Your professors used to yell at you for peering behind the backs of your classmates, didn’t they? As it turns out, this is a fundamental part of digital marketing. To generate sales, the most successful firms are following the lead of their rivals.
In your line of work as a plumbing contractor, you probably aren’t thinking about taking over a rival business. Nevertheless, analyzing your SEO competitors is an important aspect of any digital marketing plan or it should be.
You may learn from your rivals’ achievements and weaknesses in SEO if you keep a close eye on what they’re doing. This article from our HVAC-Plumber SEO specialists explains why competition analysis is so important and how you can utilize it to your advantage.
SEO Competitor Analysis: A Different Point of View
It’s easy to become tunnel-visioned with thoroughly ingrained SEO techniques. You lose perspective when you get too preoccupied with keywords and rankings. You’ll be left with nothing except your plumbing website in the end.
One of the benefits of SEO competitor research is that it provides a new perspective on the competition. It’s a vast landscape in terms of plumbing marketing and SEO. To get through this, you should not allow yourself to lose sight of the world around you.
An SEO competition study gives you a bird’ eye view of the market as a whole, rather than just a snapshot of your own company. As a result, you can rise to the surface of the water and get a breath. Seeing how your competitors are doing is a breath of fresh air.
You need SEO competition research even if you are already at the top of the rankings for all your target keywords since it will help you hold your place when a tiny army of rivals comes after you.
Finding Strategies Employed by Competitors
“Know Your Competition” may be a strong term, but it lacks the zing of “Enemy.” Many people fail to recognize their rivals when it comes to marketing and business. They believe their rivalry is restricted to those that rank higher or close to them for their major keywords. In any case, knowing who your competitors are is critical.
See who ranks higher than you on search engine results pages (SERPs) in your field. It’s a mistake to concentrate just on your primary keyword rivals, even while these businesses need your attention. Because long-tail and specialty keywords have value, less well-known websites may get ranked for them. Keep in mind to do SEO competitive research and in-depth keyword research simultaneously.
It’s also critical to recognize who you should exclude from your SEO competition research. Remember that only because a firm appears higher in a search result doesn’t imply that it is a rival. For example, Kohler’s website may rank higher than yours for a phrase such as “toilet repair,” but a supplier such as Kohler is unquestionably not your rival.
Analyzing the Competitors
If you’re going to examine the competition, you will need to do some keyword research. This information comes from MOZ‘s Keyword Explorer. Keyword research tools should be used even if you haven’t done any SEO competition research yet. If everything is up and running, be sure to look for the following:
Not enough keywords
With most tools, you can check your competitor’s ranking keywords and compare them to your own to better understand your competition. There may be gaps in your keyword list, or you may have overlooked terms that might still bring in traffic. Your site’s analytics might also tell you what additional pages or content you need to create.
In addition, it’s important to have a look at the most popular pages on your rivals’ websites. Certain popular sites appear in search results for several keywords contribute to their ubiquity in the search engine results. Find out what these terms are, as well. Find out which pages of your rivals’ websites are attracting the most traffic so that you may copy the content. r
Your customers and site visits may provide valuable insight into the competition’s SEO strategies. A survey on your site’s usability may be sent to people on your mailing list if you have one. Your website’s feedback may provide you significant insight into your target audience’s perceptions of the site’s strengths and faults.
Dissimilarities at the Tail End
Long-tail keywords that your competitors aren’t ranking for are great opportunities for gaining authority for your website. Make a conscious effort to include the long-tail keywords that your competitor is ignoring in the content on your website.
Nature of the Material
Taking a look at the textual and video material on your rivals’ websites and comparing it to your own is vital.
The search engine may punish your website for low-quality content, resulting in a lower ranking for certain keywords.
There are situations when technological difficulties might hurt your search engine rankings. Comparing your website to your rivals’ websites will help you learn where you stand in the market. They don’t have any broken links. Is it simple to go around their website? Every page is linked to another, right? So, how about you?
What is the purpose of competition analysis in search engine optimization?
Whether just two-thirds of any and all clicks go to the first five organic results on Google, it’s impossible to tell if your content will get the attention it deserves. Ninety percent of web sites don’t want Google traffic, per a recent research. Is anybody else going to handle the influx of visitors? Competitors in SEO
You’ll have such a hard time climbing the search engine ranks if your competitors do all of these things better than you are. An SEO competition study is needed here.
