If you’re working on a website, there are a few things you need to know about competitor analysis.
The first is that even if your website isn’t rankable yet, it will eventually be.
Guess what? You should do competitor analysis on all of your websites related to your niche! It can help you determine where your competition is weakest and where you can start focusing your efforts to improve your ranking.
Competitor analysis can also help you plan your website’s strategy and optimize it for search engine optimization (SEO).
What is competitor analysis?
Competitor analysis takes notes on a competitor’s website and analyzes it for SEO weaknesses.
This process helps you see where your competition is ranking, what they’re doing better than you, and how you can improve your own website’s ranking. It will help you get ahead of the competition and rank higher in search engine results pages (SERP).
Competitor analysis also helps plan your website’s strategy and optimize your website for search engine optimization (SEO). It will give an idea of what types of changes need to be made to rank higher.
Who needs competitor analysis?
Competition makes room for improvement.
Everyone needs competitor analysis to know your current SEO status, areas where you need to work on, keywords gaps, content gaps, etc.
Why should you do competitors’ analysis?
To find out where your competition is weakest, you need to analyze all of your websites.
It will allow you to determine where the most opportunities lie for you.
For example, if a competitor’s website doesn’t have internal linking, that means they don’t have their content organized in a way that would help them rank well in search engines.
So, this might be an opportunity for you to use good internal linking practices and optimize your site for ranking.
Additionally, when analyzing your competition, it’s essential to think about what search terms are used on each website.
It can help you see where there could be some overlap between the target market of your website and that of your competitors’.
When this happens, it’s wise to try and implement a strategy that targets both markets.
For example, if your competitor is targeting customers interested in travel-related topics and yours is also targeting customers interested in travel-related issues.
It would make sense for you to target both markets with different content.
What are the benefits of competitor analysis?
One of the main benefits of competitor analysis is identifying where your competition is most substantial.
Suppose you’re focused on a particular area of internet marketing, such as SEO. In that case, you can use competitor analysis to determine which websites are ranking for keywords related to your niche. It will help you decide to prioritize keywords and phrases on your website and how to optimize it for search engine optimization (SEO) to rank higher than your competitors.
A second significant benefit of competitor analysis is that it helps you plan your website strategy.
If you know which other websites are ranking for keywords related to your niche, you can start planning how to overcome their success and make sure yours ranks higher than them. It can help arrange content creation, blog posts, social media campaigns, and more!
A third significant benefit of competitor analysis is that it helps avoid wasting time focusing on websites that aren’t relevant.
For example, if a website isn’t getting a rank for the keywords related to your niche or competing with other websites in your niche, there’s no point in spending time trying to get ranked there because there’s no traffic coming from those searches.
What makes a good competitor analysis?
Good competitor analysis gives you complete information about your competitors’ strong and weak points.
There are several elements that you can add to make a better analysis, such as:
#1. A list of your competitors
You should always identify your competitors. You should find your competitors related to your niche.
After identifying them, you can choose whom to compete with and whom not to. It’s not like you can grab the strategy and then compete with everyone in the field. It won’t be easy to improve the technique and ranking.
Getting your list of competitors means you are just starting to understand what to do in your business. It acts as a source of information for your work, and it makes it a lot easier to plan further, saving time, effort, and resources.
#2. Competitor’s keywords analysis
Keywords play a huge factor in ranking. That’s why they are very valuable. After analyzing a few competitors, you will know the keywords your competitors are using and which keywords you should use.
The main thing is you already have your own keywords list once you set up your website, and once you start your SEO campaign, you also need to know what kinds of keywords and variations they are using.
You will identify the keywords that your competitors get a high rank for, but you don’t. It is also known as keyword gap analysis.
#3. Content gap analysis
Content is the front face of the site. It would be best to go through your competitor’s top content based on title, headings, description, page, etc.
After analyzing the competitors’ content, you can work on your content to improve it in one or many ways.
You can also enhance the breadcrumbs, structured data, and URL structure on a page-page basis. They are also regarded as the content of the website.
You should thoroughly research your competitor’s content to know the content types they have used and find out the sections where your content needs the push-up.
Quality, organic, and more relevant content can boost your ranking easily. Your content should always stand out more than your competitor’s.
#4. Technical SEO analysis
This analysis covers the important technical side of the competitor’s site. It’s crucial to know how the site works internally and external factors.
Smooth website operation and user experience are always important for website owners and users.
You should include several topics under technical SEO. Few and very important topics are discussed below:
The XML sitemap is the map of the website. It provides you with information about the site.
