You have mapped out the best SEO strategy, you have conducted your analysis and adjusted your campaign accordingly, and yet you are finding that your goals with the SEO engines aren’t effective?
The reason behind poor SEO performance is that you might have failed to take your SEO competitors seriously. Obviously you cannot monitor all of your competitors, but you can have an eye on the ones that are most likely affecting your SEO performance.
Here are some steps on how to go about analyzing them.
1. Get to know them
Who are your main SEO competitors? If you run a small off line business you probably know them already, but if your business is well placed in the internet world, then you can run a search using the keywords you utilize for your SEO. Look who is popping up in your search queries. How do they add up in terms of keywords? Make a list of the ones that have the highest percentage of relative keywords or long tail keywords.
2. Check and analyze their websites
Check their websites and find out how they utilize their keywords. Is the copywriting different than yours? Do they gather the keywords in some specific descriptions, are they spread throughout their site? How is the quality of their content compared to yours? Are they using dynamic URL’s and so on?
3. What keywords are your competitors utilizing?
Proper use of keywords is at the core of a successful SEO strategy. Your competitors are utilizing their keywords in a manner that gives them the advantage over your site. Check to find out what their keywords are first. Do they match your keywords? If you don’t know what keywords they use, try to figure out if they use your keywords.
Here you can use our Keywords Tools (Keyword Analyzer, Keyword Research etc.) to see which keywords are supposed to perform well on their site, and to figure out the percentage of their keywords appearing in bold or prominent place in their site.
A sound basis of backlinks is a fundamental element of an effective SEO campaign. Check your competitors’ website to see for example the total number of links, the number of unique domains, the anchor texts, linking domains vs total links etc.
5. Page ranking
Along with the keyword and backlink analysis, look at how your competitors’ pages are ranking in different search engines. PageRank, even though a bit outdated, will evaluate the quality of their website in terms of links giving you a good idea about their structure and how you can modify yours as well.
6. Social Media
Any company that respects itself will have a strong presence on Social Media which is an excellent source of traffic. These sites are usually the best way to increase traffic volume, so check their presence in their Facebook page and pay attention to the headlines they use, the content of their posts, and the category they are in. You can also do the same with Twitter, Google+ etc. Although, the majority of the times you have to be friends or followers to have access to the entire content, some section will be accessible and that will give you a good idea.
7. PPC ads
PPC ads are probably one of the cheapest ways to increase and drive quality traffic to your site. PPC ads are quick and effective and will direct visitors to your site that are specifically interested in your products. How are your competitors using PPC ads? What is the amount of keywords they are using in them? You can use a variety of free and paid tools to see how your PPC ads are performing compared to your competitor’s.
Monitoring your competitors in search engines might be a time consuming process, but given a constantly changing market, your time and effort in analyzing and adjusting your site based on a step-by-step analysis, will pay off big time in the long run.