Seo business

4 steps of competitive SEO analysis

Most people turn to search engines to find information, products, and services. It is therefore extremely important for brands to rank well in search results.

HubSpot reports that 61% of inbound marketers said improving SEO and growing their brand’s organic presence was their # 1 priority. They spare no effort to outdo the SEO efforts of their competition and outperform them in the search results. And you should too.

Surprisingly, your competition can be your greatest asset if you allow them to be. You can tap into their strategies through competitor analysis to see what is working for them and what is not. This information can help you reverse engineer their success to beat them.

Let’s take a look at the step-by-step process for leveraging SEO Competitor Analysis to improve your search result ranking.

Step 1: Search for keywords.

Everything in SEO starts with keyword research. There is no other way.

The first step is to identify the keywords that you can realistically target. The key word here (pun intended) is “realistic”. For example, if you own a jewelry store, you might want to rank for the keyword “jewelry”. Just search Google for the seed keyword to find your top ranked competitors. However, unless your brand has the potential to compete with heavyweights like Tiffany, the ranking possibility for that keyword is near zero.

Hence, you need to identify hyper-targeted, long-tail keywords with high search volumes and low competition. These key phrases are more specific to a particular niche or location.

You can use Moz’s Keyword Explorer to uncover high-value keywords and prioritize them by search volume and difficulty score. This tool shows you which domains are ranked for specific keywords and helps you build high quality keyword lists that you need to target.

CRM software can give you great insight into your content, topics, questions, and conversions. It helps you be on the same page as your customers and choose your keywords accordingly.

Step 2: Identify your main competitors.

Once you’ve identified your keywords, google them and find out which sites are ranking in the top 10. Repeat the process for all of your top keywords. You may find that a few particular sites appear in almost all of your searches. These are the sites that you will need to add to your list of competitors.

Keep in mind that your competition is not just other companies that offer the same type of products or services as you. It could be any website competing with you for your target keywords. For example, if one of your target keywords is “jewelry stores in Tampa, Florida,” those top sites would be your competition.

Step 3: Find the keywords your competition is using.

The next step is to find out which keywords your competition is targeting. SEMrush is one of the tools I use to find them. Here’s how: Under Competitive Research, click Domain Overview and enter your competitor’s URL. Then go to the Organic Research tab and click on Positions. You will be able to see the list of keywords your competitor ranks for.

Step 4: Analyze their sites.

The next step is to find the weaknesses and strengths of your competition. Here are some key factors to watch out for.

Keyword density

This gives you an idea of ​​how aggressive you must be with keyword placement. You can use the Keyword Density Analyzer in SEMrush to find the keyword density of your competitors. All you need to do is enter the URL of the web page you want to review.

Check the density of your target keyword. For example, if your target keyword is “gift watches”, you may find that your competitor has used it three times on that particular page.

Repeat this process for all of the competitors on your list. Find the average keyword density; this will give you an idea of ​​how many times you will use a particular keyword on a page.

Metadata

The next step would be to analyze the metadata used by your competitors. Here are some factors to watch out for: Are they using LSI keywords? Did they use meta descriptions on their pages and alt text on their images? If any of these elements are missing, you have a chance to overcome them by filling in all of this information on your web pages.

Back links

Find out the number and names of sites that link to your competition. The Ahrefs tool can help you find this information. It also ranks backlinks from most to least authoritative. This gives you an idea of ​​how many high quality links you need to target to outperform your competitor.

Should we mirror or not?

Mirroring is the process of replicating your competitor’s exact link profile. The idea behind this process is that by acquiring links similar to your competitor’s, you should be able to achieve rankings similar to them.

However, before you try mirroring, remember that not all links are the same. If your competition has been successful in securing their place in the SERPs by using black or gray hat SEO tactics, you’d better avoid them. Don’t be tempted by short-term results. Instead, focus on building a long-term SEO strategy that works.

Look for quality links. If your competitor has backlinks from authority sites like Search Engine Watch or SEO Land, then you need similar backlinks. If they have backlinks from industry blogs, so should you.

Remember, the best links are the ones that are hard to get. So, work on it, do your research, and focus on building high quality links, even if it takes time.

Step 5: Analyze their content.

You now have a clear idea of ​​who your competition is, what keywords they rank for, their backlink profiles, keyword density, and meta information. The next thing you need to analyze is their content and social media marketing strategies.

High quality content is vital for Google to rank your site well. This includes the usefulness of the information, the accuracy of the facts, the expertise of the creator and the credibility of the information.

Rate the quality of content according to Google’s EAT guidelines. It means “expertise, authority, trust”.

The level of expertise required varies by industry and subject. For example, in niche topics like “your money, your life”, an expert voice is of the utmost importance.

Here are some other things to watch out for when analyzing your competitor’s content:

  • How often they are shared on social networks
  • Engagement rate
  • Number of active subscribers
  • Number of active social networks
  • Frequency of blog posts
  • Domain authority
  • Lifetime body of work

Get ready to boost your ranking.

Spying on your competition can not only give you ideas and inspiration, it can also save you a lot of time in planning your SEO strategy. Why reinvent the wheel? Start with what your competition is doing and just do it better.

Now you have the tools and the strategy to analyze your competition and beat their search rankings. Start analyzing right away!

Do you have any other tips on how to perform a competitive analysis? Let us know in the comments below.