Why do you need SEO competitor analysis?

Posted: 20 Dec 2021

SEO competitor analysis is vital to your business success. Here’s why.

Thorough competitor analysis is a fundamental component of any SEO strategy for business. It is your opportunity to better understand your competitors and their own objectives. Once you have this information, you can more easily compare them to what you are doing, with the overall aims of refining your website and improving your search rankings. 

It can be difficult to outrank your competition if you don’t do a detailed competitive analysis. It’s not uncommon to wonder how you’re being outranked by a smaller competitor when you feel like you’ve done everything correctly. A competitor analysis can serve as an effective road map so that you can better compete and rise up the rankings. 

What is competitor analysis for SEO? 

An SEO competitive analysis involves a detailed look into your online presence to see how you are performing against your competition. This analysis can include:

  • SEO keyword competition analysis
  • Top content analysis
  • Keyword gap analysis
  • Competitor backlink analysis

All this information collected means you don’t have to guess which keywords to target, content to create or links to build. You can see, with real data, what is already working for your competitors, allowing you to also benefit from their success.  

Why is competitor analysis important?

Whatever your business model or sector, you’re going to have competition. Whether you are achieving your SEO goals or not, you might wonder why it’s important to analyse your competition. This type of analysis is vital to the success of your business and its future growth. Why? 

Helps you to identify your competitors

This is particularly useful if you are a new business or start-up, as competitor analysis in SEO enables you to identify who are the main competitors in your target market. This analysis can open up many possibilities for your business, as you will have a much clearer idea about where your direct competitors currently stand. 

Identifies what you are already doing well

Competitor analysis allows you to see what you are doing better than your competitors. When you identify them, you can then do more of them and improve your ranking.

Identifies competitor links

Competitor analysis for SEO helps you identify the websites that your competitors are linked to, but you are not. This will show you where the opportunities lie for you to build your own link profile, by adding links to websites that are already linked to your competitors. 

Targets the right keywords 

Keyword research is a vital part of creating SEO content. A keyword analysis allows you to determine the ‘right’ keywords for your business, as it shows what is working for your competitors. If there are specific keywords that are ranking well for your competitors but you are not using them, you should incorporate them into your site. There are several ways to do this, so if you are keen to rank for the right keywords, consult with an SEO expert about reworking metadata and building links with keywords.

Highlights strengths and weaknesses

Competitor analysis gives you the chance to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your site, as well as your competitors’ sites. When you look at what your competitors are doing, you can identify any gaps in your own SEO strategy and begin to fill them. With the data collected, you can find your weaker areas and improve them to boost your search success.

Who are your (actual) competitors? 

It’s obvious when you think about it: one of the first things a competitor analysis will do is help you identify who your true competitors actually are. Often you might be surprised – you think you know exactly who you are competing with, but an analysis will find you’ve been looking in the wrong place all this time. 

When it comes to implementing a successful SEO strategy, you have to look longer-term, at long-tail and local keywords, rather than limit yourself to a small number of popular keywords that you think you should focus on, just because everybody else seems to be doing the same. Never lose sight of your actual target audience – get that right and you’ll be one step closer to improving your search ranking. 

How to do an SEO competitor analysis: a brief overview  

To get a full understanding of competitor analysis, it’s always worth seeking the advice of an SEO professional, who can take the load when it comes to the actual work required to improve your SEO. Not only is this more likely to lead to greater SEO success for your business, but it will leave you time to focus on what you actually know – your business. 

If you are considering hiring an SEO consultant to lead your competitor analysis, here are some steps that might take when they begin: 

Keyword analysis

This is the process of identifying keywords that your competition ranks well for but that you currently don’t. Your SEO consultant will take into consideration competitor keyword optimisations, rankings, Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and backlinks – and how you can bring visitors over to your site instead.

All of this analysis is vital if you are looking for new ways to reach your target audience. Once you have a list of relevant keywords to target, you can begin to flesh out your SEO content strategy

Best performing content pages

While analysing your competitors, you will need to look at their content – namely, which pages are performing well, or not so well. SEO content is still a key component for successful ranking, so do not miss this opportunity to improve your own content.

Discover whether your competitors are using a selection of SEO-friendly content and if so, which topics they are focusing on. Can you expand on those topics, in the hope of reaching more users? Competitor analysis will allow you to create your own unique content, about topics that users are already searching for and have expressed an interest in. 

User experience 

Google is looking for good user experience from websites. That is unlikely to ever change. As part of your analysis, take a look at your competitors’ web design and consider user experience. An SEO consultant will help you to look at site speed, security and whether or not a site is mobile-friendly, for example. 

If you notice that a competitor’s site loads more quickly than yours, or their navigation is a lot easier to understand, you will need to make some site changes. It can take a fresh pair of eyes to notice these things, as business owners can often be too close to the subject to be impartial. 

Backlink strategy 

SEO and backlinks go together like fish and chips. Backlinks remain one of the most critical factors in successful SEO. When embarking on a competitive SEO analysis, you (or your expert) need to find out where your competition is getting its backlinks from and use that information to improve your own backlink strategy. 

When it comes to SEO, it’s the quality of the backlink that matters. If your competitors are enjoying quality backlinks, those act as endorsements for their website which can help their organic rankings. For a backlink SEO strategy to be a success, you are advised to consult with an SEO expert, who will be able to thoroughly research opportunities and arm you with the right data to create a good strategy for your business. 

SEO competitor analysis – a worthwhile investment 

If you are focused on improving your SEO, you need to do competitor analysis. Every insight you gain is an opportunity to improve your site and leap ahead of the competition. To do it well, you need to invest time and resources, but when it’s done properly, you are likely to see an excellent return on that investment. 

The bottom line

If you want to improve your search ranking and win in your particular market, you must first acknowledge that you have competitors. This is why competitor analysis should never be ignored with it comes to devising your SEO strategy. Competitive analysis will give you a clear picture of who is benefiting from organic traffic, which keywords are most valuable and which backlink strategies work best for your target audience. 

If you’re ready to get started with your competitor analysis and need some expert advice, please get in touch.

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