There are a lot of factors that go into the search engine optimization of a website. One of the very first steps is to analyze your competitors. There is so much information you can learn and it will help guide you in your efforts. The planning phase is more important than any other step in an effective SEO campaign.
Where to Start?
The first thing you need to do is search for your main competitors. A great place to do this is in Google search. These competitor websites that already rank well in Google are the ones you want to analyze traffic, content, and backlinks from. When we start a new project we often look for four to five similar websites.
Is SEO Really Effective?
SEO is one of the most effective ways you can increase a business. Google and the other search engines can deliver some powerful traffic. Below are a few case studies from SEO companies that will help you understand the power of SEO.
-SEO Case Study for Hamlet Homes
Tools to Help Analyze
There are a plethora of good quality tools to use. Some are better than others but using a combination of a few will help set you in the right direction. The tools we like most are SEMRush and Ahrefs.
One of the best products on the market is SEMRush. There are so many features of SEMRush it would be hard to go into them in this one article. We will, however, go into the most useful tools they offer and how you can use it for competitive research.
The first tool you should start with the “Domain Overview” section. This tool will give you a good overview of the website traffic, backlinks, top five keywords, and organic search engine competitors. Your biggest best competitors will have usually have the highest number of organic search traffic.
In order to find what keywords your competitors rank for simply click on the “Organic Research” section. This section of SEMRush is gold. It will provide you with the keywords which that specific website ranks for. What is extremely helpful is the report will show the search volume as well as where your competitor ranks. This information will be really helpful when creating a content marketing strategy.
Once you do this for your top four to five competitors you can then start the next phase.
Now that you have all the top keywords it’s time to determine which keywords will most likely work best for your business. Analyze the traffic volume and start planning out how to create content based around these keywords.
Tip; when you do create content do it the best you can. Don’t just hire some article writer to write you a 500-word article. Especially for major keywords, you want to go after. In order to give your website the best chance to rank, you need exceptional content.
Planning out a content strategy is the single most important thing you can do when optimizing a website for SEO.
Although SEMRush has a section that will report the backlinks of your competitors we find that Ahrefs is more extensive. Why pull a backlink report? Simple, these are the people linking to your competitors and they will more than likely link to you as well. Both tools have a way to determine the quality of a website. This way you can skip passing all the low-quality ones. Focus on the high to mid quality website and use this data for your outreach programs.
Once you have done this for one piece of content you simply wash, rinse and repeat the steps above.