Want to improve your SEO? Find out what your competitors are doing

Content MarketingDigital MarketingSEO

SEO is the activity that improves your search engine rankings. In other words, SEO is the keywords or phrases that Google registers in the results of searching online. In search results, Google presents links and associates pages to it, determining why it is important and relevant.

Good relevant content encourages people to link to your pages and shows Google that your pages are interesting and firm. This leads to search engine success because Google wants to show interesting pages in its search results.

However, there is a way to boost your SEO that involves paying attention to your competitors. In this article, we will show you how SEO works and how you can find out what methods your competitors are applying to gain higher rankings.

Google ranks pages

When creating your website pages, make sure you write content that people will find useful because this kind of content is shared on blogs and social media platforms. Getting an understanding of what kind of content your potential customers are looking for will create an enormous improvement in terms of your rankings.

In order to create a great site, you have to create relevant content that people need. This, in turn, allows easier access, making it simple for people to share it among online platforms. If you can focus your attention on writing content like this, you will start to see instant improvement when it comes to your website traffic.

SEO can help your business grow and meet your business objectives

When individuals search for products and services that they require, you obviously want to appear as high in the search engine rankings as possible. Most searchers spend time researching for the best options that they can find.

SEO will show your website frequently in the search results, gaining your business more exposure to viewers and searchers that are looking for products or services that you offer. SEO also improves the likeliness of getting those potential customers to eventually click on your website as it will be displayed in their search results.

Monitor your competitors by doing:

Keyword research

The first step you can do is identify the keywords that your site can realistically target. Unless you have the brand authority or budget to compete with your well-known competitors, the possibility of ranking high for your desired keyword for any small or medium business becomes drastically reduced.

Instead, your first goal is to find a viable niche within this competitive industry that is achievable. Mind-mapping is a great tool to organise your keyword concepts and buckets. There are a myriad of ways to grow your keyword list, and you can start by:

  • Identifying your competitors and viewing the list of keywords they’re ranking for
  • Get a list of keywords they are bidding for
  • You can then get a list of possible keywords related to your niche

Identify your top competitors

Once you have your keyword list, type those terms into Google and write down the sites that show up in the top 10. Often you’ll see the same sites appearing again and again. You’ll want to identify the sites that rank for many keywords in that niche. You can add them to your list of competitors. You can then try to determine their organic traffic and number of organic keywords ranking in Google.

The more keywords your competitors have ranking in Google, especially for terms with high search volume, the more authoritative the domain is. In this part of the process, it’s important that you find sites that are truly competitive with yours. Do not include the large retail brands in your list as they will simply skew your metrics.

Analyse your competitors

Now that you know who your competitors are, you need to dive deep into their profiles. You can start by grabbing general metrics from their websites such as link velocity, domain authority, inbound links, social shares, domain age, etc.

Next, you need to identify their backlink profiles. You can start by:

  • Downloading their backlink profile by sorting the data by domain rank to view their backlinks from most to least authoritative. This way you can gain an idea of how many high quality links you’ll have to target
  • Analyse their topical authority by analysing their topical trust flow and understand their semantic link profile
  • Establish industry averages so that you will have guidelines to follow when starting your campaign

Conduct a social media and content audit

Now that you have an understanding of who your competitors are and their backlink profile, you’ll need to research their content marketing and social media strategy.

  • How often do they share updates on social media?
  • What is their engagement ratio?
  • How many active followers do they have?

Evaluate their blog, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. This will help you determine how active you need to be in terms of creating and sharing content, and again, to determine your first targets in terms of follower acquisition and engagement ratio.

Determine your strategy

Once you have a thorough understanding of your competitors, you can create your strategy based on the averages from the data you uncovered.

  • You’ll want to know how many links you’ll need to acquire, and the quality of those links to start showing up in the search results. This will be based on the averages of the sites ranking for the keywords you chose. It’s important to avoid keywords that have a strong presence of sites with massive domain authority as these domains are tough to beat as they tend to be highly trusted and rewarded by Google
  • Determine how many links based on topical categories you’ll need. For example, if you need 50 links to start showing up, how many of those should be in your direct niche vs. a more generic niche or a related niche? Out of those backlinks, how many should have a high domain rank? Figure out a breakdown based on the industry averages so you can set targets for how to sculpt your backlink outreach and acquisition
  • Determine how many articles to share on your blog every week, how many should be keyword vs. topically focused, how often to post on social media, how many followers to acquire, etc.

The data you acquire from this research will form the backbone of your SEO strategy and will create the structure of your campaign. In such a difficult space, it’s important to arm yourself with data, otherwise, you will easily waste resources without seeing a return on investment.

The bottom line

SEO is essential to build when it comes to your overall website traffic and sales. It is important to build effective SEO practices on your own website, however, sometimes that just isn’t enough. In order to truly rank higher and leave a better presence in the search results, you need to ‘spy’ on your competitors. In doing so, you can devise strategies and employ methods that will allow your website to be the preferred service provider in the search results.

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