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Getting Started With SEO Competitor Analysis

SEO | 6th Aug 2014

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Video Transcript

Hello, today I’m going to be talking about SEO competitor analysis.
It’s kind of a part of the SEO process that often gets forgotten about
and isn’t focused on enough, but in fact it can be really beneficial for your
business, and it’s not too difficult to do, but you can gain a lot of
insight from doing it. So on the board behind me I’ve got a few ideas to
think about when you’re researching your competitors.

First of all is site strength. So basically, by finding out how strong your
competitors’ domains  actually are, you can gauge how likely it is that
you’re going to be able to compete with them online. There’s load of tools
that you can use to get good insight as to how strong a site is, like Whois
tools, Whois domain lookups, and also the Site Strength Indicator, the SSI
tool, which is really useful because it gives you an idea as to how many
links the site’s got coming in and also how old the domain is, being that
an older domain will have more authority than something that’s just popped
up out of the blue. So by putting your competitors through tools like this,
you can get really good insight as to how likely you’re going to be able to
compete with them on a quick scale or if it’s going to take you a lot
longer.

Content marketing is a big one, because not only can you understand what
they’re doing and how likely it is that you are going to be able to
compete, but you can also get really great ideas from this. So by looking
at your competitors’ content, what they’re doing, the links that they’re
building, the content they’re writing, or the videos that they’re filming,
or whatever it is that they’re doing, you can get some really good ideas
and think about how you can make that work for your brand.

So just take a look at their backlink profiles. You can run the domain
through tools like Majestic SEO and see where they’ve got links coming
from. Are they ones that they arranged, or are they ones that they have
picked up by having great content on their own site?

And obviously, have a look at their sites themselves. Do they have a blog?
Do they have videos? Do they have other cool content floating around that
you could either use or that you know you have to compete with and create
better content to make sure that your users come to you instead of them?

Similarly, social media. You need to see how active they are, how much of a
following they have, and how engaged their users are. So if you’ve got a
competitor that’s got a really, really strong social profile and they’re
perhaps really engaged on Facebook, they’ve got a lot of Twitter followers,
then you know you’ve got to do the same. You’ve got to be active. You’ve
got to go out there and gain a following and make sure that you’re engaging
with your users to try and win some of this business over. Make sure that
you’re competing on a level playing field.

Search marketing is sort of everything else in terms of SEO and PPC. How
much are they perhaps investing into SEO and PPC? Now you can’t know for
sure what they’re doing, but you can get a pretty good insight just by
running keywords through search engines, seeing if their ads come up, and
how much their exposure is for PPC, if they’re getting good adverts, that
are well-optimised and that are unlikely to be getting clicks.

Similarly, where do they rank in terms of organic keywords and search
results? So have they got optimised meta-titles and meta-descriptions?
Are they likely to be getting clicks? Is it obvious that they’ve
been spending time focusing on these things, or has that sort of been left
behind? Is that an opportunity for you to have really nice optimised meta-
descriptions that entice the click, and perhaps when you do manage to
outrank them, perhaps you are then going to get more clicks as a result of
that?

And lastly, but just as importantly, is site design and usability. So by
looking at their sites, your competitors’ sites and how they work, you can
work out what their users and what their customers come to expect in your
industry and in your niche, and it might be that actually they haven’t got
the best sites in the world. These are big competitors, and some really big
brands don’t have the greatest sites and they’re not as usable. So this
could be a really good opportunity for you to win some business by having a
site that’s more usable, more user focused, easier to navigate, products
are quicker to reach, and this could be a really good opportunity for you.

Equally, they may have really strong sites, but that just tells you that
you’ve got to do the same, and it might give you some inspiration on your
own design and your own navigation. Whether you’ve got a new site or an
existing site, this whole process is really important for gaining that
insight, working out how likely it is that you’re going to be able to
compete straightaway, or if you’re going to need to do a bit of work, and
most importantly getting some really good ideas for your own brand and your
own site.

There’s lots of tools out there that will help you with all of this. As I
mentioned earlier, there are site strength tools that you can use, such as
the Site Strength Indicator, Majestic SEO to look at backlinks to see where
links are coming from that might be picked up as a result of really good
content. Social media tools. There’s tons and tons of social media analysis
tools out there that you can be using to really get a better insight as to
how people are using social media, and obviously, the tools themselves, the
platforms themselves, go out and engage and have a look on Twitter, build a
following, and have a look at your competitors directly to see how they’re
using it.

Obviously from a site design and usability, the best thing you can do is
really just head on to their sites, try and use them, try and navigate
them. Put things into the cart. See what they’ve got in terms of special
offers and how easy it is to find what you’re looking for and really get
some insight from that.

So this was just a really top level look at SEO competitor analysis, but
it’s really important that it’s not left behind in the whole SEO process,
because by failing to do this, you’re going to be losing a really good
opportunity for some free, easy, quick insight and ideas that could really
help your business fly online.

So thanks for watching, and please follow us and engage with us on our
social profiles. You will find the details at the end of the video, and
I’ll see you again soon.

Emma North About the author

Emma North

Emma has more than 5 years’ digital marketing experience and has worked on dozens of websites in a wide range of industries. She has a passion for both SEO and PPC and is driven by the need to develop her digital skills and knowledge. She is always exploring innovative solutions for new problems encountered in the ever-changing digital world.

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