Competitors may be seen in two ways: as a source of frustration or as a gold mine of knowledge. In the right hands, it may help you develop better, more focused content, rise in the search engine results, and attract more relevant visitors to your website. Your organic search strategy must involve competitive research to access this wealth of information.
Before you can begin to outperform your opponents, you must first understand:
It’s not necessarily who you assume your “true” search competition is.
Identifying the keywords for which they already rank and get organic traffic
How to locate your SEO rivals
You should know about your SEO competition that they are not always the same people as your direct business competitors.
So, what is an SEO rival? A website’s SEO rivals are other websites that score well in organic search results. Because of this, you’ll face a wide range of SEO rivals on every given subject. Identifying your competitors and the keywords they compete for is critical before publishing or optimizing any pages targeted at achieving high rankings for a given keyword. Identifying search rivals you aren’t already aware of is a critical initial step in competition analysis. If your website focuses on several business sectors and has many rivals from different industries, this is an extremely vital step to do.
In the beginning, it’s best not to rely on hunches. By looking at the data, you’ll be able to identify your SEO competition more accurately than any other approach. Consider utilizing enterprise SEO software like Siteimprove SEO to automate this phase since you may evaluate hundreds or tens of thousands of web pages and keywords.
“Discover rivals” and “Top-ranking sites by the term” in Siteimprove SEO make it simple to find your most relevant competitors. Using this tool, you can monitor your established and new competitors and see what aspects of their content are driving them to the top of search engine results. If you’re keeping an eye on your top-performing pages and keywords, you may use this information to uncover your rivals’ strategies.
Your SEO study may begin after you have a clear picture of your competitors.
Do you need to do an SEO competition study at some point in the future?
There is no such thing as a one-to-one comparison when it comes to SEO. It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. SEO is a never-ending battle because of the ever-changing algorithms of search engines, new competitors, and the tireless efforts of the opposing side’s digital marketers. Knowing where you’re at about your competition might assist in identifying areas of improvement before they have a detrimental influence on your rankings.
A thorough examination of your SEO competitors should always include the following important steps and events:
To guarantee that your website addresses user search intent better and more detailed than your rivals, you should provide content.
The best strategy to obtain relevant search engine exposure is to look at what your rivals are doing successfully and then put your twist on it. SEO competition analysis may also be used to determine how much work is needed to outrank your rivals for a certain subject.
After a sudden decline in search engine rankings: To find out what your competitors are doing to suddenly outrank you and what is now working and what is not working in your sector.
Your page’s position in the SERPs may be stagnant because of the following reasons: If your page’s traffic is dwindling and it isn’t ranking well in search, competition analysis might point up areas for improvement.
If the SERPs have changed: If another website has surpassed you in the top position for a given search phrase, you should research SEO competition to find its qualities and then duplicate them.
Competitive keyword research in SEO
As a result of competitor keyword research, you may use the information gleaned from your rivals’ search engine rankings to steer traffic to your website.
What important terms should I keep in mind to do a competitive analysis?
Some keywords are worth more than others in terms of investment. Concentrate on highly searched and not too complex keywords related to your company and have a large search volume.
You’ll still have a tonne of alternatives to consider. When using Siteimprove SEO, you may limit the list of keywords by selecting “Top keywords by domain.” Lookup a certain domain name to see the top 100 most popular search terms a competitor is ranked. You may use this information to determine which keywords you should be watching and optimizing for to maximize your online presence. As a starting point, you may list all of the content themes to add your distinctive spin and perhaps outrank them.
Instead of focusing on search volume, consider search intent.
This doesn’t always indicate that ranking well for a high-volume search term will increase massive traffic. Instead, you should concentrate your efforts on meeting user intent or search intent as it’s more often referred to.
An internet user’s search intent is the driving force behind their search. “Woodford Reserve distillery opening hours” or “buy 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle” are examples of searches that might be informative, transactional, or navigational, depending on what the user wants to accomplish with this search. Regardless of the sort of search your user is doing, your web pages must give high-quality, optimized content that answers their question in a meaningful and relevant way.
Google favors websites that give a relevant and good user experience – and that includes improving search results that provide a fantastic user experience by meeting their search demands. When your content is better and more comprehensive than the material of your search rivals, you may expect a boost in your search engine rating as a result. Nearly one out of every ten searches leads to the user returning to the search results page to choose a different result. Your material should be optimized to cater to these people’s specific needs.
