Competitive analysis is self-evident in marketing. The more important search engine optimization becomes, the more decisive the question which SEO strategies the competition uses. This way the website operator does not miss any new developments and keeps up with his competitors. But what does SEO competition analysis look like in practice?
Those who do not know what to do next simply copy. It worked in school, but can it work with SEO? Why does one’s own page have a poor ranking, while the web presence of the competition for the relevant keywords is at the top of Google’s list? Bold copying is much riskier on the Internet than at school. This is because Google punishes duplicate content with the highest penalty: the drop to the bottom ranking sites. And in addition – in contrast to school – you can be 100 percent sure that Google will catch you. But there are also other ways to learn from your competitors: with intelligent SEO competition analysis.
Who are the Competitors?
Who is fighting for the same keywords? Finding this out is relatively easy. A simple Google search is enough to identify the most important competitors. Of course, you have to know what your niche is and which keywords are particularly important in this area.
Tip: The incognito mode of Chrome is particularly helpful for this search. This is because the search results are not influenced by your own previous entries. The results are comparatively objective.
Special SEO tools are also helpful for highlighting the mutual top rankings for the most important keywords. WDF*IDF tools are particularly suitable for this purpose, as they show the words for a certain term that appear together with above-average frequency. With this method, you can quickly find new keywords that you have never thought of before.
This quickly leads to a list of the biggest competitors. In case of doubt, this list should be abridged to maintain an overview. Then you set to work to establish the differences and similarities. The first brief glance is particularly important.
Which products does the competition offer? At what prices? How are their websites structured? How is the usability of their sites? Let clickworker efficiently research this and more information about your competitors on the web.
How does the web design of your competitors compare with your own website? The first impression is the deciding factor here. If your own site appears outdated in comparison to your competitors, there is a need for action. Designs that were state of the art a year or two ago often seem antiquated today.
Most important of all: Do new visitors immediately understand where they have to click to get the information they want?
The better this works, the lower the bounce rate – and that is a decisive ranking factor.
It is, therefore, about content and packaging. That is not new, but the comparison with competitors is what often reveals new insights. Other onpage factors are, for example:
HTTPS. Anyone who forgoes the trust signal conveyed by an SSL certificate immediately makes a negative impression. “Secure” or “Not secure”? Today browsers have been set to enter this information in the address bar immediately after a page has been opened.
Mobile suitability and loading speed are also important ranking points. Anyone who is better than the competition also scores with Google.
The competition might also be better regarding meta data. However, most of this data is only shown in the source code of the website. This is revealed by a right click and the selection “Show source code”.
Content Ideas: How are the Others doing it?
Copying is not an option, but you can let yourself be inspired. The better and more informative your own texts are with regard to fiercely contested keywords, the less likely it is that users will drop off. In addition to content analysis, the type of content preparation also counts. The more formats the users are offered, the higher the attention. If the competing sites offer an e-book on the subject, they have a clear advantage. Other formats can also be used, for example
or series of articles on extensive topics.
It is, therefore, important to at least be able to keep up with the competition in terms of format diversity. Another way of overtaking your competitors is to find their weak points. Where do the competitors make mistakes? And where can you take advantage of these mistakes?
Where are the Others ahead Offpage?
Of course, it’s not just a matter of optimizing the page itself. Offpage is also about being better than the competition.
Backlink structure: Are there differences on the pages that refer to competitors? The comparison often sheds light on which backlinks also count for Google – and which also devalue your own page due to a negative reputation.
Social media: More clicks from Facebook & Co. may not be direct ranking factors, but they are undoubtedly indirect. How is the competition using their appearances on social media platforms as traffic sources?
Last but not least, advertising outside the network is also part of the SEO competition analysis, especially for commercially oriented websites. Good advertising in the real world also affects search queries.
Summary about SEO Competition Analysis
A truly complete SEO strategy regularly takes a look at the competition. This is necessary simply because you must not miss any new developments. SEO competition analysis not only analyzes your own position in the competition, it can also be inspiring.
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