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Here’s a real-world example. Imagine you run a clothing store. Your customers are happy, but you know they also visit other stores because they can’t buy everything in one place. So you decide to visit the other stores to find out what kind of products they offer. If you stocked these items yourself – or even superior ones – your customers could do more of their shopping in one place and increase your business sales.
Digital competitors can differ from your brick-and-mortar counterparts as their digital presence may not be as pronounced as it should be. However, this is not to say that they would be no competition in a digital landscape.
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Steps to Running SEO Competitor Analysis
Steps to Running SEO Competitor Analysis
- Establish who your competitors are
The first part is to establish who your competitors are. Well, that’s the easy part as long as you have done the hard work in keyword research and analysis. Let’s assume your keyword research analysis has been worked out and you’ve settled on a list of primary keywords. Now the SEO competitor analysis can begin.
An easy way of identifying SEO competitors is to place each your primary keywords into a search engine. Take the top five results from each keyword and collect these domains against each keyword.
Remove any duplicate domains and pages and you now have a list of digital competitors in search engines. Some may match your brick-and-mortar competitors, but chances are there are others that have a very visible digital presence that you may or may not have known of.
- Identify competitor topics and content
Now that a competitor list has been identified and you have a collection of keywords, it’s time to identify what kind of content your competitors are posting on their site. By applying your business’s perspective on the topic, you’ll be able to rank alongside or above your digital competitors. But this is only one factor that needs to be considered in content creation.
- Analyse your competitors authority and backlink profile
Backlinking works as a digital voting system for websites and is the foundation on which the great Google algorithm was founded. Search engines do not just look at the content of the page; they also look at the number of links pointing to that page from external websites, as well and the quality of those external websites. Generally speaking, the more high-quality websites that link to you, the more likely you are to rank well in search results.
New websites generally have little to no backlinks which means they have little to no authority and in order to generate quality backlinks, these new websites would need to create quality content. Your digital competitors are by no means new websites and have a host of backlinks thanks to their content creation and have loads of authority. Having a look at your competitors backlink profile you would be able to identify the best backlinks that would be perfect to link back to your website generating high authority links to your website.
- Look at Competitor Placement and Real Estate in SERPs
This is a component of SEO Competitor Analysis that is often missed or ignored, but plays an integral part of identifying where your competitors are succeeding.
Knowing how and where your competitor appears in search engine results can give you more information on where your website could improve. These display elements are known as SERP Features and occupy valuable real estate on page one of search engines.
• Featured snippets
• Local packs – Google Business Listings either owned or automated based on website data
• Image packs
• Knowledge panel
There are many more of these SERP Features, however they all result in additional real estate in a top slot on page one of search results. This placement and display has a great impact on overall click-through rate and increased traffic from organic search results.
Instead of getting a featured placements for all keywords, the best strategy is to knock your competitor out of a featured snippet result placement by replacing it with your own. Please note that not all featured snippets are available in all countries and will vary based on geolocation.