A competitive SEO analysis is a must for all site owners, especially those just starting out. However, too many site owners are either not using this analysis at all, or are doing it aimlessly. A step-by-step competitive analysis can be your roadmap to discovering what you can do to improve your site in order for it to be as good as your competitors’ site.
It can also be used to seek out your site’s strengths and weaknesses, while also identifying information of your competitors’ sites, ranging from SEO to search feature wins. Armed with this information, you can then discover the areas where you need improvement, while also identifying your competitors’ weak spots in order for you to capitalise on them.
First of all, what does this analysis involve?
SEO competitive analysis refers to researching the links, keywords and content that your competitors are using, so that you may reverse-engineer the successful elements of these tactics into your own SEO strategy.
Rather than taking the risks of guessing the keywords to target, content to create, or links to build, you can instead take inspiration from what is already working for others, and exploit that success.
And how do I go about it?
- Keyword Research
- Set keywords that your site can realistically target. For example, if your firm offers cut-price accountancy services across hub Asian markets, you’d want to ensure that your site contains phrases and landing pages targeting that customer search intent; i.e. ‘Cheap Accountant Singapore’; ‘Cheap Accountant Bangkok’, etc.
- Identify Top Competitors
- Upon doing a keyword search, take note of the top 10 sites or the sites that keep appearing every time you search for a keyword on your list.
- You may notice some sites appear every time you type a keyword from your list. Consider these your top competitors and take note of them.
- Analyse These Competitors
- Now that you know who your competitors are, you have the chance to look into their profiles for useful information to help you improve your own SEO strategy.
- You can start with downloading their backlink profile, then analyse their topical authority, which will allow you to identify and establish industry averages.
- Social Media and Content Audit
- Once you know and understand the backlink profiles and authority levels of your competitors’ sites, you need to move onto doing research on their content strategy, across their websites and social media accounts.
- Evaluating your competitors’ social media accounts will give you the opportunity to determine how active you should be on your own social media and what your target should be when it comes to customer engagement ratio.
- Determine Your Barrier to Entry and Strategy
- When you have a proper understanding of your competitors, you can now strategise for yourself based on the averages from the data you discovered.
- Now you need to find out how many links you’ll need to get, and define the quality of those links,to start appearing in search results.
- You should take note to avoid keywords targeted by sites with huge domain authority. Such domains are impossible to beat because they are highly trusted and rewarded by top search engines like Google.