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A beginner's guide to SEO competitor analysis

Published on December 24 2016 By

SEO Competitor Analysis


If you are launching a new website our trying to promote your current website SEO is critical. Building a website is only the start. If your website cannot be found in search engine results customers are not going to be able to find you. Using our Vital SEO first steps for a new website is a good start to help get your website noticed; but what about your competitors? Knowing what rival companies are doing with their search engine optimisation (SEO) and on their social media pages will give you insights into what their online marketing strategy is but also what you need to do in order to outrank them.

Knowing what your rivals are doing is something that can be done with SEO competitor analysis. This can help shed light on your competitor’s techniques and the platforms I which they are attracting customers.

Competitor analysis is a critical part of marketing and is the first step in marking a success out of your marketing campaigns. Higher conversions (more clicks to your website) mean more sales. All this can be achieved by obtaining the valuable information and insights from your competitors.

Steps to perform SEO competitor analysis


1. Identify your competitors

This is the most important step in marketing; by finding out who your competitors are you can gain a whole list of useful information. What are their price brackets? What makes their website appealing? What keywords are they targeting?

Identifying your competitors is quick and simple, first create a list of the keywords and keyword variations that will help drive targeted traffic to your webpage for the products or services that you are offering.

Next is to then find which websites are ranking in the search engine results for those keywords. A quick way to do this is to enter the keyword or keyword phrase into Google and this will then show you the top website competing for each keyword.

There are other tools on the market such as SEMrush which will also give you a list of your competitors for your keywords.

For each of your keywords or keyword phrases you will need to create a list, next to each keyword add your competitors and the position in the search engine results page. As you go through this for each page of your website you will probably identify other keywords that you competitors are using and you may want to include this to your list.

2. Analyse their links

In this step you will get some insights into how your competitors are building their backlinks, including:

  • How many links they have
  • Which sites they are coming from
  • Which of their web pages are receiving most links
  • What types of anchor text they are using

Performing a backlink analysis on your competitors will help you to understand their link profile and why they are ranking, as well as their strategies to acquire links. Plus, it gives you a tidy list of high opportunity link websites.

A good tool to use for this part of your competitive analysis is Moz’s Open Site Explorer

Once you enter your competitors domain name into the Moz open site explorer tool you will be shown some useful statistics for site authority, backlinks etc.

There are many other useful statistics on this page, but the main points are that you can see which websites link back to your competitors and the anchor text they use. With this information you can move forward and build your own list of backlinks for your website.

3. Check their on-page SEO strategy

Analyse your competitors website pages in detail to see how they are optimising their web pages. The points you need to be looking out for are:

  • Title tags
  • URLs structure
  • Meta descriptions
  • Header tags (H1, H2, H3 etc)
  • Keyword positioning in content
  • Content relevancy with targeted keywords

Take a good look around their website, see how the page content is structured, what are their key selling points> this will give you insight into what holding customers on their website and turning visitors into customers.

4. Scan their social media accounts and monitor posts

Social media is a key factor in SEO, although social media does not influence SEO directly it’s a great way to build awareness, backlinks and visitors to your website.

Social media is critical in today’s world, most of us use social media on a daily basis and come across post that are interesting and intriguing, and we click on them even though we weren’t initially looking for them.

This works the same for your new websites post on social media. Create eye catching post which grab the reader’s attention and drives them to your website.

Check over your competitor’s social media accounts; see what they are posting about and what type of user interaction they have.

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