XML sitemap of the competitors is necessary to know to keep an eye on the content and updates of the websites. The sitemap also makes Google crawl and index content simply, so it doesn’t harm to create a sitemap for your website and make it better than your competitors after the research.
Duplicate content refers to similar content but different pages.
The term “canonicalization” is for using the canonical tag to prevent the issues that can arise due to duplicate content in different URLs.
Understanding the number of canonical tags used in competitors’ sites and how they have been used there would help you draw a strategy to resolve the matters related to canonical issues.
A backlink is an interconnection between two websites. It builds up the web page’s status, and Google also finds the page with more backlinks rank-worthy.
You should always identify your competitors’ backlinks, as they are vital for ranking. Once you know their backlinks, you should intersect the highly relevant and quality backlinks and try to acquire them.
You should be able to distinguish between high-quality backlinks and toxic backlinks. Once you can differentiate, you can get the backlink gap reports that give you the details about your competitors’ links, but you don’t.
HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) is the process of ensuring the users that the website is safe and secure to use for data transfer. It uses TLS/SSL certificates to ensure the data’s security, integrity, and authority.
Since HTTPS implementation is very important, you should also know what your competitors have implemented and how many have done so.
If your site isn’t crawlable, Google won’t rank your website.
If your competitors are getting on the first page of the SERPs, then you should spy on their tactics.
You should know how many pages of their websites are crawled every day and compare the data to yours to improve your crawl activity.
Google can only index the site if they find it easy to browse and have relevant and quality content. More indexed pages mean more appearances in Google searches.
You should keep a record of your competitors’ indexed pages and content. You should also identify the type of content indexed to provide you with an idea to work on your content and pages.
You should check the loading speed of your competitor’s site. The faster the page speed is, the better the user experience is.
It would be best if you improve the speed factors of the URL pages of the site on different devices in comparison to your competitors.
A site gets most of the traffic from mobile devices, so you should get a report on how much mobile-friendly your competitor’s sites are.
You can enhance the mobile-friendliness factor of your site as per your needs.
#5. Social media reports
Social media has helped in increasing traffic for a long time now.
It would help if you spied on your competitor’s social media activities and engagements to build up your plan to bring more concentrations and traffic to your website from different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
Tools that you can use to conduct Competitor’s Analysis
It is a paid tool, but there are a few free features.
There is a Site Explorer tool for competitors’ analysis that will get the complete report on organic traffic research, backlink checker, and paid traffic.
SEMrush has this One-Stop-Shop for competitive research feature, which you can try for free but have to pay for the complete report.
It provides complete details on the competitors in terms of traffic, top pages and content, advertising tactics, organic strategies, backlinks, and social media.
- Alexa Traffic Rank
It is a free tool that is a browser extension. You can install it and get the website traffic, statistics, and competitors’ analytics while surfing the internet.
The most beginner’s way to search the competitor using Google is to type the keywords in the search bar and observe the list of websites that appear in the SERPs.
To finalize the competitor’s list, you have to note down the repeating websites for a few keywords of the same topics.
Google has several free tools such as keyword planner, google search console, google analytics, etc. These tools help you to get information on your competitors in broad form.
SpyFU has its Competitors Research features, which allow you to find out the competitors, keywords, and contents, their market value, and strategies they are using to grow.
It is a paid SEO tool.
- Moz Link Explorer
The paid tool would get you the full report on the links that your competitors have, along with page and domain authority.
It will give you complete and accurate data on the link metrics of the competitors.
This tool has a free version and a paid version as well. It is an easy and low-price tool.
You can get a list of domains that use similar keywords along with common keywords, keywords gap, backlinks, keyword volume, position, SEO difficulty, and many more.
These are a few tools you can use to get a competitive analysis. Some more examples of the tools you can use to get the analysis report are Page Optimizer Pro, Surfer, Searchmetrics, Majestic SEO, Screaming Frog, and many more.
Competitor’s analysis is a simple idea of gathering the data on your challengers. You can obtain a complete report about your competitors’ content, backlink, and technical SEO.
You can prepare this report when you plan about the content or publish similar content. You can always conduct an analysis when the SERPs have changed, and the rank has dropped to find out what strategy you now have to implement.
It would be best if you kept your eyes on your competitors so that you would fall behind from an SEO perspective.
Suman(Kul Prasad) Pandit is a graduate from Tribhuvan University with four-year experience in corporate and start-up sectors in UK and USA. Being a responsible & sustainable business enthusiast he is dedicated to business education to solve problems in entrepreneurship and business growth.