SEO competitive analysis is basically the study or research of how well your competitors rank for certain keywords. The main end goal behind such a study is to find opportunities to improve ranking, climb in rankings and possibly increase conversions relative to your own competitors. In short, it is how well you position yourself against your competition.
In today’s age of the Internet and technology, competition on the Web has never been greater. Many companies have found that their potential customers are relying solely on the Internet to make their purchases. Additionally, more companies are utilizing offshore manufacturing centers as a way to reduce cost while maintaining excellent productivity levels. For all of these reasons, the battle for market share on the Web has been fierce. Fortunately, there are a number of tools available to help companies conduct SEO competitive analysis and ultimately win the battle for market share.
The first step to conducting a thorough SEO competitive analysis of your company is the creation of a comprehensive strategy. This strategy should outline what each aspect of your business should be focusing on at this point in time. Ideally, it will also provide a description of the type of competitor analysis you expect to use and the anticipated outcome of each strategy. This will go a long way towards informing your plan. For instance, if you expect to focus on competitor backlinks rather than keywords, then you need to write a strategy that describes the types of backlinks you expect to create and how you will obtain them.
Once you have a comprehensive strategy in place, you are ready to start conducting SEO competitive analysis. One of the most important aspects of this process is to track your progress over time. You want to be able to track your results pages and your competitor’s results pages. A good way to do this is by setting up Google Analytics to automatically display a daily report detailing activity on your website.
Once you have determined the types of keywords you intend to use in your campaign, you can begin to develop a SEO competitive analysis based on those keywords. One of the most powerful ways to identify competitors strategies is to analyze their keywords and their backlinks. For example, if you discover that your competitor has a number of high authority linking sites that link to all of their individual web pages, you may find that your competitor’s strategy focuses on obtaining a large volume of backlinks to as many of these web pages as possible. In contrast, if you find that your competitor’s strategy targets low quality, low competition keywords that do not receive many high authority backlinks, you may find that their overall strategy makes little or no sense.
As part of your SEO Competitive Analysis, you should identify the type of keyword phrases your competitor is targeting as part of their overall SEO campaign. One approach to identifying the type of keywords your competitor is targeting is to look at the competitive analysis of sites that target that exact phrase. For example, if you find that your competitor is ranking for the term “related terms,” you can identify those specific search terms by examining their backlinks and website profiles. If you find a site with a large amount of low quality, low competition backlinks, chances are that they are focusing their SEO campaign on low competition keywords that will draw a lot of low quality, low competition traffic. Conversely, if you find that a site with a large amount of high quality, high competition backlinks is ranking for a phrase that has a much more competitive phrase attached to it, then your competitor is probably using a more focused optimization strategy.
The next step of your SEO competitive analysis should focus on analyzing your competitor’s link building campaigns and see what types of backlinks they are building using anchor text links. If you examine the link building campaign of a site such as Digg or Reddit you will be able to see for yourself which keyword phrases the author is targeting with their anchor text links. In this stage of the SEO competitive analysis, it is important to identify the types of backlinks the author is creating and then observe their behavior once these links have been created and how often these links are being clicked on. A deep dive into the behavior of your SEO competition will give you valuable insight into their strategies and their overall SEO strategy.
Finally, the last step in your SEO competitive analysis should focus on checking the anchor texts of the links you have found during your analysis. It is important to identify which of the keyword phrases being used as an anchor is the one being clicked the most in searches conducted using these particular search engines. If you find that the domain authority of the site being linked to is low, but the click through rate is high then you may want to consider revising your anchor text link strategy. In order to get the best possible results from your SEO effort, you must make sure that your anchor text links are relevant to the topic niche your site is built around.