Competition analysis for a correct SEO strategy
03/08/2022 12:00 AM
in Seo strategy
In SEO , it is important to keep an eye on the competition . And it is not just referring to those websites and companies in your niche that are in direct competition with you, but also those sites that fill the SERPs and get huge amounts of traffic through search engines.
If we have to do an SEO competition analysis , then we have to do it from the beginning:
How to identify your competition in SEO?
If you have a restaurant, it is possible that you have localized your competition well: restaurants in the area, in your theme, with a similar concept or that cater to the same clientele. But in the case of a blog or e-commerce, it may not be that obvious.
- Search every day - daily experience is a source of knowledge. If you are starting out in an industry, you should know some examples of people or firms that are doing things in a similar way to you, they are your competition.
- Search Lists and Communities: The web is full of useful resources, such as top rankings, award lists, and small communities that know different industries very well. Search by keywords, such as eg. "Online board game shops" or "best design blogs". Awards are usually easy ways to get a list of the best people of something. In blogs and forums specialized on a topic, you can raise the various doubts you may have about the community, not only for the purpose of identifying the competition, but also to evaluate qualitative aspects .
- Search Google : the most complete and realistic way to find your competitors is to search for the keywords you want to rank for and see which sites actually occupy the top positions. Never mind that they don't do the same thing as you, if they come out they are a competitor to beat. The reason this is best left for the end is that developing a keyword plan requires prior research of the competition. Once you have identified the main competitors and the keywords you are trying to rank for, you can create a keyword plan and check if any competitors are missing.
In this sense, the discovery of new competitors must be a constant process . It may be that you discover them after a long time has passed, as the Internet is fast and immense .
Now that we have identified our competition, it is time to analyze it. Do we know how to do it?
How is the web architecture of your competition?
What will give you the key to a website is the structure of its content: what is the name of the categories? How do you group your pages? How does it show the information? How does it connect internal content? This tells you which pages and areas of the web are prioritized.
All of this will provide you with information on which keywords it is using to rank, which issues it is covering and, most importantly, in which areas you can pass it or which it leaves without exploiting, so that you can fill that place.
To do this, it analyzes which pages are linked from the home page (in addition to the main menu), how the content pages (articles, products, etc.) are linked together, ultimately, how your competitor is diversifying the links.
How is the content of your competition?
The content of your competitors' websites gives you information on the type of users they target, what works and what doesn't, what they offer to users and what opportunities they waste.
- What content is there on the site? It is not the same as including technical and specialized language rather than one that is simple and understandable by the whole world. Look at what the content consists of, if eg. they offer step-by-step guides, if they have a blog, what they write, if they have controversial articles or rare articles… This can give you an idea of what kind of users they target and what value they offer them .
- How much content? Do they experiment with new formats and concepts? It is important to know what emphasis they are placing in generating content. If you compete with a website that doesn't update regularly or whose content is bad, it will be easy to get past it with little effort. If you struggle with a website with huge reversal in content, you will need to be creative to overcome them.
- Format: Do they have presentations, videos, audios, infographics, user-generated content, or is it all text? Your competitors' content gives you insight into their strategy and how you can improve it or target a profile they aren't paying attention to. Can you provide a different value by generating this type of content? Can you provide links, external resources or some kind of material that makes what you offer more complete?
- How does it work? Knowing what works with others is a way of evaluating assumptions about your own content. Attention, that it works for another does not mean that it will work for you as well. Even if you have very similar users, it will never be the same.
- How do they transform? Do they offer a newsletter? Do they have a share to download or does their purpose not imply conversion in any visible point? The visible in-conversion elements provide insight into your competitor 's store strategy and profitability models.
And remember, if you can take something that someone else has already done and improve it, do it. If it's clear which niche they leave unattended, take advantage of it. If they make mistakes, learn from them without making them too. And above all, try to be innovative with concepts that they have not yet experienced.
What link profile does your competition have?
The link profile will tell you what SEO potential each page has, regardless of how well it is optimized or not, so you know if your industry is very competitive or not. Among other things, it lets you know who you are facing, how they get the links and what content the links get.
- Who you face: You can find out if that website that covers all the interesting searches is there due to genius optimization or a huge link profile. It also gives you an idea of the size of the link profile you are facing and what you will need to generate to compete as equals.
- How They Get Links: By searching their links profile you can find out what kind of pages are getting links. If government institutions or university pages are doing something with your competition, which blogs are talking about your industry, what value-adding niche directories you are neglecting, etc.
- Which content gets links: By analyzing which pages on a website get the most links, it's easy to see which content has been most successful. The normal thing is that the home is the one that stands out from the rest, but then there will be the contents that have worked best in terms of link building.
The two most relevant metrics for identifying a website's authority are the number of links linking the site and the number of domains from which they connect to it. Be careful, it's important to measure the authority of the linking pages as well to see if those links are of higher or lower quality. To make this work you can use free tools like Open Site Explorer , Ahrefs or Majestic SEO .
Once you have identified your competition and knowing where you are, decide what you need - if you are at a disadvantage, the ideal is to invest in actions focused on reaching links and on-site optimization as the main objective. Don't forget to head for niches or focus on the long tail . If your competition has an edge, you can't play the same game and expect to win. As you progress, you can work harder to find creative ways to make a difference and achieve branding; while, if you have a leadership situation, you may prefer to involve your community in the generation of content and look for ways to increase the conversion generated by that traffic.
How is your competitor's SEO strategy?
With all this data it's easy to understand what your competitors are doing. What is why they get good scores for some keyords and bad for others, how they structure their content, how they get links and in what content, etc.
If you know what your main competitors do, know the market, and have done a good keyword research, you have all the information you need to create your strategy, not just SEO, but online marketing as well