SEO Competitor analysis

What is an SEO Competitor Analysis and Why Do You Need One?

How to Discover Your Competitor’s Keywords (& what to do with them when you find them)

An SEO Competitor analysis looks at search engine rankings to evaluate your website competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. It involves analysing their websites, content, backlink profiles, and other SEO-related factors to gain insights and inform strategies to improve your own SEO efforts.

The main aim of competitive analysis for SEO is to identify opportunities to improve your website visibility and outrank your competitors. This includes identifying keywords your competitors are ranking for, analysing their content strategy and link-building tactics, and identifying technical optimisations that can improve your own site’s performance.

It’s important to note that you should always conduct an SEO competitor analysis ethically and legally. Avoid engaging in unethical or black-hat SEO practices such as keyword stuffing or link spamming — you’re more likely to attract penalties from google and damage your own site’s reputation and rankings. Instead, focus on developing high-quality content, building natural backlinks, and optimising your site’s technical performance and you’ll soon see your rankings rocketing up the page.

Why is an SEO Competitor Analysis good for your business?

An SEO competitor analysis helps businesses understand their competitors’ online presence, search engine rankings, and SEO strategies. Here are some other reasons you should do one regularly:

  1. Identifying strengths and weaknesses: See where you can improve your own SEO strategies, like targeting keywords your competitors are ranking for, improving your content strategy, or building more high-quality backlinks.

  2. Understanding the market: A competitive analysis can help you identify new opportunities, such as new keywords to target, or new content topics to cover.

  3. Developing a more effective SEO strategy: By analysing competitors’ SEO strategies, you can improve your rankings, increase your organic traffic, and ultimately generate more leads and sales.

  4. Staying ahead for longer: A SEO competitive analysis can also help you stay ahead of your competition. By monitoring their online presence and rankings, you can identify any market or industry changes, and adjust your SEO strategies accordingly.

Here are the five steps to conducting a comprehensive SEO competitive analysis:

  1. Identify your SEO competitors (obvs):

  • Start by brainstorming a list of your direct competitors (those offering similar products or services to your own) and indirect competitors (those targeting the same audience but with different products or services).

  • Conduct a search for the keywords you’re targeting to identify competitors who already rank for them.

  • Use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or Ahrefs to identify additional competitors who may target the same keywords as your website.

  • You can also use a tool like SEMrush’s Competitors Report to identify direct and indirect competitors in your niche and compare their online performance against yours. The organic report will help you identify all the domains ranking for the same organic keywords you’re targeting.

  1. Analyze their website:

  • Use a tool like Screaming Frog or Sitebulb to crawl your competitors’ websites and identify structural and technical issues that could impact their SEO performance.

  • Analyze the content on your competitors’ websites, including the quality, relevance, and frequency of their blog posts and landing pages.

  • Analyze your competitors’ website architecture and identify how they are grouping their content and pages to target specific keywords.

  • Look for on-page SEO elements like meta titles and descriptions, header tags, and alt tags and how they’re being used.

  • Analyze your competitors’ site speed and check for any issues with site responsiveness, mobile-friendliness, or load times.

  1. Analyse their keywords:

  • Use a tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush to analyze the competitive keywords being targeted, and check out the search volume and difficulty of those keywords.

  • Identify any gaps in your own keyword strategy by looking for organic keywords your competitors are ranking for that you’re not.

  • Analyse your competitors’ content to see how they’re incorporating keywords into their website content.

  • Look for your competitors’ top pages and the keywords they rank for.

  1. Check out their backlink profile:

  • Use a tool like Ahrefs or Majestic to analyze your competitor’s backlink profile, including the quality, quantity, and relevance of their backlinks.

  • Look for patterns in the websites linking to your competitors and identify any opportunities for link building for your own website.

  • Analyze the anchor text used in your competitors’ backlinks and see how they target specific keywords that could also be useful for your SEO strategy.

