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Competitor analysis is one of the first points of all well-planned SEO efforts.
To prepare well for the battle for the top search engine positions, we need to know our competitors and their activities and develop a proper strategy.
How to perform a good competitive analysis? Where to start and what to focus on?”
How to do it?
Is competitive analysis necessary?
Let’s first consider for what purpose we need to perform a competitive analysis and what we can learn from it.
The basic information we can get is our position relative to other sites in the industry. It is worth determining where we are now and where we want to aspire to, in order to appropriately stagger the planned activities over time.
There are a number of ways in which we can learn from the analysis.
Another valuable element is knowledge of the activities of competitors and the keywords for which they are visible in the search engine.
Additionally, by observing your competitors’ sites, you can learn what methods they are using that bring the expected results, and what is not worth investing time and resources in.
Competitors, therefore, are first of all a valuable knowledge base on what actions are profitable, what solutions are worth implementing and what aspects of the site to refine.
Basic elements of competitive analysis in SEO
Selecting competitors for analysis
A common mistake in selecting competitors is to bet on stores in the industry with similar operations in the immediate area. In the age of the Internet and high-speed communication, it is not the nearest neighbors that are our biggest competitors.
It is worth doing an analysis for the keywords we care about and see who occupies the top search engine positions. When creating a list of competitors, pay attention to the services they offer and the audience they are targeting.
Take note of the services they offer and the audience they target.
Using SEO analysis tools, you should determine keywords that your competitors are visible on and that bring them valuable traffic. Analyze the phrases for visibility and group them into categories. Both keywords in common with your competitors and those on which only your opponents are visible will provide data from which you are sure to draw interesting and useful conclusions.
Analysis of link building efforts
Link profile analysis of selected competitors will allow us to determine with what frequency and what quality links they acquire for their domain. Certainly, valuable information will be obtained by comparing key parameters that speak about the rating of a given site.
Depending on the tool, it is worth paying attention to indicators such as Domain Rating determined by Ahrefs and Trust Flow or Citation Flow available from Majestic SEO.
By analyzing link building activities of competitors, we can also create a database of domains from which it is worth acquiring links and include them in our linking strategy for the coming months.
Content created by competitors
In accordance with the principle of ‘Content is King’, it is worth paying attention to the frequency and quality of content that competitors publish on their sites. In the case of e-commerce, you should also pay attention to product and category descriptions, their length and uniqueness.
A more important element of a content strategy, however, is the content published on blogs. Analyze whether competitors have a blog site, posts on what topics are most popular, and how the content structure is organized. Intuitive categorization and good alignment of content under user intent is a good step on the way to valuable content.
A Content Gap analysis, available in SEO tools, can be helpful in examining competitors’ sites for content, allowing you to find out what posts your competitors are creating that are missing from your site.
Analysis for UX
Whether competitors’ sites are customized for the user and for mobile devices shows their commitment to SEO. Nowadays, sites in every industry are placing an emphasis on optimizing the site for the audience’s experience and the devices they are using. It’s worth noting whether competitors place call to action messages, in what places, what the conversion path looks like in the case of e-commerce, and whether navigating the site is intuitive and enjoyable for us.
Competitor analysis tools
In analyzing the competition, we can actually use any SEO tools available on the market. What will be the best ones?
For sure, a useful tool will be SENUTO, where we can analyze competitors in terms of visibility, position for given key phrases and seasonality of the site. If we have trouble selecting competitors to analyze Senuto is a tool where we can find sites that match us in terms of industry and keywords.
When analyzing a link profile, it is worth using Majestic SEO and Ahrefs tools. In them we can find information about the aforementioned DR,CF and TF parameters. We can also examine the links from which domains competitors acquire and with what frequency. Both tools allow data export, which will allow you to more easily analyze specific information and create customized statements.
Additionally, in the Ahrefs tool we can analyze keywords along with their average monthly number of searches, the difficulty of the word and the strength of a given phrase based on various parameters. When analyzing keywords, we can also use tools available through Google namely Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Analyzing the content published on competitors’ sites, we can use SurferSEO. This tool allows us to research keywords, create and optimize content for SEO, and create content plans. Thanks to Surfer, we can find out which pages occupy the top positions for the keywords we are interested in, as well as the phrase saturation of the content found on competitors’ sites.
What can you gain with competitive analysis?”
Preliminary competitive analysis of SEO efforts will allow us to determine the approximate time and cost we need to achieve our goal. The activities that our competitors are carrying out is extremely valuable information that will allow us to perform analysis and develop a strategy for our own website. Positioning a website on Google should begin with an analysis of the market and the competition, on which you can base a further plan of action.