You would be amazed how many businesses and individuals try to run SEO campaigns without performing SEO competitive analysis thats analysing your competition to see what their own SEO performance is first. You would never launch a product or service without analysing your competition first so why do SEO when you dont know how your competitors are faring?
Steps for a Powerful SEO Competitive Analysis:
- The first thing you need to do is check how many indexed pages your top five competitors have. The more competitors you check on, the better your final results will be. Your goal is to have more indexed pages than the five (or 10 or 20) closest performers to you in your field.
- Now you want to look at your competitors links. How many do they have and where do they come from? Look for quality links first. If your competition has a good number of quality links, developed through quality sites and given for the merit of their own content, while yours are farmed or of low quality, you need to do something about it. Either work on building a set of high quality, long lasting links yourself, or employ a partner company to help you do so.
- Have a look at the anchor text of your own links. For SEO purposes the strongest links are those where keywords occur in the anchor text. And if you have followed the previous step here by ensuring you have more quality links than your competition, then putting keywords in your anchor text puts you well on the way to a number one Google rank.
- Check your competitors site age. Google likes older sites, based on the wisdom that the more experienced know more than young upstarts. If all of your competitors have sites that are significantly older than yours, you will have to work extra hard in all areas of your SEO to beat them for Google ranks. Its good to know what the age gap is because it gives you a realistic view of how well your site should perform against the competition.
- Remove the cannibals from your site! Keyword cannibalization occurs when you compete with yourself for your own keywords. Optimise one page only per keyword. When your own pages fight for SERPs rankings, you are wasting valuable SEO spend.
Copy the good guys by running a full diagnostic of their on page optimisation and then copying the patterns you find there. Youll never find a better indicator of what search engines like than by looking at the top 10 rankees for your keyword.