Learn how to steal your competitors' best content to get an advantage over them.

Learn how to steal your competitors' best content to get an advantage over them.

The act of stealing is morally abhorrent. That’s an obvious moral truth. Use your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses to your advantage, and you’ll do well in business. Every business, regardless of industry, should maintain a constant watch on its major competitors. When it comes to SEO, nothing has changed.

Business thrives when there is strong competition. Firms stay fresh by keeping tabs on and striving to outperform their immediate rivals. Innovation is encouraged, complacency is avoided, and motivation to develop is offered as a result of using it. When it comes to online traffic and SERP rankings, one-upmanship is achieved via competitive SEO competition analysis.

It is all too common for a company or website to neglect competition research when implementing an SEO strategy. The first thing companies do is do keyword research, look for links, and write their content. That way, they’re overlooking an important part of effective SEO.

There is no other way for a business to know where they stand in their industry than to do SEO competition research. Once they have a firm grasp of where they stand, they will know where to target and what to do to get there.

All elements of SEO increase when you have reliable competitive information about your competitors. It tells you who you should be outranking on search engine results pages. It tells you which keywords to target and where to go to get backlinks for those targets. Above importantly, it reveals your own and your competitors’ SEO strengths and shortcomings.

And for this same reason, our team has compiled this comprehensive guide to doing an effective search engine optimization competition analysis. We’ll go through every step of the procedure and provide you with all the information you need. In addition to how to conduct competition analysis, you’ll also learn why it’s so critical.

This should include competition analysis because we’ve published a 3,000-word article on how much SEO costs.

Why Researching Your SEO Competitors is Crucial

This post’s title is a bit confusing, to be honest. By this, we do not mean that you should duplicate the material from another company’s website and then put it into your own. We also don’t recommend copying and pasting whole paragraphs from other people’s blogs onto yours. Even if you ignore the ethical implications, Google will penalize you for using the same material again.

What we’re saying is that you should know everything about what your competitors are up to. The adage “keep your friends near but your enemies closer” applies equally to SEO as it does in real life. You can only defeat your opponents on a regular basis if you know who they are.

SEO competitor analysis is a method for learning all you can about your competition. It’ll show you what SEO strategies your competitors are doing to rank well in search results. The fact that you’re in the same industry as them suggests that same strategies may also apply to you.

You will be able to discover your own weak points using the competitive information you get through thorough research. If your rivals are performing better than you, then those are the areas to watch. That realization equips you with a road map for improving your SEO approach.

If you do a thorough study of your rivals’ SEO, you’ll learn a lot about SEO in your industry as a whole.

It’ll show you significant keywords in your area that you may not have known about. In addition, it will inform you of the level of competition among them. After that, you’ll be able to tell whether competing for them will provide a positive return on your investment. Relevant link building methods and domains to target will be made apparent as well.

SEO competition research is critical for all of these reasons and more. As a result, you’ll want to learn all you can about how to do it correctly.

Conducting a Competitor Analysis of SEO

SEO competition study may and should vary from business to company in terms of the specific steps involved. The process will take many forms depending on your specific specialty, your target consumers, and your overall company objectives.

Certain topics or stages toward a decent analysis are universally applicable to all businesses and locations. In the next sections, we’ll go through each of these various categories in more detail. This isn’t a how-to manual; rather, it’s a compilation of helpful ideas and suggestions.

If you follow our instructions to the letter, you should be able to get the competitive intelligence you need to crush your competitors. To begin, you must, however, first identify your competitors.

How to Find Your Rivals

You must know your opponents to do SEO competitor analysis. While it may seem self-evident, finding your SEO competitors is more difficult than it seems.

Your immediate business competitors are presumably well known to you. You devote all of your effort to finding ways to outperform their offerings and steal their clients. Of course, you’ll have competition from these other companies as well. Anywhere and everywhere are possible places for your SEO competition to come from. Competitors in the realm of SEO don’t have to be companies in your specific sector. An SEO competition is any website or page that appears in search results for a term that you’re trying to rank for as well.

Let’s say your business makes athletic clothing. If you’re like sports, you may want to start a blog where you write on the latest news and outcomes. These articles should, in an ideal world, rank for keywords like “football,” “sports,” and “sports news,” or something along those lines.

How to Find Your Rivals

Other sportswear companies will compete for these kind of keywords as well. You’d have to compete with well-known sports websites like BBC Sport and Sky Sports, as well as news publications’ online editions of their publications. Before you can identify your SEO competitors, you need to know what keywords you want to target.

That requires some keyword investigation. Keyword research is covered in detail elsewhere, so we’ll simply go over the basics here.

