One of the funniest parts of positioning is about how to analyze your SEO competition. It is where I think you learn the most to be thorough, in addition to being a constant review of knowledge and a good way to learn and discover things to apply for your own benefit.
There are 5 main aspects that we must take into account:
- User experience
- Link Profile
- Social networks
- Content Strategy
- On-Site Analysis
At this point it is important to browse your website as if you were one more user, take note of everything, make screenshots and ask yourself the following:
- How do visits become goals? That is, what objective they have (selling, downloading a PDF, a newsletter, etc.) and what they do to achieve it (giant call to action, discounts, etc)
- How is the process in your shopping cart? It is easier to see own failures in what others do well
- Do you have signs of trust? The online trust seal for example
- Is the web visually striking?
- Do you have special offers or promotions?
We will have to do a thorough analysis of your link profile:
- What domains do they have links to?
- What kind of links are (if purchased, natural, directories, forums, blogs, …)
- If they carry out link-baiting actions (infographics, videos …)
- Link building actions that are black-hat. This is important because we can report it to Google through the Google SPAM Report.
- What Anchor Text are they using for link
This point will be very useful to know if we are doing better or worse than them, if they have a defined link building strategy, in addition to giving us ideas of where and how we can get quality links.
A very important part is knowing if your competitors are present in social networks and in what way, that is, what actions they carry out and whether they are effective or not. It is very difficult to imitate what a competitor does in this regard, but it will help us to learn what works and what does not work in your sector.
To do this you must ask yourself a single question:
How are they interacting with their customers?
To answer this, browse its website and ask yourself these questions:
- Are they present on networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google + or Pinterest?
- Do they interact with their customers? How do they react? How do they react to negative comments?
- What kind of content do they share? Is it only yours or third parties too?
- Are their contents shared? Check if your content is shared on Twitter or …
This point is perhaps where you can learn the most from your competitors and how to get ahead of them. Remember that quality content is that it really has the power to attract links and traffic to your website.
As in the previous points, you will have to ask yourself a series of questions:
- Do you have user-generated content? How can they be reviews of the products or a forum?
- Do you have a blog? If so, what kind of blog is it and what are they talking about?
- Do you have an active community on the blog? Make an average of the times that are commented on in your publications and the times that are shared
- What kind of content do you have on your website? They can be infographics, informative videos, a FAQ, guides, applications, widgets or news
Knowing what your competitor does will help you know your weaknesses and strengths and at the same time motivate you to do better than him. An extra tactic is to use Google Alerts to know when and where they talk about your competitors.
Assuming that the On-Site SEO of your website is in an impeccable state, it is important to know how your competitors do it, it is a quick way to know if they are investing in SEO and if they are using any technique that we do not know and can apply.
The most important points would be the following:
- What kind of architecture does the web have? That is, how are the different categories distributed on the web and how deep are the last pages (number of clicks from home).
- What categories are the most important on the web? With this, we will know what terms you are trying to position more strongly. It’s easy to know, you just have to take a look at what categories they have linked from home. A clear example is the Amazon side menu:
- What keywords they are using in the internal links. This will help us know what words they are trying to position for.
- If you still use the meta tag keywords we can quickly know what words are attacking
- What keywords are focusing on their title and description tags? Screaming Frog will be very useful for this point.
With all this noted (along with the anchor text that you use in your links and the pages where those links point), we will know what keywords and which pages are giving priority and how they do it, now it is a matter of doing Google searches with those words and see how they position, if they do well, we will try to follow that path.
Surely in the on-site analysis, you will miss investigating a little in the technical aspect such as URLs, the Robots.txt file or the upload speed; But honestly, it is something we can only make a profit if they continue to do it wrong.