What is Competitor SEO Analysis?
Competitor SEO analysis is the research process used to find your competitor’s website ranking factors. It involves identifying your competitor’s top-performing webpages, keyword positions, backlinks, content strategy, on-page strengths, and off-page SEO techniques.
How to Conduct a Competitor SEO Analysis?
The importance of competitor SEO analysis has enormous benefits and it kills any guesswork towards your SEO growth strategy and provides a defined action plan for you to implement in order to dominate the competition.
Here are 15 easy to follow steps to conduct a competitor SEO analysis:
1. Identify your competitors
This step isn’t as hard as it sounds. You need to identify all the sites that you compete against and then go through them one by one.
You can do this by using a simple Google search and find the top competitors at both the local and national levels.
Simply make a list of your top products and services and search it on Google, check out the top 3 results, and copy the URLs into an excel file.
This will also be beneficial in tracking your own rankings against these keywords in the long run.
2. Find the keywords they’re ranking for
It’s really easy to see what they’re ranking for. You can use tools like Ahrefs to find the top organic keywords that your competitor is ranking for and export these as a CSV and put them into a spreadsheet.
You can filter these keywords based on traffic, competition, difficulty, backlinks.
If your website is new, then start with targeting low competitive and low difficulty keywords.
3. Find how competitive the keywords are
You should then go through these keywords and find out how difficult it will be to rank for them. There are many free tools that can be used for this. For example, ‘Google Keyword Planner’.
I recommend using this because it’s free and you can get some really valuable information from it. For example, you can see how difficult it will be to rank for the keywords.
You can also see the amount of people that search for these keywords each month. This is a good indication of how much traffic you could potentially get if you rank for these keywords. (Obviously not guaranteed, but a good indicator).
4. Scan top pages of competitor’s website
You should also look through the pages that are currently ranking for your target keywords.
This will give you an indication of what is working well and what content your website might need to improve upon.
For example, I may find that my competitor’s websites have a lot of reviews, so I could add more reviews to my website.
5. Look at opportunity pages
You can also try looking at the opportunity pages on your website. For example, a page that ranks number 2 for the keyword ‘mortgage’ might also rank for the keyword ‘home loan Australia’.
This is because they both have very similar content and this gives you a chance to improve your website with some more related content for this keyword.
6. Run a backlink audit on the competitor webpages
You should also run a backlink audit on these pages. This will identify any opportunities to get a backlink from a website that already links to your competitor’s page.
It’s always best to get natural links rather than doing any kind of ‘building backlinks in a hurry’ because Google are getting better at spotting this and it can actually do more harm than good.
7. Conduct a technical SEO audit on competitor’s pages
You should also look into the technical SEO of your competitors’ pages. For example, when was the last time they did any canonical link cleaning? Do their URLs contain any query parameters?
Are there any duplicated titles, descriptions or headers? etc. This can help you to identify technical on-site optimizations that you can perform which may give a quick win in the short term. (Although this isn’t going to have a huge impact on your search rankings).
8. Analyze their content strategy
You should also look at what content your competitor is creating and how you can do something similar but better.
For example, if they have a blog, what topics are they writing about that you haven’t?
If they’re reviewing products, what products are they reviewing that you could create content around?
What images are they using on their posts that you could source and use on your own website or social media channels?
These are all questions that you should try to answer in order to find any content creation opportunities.
9. Find any traffic opportunities
You should also try to find any traffic opportunities.
For example, you could take a look at what adwords they’re currently bidding on and if it would be beneficial for you to also bid on these keywords with your own campaigns.
You could also look for any untapped marketplaces, such as Etsy or Ebay, that might work well for you.
10. Find any email marketing opportunities
You should also look for any email marketing opportunities.
For example, are there any forums or groups online that you could sign up to and promote your website via a signature?
Are there any existing email lists which you could sign up to and share your content to?
11. Find any social media marketing opportunities
You should also try to find any social media marketing opportunities.
For example, are there any opportunities to guest post on relevant blogs who have a large social media following?
What about event marketing?
Are there any upcoming conferences or festivals in your niche that would be worth promoting your business at?
12. Find any sales opportunities
You should also look for any sales opportunities.
For example, are there any products or services that you could advertise on your website?
Are there any affiliate programs that you could sign up to in order to earn commission for referrals?
This is obviously going to be different for every website. As an example, if you’re a plumber then you might want to look into opportunities to sell your services online.
If you’re a hobbyist who creates handmade crafts in their spare time then you might want to look into affiliate marketing opportunities.
13. Start implementing ideas & Initiate new content projects
You should now start implementing some of these strategies and begin creating new content.
It’s no good just sitting there thinking up ideas without putting them into action. You need to take the first step and put some of these theories into practice!
You should also try to create a content schedule so you have a guideline of what to publish and when to publish it.
This way you have a solid content marketing plan in place which you can constantly be measuring and improving on so that your website starts to become more of an authority in its niche.
As your website grows you’ll also want to start getting user feedback so you can find what your target audience actually wants from your website. This is super important so don’t forget about it!
14. Track your success and keep measuring
It’s also important that you keep track of your successes so far. You should have already created a spreadsheet with specific metrics to track but you should also go back and add in any additional information that you might have uncovered during the research phase.
You can then use this data to continually improve your website and ensure that it’s heading in the right direction!
15. Keep learning and improving
The final, and most important step of this guide is to keep learning and improving. It does no good to have a website with great content if no-one’s reading it.
It does no good to have visitors if they don’t stick around. It does no good to have customers if they don’t keep coming back.
You have to keep learning about internet marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and more in order to keep improving!
You’ve built a website. Now keep building upon it!
Now that you have learned about how you can do and benefit from the competitor analysis, you can now attract visitors, engage with them, and convert them into loyal followers!
I hope this guide has helped you and given you the confidence to start your own website today.