While having a great business with a focused online presence is very important, it is also very important to know how you can improve it, and to learn what the new trends are. There is no better place to start then with your direct competition; what are they doing? How are they doing it? This can help you develop better strategies, goals and see what you can improve on in terms of SEO – it can also put goals into perspective as wo what is realistic.
It can be difficult to sometimes form a good competitive analysis, but the following are some tips to do just that.
Determine Your Needs
The most important reason for analyzing your competition is so that you can gain knowledge to help you accomplish objectives. Such things as driving site traffic, conversions, attaining new leads, or anything else – you have to ensure that whatever the success is, that it is measurable.
Without clear and objective data showing the metrics of improvement to your client, not only will you be showing your client the success of their campaigns, you will also be ensuring all data is valid – invalid data can ruin a great campaign.
Knowing what your client wants from the very start will make your job much easier, and avoid a campaign that don’t show the results you want.
Know Your Competitors
When analyzing you what drives your competitor’s rankings, you are essentially looking for what makes their website appear above your own website search results – targeted keywords. It would be recommended to try and target 10 or less keywords.
Build keywords that you know your audience are interested in. First choose topics that are relevant to your site, and choose your keywords from there. Ensure that your keywords are not overly competitive, but are also high in search volume -find a good balance.
After you list of top keywords you can also match the competitors that go along with each one. Then search each keyword and make note of the first page website results. You can narrow down this list even further to only you most important competitors, or the ones that pose the biggest threat/competition.
You can learn a lot about your client and audience by studying your competitions content. By doing so you can find out what they are reading, what they are sharing, and much more.
The biggest take away you can have by studying your competitions’ content is you can gain an insight into what is performing organically, virally and also socially.
Organic: By knowing the search engine results pages (SERPs) for a keyword, you can then know what has worked will in organic searches. This can be a very useful practice, but remember, that there are more factors to keep in mind as well – your content could perform differently due to timing and other factors.
Viral: See what content has gained the most shares, reads and comment across your industry. A viral post doesn’t necessarily mean repeat success, but it still can give you great ideas of what is resonating within your field.
Social: BuzzSumo (a great tool) can provide you with information regarding the social reach of certain content. This tool can be useful when trying to think of content topics that have had previous success within social media.