Modern businesses need efficient ways to become more visible and accessible online.
The main reason is that the online market is overcrowded with various other companies, as well as their marketing campaigns and promotions.
That makes it difficult to truly stand out, especially for businesses that are new on the market.
However, various tactics can help businesses find their place, even with so much competition going about.
A good example is search engine optimization (SEO).
When actively leveraging SEO, a business can find a way to outrun their competitors and become well-known to their customers. In most cases, the best way to gain a competitive advantage is to conduct a thorough competitive analysis, in order to find out everything there is to know about your main competitors and their activities.
Here are a few ways you can improve your SEO efforts by effectively analyzing your competitors.
Identify your main competition
Depending on the industry or niche you’re operating in, there’s bound to be others who are competing for the same position on the market.
You need to know who they are and how they operate, so that you’ll know how to position yourself better.
If your competitors seem like they’re better than you or that they have more resources to spend on marketing, it doesn’t mean that you cannot compete with them in any way. That’s what competitive analysis is for.
Simply put, analyzing your main competition, so that you can identify their weaknesses and exploit them to gain an advantage. In SEO terms, identifying your main competitors is crucial.
It allows you to assess their strategies, such as which keywords they rank for, the way they create backlinks, how they develop content and so on.
That way, you can assess your own strategies and improve them if need be, as well as find a market gap you can exploit.
Utilize keyword research
Keywords are a crucial aspect of an effective SEO strategy.
The keywords you rank for help you become more visible and reputable online. The same goes for your competitors.
If you want to outrank your main competition, you have to identify the keywords they rank for and how well they’re ranked.
Also, see if you’re ranking for the same keywords and if not, determine a way to do so.
For example, take a look at their website and see how their structure their metadata, site architecture, internal linking and content among other things.
That way, you can determine if there’s a way to change your existing strategy and outrank competitors for specific keywords.
Perhaps you’ll have to change your own site architecture or create more unique content, but it’s all well worth it if you manage to gain a competitive advantage.
High-quality link building is still the most important ranking factor for any SEO strategy alongside content.
The more quality backlinks you have the more page authority you gain in return. That’s why it’s important to do a backlink analysis on your main competitors.
The main reason you need to check how your competition engages in link building is to find more and better backlink opportunities.
Your competitors may have backlinks on reputable sites that you don’t. That means that they’re building their authority while you’re falling behind.
The purpose of this analysis is to close that gap and get links from those reputable sites as well.
You can also spot a unique opportunity to gain an advantage. For example, if your competitor’s link is broken, you can replace it with your own or gain more links by publishing more relevant content.
Analyze the content
As mentioned before, aside from backlinks, top-quality content is another most important ranking factor.
Content helps you improve activities, such as guest blogging, link building, as well as help you gain more attention from consumers and organic traffic to your website.
By analyzing your competitor’s content, you can determine what level of engagement they’re getting from their audience.
Also, you can understand how they craft their content, is it relevant, informative, visually enriched and so on.
The more you understand their content marketing strategy, the more you can improve your own content and deliver more value to your audience.
Moreover, you should check out which media channels your competitors use to publish their content and how they engage with the audience there.
In addition, check how unique their content is and how aggressive they are with keyword density.
This will give you insight on how to find a topic best suited for your content and how to develop a strategy that will yield better results.
Competitor analysis is a great way to gain an edge for your SEO efforts.
Just remember, you’re not supposed to copy everything your competition does. Instead, you’re supposed to find a gap that will give you an advantage and help you outrun your competitors on the market.
Michael is the founder of Home Giraffe Digital Marketing. With over 12 years of experience in the SEO, AdWords & Marketing sector, he has built up a wealth of knowledge and skill in the industry over the years.