For any business to thrive, it must understand the market under which it operates. What is available to the consumers? What role does your business play in the marketplace? What can you do to ensure you safeguard your interest in the midst of tight competition? It is the same with SEO strategies. Every business betting on SEO must have a clear idea of what its competitors are doing to dominate Google searches. By knowing such strategies, you can generate your own or learn from their mistakes. That will only happen if you are able to analyse the strategies used by your competitors and be in a position to use them to your advantage. So, how are you supposed to go about this?
It starts by identifying your competitors
When we talk of competitors, it goes far beyond the three or four local stores operating within your niche. It might be more than what you are actually thinking. Since your aim is to oust your competitors in the SEO game, it will be a great idea starting by searching for relevant terms and keywords you would like to rank highly for.
Be sure to take note of the businesses that appear before you. Be careful enough in choosing your battle. Trust me; you do not want to choose general keywords that international companies and household brands have targeted. Instead, you should shift your focus to that smaller businesses and local companies are competing for. Another effective way of identifying your target competitors is by using and . In the case of SimilarWeb, ensure you visit the ranking and site profile section.
Yet again, a competitor is only formidable if it enjoys an overall search engine ranking. In order to find out, you can exploit multiple avenues such as and . Once you have a list of formidable competitors struggling for similar SEO spots as you, the journey of learning (and beating them in their own game) can start.
Walk through their sites
How will you learn from your competitors without seeing what they are offering in their site? The main aim of SEO is to ensure the visibility of your site so that all traffic leads there. You competitors have a similar objective too! Ideally, this is where the critical lessons should begin. You need to have a keen look at all the business websites you listed. It is not just a matter of admiring the layout or going through the various contents present in the website. While doing this, you must take closer considerations of some key aspects such as;
- Texts; check the construction of the URLs and readability of the various texts
- Site usability; do you find an easy time navigating through the site? Is it user-friendly?
- General appeal; how professional does the website appear? Are there significant differences with your own site?
You must be able to notice the little aspects that work particularly well for these sites. Find ways of modifying them to suit your site. Take a closer look at the layout and navigation features. If they work well for them, you can benefit by integrating something close to that in your site. Be careful not to plagiarize anything from your competitor’s site. At the end of the day, everything should be tailored to fit the identity of your brand.
Embark on keyword Analysis
You do not want to trawl your competitor’s site without taking notice of the keywords. You must be able to site the commonly used keywords and how they are used. Which particular keywords are your competitors targeting? You can take advantage of tools such as and to handle that. You will not only find out about the targeted keywords but also get insight on some possible keywords you had not thought of before. Ideally, you might end up with some keywords your competitors hadn’t considered before, putting you ahead of the game.
Which keywords are appropriate in your case? It is important to categorize the keyword targets in terms of short, mid and long term in your SEO process. Look for keywords with the highest search volume, relevance and profitability. Every information established on keywords should be acted upon and incorporated into your on-site SEO techniques. Be certain to act on such outcomes soon enough in order to realize quick results. Some SEO experts from also suggest that a deeper understanding of your competitor’s keywords can also come handy when handling PPC campaigns. You will know exactly who to target!
Find out who is linking to them
Quality backlinks are essential for search engine rankings. You must have an idea of that by now. As such, you need to follow some of the linking pages provided in your competitor’s site and see where they lead. Expect to land anywhere, from local blogs to industry pages. Some of them will be professional sites. Find out how you can tap such information in order to generate your own links.
Before making any rush decision however, you should stop to think how relevant your site will be to those pages. With that one handled, you can go ahead and introduce yourself to them. Suggesting guest blog posts is a perfect place to start. At times, you can approach with a discount offer if the other party is willing to post a favourable review with links embedded thereafter.
Whether you are deep into SEO or just getting off the ground, you can gain so much from your rivals’ SEO strategies. Have a closer look at their websites taking into consideration essential aspects such as keywords and backlinks. This way, your business will be up to date with valuable strategies that can see you rise through the search engine rankings. For this to be effective, it shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Do this regularly, especially if there are new players in the industry.
Jack Peterson is an established SEO expert based in Georgia. He offers SEO consultancy services for various businesses, having previously worked for http://gobbim.com. You can follow him on Twitter to gain more insight on his work.