Keeping a close eye on your competitors can get you one step closer to your goals. Competition provides a healthy boost to creativity and allows you to probe different untouched dimensions in order to drive smart solutions to problems. A smashing competitive analysis will help you find the weaknesses of your competitor which can be utilized as an opportunity to benefit your business. In the world of SEO, glory is only for those who rank higher in the SERPs and that certainly calls for competitive analysis. In SEO no information is hidden, you can find everything about your competitor. You can create a strong profile of all the main players in your industry to find suitable opportunities for yourself. There are several tools available which can help you with such probing.
How Competitive Analysis can help you in achieving your SEO Goals?
Organic search engine optimization has become an integral part of every online business. It is because SEO is not just a cost-effective digital marketing procedure but also the most effectual. A major chunk of the potential audience will land onto your platform if you succeed in spotting higher positions on SERPs. Unless you’re Amazon or eBay, the return rate of an existing customer is very low. So creating a competitive SEO strategy is highly important and that can only be done with the help of competitive analysis. Following are the points which will aid you with performing an effective competitive analysis:
1. Identify Your Competitors:
Identifying your competitors is crucial. You may think big players in your own industry are your competitors but for SEO it is different. Let me tell how.
For example, Spectrum services are in direct competition with Cox, Xfinity, Comcast, Mediacom, etc. They certainly are Spectrum’s main competitors for double and triple-play packages, but there are fair chances Spectrum has several other competitors in shoulder niches. For example: when Spectrum utilizes “how-to” or definitive guides in their content, their competitors change. Now they have competitors like Moz, Neil Patel, etc. Seeing the difference here?
Your competitor can be from shoulder niches too and it is not definitive that “a player” of your industry is your biggest SEO competitor. You can have several other SEO competitors from shoulder niches. In order to mark the competitors of your website, you need to take a good look at the SEO strategies you’re utilizing. These SEO strategies will determine your SEO competitors for you.
2. Evaluate the Difficulty Level of Keywords:
Evaluating the difficulty level of the keywords you’re competing against is extremely important. We all know it for a fact in SEO we are competing against keywords. Your biggest competitor will be the one who is performing well against the primary keywords the same as yours. Determine the domain strength of your competitor using competitor analysis tools. Also, determine the following factors:
- Domain Authority of the website
- Page Authority of the website
- Alexa Ranking of the website
- Social Signals directed towards the website
- The Backlink Profile of the competitor
- Catalog Listings of the website
- Indexing of your competitor’s webpages
Take notes of every weakness observed in the process in order to employ it for your own benefit.
3. Keep an Eye out for New Keyword Opportunities:
Keep an eye out for new keyword opportunities which can play a great role in strengthening your SEO strategy. Finding the right keywords and utilizing them in an effective manner is an equally important task. In order to form great content around keywords, make use of the TF-IDF method. It will enrich the content with the appropriate percentage of keywords. The method is not only effective in creating optimized webpages but also for blog posts, guest posts and article submissions.
TF = 1 + log (keyword count)/ log (Word Count)
IDF = log (1 + total documents/ documents with keyword)
The concept of the TF-IDF method is certainly a little complicated than other strategies but delivers guaranteed results.
4. Analyze Competitor’s On-Page Optimization:
Analyzing the on-page optimization of your competitor will make you familiar with their SEO strategy. It will better enable you to find the loopholes or draw inspiration from their content. Observe what type of content they are utilizing and what type of content is gaining them the most traction. Which keywords are they mainly targeting? What is their content marketing strategy? Pay special attention to the Metadata and Meta descriptions. See which keywords they are targeting through them.
While analyzing their content look for the following things:
- Relevancy of content with the niche
- Type of content
- Multi-Media they are producing to gain traction
- The average video length or word count of the content
- Are they utilizing long-form content or short-form content
All the above factors will help Google crawl bots to the website.
5. Probe the Backlink Profile of Your Competitor:
Probing the backlink profile of your competitor will not only help you in identifying the sources of their backlinks but also will introduce you with tons of opportunities you can tap on. There are several SEO tools available in the market to dig down the backlinking profile of your competitor.
6. Examine the UI, UX:
Examining UI, UX of the competitor gives you a fair idea of how they are presenting their product or service. How they are offering their content? Google algorithms analyze a website for its UI, UX, user-friendliness, speed, and mobile responsiveness in order to rank it on the SERPs. A slow website can be a big drawback to your SEO.
See for the following things when conducting the competitive analysis:
- Examine the click path of the competitor
- Keep an eye out for the orphan affiliated pages. Analyze their PageRank distribution
Essentially, I’d recommend you to focus on the following things on a priority basis:
- Optimize the site map for easy crawling
- Make speed a priority for high-value landing pages
- Ensure every element of your site is created by keeping user-intent in mind
The competitive analysis provides great insights into a competitor’s strengths and weaknesses and allows you to devise a smashing strategy to fill the gaps in order to claim high positions on SERPs. So, make use of it to increase the overall engagement and conversion rate for your website.