You must put yourself in the position of your consumers in order to create target keywords. Creating a consumer persona is an effective strategy for achieving this. It will assist you in determining what subjects are of interest to your target audience. Afterwards, you’ll be in a position to come up with a list of potential headers, bodies, and long-tail keywords associated with these subject matters.

To see whether those keywords have any traction, all you have to do is enter them into a keyword research tool like Google’s Keyword Planner. If you want to see how popular a term is, you may look at the search volume. It is possible to use this information to determine which keywords will provide you with the greatest return on your investment (ROI). These are the people you should be concentrating your efforts on.

Once you’ve selected your target keywords, finding your SEO rivals will be a breeze. The first SERP for each of your targeted keywords should be your starting point.

Your primary rivals for such keywords are those web pages and businesses that are listed there. Your greatest competitors are the websites that appear on the first page of search results for a certain keyword phrase. If there is a ‘position zero,’ then the pages in the first three places are considered to be the most important.

Position zero refers to the highlighted snippet that appears at the top of certain Google search results pages (SERPS). In 2014, Google began including these highlighted snippets into search results. There is an emphasis on providing quick responses to searchers’ inquiries on their site.

Position zero

Some of the snippets have nothing with SEO, such as fast answers or knowledge panels. Some people rely on information from outside sources to help them come up with a solution. They contain the page’s title and URL in the source code. Position zero refers to these particular passages. From an SEO perspective, getting a page or site to that rank is like finding gold.

The sites and domains you need to compete with may be seen in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for your keywords. For a more realistic view of your competitors, you may also utilize various competitor analysis tools. Using SpyFu, for example, you can enter your domain name or a target keyword to see what other sites and pages are out there competing with yours.

Once you’ve identified your rivals, you can begin evaluating their SEO tactics.

Keywords Study of the Competitors

Keyword analysis is an important component of SEO competitor analysis. It may provide a wealth of information for your SEO strategy. Analyzing competitor keywords has three components.

  1. An evaluation of the difficulties involved in challenging competitors to rank for a variety of keywords is conducted.
  2. Identifying keywords that your competitors rank for but for which you do not rank. This is referred to as Keyword Gap Analysis in the industry.
  3. There is also the process of finding valuable keywords that have been missed by both you and your rivals. These keywords will be simpler to rank for, but they may still provide significant returns in terms of organic traffic if done correctly. As a result, they are extremely intriguing from the perspective of return on investment.

You must examine the sites of your competitors in order to determine how tough it is to rank for certain keywords. Specifically, those sites that you previously recognized as having a high ranking for the term in question. After that, you’ll want to look at some of the variables that are associated with those pages.

Things like page or domain authority, online traffic, and other comparable metrics are among the most essential considerations. These are the ranking criteria that Google will have taken into consideration while determining the SERP ranks for the sites.

The quickest and most convenient method to get this information is via the use of another SEO competition analysis tool. Site Explorer, developed by Cognitive SEO, is an excellent example. You may use that tool to enter in the URL of a rival and then get all of the information you could ever desire about that competitor.

Keywords Study of the Competitors

This initial step of competition keyword research helps you in refining your list of keywords to target in the later steps. You may eliminate the objectives that are too competitive and devote more time and resources to the simpler ones.

When attempting to increase your search engine results page (SERP) position for any term, you must beat out the sites that are currently ranking for it. The examination of keyword gaps is a critical stage in this process. You must discover the keywords that high ranked sites rank for and that you do not rank for in order to be successful.

In order to find such keywords, Tf-idf analysis is a fantastic technique to use. This number shows how often a keyword occurs on a page in comparison to how frequently the term would be anticipated to appear in the general case. A higher score indicates that the page is more directly related to the keyword’s subject matter than the majority of other pieces of material.

Here is a link to a more in-depth study of the tf-idf pair. Even our short explanation, though, should have made it clear how important it is for competition analysis. When you do a tf-idf analysis on a competitor’s website, you will get a wealth of valuable information.

It may show which keywords and topics their material covers more thoroughly than yours does. It may also identify similar keywords and specialized subjects that neither you nor your competitors are covering effectively enough on their own websites. That will offer you some direction on how to enhance your material to be on par with or better than their level.

Backlink Analysis

We are all aware that SEO is much more than just keywords. Your SEO competitor analysis should also take into consideration what your competitors are doing in various areas. If they want to attain a high SERP position, they will need to have established a strong backlink profile. You must delve into that profile in order to draw valuable insights from it.

The most important thing to understand is where your competitors are receiving their connections from. Because there is no way to get this information manually, you will need to rely on an SEO analysis tool once again to assist you. It’s possible that the Link Explorer tool from Moz will be your best option in this situation.

