Know Your Competitors with SEO Competitor Analysis
The old saying of “keep your friends close and your enemies even closer” is definitely true when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). One of the first things we do with our clients and their SEO campaigns is identify their competitors. It’s important to know the strategy of competing businesses SEO and marketing efforts so that you can stay competitive with your own businesses marketing efforts. The digital world of SEO is a very competitive industry for business as they fight for top search results spots on search engines and local search results.
A Search Engine Optimization Competitive Analysis is critical because it gives data about which tactics are working in the industry we are in and what we will need to do to start improving our keyword rankings. The insights gained from this analysis help us understand which tasks we should prioritize and it shapes the way we build out our campaigns. By seeing where our competitors are strongest and weakest, we can determine how difficult it will be to outperform them and the amount of resources that it will take to do so.
Identify your Competitors in your Business Industry
The first step in this process is determining who are the top four competitors that we want to use for this analysis. I like to use a mixture of direct business competitors (typically provided by my clients) and online search competitors, which can differ from whom a business identifies as their main competitors. Usually, this discrepancy is due to local business competitors versus those who are paying for online search ads. While you may be concerned about the similar business down the street, your actual online competitor may be a business from a neighboring town or another state.
To find search competitors, simply enter your domain name into SEMrush, scroll down to the “Organic Competitors” section, and click “View Full Report.”
Backlink Gap Analysis
A backlink gap analysis aims to tell us which websites are linking to our competitors, but not to us. This is vital data because it allows us to close the gap between our competitors’ backlink profiles and start boosting our own ranking authority by getting links from websites that already link to competitors. Websites that link to multiple competitors (especially when it is more than three competitors) have a much higher success rate for us when we start reaching out to them and creating content for guest posts.
In order to generate this report, we recommend you use the Moz Open Site Explorer tool and input the first competitor’s domain name. Next, click “Linking Domains” on the left side navigation and then click “Request CSV” to get the needed data.
Keyword Gap Analysis
Keyword gap analysis is the process of determining which keywords your competitors rank well for that your own website does not. From there, we reverse-engineer why the competition is ranking well and then look at how we can also rank for those keywords. Often, it could be reworking metadata, adjusting site architecture, revamping an existing piece of content, creating a brand-new piece of content specific to a theme of keywords, or building links to your content containing these desirable keywords.
To create this report, a similar process as the backlink gap analysis one is followed; only the data source changes. Go to SEMrush.com again and input your first competitor’s domain name. Then, click on the “Organic Research” positions report in the left-side navigation menu and click on “Export” on the right.
Why your business needs an SEO Competitive Analysis
Competitive analyses for SEO is not something that should be overlooked when planning a digital marketing strategy. This process can help you strategically build unique and complex SEO campaigns based on readily available data and the demand of your market. This analysis will instantly put you ahead of competitors who are following cookie-cutter SEO programs and not diving deep into their industry. Start implementing this process as soon as you can and adjust it based on what is important to your own business or client’s business.
If you’re interested in learning more about how SEO can help drive more traffic and customers to your business, please feel free to contact us and we can perform a FREE SEO AUDIT or answer any questions you may have!