. You can do the competitive analysis of the websites in your industry that rank well.
Competitor analysis is the process of knowing what your competitors are doing to rank higher. This type of analysis can give you long-term SEO results.
To win in the market you will have to acknowledge that you have competitors and doing competitor analysis is a step which should not be skipped.
Competitive SEO is an important part of an SEO strategy.
Understanding the competition
You should first find out who your SEO competitors are. There are SEO tools available that can help you find your SEO competitors for the keywords you rank for. When you enter the required details the tool can give you a list of your top 25 competitors. Once you know who your competitors are you can do competitor analysis.
SEO competitor analysis is a strategy in which you can research your direct search competitors to know their target keywords, content strategy, backlink profile and more.
The following points show the importance of competitor analysis in SEO:
It can help you to identify your main and relevant competitors in the market. When you analyse them you will be able to find both your business
competitors and online competitors. Your competitors are those who compete with you in the SERPs for your target keywords.
It can help you find the websites that link to your competitors but do not link to you. You can build your own links from these sites as they are already linking to your competitor. Sites that link to many competitors add value to your site. Therefore you should reach out to such sites and create guest posts. You could use tools like Ahrefs for this.
Do a keyword gap analysis to find out the keywords which you are not using but are working for your competitors. You can find keywords that a competitor is ranking high for but you are not using them. You should include these keywords on your website. You can rewrite your metadata, build links with these keywords, rewrite existing content or create new content using these keywords. This way you will find the right keywords.
Learning from competitor strategies
You can use competitive analysis tools to analyse your competitor's on-site SEO. You can find what keywords, metadata and headings your competitor is using. You can also find their internal link-building strategy. You can compare the information with your website.
An important part of competitor analysis is analysing your competitor's backlinks. It is called link gap analysis. You can find where they are earning backlinks. When you analyse the backlink profile you will be able to find new link-building opportunities. Websites that link to your competitors are already interested in your topic.
If your website is slower than your competitors then you need to correct this. You can analyse their site structure, page speed, PageRank distribution and more. You should optimise all these.
You can find out if your competitor’s website is coded in CSS/HTML or tables, what primary call-to-action they are using on their website, are they tracking conversions of these CTAs, their service area and do they use videos or interactive design elements.
You can find out their primary keyword and its density and which keywords are targeted the most.
You can find the anchor text of their in-bound links, if their website is optimised for local search, if they have a social media marketing strategy and if they have a pay-per-click campaign.
You need to check whether competitors are using international SEO strategies like country wise domains, subdomain or subfolders.
You can also understand whether they are creating content in multiple languages.
Once you have identified your competitors you can do keyword research and find new keywords for which you and your competitor do not rank currently. These keywords will provide new opportunities.
Analyse their blog section to identify their blog marketing strategy including topics, keywords being targeted, length of blogs, frequency of blog post, their internal linking strategy etc.
Identifying opportunities and gaps
You can find which content has got the most links for the competitor. This will help you find topics that others like to link to. You can find your competitor's top-performing content and create content that significantly improves upon it. You can promote your content to similar groups.
You can find out what SEO strategies your competitor is implementing and you can implement your own. You can find your competitor's strengths and weaknesses by analysing their content, authority, SEO and more.
Benchmarking the performance
You can find top-ranking pages for your target keyword. If you find that they have matching terms and phrases then you can use those in your content. You can add the keywords that your competitors are using in your content. This will help you optimise your pages for the search engine and also identify the low-competition keywords you may have missed.
You can analyse how your competitors engage on social media. You can find what platforms they are using/not using, how they communicate with their followers, how often they publish content and which type of content gets the most engagement.
You can benchmark your current SEO performance against your competitors.
Improving SEO strategy
Once you have done competitor analysis you can use the information to improve your SEO and finally outrank the competitor. You can replicate your competitor’s winning strategies and capitalise on the competitor’s weaknesses.
Monitoring and adaptation
Competitor analysis is an ongoing process and depending on the size of your website you should perform competitor analysis every 6 - 12 months. You should monitor your competitors to find new SEO strategies they are implementing so that you can implement them too.
Competitor analysis helps you to understand the competition for your relevant keywords. Insights gained for competitor analysis can help to improve your rankings and traffic.
To optimise your website and improve your rankings you can hire SEO services.