guide to SEO competitor research & analysis

Just as with any other sector in life, keeping a close eye on what your business competitors are doing in the digital sphere is vital. 

It is only by completing a comprehensive SEO competitor analysis that you get a proper idea of where you stand in the digital domain of the SERPs. Understanding your position tells you where you should be aiming and what you can do to get there.

It is imperative to understand that search engines don’t necessarily experience your business in the real world, and they only rely on online factors when it comes to ranking. This is why it can be frustrating when a smaller, newer business outranks more established businesses on the SERPs and why comprehensive SEO competitor analysis is so important. 

Gathering intelligence about other competitive brands improves all aspects of SEO. It lets you know who you ought to be looking to outrank on SERPs, the keywords you should be trying to rank for, and where you can go to look for backlinks. Above all else, SEO competitor research shows you your SEO strengths and weaknesses as well as those of your business competitors.

What is SEO Competitor Research?

​​An SEO competitive analysis involves a detailed dive into your digital marketing presence to see how you stack up against the competition. It can include:

  • SEO keyword competition analysis – this provides in-depth information about the keywords that your competitors are ranking for, offering invaluable data about which SEO tactics are working best, helping you to select the right keywords and develop a finely tuned digital marketing strategy. 
  • Top content analysis – by conducting an in-depth content analysis, you can better understand which content your competitors have developed that is driving engagement with their customers. By understanding what content is working for your competitors, you can then implement an effective digital marketing strategy that you know will deliver results. 
  • Keyword gap analysis – this provides invaluable information on valuable keywords that your competitors rank highly for, which you don’t. Identifying keyword gaps and then developing a robust digital marketing strategy to target them can help you find new audiences and boost engagement and sales. 
  • Competitor backlink analysis – by analysing your competitor’s backlinks, you can better understand how you can implement a backlink strategy to rank higher than your competitors in search engines and therefore drive more qualified traffic to your website. 

SEO competitor research is the process by which you can get all the details you need about your business competitors. It will provide data about which SEO tactics are working for your competitors and, therefore, likely work for you too.

You probably have a pretty good idea of your direct business competitors. If you are selling shoes, anyone else who sells similar shoes to a similar audience in the same price range would be a direct business competitor. But it’s also important to consider that everyone else, no matter what they are selling, who shows up for keywords that you want to rank for, are also competitors that you need to analyse.  Any site or page ranking for a keyword you’re also targeting is a direct SEO competitor.

A glance at the SERPs for your keywords will show you the pages and domains you need to compete with.

Why is SEO Competitor Research Important? 

First and foremost, SEO competitor research is healthy. It encourages innovation and prevents complacency. Here’s why this exercise is so valuable:

  1. It identifies what you’re doing well. There will generally be some things you do better than your competitors. When you identify them, you can do more of them and widen your lead. 
  2. It highlights weaknesses in your strategy. No SEO strategy is flawless. When you look at what your competitors are doing, you identify any gaps in your own strategy and begin to take care of those deficits. 
  3. It gives you new ways to reach your audience. Competitors might be using tactics that are completely new, giving you fantastic opportunities to improve your results. 

Simply put, an SEO competitive analysis will help your business grow. It can be the catalyst for identifying and adopting new strategies that help you improve online visibility and increase your bottom-line results. 

Looking at what your primary business competitors are doing and doing the same thing sounds like an easy solution. But apart from the moral and legal obstacles in doing this, Google will not look favourably on this either. What you should be aiming for is a complete understanding of everything your competitors are doing and what they are not doing. Only by truly understanding your business competitors can you hope to beat them on a consistent and long-term basis.

Relevance’s team of SEO specialists provide expert SEO services for optimum website positioning. We provide bespoke SEO services, including SEO competitive analysis, for luxury brands seeking to target Ultra-High-Net-Worth-Individuals. Relevance is a Google Certified Partner and has worked with Google for the last decade, providing our clients with incredible results. If you would like to learn more about our SEO services and how you can rank highly on the SERPs, contact our team. 

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