Every modern business owner knows the importance of having a website to display their products and services. More than that, you should also make sure that your content is visible to your target audience. You can do this through digital marketing strategies, such as search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is the process of enhancing your website’s elements to make it easier for search engine bots to crawl through the pages. This tactic increases the chance that your content will land at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords.
There are a lot of factors to consider if you want your brand to dominate the online world. Fortunately, you can do competitive research to get an idea of what other sites in your industry are doing for their digital marketing campaigns. With this, instead of guessing the keywords, links, and type of content that works for your target audience, you can take notes from your competitors and build on their repertoire.
Here’s a quick guide on how to complete competitive analysis for your SEO:
1. Determine Your Competitors
Competition is intense in today’s business world. You have competitors for sales, and you also have rivals for SEO. The latter pertains to the websites that vie for the same keywords in the SERPs.
For instance, if you sell women’s clothes and want to rank for the phrase ‘best silk blouse,’ not only will you have to compete with other women’s apparel brands, but you also have to consider fashion publications and blogs by designers. All of these websites have their own opinions on what the best silk blouse is, and you have to find a way to make your content stand out from the sea of domains that fill the World Wide Web.
To determine your real competitors, you can do a Google search on one of your target keywords. Take note of the websites listed on the first page of the SERPs and proceed to the next step.
2. Inspect Your Rivals’ Backlink Profiles
Now that you have an idea of who your real SEO competitors are, you can take a look at their backlink profiles. This method entails identifying the websites that link to your competitors, but not to your domain. You must determine these sources because you’re more likely to acquire backlinks from them as they’ve already published some from your SEO rivals.
You can use a tool to check backlinks and find potential sources. This type of software also has additional features, such as assessing the authority of a referring domain and detecting backlink types.
3. Find Superfans
Upon checking the backlink sources of your competitors, you may spot domains that link to your rivals regularly. These are considered superfans. You should prioritize these leads because they are the ones who are passionate about the industry or niche.
It’s wise to build relationships with these site administrators and bloggers because they contribute a lot to your brand, especially SEO. Of course, you also have to ensure that you provide them and their readers with informative and engaging content.
4. Identify Valuable Keywords
A rival’s backlink profile will also contain data on the keywords that are effective for their SEO. You should look for high-volume ones that relate to your business since these key phrases can increase the chances for conversions.
You must also ensure that you check the viability of the keywords. This means that the phrases should be ones that you can likely rank for. More than that, it should provide you with an opportunity to rank better than your competitors.
You can find tools to help you with in-depth keyword analysis. The data can, then, help you optimize your headlines and meta descriptions for better search engine crawling.
5. Improve On Content Ideas
Keyword analysis can also provide new insights on what to write about in your blog. With the many topics and subtopics that fall under your niche, it can be confusing to determine which content to create first.
Luckily, you can take a look at your competitors’ profiles and get an idea of the topics that garner lots of shares and backlinks. However, one of the biggest mistakes that can destroy your content strategy is to merely copy a popular article and publish it as your own. Not only will you be losing credibility for plagiarizing someone else’s work, but you’ll also get into legal trouble.
You should find innovative ways to one-up the content of your rivals. With this, you can try writing from a different perspective so that you can offer fresh insights to people in your industry.
6. Check Competitors’ Featured Snippets
Featured snippets, also known as answer boxes, are search results that are published by Google right on the SERP. It’s located on top of the organic results inside a box below the ads.
The primary objective of featured snippets is to provide users with the answer to their query right away. For instance, if you type in ‘define love’ in the search box, Google delivers the definition of the word from Oxford Languages without having to click on any additional links.
Featured snippets don’t necessarily come from the top results. Most of the time, the answers come from the pages that rank between the second and fifth positions. Even so, these can significantly boost the perception of human readers on the credibility of those websites.
Look for the featured snippets that your competitors won and see how you can improve on that particular content. This way, you increase the chances of overtaking your SEO rivals and displaying your content for relevant queries instead.
Competitive analysis is a crucial tool that you should use for your digital marketing campaign. It helps you save time and resources since you no longer need to guess the type of content, keywords, and links that work for your target audience. The process allows you to understand the tactics that work for your industry, as well as the ones that aren’t as effective so you can improve on these strategies to overtake your SEO rivals.