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competitor analysis to Improve Search Engine Ranking

Conducting a competitor analysis to Improve Search Engine Ranking

Posted on: Dec 05, 2019 15 min read

Competitor analysis needs to be done on a daily basis and not once a year. It is extremely important to add competitive analysis in your effective marketing plan in order to demonstrate to your investors that you are very much aware of the competition. You should have a clear picture of the marketplace with suitable plans that will help you to compete on a similar or better level than your competition.

Some of the biggest challenges you will face with your competitors are the following:

  • Consider them to be your customer
  • Look at them from their perspective
  • Try to learn from your clients

What is a competitor analysis?

It is all about recognising and assessing your competitors’ strengths as well as weaknesses. The information will help you to improve all efforts of your company and get the maximum benefit from it.  

The competitive analysis will include the following:

  • Knowing your competitors
  • Getting information about your competitors
  • Evaluating their marketing strategies

Why should a competitor analysis be done?

A competitor analysis will:

  • Enable your team to build better marketing tactics
  • Find opportunities in the market that are under-served at present
  • Help to take the most advantage of your competitors weaknesses so that you can gain market share
  • Allow to make informed decisions about your marketing strategy and ensure to create a sustainable competitive edge
  • Help to make proper planning for future investments

Different kinds of competitor analysis

According to DubSEO experts, competitor analysis is about conducting thorough market research to search for suitable opportunities and potential risks associated with different strategies like launching a brand new product.

Compare and evaluate competitor content

After you identify your competitors, you will be able to geta better understanding of what kind of content they are publishing, what type of content they are mainly focusing on and what is working for them. Then, you should be asking yourself if you are currently doing any of the listed below:

  • Blog posts, case studies, white papers, newsletters, eBooks
  • Videos, webinars, podcasts
  • Paid ads and images
  • Press releases

Analyze SEO structure

Competitor analysis is important if:

  • You have prepared a new website and want to study your competitors and industry.
  • Your paid promotions are not working and thus, you lag much behind the competition.
  • Your business has attained success and you want to jump on the industry trends.

So, where are your competitors using the most appropriate keywords?

  • Page title
  • Content
  • Internal links
  • H1 and H2 tags
  • URL architecture
  • Social media
  • Ads
  • Image alt text
  • Meta description
  • Domain authority
  • Root linking domains
  • Sitemaps - HTML, XML, video, image
  • Page templates to know how well a website is designed and if it is optimised for mobile devices
  • Analyze backlink strategies to know which websites are linking to their sites
  • Blog topics and frequency

If new keywords have higher search volume, you should search for keywords with lower search volume or long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords

A keyword like bookshas great competition and is difficult to rank for in the search engines. This generic keyword will not tell anything about what the consumer is searching for such as – fiction, biography and fact.

Trending keywords

If your competitors are using trending topics in their marketing strategies, then you are missing an opportunity to outrank them in search engine results pages.

How to search for trending keywords or topics

Let’s have a look at keyword analytics that have resulted in organic traffic. You should be collecting this information when analysing topics and keywords.

  • Keywords that are relevant to your business but there is no relevant content
  • Keywords used in the content but there is much more to say
  • Keywords similar to the present content but not targeted

Social media presence

  • What social networks are they using and are they working best for them? Are you using the same social networking sites?
  • What are their engagement metrics for comments, shares and retweets? - This determines how successful they are on the channels and if these strategies can be followed.
  • How often do they post on social sites? If they have higher engagement, do you post at the same frequency?
  • How many followers are they having and how fast are they getting more? How will you compare it with your growth?
  • Who are they following? Do you need to follow them too?
  • Are they proactive in replying to customers’ queries? Do they hold a separate account for customer service? You could gain more points by providing this service if your competitors are lacking behind.
  • What are they doing with customer engagement, ads, promotions or Newsjacking? Are you doing the same for similar results?
  • What are their weaknesses for lack of engagement, response rate, inactivity, irregular postingand poor imagery? Look for suitable opportunities to jump into if you have unanswered questions being posted.

How to conduct social media competitor analysis

Experts working in a reputed SEO agency have said that your brand will compete with others in the local, national, or international market. After you establish the competition, it is important to begin with your competitive intelligence or research of analyzing and collecting data about your competitors.

You need to go through company profiles, annual reports, product brochures and press releases. Social media listening brings more valuable and deeper digital consumer insights. By using the right tools, you know how consumers feel about the products and services of their competitors. You can also identify the latesttrends and discover newer brands coming in the market.

Compare your strengths and weaknesses with your competitors in areas such as:

  • Bar

Friendly and good customer service

  • Cinema

Noisy atmosphere with fast food outlets

  • Hotel

Quality and expensive food with cold customer service

  • Pizza delivery

Cheap and deliver to your door

Compare your brand with that of the competitors

Share of voice or SOV

An important question is, “How much do people talk about your brand as compared to that of your competition?” A strong SOV is not at all a good thing if a greater percentage was caused due to crisis. But, these insights will provide a better picture of your brand awareness when compared with this industry.

Sentiment analysis between you and your competitors

Yourfeelings about your brand will be expressed in the comments section which is between you and your competitors. It is extremely important to track sentiment and know how your marketing campaigns can have a great impact on consumer perception of your brand when compared to that of yourcompetitors.

