Competitive SEO Analysis: How A Quick Look Can Improve Your Search Rank
All of our marketing clients have one common goal — to attract new potential customers to their website. While this goal should be actively targeted by many different aspects of inbound marketing, the foundation begins with search engine optimization, or SEO.
Our philosophy here at Monkee-Boy is that in order to make the most out of SEO efforts you also need to know where you stand in the competitive landscape. From gaining awareness of industry keywords to avoiding SEO pitfalls your company can learn quite a bit from a basic competitive analysis.
Elements of a good competitive analysis:
Whether you are beginning your SEO efforts or you’ve been optimizing for years you will need to start by revisiting the keywords you want your website to rank on. Once chosen you can discern who your top competitors are, how to best optimize your site for search engines and how to create an overall inbound marketing plan.
Choosing the right keywords for your website will depend on many different factors such as site history, current rankings, competition and whether or not your business is location based. If performing keyword research seems too daunting this is a great process to outsource. SEO professionals can work with you to quickly set up industry specific keywords and help you find your top SEO competitors.
Depending on the level of your competitors' SEO work you may not need to spend much time optimizing in order surpass them in rank within a few weeks. However, upon closer examination, you may also learn that your competitors are spending a large amount of energy on SEO. In order to determine the best plan of action for your website, start by evaluating your competitors' on-page optimization quality. Pay attention to key elements of their websites such as title tags, h1s and the quality of their content. As a first step in optimization, you will definitely want to either match or surpass their efforts on your own site.
There are many factors that go into determining a website's rank but link authority is a big one. Link authority is a score given to a website page based on the quality and number links from other websites. A quick look at your competitors link authority in comparison with your own will give you a good idea of how your site is being ranked. A website with links back from established and highly reputed websites such as newyorktimes.com will be ranked better than a site with more links from lower quality websites. If your link authority is much lower than a competitors you should focus on creating more quality content around the keyword as well as work on a content strategy plan that helps you build better quality links into your website.
Because no one knows the exact algorithms used by search engines to determine rank there are many more factors that should be considered when comparing your website to a competitor. In addition to the basic elements of a competitive SEO analysis, also check out things that could set your competitors websites apart. Look into what the company is doing on social media and what kind of response they are getting. If they get more feedback on a particular social platform consider focusing your social marketing there.
Businesses with a local component need to address SEO a bit differently because search results appear differently when a location is added. If your business falls into this category make sure your keywords and SEO endeavors are location based, too.
Keep an eye on the ball and an ear to the ground!
Search engine results pages, SERPS, are very dynamic and the organizations behind them such as Google and Bing are constantly perfecting their technologies in order to maintain authentic results. Knowing this, it is extremely important to stay up-to-date with SEO news, your website's analytics and your competitor efforts.
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