SEO Competitive Analysis: 8 Steps to Help You Stack Up Against Competitors
On this page, we’ll provide you with a checklist for conducting a competitive analysis on your SEO competitors. If you need help conducting a competitive analysis, call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist. WebFX provides SEO services to customers across the country, so whether you need an SEO campaign in Pittsburgh or an SEO campaign in Raleigh, we’ve got you covered.
What you’ll learn | SEO competitor analysis
- What is a competitive analysis?
- Why is competitive analysis important?
- How to conduct a competitor SEO analysis
What is an SEO competitive analysis?
An SEO competitive analysis is the process of comparing your SEO to your competitors’ SEO. You’ll compare SEO strategies and do a deep dive into your competitors’ websites to see how you stack up.
When you conduct a competitive analysis, you can learn about your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. It creates an opportunity for you to perform better than your competition and adapt some of the tactics that make them successful.
Why is competitive analysis important for my SEO campaign?
As you learn more about competitive analysis for SEO, you may wonder why it’s important for your business. Competitive analysis is valuable to your business for numerous reasons:
- Identifies what you’re doing well: There are going to be things you do better than your competition. When you figure out those aspects, you can focus on them and continue to make them better to keep that leg up on your competitors.
- Pinpoints gaps in your campaign: No SEO campaign strategy is perfect. By looking at your competitor’s SEO strategy, you can see what they are doing that you aren’t doing. It helps you discover new tactics that can help your business grow.
- Helps you connect with your audience: Competitors expose you to new strategies and tactics. It’s a great opportunity to help you adapt tactics that help you improve customer connection and retention.
A competitive analysis will help you grow as a business. You’ll adopt new tactics that help you reach more valuable leads for your business.
How do I conduct a competitive analysis?
Probably the quickest way to understand your competitors’ SEO strategies is to plug their information into our SEO Checker.
Once our tool gets to work, you’ll receive a report that features a site speed analysis, meta tag assessment, content grade, link audit, and much more.
To make things easy, we’ve included a snippet of our SEO checker below.
Looking for an all-in-one SEO audit tool? You've found it.
SEO Checker provides data on key metrics to give you:
- Complete SEO score
- Content Grade
- Site Speed Analysis
- and more.
If you’d prefer to dive into your competitor SEO analysis on your own, check out our list that outlines the essential steps below.
1. Identify competitors
If you want to conduct a competitive analysis, you need to identify your competitors. You won’t know who to compare your business to if you don’t identify your competition.
Depending upon your business, you may have dozens of competitors. It will take too long to compare your business to every competitor. It’s best to focus on four to six of your closest competitors.
You’ll want to choose both physical and online competitors. Physical competitors are close to your business’s location. Online competitors appear above or below you in the search results when people are looking for a business like yours.
When you select your competitors, choose ones that directly impact your business. It will help you have the biggest impact when you optimize your SEO campaign.
2. Select pages for comparison
Once you identify your competitors, the next step is to compare your business’s site to theirs. You want to see how you stack up against the competition. To do this, you’ll need to select pages from their site for comparison.
So, what pages should you look at? Here are a few suggestions:
- Home page
- Equivalent product pages
- Browse pages (pages with multiple products that people can browse)
- Pages with news or informative content
Overall, you’ll want to choose pages that are similar to pages you have. This will help you make a fair comparison between businesses.
3. Conduct keyword gap analysis
Once you select your competitors and pages, it’s time to analyze them. The first thing you’ll want to do is analyze their keywords. Keywords play a crucial role in SEO, so you’ll want to take the time to see what keywords your competitors are using.
When you conduct a keyword gap analysis, you can see the keywords your competitors are using. You can use tools like Ahref’s keyword gap tool to find keywords that you are missing.
This is a great opportunity for you to see what other keywords are available to your business. You may find that some of your competitors are using the same keywords as you, but you will also find keywords you haven’t used yet.
This creates a window of opportunity for you to expand your business’s reach and outrank competitors. You can take the keywords you find in your keyword gap analysis and implement them into your own pages — or create custom content to address the keywords.
You’ll want to create content that is better than your competitors, so you drive that relevant traffic to your page instead of theirs.
Keyword gap analysis will help you reach new traffic and obtain valuable leads. It’s a great way to help you expand your business and remain in competition with your competitors.
4. Analyze content
As you analyze your competitors, you’ll want to look at their content. Content is one of the top influencing factors in SEO. Google SEO ranks sites higher that provide quality content that is relevant to a user’s search.
Take a look at your competitor’s content. Programs like CompetitorSpyFX can help you analyze your competitors’ content.
First, you’ll want to see the different types of content they create. Do they stick to one type of content or is there variety?
If your competitors are blogging or writing content, you’ll want to look at the word count and the information within the post. Are they writing long-form content or short pieces?