Words and phrases related to the market

Consider key topics of the conversations to know what consumers say about your products, services or brand. By knowing theexact phrases that consumers use, you can get better understanding of where your brand will fit properly. It will also give newopportunities to position your brand in and join meaningful conversations that were previously unheard.

Demographic of customers

It is important to know the customers of competitors' and if they are similar to your customers. Try to refocus and target to increase your customer base. Find the locations you fail to target with your marketing strategies and where your competitors are really doing well.

Audience interests

Make sure you know what your audience is interestedin so that you can keep them engaged. Social media analytics can show the interests of your audience and those of your competitors. This provides you with an insightof how to appeal to your competitors’ fans.

SWOT analysis

It is crucial to do SWOT analysis of your brand and include it in your marketing strategy. SWOT is about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that help to identify internal and external factors that could begin toaffect the future performance of a team. Internal factors are said to be strengths and weaknesses while external factors are the opportunities and threats.

When you look at the SWOT of your competitors from a customer’s point of view, you actually analyse their strengths and weaknesses. This will enable them to understand their business in a better way. What are their valuable assets? How could your business take advantage of them? Also, know their weaknesses and work out how your company would like to address them. Try to put yourself in a customer’s shoes and ask yourself these questions:

  • What made me select that particular brand?
  • Is it only becausethey are cheaper, better and have local choices?
  • Why would I choose them for another brand?
  • Would I be prepared to swap brands in case some changes had been made?

PEST analysis

Whenconducting competitor analysis, SWOT results need to beconsidered. External factors should be assessed carefully to make it more effective. PEST analysis is the element of risk or crisis management that ensures a company is well-prepared for the changes in some external factors.

Will a change be taken as an opportunity for doing better or seen as a threat? How will they deal with the change? By getting answers to these questions, you will know how your competitors operate and become part of your marketing strategy.

  • Politics –These are government regulations that affect political stability, trade restrictions, safety regulations employment laws and tax laws of the market.
  • Economic –These issues will have a great impact on your industry for interest rates, inflation, exchange rates, unemployment rate, policy changes and economic growth.
  • Social –This will help to evaluate and analyze the socio-economic environment of your industry for customer demographics, languages, education levels, culture and lifestyle attitudes.

Best competitor analysis tools

Moz

SEO competitive analysis offers data about what tactics are working in the relevant sector. By knowing the strong and weak areas of your competitors, you can havebetter understanding of how hard it will be to outrank them. Backlink analysis reveals which websites will link to your competitors. Some Moz SEO tools include –Open Site Explorer, Keyword Explorer, MozBar, link building, MozRank,site audits and page optimisation insights.

Quick Search

You can get a quick overview of your brand online. Search engine provides a wide coverage of social networks, blogs, forums and news sites. You may compare between several competitors brands with 90% accuracy, audience demographics, engagement, mentions and more.

Day Digital

Day Digital provides different services with SEO strategies to improve your website ranking on search engines. You need to search for relevant information on on-page optimisation, PPC, link building and social media. Though there isn’t any guarantee with SEO, Day Digital works towards improving the rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs) and increasing traffic with the presence of social media.

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a website crawler that can be used to crawl competitor sites for key onsite SEO elements. This will also include – page titles, meta descriptions, headings and canonicals. You will be given proper insights into their optimisation with potential keywords that can be targeted for your website.

Talkwalker Alerts

According to London based SEO Consultant, you need to setalerts for receiving mentions of your brand with that of your competitors from websites, blogs, Twitterand forums. You will be able to easily view the content your competitors tweet and what people say about them.

SEMrush

With the help of SEMrush, you need to search for relevant information about organic search results and AdWords campaigns of your competitors. You will get keywords used across different search engines to know how much traffic they have and which search terms can generate more traffic. Thus, the successful search terms can be used for your own marketing strategy.

Majestic

Majestic is the link intelligence database for the complete analysis of anchor text and external links used by the competitors. You need to evaluate backlinks and domain link counts to know what your competitors will do for tracking your overall performance.

Competitor analysis template

You can customise the template for your business requirements.

  • Competitor profile

You need to know your main competitors and fill in the template for each of them.

  • Competitive advantage

It is important to know what makes your company unique from that of your competitors.

  • Target market

You should be aware about your target market and find out who your competitors are.

SEO strategy

Make sure you know the keywords your competitors use for ranking and backlink strategy in the SERPs.

Marketing strategies

Add your present or future marketing campaigns with that of your competitors.

Products and services

It is necessary to rate your company’s products and services with the competitors. This will help to know the features you are missing for the competition.

Pricing & costs

Keep the pricing of your products and services more affordable than your competitors so that more people are interested in your products and services.

Social media presence

Know the channels your competitors use for the text, images or videos and the frequency at which they post.

SWOT

You must have already done it for your brand and now, it is time to do for your competitors.

PEST

It is essential to perform PEST analysis for your competitors and compare them with your own.

The ongoing process of conducting competitor analysis should be done regularly. This will provide your company with the added benefit that it requires to beat the competition. Evaluate your progress by installing tracking such as – Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, SEMrush and Moz. Watch your competitors and the present market with Talkwalker Alerts and Quick Search to know what will work and what will not.


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