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10 Steps to Conduct a Competitive Analysis SEO

by Jaselyn Royan

  • 2024-04-24

Marketing is all about showing your potential customers why your service or product is the perfect match for their needs. And to do so, you have to check out what your competitors are up to.

The key to this?

Competitors analysis – simply taking a good look at what your competitors are offering. By offering TOP-NOTCH content & creating remarkable content, you are already on the right track. However, keeping an eye on your competitors is a MUST.

How to conduct competitive analysis for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Panic not because this is not a complicated karate move. This post will be your ultimate guide to mastering the art of competitive analysis SEO. We will break down 10 easy steps to analyze your competitors & learn from their key strategies to boost your site’s ranking in search engines.

Let’s dive in!

How to do an SEO Competitive Analysis? 10 Steps to Follow!

1. Find your Real SEO Competitors 

You know the GIANTS in your industry. Perfect! However, when it comes to SEO, there might be some unexpected competitors you need to identify. For example, you have a bakery in San Francisco & you are aiming to rank for “best bread in San Francisco.” Of course, you will be competing with other bakeries to get top spots on Google.

But what if you are going to write a comprehensive blog post with “How-to” baking guides? At this point, you are competing with Food Network giants.

This happens in every industry. Let us explain this to you in simple words. Your real SEO competitors are the sites that pop up on the first page of Google for keywords YOU want to rank for.

Here is the good news for you: Finding these competitors is a PIECE OF CAKE. Simply enter your target keywords into Google’s search bar & see who shows up at the top. You can also use a competitive analysis tool that has the capability to do the homework for you.

However, finding SEO rivals is not always the same as finding your business competitors. You might be surprised to find unexpected sites ranking for the same keywords as you. That’s where SEO Penguins, a leading SEO services providing agency in the town, comes in handy. We use powerful, paid competitor analysis tools to cut through the confusion & reveal your exact SEO competitors for your convenience.

2. Access Keyword Ranking Difficulty

So, you have identified your SEO competitors. Right?
Before jumping into link-building strategies or on-page SEO tactics, you need to evaluate keyword difficulty. Unfortunately, some keywords need a WEALTH OF RESOURCES to conquer.

You can benefit from competitive analysis tools to gauge your competitors’ domain strength. After that, you need to focus on the following factors:

i. Domain Age & Country

Older sites & those targeting the right location usually have an edge over others.

iI. Domain Authority

It is how trustworthy & established their site is in the eyes of search engines.

iII. Catalog Listing

Are your competitors’ listed in relevant online directories?

IV. Search Engine Indexing

Are they indexed by Google?

V. Social Buzz

Have they been creating a buzz on social media?

Once you have this info, jot it down and see if there are any weaknesses you can exploit. The stronger your competitor's SEO, the tougher it'll be to outrank them.

Here's the key: focus on competitors with lower overall scores who still rank well for niche keywords relevant to you. These are the ones you have a realistic shot of beating!

You need to pen down this crucial information. It would be best to find any weakness you can exploit. Keep one thing in mind: The stronger your competitors’ SEO, the tougher it will be to beat them.

Pro Tip:

When looking at your competitors, you need to focus on those with lower overall scores but still perform pretty well for specific niche keywords relevant to you. These are the competitors you have a good chance of OUTPERFORMING! 

3. Find their Traffic Sources 

Now is the time to see where your competitors get traffic. For example, you can see what is working for them & what’s not. This way, you will be able to adapt successful tactics & avoid wasting time on strategies they haven’t found practical & effective.

The traffic sources include social media, guest blogging, or even paid advertising. You can expand your reach & ATTRACT NEW AUDIENCE by uncovering these opportunities.

Therefore, it is very important to see what type of content attracts traffic to their sites. This step can guide you in the right direction. Are they concentrating on long-form blog posts, video tutorials, or infographics?

Analyze what resonates with their audience & include similar elements in your content strategy.

You can benefit from SEMrush or Ahrefs to get insights into your competitors’ traffic sources. You can unfold the estimated percentage of traffic coming from organic search. At SEO Penguins, we leverage several tools to help you provide a detailed competitive analysis report of how your competitors are getting traffic. In addition to this, our professionals analyze their backlinks to see which sites are linking to them.
Guess what?

It will give you clues about their content marketing strategies & guest blogging opportunities.

4. Find Content Gaps

What is a content gap in the field of search engine optimization? It refers to missing content topics on your site compared to your competitors. This gives you the opportunity to craft EXCELLENT content that attracts potential prospects & improves your ranking.

For example, if a topic is being searched for on the internet & you do not see top-quality content on your competitors’ sites, they are missing a chance to grab valuable traffic. You can find content gaps & fill them to address their needs more efficiently.

This way, you can STAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE & establish yourself as an authoritative figure in the industry.

Our SEO experts analyze your competitors’ top-ranking keywords & the content associated with them. They identify keywords where they rank highly but you have no content. As a result, you will be able to create a SUPREME piece of content.

Moreover, they also concentrate on social media around your industry to pinpoint questions being asked by your target audience. What hot topics are generating their interest?

