In the current digital landscape, having a website that is optimised for search engines is crucial for gaining visibility and driving more traffic to your business. There are many elements that contribute to a website’s search engine optimisation (SEO), one of which is understanding how your SEO measures up against your competitors.
An SEO competitor analysis involves a comprehensive review of another website’s SEO tactics and keyword focus, allowing you to identify your own areas of strength and improvement.
By gaining insights into the SEO strategies employed by your competitors, you can enhance your own SEO efforts and attract more organic traffic to your website.
This piece will guide you on how to perform an SEO competitor analysis, specifically focusing on the SEO landscape in Belfast.
It will also highlight how this analysis can aid in refining your own SEO strategies, including the identification and avoidance of any SEO pitfalls.
We will delve into the top four steps to undertake when carrying out an SEO competitor analysis in the context of Belfast’s SEO scene.
Identify the right Competitors
The initial phase in executing an SEO competitor analysis involves pinpointing the competitors you wish to scrutinise. It’s common for business owners to think of known competitors, which isn’t entirely misguided.
Nevertheless, some competitors might be closer than you think. You might be familiar with the big names in your sector, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they excel in digital marketing, including SEO.
To discover the most pertinent competitors, you need to understand which keywords they’re focusing on. Begin by examining long-tail keywords, typically comprising four words or more.
Long-tail keywords are valuable because they facilitate conversions and are easier to achieve a high ranking for. Search for at least 10 to 20 long-tail keywords that are relevant to your sector and are currently ranking in the top three positions on other websites.
With this keyword information at hand, identify the two to five websites that consistently rank highest for most of these keywords and consider them as your competitors. This will provide a clear understanding of whose content strategies you need to surpass.
Collect SEO data from Your Competitors
The subsequent phase in executing an SEO competitor analysis involves collecting data related to your competitors’ websites. Input your competitors’ domain names into your preferred SEO tool and focus on the following details:
This is a score assigned by SEO tools to websites based on their overall topical relevance, strength of content, domain history, and backlink authority.
Number of Referring Domains
This refers to the count of other domains that link back to your competitor’s website.
Number of DoFollow Domains
This is the count of domains linking to a website where the backlinks are perceived as “quality endorsements” by search engines.
Estimated Organic Traffic
This is the projected monthly volume of traffic your competitor’s site receives from search engines.
Referring Domains Trend
This metric shows whether your competition is gaining or losing backlinks over a certain period.
This refers to the quantity and type of keywords your competition is ranking for. Pay attention to the keywords they dominate that you do not, also known as a keyword gap analysis.
This is the count of links pointing back to your competitor’s site, including the quantity of backlinks, domain authority of backlinks and the relevance of backlinks
Having collected this data, you can now delve into keyword-specific information. For both your website and those of your top competitors, consider the following:
Identify the primary keywords driving your traffic (excluding your brand keywords).
These are the “organic” keywords people use in their searches, such as “best warehouse management systems.” It’s crucial to sustain your rankings for these keywords for an extended period.
Identify keywords for which you rank, but your competitors rank higher.
These represent your most valuable opportunities. For instance, if you’re ranking in the seventh position while your competitor is in the second, by crafting a more extensive, thoroughly optimised blog post – incorporating two of the 17 on-page factors to enhance your rankings – you could potentially secure the second or even the first spot within a few weeks.
Identify keywords for which your competitors rank and those they’ve recently lost.
With a bit of additional effort, you could easily seize these. Examine the pages they might have previously ranked for and address the gaps on your own website.
Identify the top pages on your site that attract the most SEO traffic.
Are they extensively internally linked? Did you produce 3,000 words of content when you’d typically write 1,000? Take note of what’s effective so you can replicate it on other pages.
Assessing Your SEO Position Relative to Competitors
After thoroughly examining your competitors’ SEO strategies, it’s crucial to identify the key strengths and weaknesses between your business and theirs.
Start with their on-page SEO, including content quality, title tags, page headers, and meta description tags. If their content is logical, easily readable, and keyword-driven, they have strong SEO, presenting a challenge for you. However, if their content lacks substance or coherence, you have opportunities for easy wins.
Next, assess the rest of their site. Is it user-friendly? Do they have a separate page for each topic, making their offerings clear? These usability factors are increasingly important to Google.
Finally, analyse their additional content, such as FAQs, support centres, and downloadable guides. If they have these, they’re likely driving traffic through SEO and converting leads through these channels.
Note the topics they’re addressing and see if they’re relevant to your niche. Consider how you can create higher quality content, both for SEO and other aspects. This comprehensive analysis will provide a clear roadmap for improving your own SEO strategies.
Monitor Your Progress
The concluding step in conducting an SEO competitor analysis involves monitoring the effectiveness of your own website’s SEO practices. Based on the insights you’ve gained and implemented from studying your competitors, evaluate if the changes are yielding results.
For this purpose, you can utilise tools such as Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Ahrefs to track data related to your website. This data can assist you in understanding which strategies are driving the most traffic and conversions for your business, as well as pinpointing areas that need improvement.
By keeping a close eye on your own SEO efforts and their success, you’ll be able to discern the best practices that work for your business. This enables you to devise an even more potent SEO strategy moving forward, thereby putting to rest any doubts about the value of SEO.
Make it a habit to conduct SEO competitor analysis regularly. This could range from every six months to once a year, but it’s important not to overlook it.
Sifting through vast amounts of data, especially when it pertains to your competitors, can be a daunting task that requires a significant amount of mental and emotional resilience.
If you’ve reached this point, give yourself a round of applause. Not many people know how to conduct an SEO competitor analysis, let alone extract actionable insights from it. Let’s recap the key points:
- An SEO competitor analysis aids in uncovering opportunities to bolster your own SEO efforts. You can’t identify your keyword gap without first understanding what others are ranking for.
- Identifying your most relevant competitors often extends beyond the well-known names in your niche. Focus on who is effectively leveraging SEO, not just who offers a similar product or service.
- Gather your competitors’ SEO data, including their backlinks, content quality, current rankings, and traffic volume.
- Examine the strengths, weaknesses, and differences between your site and those of your competitors. Keep in mind that you don’t need to rank for every keyword, but you should differentiate your business in several areas.
- Conduct an analysis at least once a year to gauge your performance against competitors and adjust your strategies as needed.
Need Help with SEO?
At Gekkoshot, we understand the intricacies of SEO and the significant role it plays in driving business success in today’s digital landscape. If your business is seeking to enhance its online visibility, increase organic traffic, or simply outperform competitors in search rankings, we’re here to help.
Our team of SEO specialists will craft tailored strategies that align with your unique business goals. We don’t just help you navigate the complex world of SEO; we empower your business to thrive in it.
So, if you’re ready to take your SEO to the next level, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Gekkoshot. Let’s work together to turn your SEO challenges into opportunities for growth.