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Mar 9, 2023 | 4 min read

Everything you Need to Know About SEO Competitor Analysis

Developing a strong and effective online digital presence requires a comprehensive understanding of SEO, which involves creating high-quality content that is optimized for search engines. However, simply creating great content is not enough to guarantee online success. To drive traffic and convert visitors into customers, you must also possess advanced SEO skills.

In today's digital landscape, success is determined by the "Survival of the Fittest" principle. In fact, a staggering 90% of web pages fail to attract any search traffic from Google, leaving only the top 10% to reap the rewards. To understand what sets these successful web pages apart, it is crucial to conduct an SEO Competitor Analysis.

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Rather than viewing your SEO competitors as a nuisance, performing a thorough analysis can help you identify areas for improvement, create more Google-friendly content, and climb the search engine rankings to attract more traffic to your website.

However, before you dive into the analysis process, it is important to identify who your true competitors are and which keywords they are using to drive organic traffic. This information will enable you to gain a better understanding of the online landscape, and develop a more effective SEO strategy to gain a competitive edge.

How to Spot your SEO Competitors

Your direct business competitors may not be your ‘search engine’ competitors as they may be not competing for the same keywords as your sites. A good SEO strategy requires one to know who their real SEO competitors are. It is important to know which keywords your competitors are using before optimizing any of your web pages for a specific keyword.

The search engine competition is between sites vying for the same search visibility as your own site. Search visibility is all about how visible your website is in Google search results. The better the rank it has, the more probability it has of a customer clicking on it. When competing with other sites in the same category as yours, you need to know what strategies they use so that you can improve your own game.

So, how can you identify your real SEO competitors? You can do so manually using search engines or use free and paid tools to get automated results. Sometimes, you may have to analyze thousands or even tens of thousands of data, which gets very tedious when done manually. Using a paid or free SEO competitor analysis tool helps you quicken this step.

How to Do an SEO Competitor Analysis

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How to Create Brand Identity Guidelines for a Brand?
  • Spot your Real Competitors

Before you run a competitor analysis, you need to figure out who exactly are your competitors. SEO tools can help you jot down the main competitors in your area, but you should use your own instincts to build a relevant competitor list. You can consider the following:

  • Industry Giants

These are the established brands that have huge audiences and loyal customers. They have been routinely ranking topmost in search engine results because of their hold on keywords and content.

  • New Brands

You also need to be aware of the new and upcoming brands in your industry.

  • Game Changers

These are also known as disruptive brands as they may come up with a steep decrease in the pricing or a better design of the same products and may prove to be a threat to you. These are rapidly growing brands that you need to keep an eye on.

  • Niche Brands

These brands only focus on a small sub-category in your industry and have a dedicated industry. For example, if yours is a skincare brand, a niche brand may only be manufacturing acne creams.

SEO tools may generate responses with the names of all these brands, but not all of them may be your competitors. Some may just be using the same keywords but target a different audience completely. Some small brands may not be worthy of your attention.

So, keeping these points in mind, you need to generate your real list of competitors. Next, you can look into their pages to find the most ranking keywords, what is pulling the most traffic and how long have they been retaining the top search rankings. This information will help you jot down your biggest competitors.

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  • Find the Keyword Gaps

Keywords are important components of any digital marketing strategy, as they help website owners to attract organic traffic from search engines. However, it's not enough to simply include keywords in your web content and blogs. You need to choose the right keywords, which are relevant to your products, services, customers, and brand.

To improve your search engine rankings, you also need to identify keyword gaps, which are the areas where your competitors are ranking higher than you for certain keywords. By creating new content that includes those keywords, you can improve your rankings and attract more traffic to your site.

To find the right keywords and identify keyword gaps, you can use a variety of SEO tools. These tools can help you generate a list of relevant keywords, analyze your competitors' rankings, and identify areas where you can improve your content to better target your audience. By using these tools effectively, you can create a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that helps you achieve your business goals.

  • Figure out your Strengths and Weaknesses

A smart business owner should be aware of his strengths and weaknesses. Even the biggest brands in your industry may have certain weaknesses that you can take advantage of. You can work on these areas as an opportunity for your own brand upliftment.

Conduct a customer survey, gather feedback and ask your employees for suggestions to know where you are lacking in your SEO strategies. Focus on the following categories to up your SEO game:

  • Authority

You need to build a strong authority such that search engine algorithms and users trust your brand. This means including more links from competitor sites and using the best keywords to rank better in Search Engine results.

To determine the brand messaging, consider the following questions:

  • Keyword Rankings

While we have already discussed about closing keyword gaps, you also need to check rising and declining keyword rankings yourself. To always stay ahead of your competitors, you will have to keep a close check on the current search trends and update your site with the latest keywords.

  • Content

You need to ensure that your content does not showcase unnatural keyword stuffing, as Google search engine algorithms focus more on quality content.

  • Technical SEO

Technical SEO issues can cause rankings to decline. Duplicate and poor-quality content can cause your authority to dip. You need to keep a close check on your indexability and crawlability.

  • Mobile Adaptability

As the Gen next is mostly browsing their requirements on a smartphone these days, it is important to optimize your pages for mobile as well, rather than only having a desktop version of your website. Having an easy-to-access mobile-friendly version of your website can give you an edge over the others.

  • Internal Links

Ensure that your internal linking maps showcase a strong structure so that the search engine can easily crawl, index and rank your content and website pages.

  • Analyze Page by Page

When performing your SEO competitive analysis, ensure that you analyze each page of your digital site thoroughly. By comparing each and every page with your competitor’s you can figure out why they rank above you. You can check the page titles, meta tags, titles and descriptions, heading structures, internal linking, page keywords and content quality.

  • Double-Check your Backlink Strategy

Backlinks are hyperlinks originating from external websites that redirect users to your web pages. They play a pivotal role in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by augmenting the authority of your pages and corroborating the trustworthiness of your content to search engine algorithms.

Nevertheless, not all backlinks are created equal. The quality of a backlink can range from high to low, and receiving backlinks from untrustworthy or low-quality websites can negatively impact your SEO rankings. Thus, it is imperative to scrutinize your backlinks and ensure they stem from reputable sources that can enhance your search engine rankings.

  • Check the Content Categories

Different content categories like blogs, infographics, videos, podcasts, eBooks, social media live streams, and search snippets add value to your site and boost your search engine rankings. Analyze your competitor’s website to check what categories of content have they included and what have they missed. Adding the ones they missed can perhaps give you an edge over them.

  • Continuously Improve and Update your Content

Even if your content is good, readers who have read all your blogs and watched all your live streams will need continuously updated content to keep them engaged in your brand. SEO competitive analysis is never a one-and-done deal as competitors keep coming up with new and interesting content. You need to keep updating your SEO tactics too if you want to run the race with them.

By following a streamlined SEO competitor analysis process, you can maintain your website structure, work hard continuously for its better rankings and get more tailored reports on your competition.

Final Thoughts

Brands are hiring a separate SEO team to perform their SEO and conduct SEO Competitive Analysis periodically to figure out what is working for their competitors and what are their weaknesses. Today, the market is all about competition and SEO competitive analysis helps you participate in healthy competition with your peers, figure out their weaknesses, improve your own weaknesses, encash on your strong points, and try to win the game ( in this case, rank better in search engine results).

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