Accordingly, you can create content that directly addresses their needs by creating tailor-made content.

5. Spy on Your Competitors' On-page SEO Secrets

Now you have identified your competitors & peeked at their traffic sources, it’s time to focus on their on-site SEO strategy. At this step, you should find out if they keep on publishing fresh content consistently.

Find the type of content they love to post. Videos? Blogs? Infographics? Knowing their content style will inspire your content strategy. You should uncover keywords they are targeting to rank for. This step will assist you in identifying relevant keywords you might be missing.

But wait, there’s more for you!

You need to pay close attention to these details:

  • Check out their title tags & meta descriptions. Are they attention-grabbing & keyword-rich?

  • Focus on their internal linking strategy. See how they link their pages together.

Your goal should be to learn from their WINS & identify gaps in their strategy.

Content is the KING! Keep an eye on the following things while analyzing their content:

i. Content Arsenal

What type of content are they writing? Blog posts, infographics, or videos? See what aligns with their audience.

iI. Topic Relevance

Are they staying focused on their niche?

III. Content Depth

Are they offering short snippets or detailed dives to their readers? Their content length will help you determine the perfect approach for your target audience.

6. Analyze their Sites’ User Experience (UX)

Listen up! Google has been obsessed with user experience. Do you know what makes Google & readers happy?

Faster loading times, mobile-friendly layout, & content that responds to their queries!

With that in mind, you need to make sure your sitemap is crystal clear & easy for search engines to crawl. Your important landing pages should be lightning-fast so readers can easily navigate them. Nobody likes waiting for a site to load & neither does Google. Competitive analysis can help you see what your competitors are up to. Here is what to watch for on their landing pages:

  • Keep an eye out for any stray pages that don’t connect to the rest of the site. These pages can confuse search engines. Therefore, it is best to remove them at once.

  • Check out how a site shares its ranking power across different pages.

  • If your rivals are ranking well despite a CLUNKY site or poor mobile setup, it is the best time to beat them & claim your spot at the top of search engines. Make it MOBILE FRIENDLY.

7. Figure Out Their Broken Pages

Finding your competitor’s broken pages is a GOLDMINE here. These pages could be once ranked higher but are now hurting their SEO performance. Considering this, you should identify their broken pages.

A site that is filled with numerous broken links & error pages creates a FRUSTRATING for users. You can identify any broken pages on your competitors’ sites.

Online competitive analysis tools offer more advanced features for finding broken pages. These tools pinpoint broken pages & show you the particular pages that link to them. Luckily, our team of seasoned SEO individuals use site crawlers like Screaming Frog to crawl your competitors’ sites & identify broken links & error pages.

Accordingly, you will be able to exploit their weaknesses, improve your own user experience, & craft APPEALING CONTENT that drives valuable traffic.

8. Keep an Eye on their Advertising Budget

If you have put in the effort to fine-tune your site but still find yourself falling behind in search engine ranking, it could be that competitors are INVESTING IN PAID TRAFFIC CAMPAIGNS.

Yes, they might be outspending you to drive more conversions & sales.

Now, you don’t need to match their spending dollar for dollar. Not at all! However, tracking their ad game can be valuable. You should monitor their Google Ads campaigns, banner ads, promotional content, or sponsored social media posts.

This step of competitive analysis will assist you in getting a sense of the playing field. As a result, you can develop a smarter & more targeted advertising strategy of your own, without BREAKING THE BANK.

9. Discover How They are Using Social Media

Social media tools can help you increase site traffic by monitoring mentions on social media & engaging with your audience. In addition, you can keep track of brand mentions outside of the social media channels, like blogs, forums, or news sites.

You can monitor user sentiment & stay on top of what people are saying about your products or services.

Now, you need to do this spy work:

  • You should find which social media platforms are your rivals leveraging?

  • How often are they posting new content?

  • How do they interact with their followers or audience? Are they informative? Funny?

This step will let you learn from your competitors’ strategies & engage with your audience.

10. PPC Ads

Last but not least, you should not underestimate your competitors’ PPC ads. These ads reveal keywords your competitors are bidding on. They might be different from the ones they are targeting through SEO. This step will expose valuable keywords you might not have considered.

You should analyze their ad copy to see the messaging & offers that resonate with their audience. Are they focusing on discounts, benefits, or a sense of urgency? With that in mind, you can learn from their success & avoid any FLOPS.

If you notice they are using PPC ads, it simply means they believe in the POWER of paid advertising for their industry. This gives you an overview of the potential costs of advertising.

With SEO Penguins' advanced competitive analysis tools, we identify the sites that are competing with you for ad space. Our SEO GURUS analyzes your competitors’ ad copy, giving you insights you can use to craft a WINNING PPC campaign.

Stop flying blind in the competitive advertising world! Let SEO Penguins be your guide.

Bottom Lines

With this handy guide to competitive analysis by your side, you can easily rock the stage. So, stick with it, keep making small TWEAKS, & track your progress. Soon, you will see your position improve in no time!

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