When starting a new SEO project for a client, or similarly for new businesses starting out with, one of the most important parts of the process is the initial competitor analysis. This analysis should firstly help you identify your SEO goals, but will also provide crucial input for your overall SEO strategy. This is often quite a complex process as there are many factors to be taken into consideration, especially if you are in a very competitive industry. SEO Competitor Analysis is an important aspect of SEO, not to be overlooked…
Here we will briefly go through the four important analysis stages to help you facilitate your process.
SEO Competitor Analysis Phases
1. Identify potential SEO competitors
This initial phase is especially important if you are starting an SEO project in an industry which you don’t know much about, nor who your potential competitors might be. These can include long-time industry competitor sites, top sites in your industry from a traffic standpoint (using Alexa), or the top organic search competitors from a keyword ranking standpoint (using SEMRush).
2. Validate SEO competitors
Once you have a list of potential SEO competitors from various sources, it’s time to validate these competitors by analysing which ones are really ranking for the keywords you want to target. From this you can then filter the list down into your key competitors who are targeting the same or similar keywords to you.
From this you can also expand your list of potential target keywords, identifying keywords you may have missed. You can do this by using additional sources which might present new opportunities, like Google Keyword Planner Tool.
3. Compare with SEO competitors
Once you have both your list of SEO competitors and your potential keyword targets, you can compare all SEO data of your site to your competitors site. This can include the following:
- Search Volume
- Numbers Ranked
- Ranking Positions
- Ranked Pages Popularity
- Page Authority
- Domain Authority
- External Links Anchor Text
- External Links Volume
- External Followed Links Volume
- Linking Domains Volume
- Followed Links Domain Volume
- Ranked Content
- Search Snippet
- Social Metrics
4. Select target keywords
Once you have compared all of this data with your competitors, it is time to select your best target keywords for your SEO strategy; from a short-, mid- and long- term perspective. These will be the keywords with high relevance and search volume, as well as profitability. The best place to start is keywords where you are competitive from a content standpoint and social popularity standpoint.
Once you have your target keywords selected, go ahead and get some content written around these. Be careful however not to over-stuff your content with keyword.
What are your favourite ways of doing competitor analysis for effective SEO?