How to do an SEO competitive analysis?
An SEO competitor study is the process of researching your industry’s competitive environment online, assessing your SEO competitors, and analyzing the information you discover to improve your website SEO and climb the ranks.
What exactly is a competitive analysis in SEO?
With two-thirds of all clicks on Google going to the top five organic search results, designing an SEO strategy, generating outstanding content, and doing technical SEO audits aren’t guarantees that your material will receive the attention it deserves. Many of the web pages did not get google search traffic, but those who receive them are not your SEO adversaries.
The truth is that if your rivals are doing all of these things – and doing them better than you – you will struggle to achieve exposure in search results. This is where an SEO competitor study may help.
There are two ways to see your competitors— as a cause of suffering or as a rich source of knowledge. To access this wealth of information, your organic search strategy must incorporate SEO competitive analysis. It will help you develop better, more focused content, climb up search engine rankings, and attract more relevant visitors to your website if done correctly.
How to locate your SEO competition?
The first thing to understand about your SEO competition is that they are not always the same as your direct business competitors.
So, what exactly is an SEO competitor? Your SEO competition is websites that rank for the same organic search searches that you do. This implies that your SEO rivals will change depending on the issue. Before publishing or optimizing any pages aimed at ranking for a given keyword, it’s critical to understand whom you’re competing with – and for what. That is where the first phase of competition analysis comes into play: discovering search competition that you may not be aware of. This is a critical move to conduct if separate portions of your website focus on distinct business sectors and you have many rivals across industries.
When should you undertake a competitive analysis for SEO?
Your SEO performance is never isolated; it is constantly relative to your competitors. It is also not static. With search engine algorithm adjustments, new rivals emerging, and the other side’s digital marketers working relentlessly to exceed you, you can’t let up on SEO. Analyzing your rivals regularly to understand where you are (in comparison to them) will help you identify areas for development before they negatively affect your rankings.
Here are several important procedures and occurrences that should always prompt you to do an SEO competitor study.
- Writing content
- Content planning
- Following a precipitous decline in ranking
- If your page has stalled in the SERP
- If the SERPs have shifted
SEO competitor keyword research
A competitor keyword analysis is a process of identifying lucrative keywords for which your search rivals are ranking highly but your website is not, and then leveraging that information to steer their traffic to your web pages instead.
What keywords should I include in my competitor research?
Not all keywords are worth the same amount of time and work. You should concentrate your efforts on keywords that are relevant to your business, have a large search volume, and are not too tough to rank for.
However, you will have a plethora of alternatives to choose from. Filtering the “Top keywords by domain” is an excellent approach to reducing it. Search for a certain domain to see the top 100 keywords by search volume that a rival ranks for. Use this information to determine which keywords you should be actively monitoring and optimizing for. From there, you may make a list of all the content themes on which you can add your unique twist and, ideally, outrank them.
Instead of focusing on search volume, consider search intent.
Just because a term has a high search volume does not guarantee that ranking highly for it will result in a significant increase in search traffic. Instead, it’s best to concentrate on meeting search intent, often known as user intent.
Google encourages websites that give a relevant and enjoyable user experience, which includes increasing search results that provide a great user experience by meeting their search demands. As a result, if you can address the user’s search intent better and more thoroughly than your search rivals, your content is more likely to be rewarded with a ranking boost. And there’s a hefty incentive to do so: nearly one out of every ten searches leads to the user returning to the search results page to choose a new result. These are the users whose search intent you wish to address in further depth by optimizing your content.
Creating— or optimizing— your content to make it more suited to addressing user search intent might comprise the following steps:
Creating useful material that matches the user’s search intent rather than merely the keywords they use.
Including more diverse and interesting content types, such as a step-by-step tutorial, infographic, or video, on your website.
Using Google’s “People Also Ask” function, look for potential for missing content kinds and replies.
Enhancing their existing material. If your competition offers a list of the top five historical sites in your state, you might supplement their offering with a list of the top 30 or 40 finest sites.
Remember that concentrating on meeting the user’s search purpose rather than just on search volumes for the keywords you’re targeting can drive more relevant traffic to your website, propel you up the search results, and generate more qualified leads.
Keep a watch on the paid listings of your SEO competition.
While organic and sponsored search is sometimes treated as distinct things, evaluating your rivals’ PPC keywords may provide highly important insights into which phrases they deem desirable and even profitable.
If your search competitors are ready to pay to be in the PPC listings portion of the search results, it’s reasonable to assume that they place a high value on this phrase and the traffic it generates. You’re seeking low-difficulty, high-converting keywords in particular.
Keep track of your keyword ranks.
Performing these SEO competitor analysis steps is only the start, and as we all know, SEO is a lengthy game. Ranks fluctuate over time, so it’s critical to keep track of both your own and your competitors’ rankings for your desired keywords.
Manual monitoring, on the other hand, is not a wise use of resources when there are hundreds or even thousands of keywords to keep track of. Instead, use an automatic keyword monitoring tool to stay up to current on the newest search engine rankings. Regular, automatic monitoring will allow you to detect and respond to changes in website rankings before your search traffic plummets.
Analysis of competitor SEO content
Keywords are unquestionably an important component of any SEO competitor study. However, your evaluation does not begin and conclude with them. You should also improve your SEO by drawing cues from your competitors’ top-performing content.
The goal is to identify your rivals’ most popular content and utilize it to improve your own. This saves time and effort because you already know these pages are ranking in SERPs and bringing traffic to their website. Mirroring – and then competing with – their method will allow you to better match user search intent and create a better content experience for visitors to your website. In the long run, this might result in your material outranking theirs in the SERPs.
Once you’ve determined whatever material you’re competing with, you have two options for outranking it.
Find and fill content gaps: This strategy entails identifying and exploiting flaws in your rivals’ material. For example, if they only provide information in one format, you can think about redesigning it into a more common one.
The ‘Skyscraper’ method: This strategy is easier to implement but needs more effort. It is based on leveraging your rivals’ content as a starting point to create a comparable – but superior – piece of content. Then, approach websites that link to a competitor’s material and request that they upgrade their link to your own, more advanced content.
Analysis of competitor backlink profiles
While content is still an important ranking criterion, obtaining high-quality, a reputable backlink is an essential component of any successful SEO plan. Backlinks usually referred to as inbound links, are links on other websites that ‘point’ to your website. Backlinks are used by search engines to determine how trustworthy a site is; the more important and trustworthy your site, the higher your ranking in search results, and the more organic traffic it will normally receive. Despite their value, 68% of online sites have no backlinks at all, according to research.
Backlinks are still one of Google’s top three ranking factors. That is, if your competitors have a larger number of backlinks than you, you will find it difficult to outrank them. As a result, improving your backlink profile should be a key goal for your website.
Technical SEO competitor research
The three main components of any SEO competitive analysis procedure are keywords, content, and technical SEO. After you’ve gone through keywords and content, it’s time to move on to technical SEO audits. Essentially, this is comparing the technical features of your site to those of your competitors and plugging any technical SEO gaps that may cause your ranks to decline.
The following are key technical SEO characteristics to look for in your competitors—
- Internal hyperlinking
- Structure of the website
- Page loading time
- SSL certificates
You should conduct a competitor study every six months to a year, depending on the size of your site and the number of active rivals. Parts of it should be done every month to stay competitive. Keep an eye on adjustments your rivals make so you may respond promptly to their plans.
Technically, a competitive study will never be comprehensive, whether it is looking for new pages, new keywords, or an increase in search features like highlighted snippets. As websites and search results develop, keeping an eye on your competition allows you to stay one step ahead of them.