To get ahead of the curve and ensure your business gets maximum traction, it’s important that you perform SEO competitive analysis. When it comes to SEO competitive analysis, there are several things that you need to consider. If you are doing the SEO competitive analysis for the first time then we are here to help.
SEO competitive analysis is used to analyze and find out the key strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and the core SEO implementation. It will help you understand why their websites are ranking in top positions on certain keywords. Using that information, you can make the needful improvisations on your website to improve the organic positioning.
Why is it important?
If you are new to SEO, then you need to know that SEO competitive analysis is among the most important aspect of your strategy. It can help you uncover several aspects that are helping your competitor to rank higher. You will take a step back and look at your competitors from a bird-eye view. From keywords to content, backlinks, and on-page implementations, you will be checking everything in the competitive analysis.
As search engines are changing their algorithms so quickly, it becomes difficult to cope with them. However, if you keep performing competitive SEO analysis, you won’t miss out on what matters to rank higher on SERPs.
You can treat the results of SEO competitive analysis as an actionable roadmap that you can follow to improve performance. Along with this, you get a lot of scope for improving the overall customer experience on your website’s every touchpoint.
Even if you are ranking on the top positions of SERPs, then you can do research on the other websites that are ranking higher than you. When you find out the gap that’s creating hindrance to achieve the top position, you can work on that as well.
Who are your competitors
Here comes the interesting part, most people don’t recognize who their competitors are and they end up analyzing other websites. You need to first figure out in what context you need to improve your competitiveness. Some competitors might be ranking higher on money keywords and some will be ranking on generic keywords. In simple terms, money keywords are those exact keywords that drive targeted traffic to your website that are intended to make a purchase. So, when you perform the analysis, you need to keep this thing in mind and prepare a separate list of money keywords and other generic keywords.
Also, Read – How To Use SEO To Generate Quality Lead
On this note, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide on how to do a competitive SEO analysis and get ahead of the curve.
Find keywords gap
The first thing you need to consider is the keywords gap between your website and the other competitors. First, you need to find out all the keywords that your website is ranking for and make a complete list. Once you complete this, you need to begin with checking every competitor one by one and prepare to complete a list of keywords they are ranking for. You will notice that many of the competitors are ranking for a much larger set of keywords than your website. Here, the real thing begins and you have to find out the relevant keywords that you can use on your website as well.
Checking for keywords is not enough, you need to check for possible reasons why they are ranking for the keywords and not you. Try to check for the backlinks they’ve created for the keywords, and prepare a list of them that you need to create in the future. Find all the keyword gaps that you need to fill by creating either quality content or by creating backlinks for the keywords.
Sometimes fixing the keywords gaps is easier as you only need to tweak the content a little bit and on the other side, it’s tricky. You might need to create new articles or landing pages to accommodate the keywords in your website.
Discover popular pages
The next thing you need to focus on is finding popular pages of competitors and then analyze their on-page implementation. Some competitors have significant traffic to a certain page or a specific category. You need to find such pages using any SEO tool. Once you list down such pages, check out their backlinks and note down all the websites that they’ve acquired. Along with the backlink creation of these pages, jump on their on-page profiles.
Inspecting the on-page SEO elements of pages will give you an idea about the ideal structure that is helping them to rank well. Check out their meta titles, meta description, image alt tags optimization, and how they’ve optimized their URLs for the pages.
Most business owners overlook this factor and this is a big mistake because search engines pay a lot of attention to the website speed on desktop and mobile devices. An average website loads fully in less than two seconds and if your website is ranking more time than that, you need to fix this issue. Speed is a major ranking factor and it will stay relevant in the years to come.
Use Google’s free tool, PageSpeed Insights to check the accurate website’s loading speed on both desktop and mobile mode. The best part about this tool is that it also offers you suggestions about what you need to fix in case there are any. If you use a CMS like WordPress, you have access to several plugins that will help you manage the cache and make the website much faster.
The content they’ve created
After you figure out what keywords they are ranking, it’s time to dig deep into their entire content that is helping to rank well. When it comes to content audit, there are several factors that you need to consider. First, check what topics they’ve covered on their website and what is the average length of articles they’ve posted. If they have posted long-form content, then you have to make more compelling content that will help you outperform other competitors.
Along with the content, you need to check the internal linking architecture that they’ve followed throughout the website pages. Internal linking is a powerful strategy that will help you grow the traffic significantly. Target the potential long-tail keywords and interlink them with each other to improve the overall user experience.
Along with internal linking, you need to focus on the type of content they have created. First, check if there are any short-length articles posted on the website along with the long-form content. It is important because short articles also perform sometimes.
Check the lost keywords
It’s not necessary that once a website ranked on a keyword can’t lose the position. It happens many times that websites also lose keywords right after ranking for them. You need to scan competitor websites and check which keywords they’ve lost recently. It will help you make a unique ranking strategy for those keywords.
It’s an opportunity here for you to prepare unique content to rank for those keywords and outperform the competitors. You can use your SEO tool to set alerts for all your keywords and the tool will notify you when there will be a change in the ranking.
Just like the lost keywords, you will also see the new keywords while you audit your competitor’s website. You will see your competitors are gaining some new keywords and the volume will also vary. You can take these new keywords into consideration and try them integrating into your long-form articles. It will help you to ensure you are not missing out on any opportunity of optimizing with new keywords.
It’s not necessary that you have to integrate all the new keywords that your competitors are ranking for. It is because many of them might be branded keywords and might not be that useful for your website. So only pick those that are generic and can help your audience by searching the relevant content and finding you online.
Also, check out the keywords on which they are making backlinks as those will be the higher volume keywords. You should also try to post guest posts targeting those keywords and strengthen your backlink profile. One thing you need to keep in mind is that don’t fall into the trap of buying backlinks for cheap. You will find many such services but they won’t offer you many benefits and indeed harm the domain authority.
SEO competitive analysis is a key activity that you should be doing to gain an edge in your competitive domain. Follow the above steps and keep optimizing for new keywords to make your website’s domain authority stronger. Whether you are a startup or a small-scale company, SEO competitive analysis will help you take multiple advantages and grow your business seamlessly. If you don’t have an in-house SEO team, it’s better to hire a professional SEO agency and get started with them. With digitization, more individuals are coming online and you can thrive on this opportunity.