  • Check for any unnatural links or low-quality backlinks your competitors might have––these can have a negative impact on their SEO performance, so make sure you don’t fall into the same trap!

  1. Develop an action plan:

  • Use the insights gained from your analysis to identify any weaknesses in your own strategy and develop a plan to improve them.

  • Prioritize opportunities based on their potential impact on your SEO performance.

  • Continuously monitor your competitors and adjust your SEO strategy as needed based on changes in the market and new opportunities that arise.

  • Start working on outperforming your competitors where they’re weak, or you see opportunities to gain an SEO advantage. Develop an SEO action plan that includes on-page optimisation, link building, and content creation based on the insights gained from the analysis.

  • Continuously monitor your competitors and adjust your SEO strategy as needed based on changes in the market and new opportunities that arise.

Focus on search intent instead of search volume

Search intent refers to why a user makes a search engine query, such as finding information, making a purchase, or seeking a particular type of content. If you focus on search intent instead of search volumes, you can identify your target audience’s underlying needs and create content that satisfies them, which, in turn, can improve your rankings.

Here are some more reasons to focus on search intent instead of search volume in an SEO competitive analysis:

  1. Better user experience: Creating content that’s relevant and helpful to your audience creates a better user experience (UX) and increases your chances of engaging users with your content, staying on the page longer, and ultimately converting.

  2. Higher click-through rates: If your meta content satisfies a user’s search intent, it’s more likely they’ll click through to your website, boosting click-through rates, and improving your rankings.

  3. Improved conversion rates: User-satisfying content leads to more traffic, leads and sales—the ultimate goal of any good SEO strategy.

  4. More targeted traffic: Focusing on search intent can attract more targeted traffic that’s easier to convert, rather than just attracting high volumes of traffic indifferent to your products or services.

  5. Staying ahead of the competition: By identifying your users’ underlying needs and creating content that satisfies those needs, you can differentiate from your competitors and gain a competitive advantage.

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Doing an SEO Competitive Analysis

SEO evaluations are tricky. Don’t fall prey to these SEO no-nos:

  1. Focusing too much on keyword rankings: While keyword rankings are important, they’re not the only metric that matters in SEO. Focusing too much on keyword rankings can lead to overlooking other important factors such as content quality, user experience, and website speed. Therefore, it’s essential to look at the bigger picture and analyze all the different aspects of your competitors’ websites that may impact their SEO performance.

  2. Not analyzing local SEO: If your business operates in a specific geographic location, it’s important to analyze your competitors’ local SEO efforts. This includes looking at their Google My Business listings, local citations, and local backlinks, so you don’t miss any opportunities to improve your website’s visibility in local search results.

  3. Overlooking technical SEO issues: Technical SEO issues such as site architecture, internal linking, and website speed can have a significant impact on a website’s google search rankings. Don’t forget to check out your competitor’s technical back end to find any issues that may impact their SEO performance.

  4. Ignoring user experience: User experience is a key factor in SEO, as search engines prioritize websites with great UX. Take off your SEO hat for a moment and look at your competitors’ websites from a user’s perspective to identify any areas where you may fall short in comparison.

  5. Failing to implement findings: Conducting an SEO competitive analysis is only useful if you implement the findings and change your own SEO strategy! So get to it! There’s no time like the present to improve your website’s rankings and online visibility.

To sum up, conducting an SEO competitive analysis is crucial if you want to improve your google search rankings and gain a competitive advantage. Identifying and analyzing your competitors’ SEO strategies gives you valuable insights into your own SEO performance and ideas on effective strategies to improve it.

Ultimately, conducting an SEO competitive analysis is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring and adjustment. Market conditions and competitors’ strategies can change quickly. Stay up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and best practices to make sure your rankings and online visibility are winning the race in an ever-changing digital landscape.

Don’t let your website drown in obscurity –– let’s work together on an SEO strategy that puts the wind in your site’s sails and sets a course for SEO success!

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