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How to Do an SEO Competitive Analysis

My Post (12).pngCompetitive analysis is something that all site owners should be doing, yet far too many are either not doing it all, or are doing it haphazardly. A thorough competitive analysis can be turned into your roadmap of what you need to do to improve your site to be as good as your competitors.

It can also be used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of both your site and your competitors’ sites for everything from SEO to search feature wins. Utilizing this information, you can discover the areas you are weak that you can improve upon them, as well as identifying the areas where your competitors are weak, and then capitalize on their weaknesses for your site and search performance.

Why Competitive Analysis is Important

With competitive analysis, you will be taking a step back and looking at the overall market area, where you stand, who the competitors are, and what the search landscape looks like for crucial keywords.

Even if you are already ranking at the top of the search results for all your most important keywords, there will always be another site that is trying to take over your rankings and capitalizing on your own site’s weaknesses.

Your Roadmap for Success

Competitive analysis can be used as a roadmap for what you need to do to improve your search rankings and the user experience for the visitors to your site. You will always discover things about what your competitors are doing that is superior to your own site, such as better search rankings. You might also discover they are doing better at specific aspects of the search results, such as dominating all the featured snippets or having an immense number of pages that show up in people also ask.

Even if you are ranking number one for what you think are your most important keywords, if they dominate in featured snippets, you are missing out on a considerable amount of potential traffic.

Page by Page Details

A proper analysis will give you the opportunity to look closer at what your competitors are doing on a page by page basis. This helps identify any potential gaps your site might have when compared to your competitors.

Perhaps you will discover they have a blog that is doing well with how to type articles that get lots of shares and links, something that is lacking on your site. Or you might discover that one competitor is getting a lot of traffic through videos they are creating and sharing, while your site is lacking in that department.

Who are the Actual Competitors?

When looking at competitive analysis, it is also important that you consider that your biggest competitor might be one you think of as smaller because they lack top rankings on the” money keywords.” Still, they could be cleaning up on the long tail. Or vice versa may be right.

If you focus solely on the money keywords, your competitive analysis could be very skewed.

The same is also true when it comes to going by your client’s word when it comes to who their biggest competitors are. Again, they often focus on the big money keywords and don’t realize that there may be a competitor they deem insignificant, but that is dominating segments of their market or the long tail. Unless you are doing competitive analysis for a local client, always do your research into exactly who their real competitors are.

Examine Organic Competitors for Specializations – Not Just General Terms

For example, Home Depot and Lowes were ranking number one and number two for a huge cross-section of keywords related to building supplies and home repairs. But for something more specialized, it turned out that entirely different competitors were ranking at the top for the searches around particular subsets of their products.

If you are not examining specific areas that could be dominated by lesser-known competitors, you could be missing out on a considerable amount of traffic and conversions. – Read more