Among the steps, you may take to better tailor your content to meet the search intent of your audience is the following:
Content creation is focused on the user’s search intent rather than only on keywords.
A variety of content forms, such as step-by-step guides or infographics, or videos, may be added to your sites to keep visitors engaged.
The “People Also Ask” function of Google may look for content kinds and responses that aren’t yet available.
They’re enhancing their current material. Your rivals’ list of the top 10 historical sites in your state may need a little help from you.
As a result, it will help you position yourself as a more authoritative and reputable source of information. Make sure the reader knows you’re an expert in your subject! Consider enlisting the help of one of your subject matter experts to produce a helpful blog article for your target audience.
While it’s important to pay attention to keyword search volumes, it’s also important to consider the user’s search intent to acquire more relevant traffic, rank higher, and generate more qualified leads.
Analyze your keyword competitors to discover long-tail keyword prospects.
What if you have a smaller or less established website than your competitors? More long-tail keyword variants are more likely to rank in Google’s top 10 results because of the high percentage of sites in the top 10 that are three years old or older. In reality, most Google searches are of this sort, accounting for roughly 70% of all online searches.
You should think outside the box for your search queries since half of them include four or more terms. For example, popular, one-word keywords like “headphones” generate more than 778,000,000 results in a Google search. There are more particular terms that will help you stand out from the rest of the pack, such as “noise-canceling headphones,” “cheap wireless headphones,” or “headphones for sleeping.”
A seemingly unending list of long-tail keyword variants might be difficult to compile. For the most part, though, you may save time by using an SEO tool to do a competitive study. Analyze your rivals’ long-tail and specialty keywords as well as the most popular and short ones they’re targeting. Although long-tail versions have a smaller search volume, they normally provide more targeted, relevant visitors to your website, and they are generally easier to rank for.
Be on the lookout for sponsored listings from your SEO rivals.
Examining your rivals’ PPC keywords may provide vital information about which keywords they value and even which ones are successful. However, organic and paid search are frequently seen as different entities in the industry.
This means that if your rivals are prepared to pay for a spot in Google’s PPC listings area, you can be sure that they value this term and its associated traffic very much. Low-effort, high-conversion keywords are what you’re after.
Your keyword rankings should be tracked.
As we all know, SEO is a lengthy game, and these SEO competition research tasks are only the beginning. Your own and your rivals’ search engine rankings are crucial to keep an eye on since rankings vary over time.
On the other hand, manual monitoring is a waste of time when you have hundreds or even thousands of keywords to watch. Automated keyword monitoring tools may help you stay on top of the newest search engine rankings. If you keep an eye on your website rankings often, you’ll be able to respond to changes before your traffic takes a nosedive. While doing this, you’ll be able to track the results of your optimization efforts in terms of keywords and show management how effective your SEO approach has been.
SEO content analysis of your competitors
Keywords are an essential aspect of any competition study in SEO. However, they do not serve as your analysis’s starting and ending points. If you want to improve your SEO, you should look to your rivals’ most successful material for inspiration.
The goal is to learn from your rivals’ most popular content and then utilize that information to better your own. Since you already know these sites are ranking in the SERPs and are delivering visitors to their website, this saves you both time and work on your part. When you copy their strategy, you’ll better match the user’s search intent and give a better content experience for visitors that come to your site. In the long run, this might put your material ahead of theirs on the search engine results page (SERPs).
After figuring out the material you’re up against, there are two main strategies you might use to rise above it.
Find and fill content gaps: This strategy entails identifying and taking advantage of weak points in your rivals’ content. Converting an existing format into a newer, more popular form of information might be an option for you.
Compared to the ‘Skyscraper’ approach, which is more complex, the former is easier to implement. To create content comparable to but better than that of your rivals, you must use the material of those companies as a starting point. Approaching websites that link to your competitors’ material and requesting them to change their links is the next step in the process.
Making your content better than that of your competitors is the cornerstone of search engine optimization (SEO).
format for presenting information
The best places to put your keyword phrases on your website
Headings and subtitles for web pages
Google’s organic search results had an average of 1,447 words on the first page, according to Searchmetrics.
