Written by Selina Jenkins
Understanding where you stand against your competitors is the first step toward success. Unless you know where your site is in the SERP, you would never know the amount of effort you need to give in, and that too in which areas, in order to beat your competitors. Hence, the first step starts with competitor analysis. The better you know your opponents, the better your chances are at finding out their weakness. Once you discover their weak areas, you can start planning strategies accordingly. So here goes the simple algorithm to competitor analysis and SEO planning:
- Find out your competitors first
- Find out how your competitor does SEO
- Change and make strategies based on that
How to locate your competitors
To locate your biggest competitors in the market, you must sort out and make a list of 3 keywords that you are using for local optimization. In the next few steps, these top 3 keywords will play a vital role. So, you better put them in a spreadsheet before continuing.
Search each keyword on Google and other leading search engines, and find out the top 3 results. The results should be searched based on a few types of listings, which are:
- Maps result
- Organic search result
- Paid search result
According to The SEO Advise Agency, the same process should be performed from 2 devices, one is a desktop or laptop computer and the other is your smartphone or tab.
Now, the names of the top 3 results from each SERP should be listed into the spreadsheet, and then, the list has to be carefully watched to see the number of times a site repeats in each listing. Depending on that, you will get the number of sites that are appearing more and less frequently. The sites appearing more are now your local online competitors. And you should find out what they did to get to this position.
Local ranking and reputation management
The local ranking factors of the competitors have to be closely scrutinized. You should find out what the audience is saying about your competitors. Various business listings have a reviews and comment section where people can say their opinion of a particular business. Check those reviews and don’t forget to compare your reviews with that of your competitor’s.
Not having a standard number of good reviews can kill your online reputation. That is why it is imperative that you get your business listed on these forums and review websites where satisfied customers can leave their comments and potential customers can read them.
You should find out the onsite SEO tactics followed by your competitors. In the process:
- Watch their content and how useful it is
- Watch their web design and page loading time, effects, resources etc
- Watch their keyword choice for meta tags and descriptions
- Watch their alt tagging as much as you can extract
- Watch for the site schema
This will tell you where you are, and what you may need to add to your site to stay ahead.
Watch how popular and active your competitors are on blogging platforms, social media, discussion forums etc. Watch their inbound links to find out what they did for external link building and follow the same.
Competitor analysis is a complex process that requires a number of tools and software. If you are new to this, you might want to start with something simple so as not to boggle your mind. Follow the tips mentioned above and get started!
Selina Jenkins is a content writer, and she works for The SEO Advise Agency. She has clients from across the globe. With her experience and knowledge, she has written a number of blogs to help out her followers.