How to Complete a Competitive Analysis for Organic SEO

  • March 6, 2018
  • SEO
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There is little denying that competitive analysis is one of the primary steps needed to give your site a boost in the search engine.

Unfortunately, many people tend to miss this step. Instead, they jump into optimising content, social media, keyword research, or even link building.

Nonetheless, good competitor analysis can bring you one step closer to knowing who your opposition is and where they stand – a more comprehensive approach to understanding goals and more importantly, potential blind spots. If you haven’t got access to the mentioned tools you may ask for help an SEO company.

The Importance of Competitive Analysis

When conducting an SEO analysis report, you are paving the way to discovering which tactics are working within your chosen industry and how to improve your keyword list and ratings.

In other words, by acknowledging where your competitors are strongest, you will understand what you should prioritise and build on in your campaigns – determining how to outperform in search engine optimisation and the resources needed to succeed.

To put things into better perspective, you will be able to see which keywords are in demand within your industry. By following this method, you will be able to build an SEO strategy that is capable of maximising your competitive advantages over other businesses.

Whether this means focusing on domain rank, brand authority, or general metrics will ultimately depend on your findings.

An SEO competitor analysis checklist will help your firm figure out how your site compares to other top-rating sites in your field, pinching ideas on how to either re-build your content or site structure to better suit your consumers.

Keyword Research

The first step in the process of competitive analysis is identifying the keywords your website can realistically target and then use. For the sake of comparison, we will look at the word “chef”.

While your brand is in its infant stages, you will either need a significant budget or brand authority to compete with names such as Jamie Oliver and other self-made chefs. In other words, this word might not help much with small or medium businesses.

Instead, your approach will need to be out-of-the-box. While search volume is a great place to start, under normal circumstances, you might want to target a viable niche within the industry. To help you achieve this, Mind Mapping is a great tool to organise your keyword concepts and buckets.

Alternatively, you are able to use the AWR Cloud to identify which websites are top-ranked for different SEO keywords. If you’re feeling up to the challenge, one trick is to export all of the keywords and URLs as an .xls document.

This is so that you are then able to examine them individually using an Excel spreadsheet. This method will give the greatest power concerning gap analysis.

Analyse and Understand Your Competitors

Once you’ve identified your competitors, you are ready to create your profile. Initially, you are able to start with general metrics using an analysis tool such as LinkResearchTools.

Their interestingly named “Juice Tool” can help with anything from Social Shares and Domain Authority, to inbound links and more.

Nonetheless, bear in mind that this is only the start. In order to build a comprehensive understanding of your online search competitors, you will need to dive deep into their backlink profile.

Use the Google Sheets Analysis Template

The implementation of a clear and concise process is not merely critical for getting excellent results once, but in also building a method of dealing with multiple clients.

To aid you in doing this, use an SEO analysis workflow sheet or a competitor analysis template to follow a strategic process. In other words, rather than analysing what to look for each time, your approach will rely on interpreting the results.

A mere look at the Google Sheets Template will provide you with the data points and tools needed and metrics which are based on similar trends.

To put things into perspective, nearly everything relates to how much traffic your SEO competitors are getting, which keywords are driving their success, their domain authority and their backlink profiles.

This template is meant to serve as nothing more than just a mere base that you may choose to alter at a later date. It all depends on your or your client’s specific set of needs, which metrics are most relevant or actionable and other similar points.

Evaluate Your Competitors’ Links

The process of building links, or in other words getting other sites to link to your website’s content, is a primary determinant of a successful SEO strategy. One way to improve your site’s backlinks is by analyzing your competition and their tools in achieving this goal.

One useful example is Majestic SEO tool, and that’s because it contains the most substantial and most significant index of backlinks and research tools. To better put things into perspective, you can check the links on your competitors’ site content, while also tracking anchor texts used, citation flow, or even trust flow.

When applying this information to the SEO competitor analysis, Moz is another tool which many find useful. Not only can you check the domain authority (DA) of a website, but also the page authority (PA) of all top-ranking sites. The reason why Moz is popular relates to its user-friendly platform and software, making it more accessible to research information –even as a newbie.

The metrics obtained from Moz also correlate to the site’s ability to rank, evaluating link quality and quantity, meaning that a competitive analysis should not be complete without this step.

Develop Your SEO Strategy

Once you have gained a thorough understanding of your competition, you can start to build and develop your strategy –based on the data and averages you have gathered. It can always help to use a local SEO agency for this activity.

The first step is determining how many links you need to acquire, afterward focusing on their quality. Your strategy will more than likely be based on the averages from sites relating to your keywords. However, as previously mentioned, avoid keywords with massive domain authority.

Conclusion

All in all, SEO is an ever-changing concept that is subject to innovation and evolution. Google and other search engines are tirelessly working towards updating their algorithms and trying to get smarter – in an attempt to match users and their goals. If you are going to use an SEO agency make sure you use an expert one that adapts and changes with the algorithmic requirements of the search engine itself.

Mainly when discussing complex and high-stakes industries such as technology and SEO tools, there will always be room for improvement.

However, this should only lead to increased motivation about your own site’s performance and the help that competitive analysis can bring you. Find out what works for your competitors’ sites, identifying areas of opportunities as they become available.

This way, you will know where to focus your resources and how to adapt your site – ultimately leading to increased revenue.

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