Analyzing Your Industry
SEO begins with research. There’s no denying it. The first step is identify targeted keywords. Every keyword/phrase is marketable but not all are utilized by consumers. Website owners often overlook this in their strategy, the key here is to research well enough to know which words are highly sought after and which aren’t. You can use either Google keyword finder or Moz’s Keyword Explorer to discover high-valued keywords then prioritize them by search volume and obtainment difficulty. Moz’s research tools reveals which domains rank for which keywords, plus it builds a list of quality word/phrases that you should consider targeting.
Once you’ve identified which keywords are best for your industry, search Google and Bing to find out which sites rank in the top 10 then repeat the process for all your keywords. You’ll find a few sites come up in almost all your searches. These sites you should add to your list. Remember competitors aren’t just other businesses who offer the same type of products or services, they can be anyone who shows up using the same keywords or phrases you hope to rank for.
Find competitive keywords,
The next step is to find out what keywords your competitors are targeting. There are a number of free and paid tools available for this. Find which option is best for you and start your research. Look for the weaknesses and strengths of your competition. Start by looking for Keyword density;
Keyword density gives you an idea of how aggressive you should be for greater keyword placement. You can use a keyword density analyzer to find the density of your competitors’ keywords. Just enter their URL.
Repeat the process for all your competitors. Find an average keyword density; this gives you an idea of the number of times to use a particular keyword on any particular page.
Next look closely at their metadata;
Analyze the metadata looking for: whether they used meta descriptions and alt text on images? If any are lacking you stand a chance of outranking them simply by completing all of the info on your site.
The next part is implementing a backlinks strategy.
Look for any links who link to your competitors. Ahrefs can help with this information. It ranks back-links from most authoritative to least and this gives you an idea of the number of high-quality links you need to target to outrank your competitor. Look for quality links. If your competitor has backlinks from authoritative sites then you need similar links. If they have backlinks from relative articles, then you too need to implement the same types of links. The best links are the ones hardest to get. Do your research, concentrate on building high-quality ones.
Analyze you competitions content,
Since you have a clear idea of who your competition is, which keywords they rank for, their backlinks, keyword density and meta info. The next thing to do is analyze their content and social marketing. High content quality is crucial for Google to rank your site well. This includes usefulness of info, factual correctness, expertise of the creator and credibility of the content itself.
Evaluate the quality according to Google’s EAT standards – “expertise, authority, trust.” Lookout for the frequency of social media shares and reshares. (try and emulate it)
Replicate any social media posts that have a high engagement rate. Also examine the number of active followers they have on all their social media outlets. Look for how often they post on their blog(s) and try and do it more often. Find out what sort of domain authority they carry. (more traffic = higher authority) and finally, “What’s the quality of their overall online footprint?”
Understanding your competition gives you ideas and direction, it can also save you a lot of time planning your SEO strategy. Study what your competition is doing, and then just do it better. Now that you have the tools and the strategy to analyze any website in any industry, go out and beat their rankings . . . Godspeed.
If you found this article useful share with others. Thanks for reading. Also, if you’d like to analyze your own website visit MOZ.Com to use their free analysis tools.