Competition is important for every industry, it fosters creativity and innovation. However, every business wants to come out on top of all the others. In the field of SEO, there are so many different key performance indicators that businesses should know about and work to stay on top of.
To find out who your business’s competition is, you’ll have to some keyword searches on your own. The websites that consistently come up on the first page of the respective search engine you use, are considered your SEO competition. They are ranking high for the keywords you want to be on top of and they must be doing a lot of things right to earn the first-page status.
One of the focuses of analyzing keywords is figuring out how difficult they are. What that means is how likely (or unlikely) is a user going to type that keyword. Most businesses would want to go for the easier keywords, but they might not tie into the branding and marketing goals. At worst the business starts showing up on search engines for irrelevant searches which works against the overall SEO.
Looking at the kind of language competitors would offer clues on what to use on your own website.
Evaluate Popular Pages
The popular pages on a competitor’s website contain a lot of valuable information. They indicate which ones have the most keywords and which ones are getting the most traffic. You may think you know what the popular pages are on a website, but double-checking can lead to some surprising discoveries containing valuable information to use for your own website.
Study Backlink Growth
Backlinks are a strong factor in SEO because they contribute to what is known as Domain Authority. If other websites share links to your own website, that implies it has some level of authority in the particular industry. The greater the number of high-quality backlinks to your website, the higher your Domain Authority is. High-quality backlinks can be from major news organizations or other high-profile sites related to your industry. Getting on those types of websites requires having excellent content, a well-defined user experience, and a robust business strategy.
As those factors move up, so does the website’s ranking on search engines. Looking at how competitors fair in this aspect should offer a roadmap for your own business.
Observe Site Structure and UX
Most search engines have shifted a lot towards user experience and the structure of websites. Mobile-friendly and fast-loading websites will see steady improvements in the search engines. Competitors with faster to crawl sitemaps or faster page speed will overtake your business’s rankings should the website falter in this arena.
Reviewing how they are able to achieve these milestones should provide valuable insights on how to replicate those effects on your website.
Review External Channels
While the name of SEO implies the focus is solely on search engines, you can’t neglect external channels like social media and other platforms. Reviewing how the competition publishes content, gets linkless mentions, and review how they interact with their following can factor in. It’s been reported that in recent years, search engines have been trying to calibrate the user-perception of a company into the rankings so taking a page out of their social media strategy can go a long way to getting a boost.
If you need help analyzing competitors’ SEO, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.