It’s also important to look at the substance of the content regarding the keywords. Is the content relevant to the keyword or is it all fluff? If you’re finding that much of the competitor’s content is fluff, it’s a great opportunity for you to create substantial content that has valuable information.
In addition, look at the topics your competitors cover. Do they always cover the same topics, or is there a variety of information on their site? If they aren’t very diverse, this is an opportunity for you to create unique content that your competition doesn’t offer.
Lastly, look to see if they have visual elements in their content. Look for photos and videos. If they don’t offer media in their content, it’s a window of opportunity for you to offer more engaging content.
Analyzing your competitor’s content will help you create better content on your own site. This is extremely valuable because Google’s algorithm is driven by quality content. When you create quality content, you help your site rank better than the competition.
5. Check out their web design
Your website’s design has a huge impact on your audience’s perception of your business. It also impacts your SEO because bad web design can drive people from your site, which increases your bounce rate. A high bounce rate will negatively impact your ranking.
When you conduct an SEO competitor analysis, look at your competitor’s web design. You’ll want to look at the design and structure of the site. The main focus is to see if it is user friendly and appealing.
If your competitors have a visually appealing website, you can get ideas from them to implement into your own site. It may be something like their navigation set up or where they place their calls to action (CTAs). This creates an opportunity for you to improve your site’s appearance.
In addition, you’ll want to see if they have a responsive design. Responsive design is crucial to your website’s success because it allows users to have a positive experience on a site, regardless of the device they use. Check to see if your competitors have a responsive design, and if not, it’s an opportunity for you to get a leg up on the competition.
6. Analyze user experience (UX)
User experience (UX) is one of the most important factors to your audience. You must provide your audience with a good experience on your site to ensure that they remain on it. UX compromises of factors such as ease of use, visual attractiveness, and informativeness of your site.
Web design is one of the driving UX factors. A visually appealing site provides a positive experience.
Aside from web design, there are other UX factors you’ll want to analyze on your competitor’s site. This includes elements such as CTAs, contact page, and visual elements. You’ll want to analyze all these elements on your competitor’s site to see if they provide a positive user experience.
How do you determine if they provide a positive user experience?
Overall, elements should make the experience better for people. They should make it easy to navigate around the site and find helpful information. These elements are engaging, interesting, and valuable to the experience.
If you find that there are some elements that don’t provide a great experience for your competition’s audience, you can capitalize on that and use those elements correctly on your site. This will give you a leg up on the completion because you’ll provide a better experience for your audience.
Video: UX Design and Customer Experience
7. Analyze their Google Business Profile listing
Google Business Profile is a big component of local SEO. When people search for businesses near them, they generate a list of Google Business Profile listings. You’ll want to check out your competition’s Google Business Profile listing to compare theirs to yours.
It’s important to see if your competitors have filled out their listing. If they haven’t, this gives a big advantage to your business. Leads will more likely choose your business because your listing is complete and provides valuable information.
If your competitors have filled theirs out, see how much information they’ve included. You want to see if they have all of their contact information, hours of operation, and details filled out on their listing. It’s also important that you figure out if the information is accurate and up to date.
Once you look at the basic information, see if they’ve added additional information. Whether it’s a menu linked to their restaurant or photos of their products linked to their listing, it’s crucial that you analyze any additional information on their listing.
If they don’t have any additional information, it’s an opportunity for you to include that additional information on your listing. It will make your listing stand out from the competition and drive more leads to your page due to your informative listing. If they do have this information, you can mimic them to ensure you remain in competition with them.
8. Look for opportunities to outrank your competition
Once you’ve analyzed your competitors, the last step is to discover opportunities where you can outrank your competition. It’s crucial that you get your business to stand out from your competitors. It will help you drive more leads to your page rather than to the competition.
Upon looking at your competitors’ sites, think about where you can add unique elements for your audience. Whether it’s unique content or easy to use navigation, you’ll want to focus on enhancing your site to outperform your competitors.
When you identify elements you can add to help your business stand out, you can start implementing them into your site. It’s a great way to help your business perform better than your competitors’ business.
WebFX will help you get started with an SEO competitive analysis
A competitive analysis will help you develop a better advanced SEO strategy for your business. You will learn how you can improve your campaign to drive better results than your competitors. At WebFX, we’ll help you conduct a competitive analysis for your SEO campaign and implement strategies that help you grow.
We’re a full-service digital marketing company that specializes in SEO campaigns. We have a team of 500+ experts that will help you with your campaign. Our team knows how to drive valuable results that help you reach more leads and earn more conversions for your business.
If you’re looking for an SEO company that knows how to drive results, look no further than WebFX. We’ve driven $6,021,182,299+ in sales and over 7,839,684 leads for our clients. Our team is dedicated to helping your business grow.
Don’t believe us? Just ask our clients! Check out our 1090 client testimonials that attest to the great work we do!
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We look forward to taking your business to new heights and helping your website become SEO friendly!
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