Any good business person knows that in order to succeed in an industry, you have to understand your competition. Who are they targeting and how are they doing it? What are their marketing tactics and strategies? How can you improve upon what they’re doing and capture their potential customers/clientele?
In the digital age, there’s a new category of competition analysis every business must consider when building their marketing strategy: your competitors’ SEO.
But why is this so important?
Whether you’re a local dentist office in Scottsdale Arizona or a digital marketing company servicing clients nationwide, Google is one of the primary avenues through which your potential customers will find you. With search engines like Google and others, you capture an audience that is already interested in the product or service you have to offer. Your target market is out there, and in some ways, they’ve never been easier to reach: as long as you have a plan and know how to take advantage of the tools available to you.
What does this research entail?
Spying on your competitors’ SEO can give you a huge leg-up in the digital marketplace. You could spend an endless amount of time entering Google searches, or, you can have a specific plan of action in which you know what you’re looking for and how to find it.
The first piece of that puzzle—knowing what you’re looking for—requires an understanding of some basic SEO elements: keywords/phrases, backlinks, traffic analysis, and content.
- Keywords and phrases are those terms that potential customers or clients use in search engine queries. Traffic from these searches results in organic visits to your site.
- Backlinks are another incredibly important factor in overall search engine optimization. That’s because Google places a lot of weight on other sites linking back to yours. Backlinks tell search engines that your site has authority.
- Traffic analysis refers to where your online traffic is coming from. There are 5 categories that most tools will assess: organic visits (keywords), social visits (facebook, etc.), direct visits (your website URL), other (information from these searches is private).
- Content usually comes in the form of a blog that can be shared on social platforms, in newsletters, or found in common online searches. Fresh, in-depth content is essential for any business with a digital presence.
What SEO spying tools are out there?
3 free resources
- Rank Signals: With this tool, you can simply enter your competitors’ URL and discover their link profile. Insightful data, like URLs, referring pages, and anchor text can give you a solid direction as to how to develop your link building strategy.
- Google Keyword Planner: Find the keywords for which your competition is ranking and receiving traffic. The interesting thing is that your competition may not intentionally be targeting these keywords, which can open an opportunity for you to compete for the keywords and win.
- BuzzSumo: We all know how important fresh content is, and being able to easily identify what pieces of content are performing well for any topic or competitor is priceless. See what engagement and shares they are receiving on social platforms like facebook, Twitter & Reddit. Use this information to create keyword-targeted content that the public is already searching for.
3 paid resources
- Ahrefs: Ahrefs is one of the top tools that SEOs use to monitor their competition because of its all-encompassing competitor analysis utilities. With this tool you can track your competitors’ referring pages, backlinks, organic keywords, organic traffic, traffic value, and more.
- SEMrush: Much like Ahrefs, SEMrush is a comprehensive and extremely versatile tool when it comes to spying on your competitors’ SEO. In addition to tracking key aspects of SEO, you can monitor social media and content and PR strategies.
- SpyFu: This tool is specifically insightful when it comes to understanding your competitors’ PPC ads and profit they receive from organic search and paid ads. Knowing where your competition is spending their money can help direct your strategy.
Need a little help?
We know running a small business may not leave a lot of extra time for this level of competition research. If you’re looking to increase the visibility of your website and compete at a higher level in your market, contact us at New Wine Digital. We offer services ranging from web design, content marketing and PPC and email marketing.