With more websites on the internet than ever before (and many more to come!) it’s more important than ever to get to grips with your long-term SEO strategy. Luckily, there are plenty of tools and resources now that will help you understand what your competitors are doing to be successful, and you can adopt these in your own business. Here, we discuss why competitor analysis is so important when forming your SEO strategy.
Identify your real SEARCH competitors
You might have a list as long as your arm for your competitors and industry giants, but those businesses aren’t necessarily your search competitors. While you may have similar products, audiences or client bases, it’s important to identify who your SEO competitors actually are. Remember, this is not just in terms of your core niche, product or offering, people will also be outperforming your content and blogs. These people are all your competitors.
The easiest way to find your online competition is to Google them. Type in some of the main keywords that either you know you want to rank for, or that you currently rank for, find yourself, and then look at everyone who is appearing above you. Whether you find two websites or 40, these are your search competitors.
Better understanding of your core markets and target audience
One of the great things about competitor analysis is that it is very easy to review the terms that your competitor websites are optimised for, and to gather insights from competitor activity. There are tons of tools out there to help you, such as SEMrush, SEOquake, and even specific competitor insight tools such as iSpionage and SpyFu which can show you which terms your competitor’s websites are optimised for.
If you’re up against an industry giant, or even a business larger/with more resources than yours, the chances are they’ve done their A/B testing, audience targeting and user research. You can benefit from this knowledge (and their expense) by using what they’re doing, and applying this to your own strategy.
For example, if one of your online competitors uses video content a lot to rank organically (as well as generating shares and backlinks on social media), then you can look at creating video content too. If they lean on a certain set of keywords or key phrases – you can adopt these as well.
Find new ideas and opportunities
Competitor analysis also allows you to discover ideas and find missed opportunities. By looking at competitor websites, you may be able to identify an ‘industry standard’ and what really works for them. Quite often, this hinges on content. Think video, infographics, blogs, instructions etc. If their customer base is similar to yours and their customers are utilising, viewing and sharing their content forms, make sure you’re doing this too.
As well as looking at what your competitors are doing well, competitor analysis can show you any gaps to exploit. Maybe all the other companies are missing a crucial USP, aren’t creating engaging content or are missing out on topical blog creation. Once you’ve identified these gaps, you can put a plan in place to be the first.
Enhance and improve your own strategy
In short, you can enhance and improve your own strategy by looking at the websites, marketing channels, content and SEO activity of your competitors. This will undoubtedly improve your SEO.
Whether you’re identifying gaps in the market, niches that aren’t filled, keywords that are under-utilised or places where you could improve your own online presence, your competitor data can help inform your marketing and SEO strategy for months to come.
Here at Verkeer, we like to think we know a thing or two about SEO. We can help you gather insights from your competitor analysis, and create a long-term SEO strategy that really works, and outshines your competitors. Give us a call today to get started.