Readability of the content
An example of a page’s structure is its information architecture and section titles.
using photos, videos, and other types of information as evidence
The format in which an answer to a question is provided. Does the narrator use bullets? Infographics? Q&As?
data with a defined structure
Period of publication
Analyzing a competitor’s link profile
Although content remains an important ranking component, an effective SEO strategy relies heavily on high-quality, trustworthy backlinks. When other websites connect to your website, this is referred to as an “inbound link.” Search engines employ backlinks to determine a site’s trustworthiness; the more backlinks a site has, the better its placement in search results and the more organic traffic it will normally get. Study after study shows that 66% of websites have no backlinks, despite their value.
Backlinks are still a major element in Google’s ranking algorithm. It will be tough to outrank your rivals if you have a superior backlink profile. As a consequence, you need to work on building a stronger network of backlinks. Fortunately, analyzing your rivals’ backlinks helps speed up this process and helps you fine-tune your own. Some people refer to it as “SEO Link Gap Analysis.”
Siteimprove SEO’s “Backlinks” function makes backlink analysis simpler. Siteimprove SEO’s “Backlinks” feature simplifies backlink analyzing. Investigate the sources of your competitors’ backlinks and come up with a strategy to narrow the gap for both you and them. Not all connections are equal, and it’s crucial to remember that Bad backlinks may harm your search engine rankings. Thus, you must reduce their number.
To keep up with your competitors and improve your backlink profile, the following are good options:
Keep an eye out for your rivals’ aggressive link-building tactics, so you may develop content that is comparable to, but superior to, theirs.
The Skyscraper strategy, discussed in the article’s Content Analysis section, may be used to aggressively outreach your excellent content to build credible links to your website. Look for websites that have been linked to by several of your rivals; these sites might be an excellent source of low-hanging backlinks fruit for your website.
By contacting website administrators and asking for a connection to your website, you may claim unlinked mentions of your brand.
Backlinks are boosting your website’s SEO by pointing to sites that are more useful to visitors than its homepage or contact us page.
Competitive SEO research
Keywords, content, and search engine optimization (SEO) are the three most important aspects of competition analysis. Technical SEO auditing is the next logical step after keyword and content analysis. Essentially, this entails comparing your site’s technical specifications to those of your competitors and filling up any technical SEO gaps that might cause your ranks to drop.
Among the most important aspects of a competitor’s technical SEO strategy to examine are:
Internal linking improves your site’s usability for both humans and search engines. There are several ways internal links may aid search engines in indexing and understanding the pages on your site: Google recommends using unique and descriptive anchor text for all internal connections. Linking to a certain page on your site might help you rank for a specific keyword.
Both user experience and search engine crawlability are influenced by a website’s structure. A well-designed site would have an uncomplicated layout that makes crawling as straightforward as possible. Taking a look at the site’s architecture is also a good way to see how deep your target pages are. This rule of thumb states that no page on your website’s main menu should be more than four clicks distant from the homepage.
Site performance will become much more of a ranking factor with the May 2021 Google Page Experience change. Your sites should load in no more than three seconds; 47 percent of visitors expect them to do so in less than two seconds.
Is the website HTTPS encrypted or not? When it comes to offering a safe and secure surfing experience, search engines are quite concerned. HTTPS secure encryption is a Google ranking criterion to avoid having a “Not Secure” mark next to a website’s name in the search results.
You need to know whether the website can be accessed on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Since mobile devices now account for more than half of all Google searches, any business hoping to be discovered on the internet should ensure that its website is mobile-friendly.
Analyzing your search competitiveness is easy using Siteimprove.
By automating regular monitoring chores and incorporating them into your organic search workflow, using an all-in-one SEO solution like Siteimprove SEO, you can do SEO competition analysis more quickly and easily.
You can also use Siteimprove SEO to evaluate your website’s SEO performance to industry norms with an SEO score for your website and individual pages. An SEO competition analysis tool that provides specific advice on enhancing your site’s content and technical SEO may be used with Siteimprove SEO.
Use the Discover Competitors function to learn about previously unidentified search engine rivals.
Keep tabs on your rivals’ search engine results.
A useful tool for optimizing your documents is the Keyword Suggestions tool.
Search for keywords you’ve previously ranked for in the Keyword Discovery tool.
Get a better idea of which keywords bring traffic to your site by integrating your Google Search Console.
Analyze your top keyword rankings and those for each of your domains.
With the Backlinks function, you can keep track of your backlink profile and find link-building chances.
Customize your Activity Plans to meet the specific search requirements of your website. Your progress monitoring and KPIs may also include rival SEO research.