Backlink Analysis

The URL of a root domain, subdomain, or specific page may be entered into the Link Explorer. A massive quantity of information about the domain and its backlinks profile will be generated as a result of this. Among other things, you will be able to view the domain’s inbound links, top pages, and connecting domains, among other information.

Alternatively, you may select to compare the link profile of one domain with the link profile of another. It is only via comparison that you will be able to determine what your competitor is doing differently than you in the field of backlinks.

This offers you with a wide variety of options for tweaking or adapting your own backlinks approach. It’s possible that you’ve discovered websites or domains that connect to your competitors but not to you. After then, you may reach out to them and attempt to restore the equilibrium.

You may also discover that your inbound links follow a different pattern than that of your competitors. They may have a preference for links from a variety of various kinds of websites. Where you have a large number of links from blogs, it is possible that they are getting their links from e-commerce sites or other sources. Especially if they’re ranking higher than you, it may be a good idea to make some changes to your backlink profile to make it more similar to theirs.

Content Analysis

Off-page variables are what we’ve discussed so far in our guide to SEO competition analysis, and they’re important. They are not the only things that should be considered. In order to assess on-page variables, you will also want to examine the pages and content of your rivals’ websites. We’re primarily concerned with the evident quality of the material in question.

When it comes to determining the quality of material, there are many factors to consider. You’ll want to consider how relevant the material is to the site’s or company’s target audience before publishing it.

It is also essential to consider how effectively material corresponds to reader intent. Search engine optimization is all about creating material that is truly helpful to readers and that provides them with real solutions to their queries. The extent to which your material is comprehensive is a good indication of its overall quality. Articles that are lengthy and comprehensive in their coverage of a topic are preferable over brief, ambiguous bits of information.

It will take more effort on your side to complete this step of your SEO competitor research. It is not possible to mine data using an SEO analysis tool. You must study the content of your rivals’ websites and give a subjective evaluation of it. You may then compare the content’s quality to your own to see which is superior. This will provide you with an indication of if and how your material could be enhanced.

Analysis of the User’s Interaction

In addition to recognizing high-quality content, Google considers the user experience to be a significant ranking element. They prefer to give higher ratings to websites that are simpler to browse than others. They also want that websites be accessible to as wide a range of visitors as is reasonably feasible. This includes people who are using their phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.

It is important to consider the user experience while comparing competing pages and websites. That entails determining how mobile-friendly a competitor’s website is. Sites that are not mobile-friendly have been penalized by Google from the beginning of 2015. Google also gives priority on the search engine results page (SERP) to sites that load fast.

A thorough competition study will discover and evaluate how competing sites perform in each of these categories. If highly ranked rivals outperform you in terms of user experience, this is one area where you should focus your efforts. In cases when their user experience isn’t the best in the world but they still score well, this is an area where you might make substantial advantages over them.

Customer Interaction and Social Media Monitoring and Analysis

The precise nature of the connection between social media and search engine optimization is still a mystery. As stated by Google, shares on social networking platforms are not treated in the same manner as traditional hyperlinks. It is generally acknowledged that having a strong social media presence correlates with having a higher search engine rating.

In fact, according to a new Searchmetrics white paper, that is exactly what happened: ‘The top-ranked websites in Google’s rankings display vastly more social signals than all other pages… This is primarily due to the overlap between brand websites performing strongly in social networks and being allocated top positions by Google.’

As a result, how your competitors utilize social media is another important element to consider when doing an SEO competitor research. You’ll want to check into the platforms your rivals are using and which ones they are not. It will also be helpful to keep track of how often people share material and what kinds of content they share. In addition, whether or not they directly interact with other social media users may prove to be informative.

Using this information, you may fine-tune and improve your own social media use. Even though the precise effect on SEO is unknown at this time, it has the potential to provide additional advantages. Following in the footsteps of rivals who are successful in social media interaction can only assist you to enhance consumer connections in the long term.

The Bottom Line; Know Your Enemy

Businesses can only remain sharp and on top of their games if they are exposed to healthy competition. It is not a question of ego to strive to beat your competitors. It is the only way for businesses to remain afloat and provide the best possible service to their consumers. You can only outperform your competitors if you fully comprehend what it is that they are doing.

In the case of SEO, one of the most effective ways to learn about your adversary is to do SEO competition study. The first step in this procedure is properly identifying your competitors. It then goes into detail on everything from the keywords they target to the links they’ve obtained to how they utilize social media.

You may use all of this knowledge to enhance your own search engine optimization. You’ll know how to enhance your content and where to search for fresh links after reading this report. You’ll also learn how to make changes to your website’s architecture and what other technical changes you may need to do.

Knowing your competitor is essential to enhancing your own search engine optimization.

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