SEO competitor analysis is the practice of looking into your competitor’s SEO strategy. SEO stands for search engine optimization which is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a page from a search engine. An SEO competitor analysis is especially important to look into those who are doing better than you. Conducting an in-depth one will allow you to discover a lot of insights to ultimately boost your strategy. Some things you can discover include:
● SEO strategies that work for competitors
● What they are doing that you are not
● How difficult it is to rank for keywords
● Traffic potential in your niche
So, how do you do this type of analysis? It’s easy, you just have to follow 10 steps.
Step 1: Keyword Research & Analysis
Step one is identifying keywords that your site can target realistically. Keyword research is considered one of the main pillars of SEO. It’s important to also understand the intent behind the keywords and how your audience would use them in search engines. Look at what keywords are working for you and not working along with your competitors.
Step 2: Determine New Keyword Opportunities
After you did keyword research on your website and your competitors it’s time to look for new keywords that could help you. You want keywords that are informational, commercial, and transactional. Keywords should also fit your niche as specifically as possible. Since there are so many big named competitors out there using the word like ‘jewelry’ is going to pop up brands like Kay’s and Tiffany’s first. Here are some ways you can do keyword research:
● Use your website reviews as indicators
● Use Google search suggest
There are plenty of different options to choose from to find new keyword opportunities.
Step 3: Identify SEO Competitors
Step three and arguably one of the most important, identify your SEO competitors. While this seems obvious, websites tend to rank keywords that are important to you but not others like Wikipedia. There are two types of competitors; primary and secondary. Primary competitors sell the same products/services as you with the same target audience. Secondary competitors don’t sell the same products/services but try to rank for the same keywords as you by creating similar content. By using competitor analysis tools you can better understand your real competitors along with data to back it up.
Step 4: Analyze On-Page Optimization & On-Site Content
Once you know who your competitors are, take a deep look into their on-site content. Do they post blogs? Videos? TikToks? See what optimization strategies are working for them and what you can do to compete.
Step 5: Benchmark Competitor SEO Performance
Once identifying and analyzing your SEO competitors it's time to gather data and metrics on their SEO performance. Two of the most important metrics are domain rating (DR) and domain authority (DA). DR shows the strength of a website's backlink profile, backlinks play a major role in the way search engines rank websites. DA takes many factors into consideration from search engine rankings. Use these two to benchmark your scores.
Step 6: Analyze Your Competitors' Technical SEO
Beyond just analyzing their on-site optimization strategies you need to also look into their technical SEO by looking at the digital make-up of their website. The structure of a website is essential for two reasons; it determines whether a website is easy to crawl and impacts user experience (UX). This data will give you a competitor's strengths and weaknesses.
Step 7: Dig into Competitor Backlink Profiles
Learning your competitor’s backlinks will give you an idea of how many high-quality links you’ll have to target. Major search engines like Google consider backlinks ‘votes’ for a specific page. Any page that has a higher number of backlinks will have more organic search engine rankings. Figure out how many your competitor has and what’s working with them, there are plenty of services to show you this.
Step 8: Social Media and Content Audit
The next step is digging into your competitors' content marketing and social media strategy. Evaluating their use of social media will help you determine how active you need to be in content creation. Over half the world uses social media, so understanding how your competitors utilize it and what you can change will ultimately help.
Step 9: On-page Competitor SEO Analysis
The two final stops are one final on-page and off-page SEO analysis. For on-page elements will include:
● Competitor keyword research
● High-performing content
● Internal linking
Step 10: Off-page Competitor SEO Analysis
The final step into an in-depth SEO analysis is looking off-page. This means the activities away from the site that helps improve their rankings. We already mentioned link building, but there’s plenty of other things that happen off-page that helps boost rankings. Use SEO content tools to help you in this analysis and you’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for. Happy SEO competitor hunting!