When choosing SEO tools built for agencies, it’s essential to choose one that offers robust competitor analysis tools. If you have clients, you need to be able to easily see how they compare to their competition, yet competitor analysis is sometimes left out of SEO strategy and approach.
Competitor analysis is something you should do in the initial stages of setting up an SEO strategy, and it’s something you should continue to implement.
Specific factors you might look at during an in-depth competitor analysis include:
- Site code and structure.
- Online content.
- Offsite elements.
The first step to doing an SEO analysis of competitors is to have a clear idea of who your competitors are or the competitors of your client.
Sometimes, competitors from an SEO standpoint might be different from what you would traditionally think of as competitors, so it may not be as cut and dry as it seems to identify them.
Once you do identify competitors and you start analyzing, it can be tremendously beneficial to your SEO strategy.
The following are some specific ways competitor analysis is important and beneficial in SEO.
A big part of what you do with your SEO is based not just on on-page factors, but off-page factors.
Backlinks are a critical part of the off-page analysis, and when you do an analysis of competitors, you can see where their links are coming from and going to as well.
This allows you to see the sites that are interested in similar content to what you offer, and then you might be able to do more effective and targeted outreach as a result.
You can also learn more about whether or not your competitors are primarily focused on paid or manual link building, and you can create your strategy around what you found out.
You can delve into the specifics of the metrics for each link also. For example, you can see whether links are Follow or NoFollow.
You can also figure out where there are gaps that exist on the part of your competitors that you could potentially fill with your own backlink profile.
Backlinks remain an integral part of the ranking algorithm for Google, and seeing how your competitors are handling their link building could be invaluable to you.
Keyword Gap Analysis
When you do competitor research, your goal isn’t just to see what your competitors are doing well, but perhaps even more importantly, what they aren’t doing well and where there is a gap you can fill.
Just like you should look for any gaps that exist with your competitor’s linking strategy, you can do the same with keywords.
See where your competitors do well with ranking in terms of specific keywords, but also where they’re not doing as well, and see how you could do better.
Use Resources Wisely
When you’re just starting out, you may want to throw time and money at everything and see what sticks, but that’s not the best option. You’re going to quickly expend too much time and money if you take that approach.
Competitive analysis lets you more effectively know what you can eliminate and what you want to focus your time on.
It lays out a proven formula and roadmap for you so you’re using your resources as efficiently as possible.
Your build your own efforts on something that you know is already working, but then at the same time look for those places where you can do something better than your competitors.
You see where you shouldn’t dedicate resources, and that can be as valuable as seeing where you should.
What to Consider When Doing Competitive Analysis?
We’ve touched on some of these above, but the things you should be looking at when doing competitive analysis include:
- Is there a keyword in the URL for your competitors?
- What’s the homepage title tag?
- How many words are they using on their homepage, their blog post pages, and any other site pages? What’s the average length of their content?
- What does the keyword density look like?
- Not only consider who is linking to your competitors, but who they’re linking to as well.
- Find out the domain authority of your competitors.
- Is local search optimization part of their strategy?
- How often do your competitor’s blog, if they’re blogging at all?
Once you have a good idea of who your competitors are and what’s most important to look at when analyzing them, make it part of your ongoing business strategy.