Far too many marketers and business owners are hindering their companies by not doing competitor SEO analysis — and depriving themselves of a simple, easy-to-follow roadmap to make their website better.
Ranking higher on search engines is critical to online businesses and marketing today. The difference between your competitors ranking one spot higher than you on search engine results pages could cost your company serious revenue. Performing competitor SEO (search engine optimization) analysis is essential.
This article will dive into how to perform competitor SEO analysis and explain why it is so important.
What Is Competitor SEO Analysis and Why Do I Need it?
Competitor SEO analysis is the research of backlinks, content, keywords and more of your SEO competitors. This comparison allows you to reverse-engineer the most successful approaches your competition is using, and repurpose them for your advantage.
Many successful websites utilize competitor SEO analysis because it’s simple, effective, and means you don’t have to start your marketing journey from scratch.
In a nutshell: all you need to do is look at what your competitors are doing, take the best parts that could apply to your website, and apply them. It’s much less time-consuming than “reinventing the wheel” on early research. Instead of guessing which links to use, which content to create and which keywords might work, you can see what already works for your competition (and start there).
Not only are you able to see what is working for your competition, but you’re also seeing what your website lacks. Now you have an easy blueprint for what to improve with your website. It’s a win-win.
Competitor SEO analysis is vital now that many companies and marketers are turning to online tools and software to help them process the massive amounts of data needed. At Target Points, we have the tools and know-how to help you perform a complete competitor SEO analysis that will help your business rise above your competition.
Whether you do it yourself or source it out to professionals, you need to learn how to do a competitor SEO analysis to survive in today’s highly competitive, online business world.
How To Perform Competitor SEO Analysis
Now that you know what competitor SEO analysis is and how important it is to do it, we can talk about how you can perform one for your business.
These will be the most common steps for you to do a self-analysis, but if you want a more in-depth look at your competitors and how you can use what works for them to your advantage, the professionals at Target Points can help you out.
Here are the best practices to conduct a competitor SEO analysis:
1) Identify the Competition
To perform a competitor SEO analysis, the first thing you need to do is identify exactly who your true competitors are. The first thing you might do is take a keyword that pertains to your business, search for it, and see what comes up. However, not all websites with higher rankings than yours for a keyword are actually your competitors. Wikipedia, for example, may appear in your SERP – but it’s not truly your competition. Your true competitors will be businesses similar to yours that also use the same keywords as you.
You’ll need to be more thorough in identifying the competition by performing keyword competition analysis on multiple keywords, and comparing the top 10 to 20 websites that keep showing up.
Comparing a relatively small number of websites is relatively easy if you only want to rank for a few terms. But most websites rank for a multitude of keywords. What happens if you want to rank for hundreds of keywords — or even thousands? The most popular websites rank for millions of keywords!
An SEO analytics tool can help with ranking. It can automatically look for all the keywords you want to rank for, compare them to all the sites in their database, and then show you precisely who your true competitors are.
Using a free SEO analytics tool (such as Ahrefs, Ubersuggest and Google Trends) can also generate content ideas for you by giving you a list of high-ranking competitor websites. You can check what your competitors are posting, see what’s working for them, and repurpose their ideas using the same keywords.
Free tools will always be limited in their size and scope, so if you want more in-depth and broader analysis, consider using a professional service like Target Points.
2) Keyword Gap Analysis and Competitor Backlink Analysis
The next step is to conduct two separate analyses of your competitors’ websites. The first is a keyword gap analysis. A Keyword gap analysis finds the terms for which your competitors rank highly but your website doesn’t have.
When analyzing your competitors’ website, there are some important points to consider before deciding which keywords to implement into your website:
- The keywords should be valuable (high-volume, business-related, highly convertible)
- They should be keywords you can rank as high or higher with than your competitors
- Compare the keywords of two or more competitors to get a more in-depth analysis
Again, there are free tools to analyze specific domains and identify keywords. When the tool finds keywords on your competitors’ sites that are not on your website, you can simply plug them into your web pages and siphon your competition’s traffic for those keywords.
The second analysis of your competitors’ websites is for backlinks. Backlinks are a link created when one website links to another. These are links back to your website (rather than internal links, which are links between various sections of your own site).
A competitor backlink analysis reverse-engineers your competitors’ content to see which quality links are helping them the most. Once you see your competitors’ strategy for their backlinks, you can structure your website in a similar way.
Other factors to consider when looking at a competitor’s backlinks include:
- Relevancy of linked content
- Total number of backlinks
- The authority or the linked sites
Once you know which links are performing well for your competition, you can update or create content for your website that will let you rank similarly.
3) Focus on Your Best Keywords
When making an efficient competitor SEO analysis, you’ll want to focus on the keywords that will get you the best return on your investment (ROI). Some companies have enough money to rank in many keywords — but that doesn’t mean you have to compete with all of them. There is no point trying to outrank a larger company for the same keywords, as that is only going to cost you more money with less return.
If you can’t outrank the competition on the “main keywords,” find something related to your business that is smaller or more specific and try to rank higher there. You’ll want to focus competitor SEO analysis on keywords that still make sense for your business, but are “low hanging fruit.”
Many optimization experts agree that your competitor SEO analysis should focus on keywords that will make you the most profit and revenue, meaning focus on the keyword battles you can win.
Find lower-ranked terms that your competitors have missed to increase your keyword rankings for more specific topics.
4) Make a Content Plan
Now that you have all the data from your competitors, you can begin to compile a competitor SEO analysis report. Once you have your report, you are ready to implement your content strategy.
You will want to create a simple spreadsheet to hold your competition list, competitor keyword lists, keyword gap list, back-link list, keyword priority list and everything else we have discussed in this article so far. Compile everything into one spreadsheet with a column designated for each. Use highlighters to focus on the keywords you want to implement.
5) Follow Your Progress
Regular competitor audits should be done to follow your progress of gaining or outperforming your competition. Trends can change quickly nowadays and, therefore, so can keywords. A keyword that was working well for you six months ago may be irrelevant and useless today.
The world moves fast, and your competition moves even faster. Performing regular competitor SEO analysis reports allows you to track your progress with your competitors and see what is and isn’t working for your website rankings. Keep your spreadsheet up to date with regular competitor SEO analysis reports.
6) Use a Competitor SEO Analysis Tool
There are many free tools you can use to make competitor SEO analysis reports in order to improve your business. Most offer templates where you can simply enter in the information you have collected. Template tools allow for faster results, especially if you have all your information ready, like in your spreadsheet.
However, as you might have guessed, a competitor SEO analysis takes time and resources to compile, whether you have a template or not. You can also consider using a professional service to save time and effort and to make sure you are getting the best results.
Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, running a competitor SEO analysis should be a top priority for your business.
A competitor SEO analysis is an extremely important and powerful tool for marketers and business owners. You can see what your competitors are doing and use that information to improve your own website. Not only that, you can see where your company is falling behind the competition and improve on it.
Not all business owners can delegate the massive amount of time required to learn the intricacies of SEO. There is a ton of information, concepts and strategies to learn plus the digital knowledge needed to implement it all. The whole process can be overwhelming, and many businesses prefer to let a digital agency handle their SEO management strategies.
Target Points can provide you with the best competitor SEO analysis for your business quickly and easily. Click here to let the professionals at Target Points help your business rank as high as possible.