Why competitive analysis?
The value of competitive analysis in organic SEO:
- No lonely metrics
- Managing expectations
- Steal ideas & strategies
No lonely metrics
What can context do for you?
- It can make more impact
- Benchmark where you stand against your competitors
- Makes you more persuasive (or sexy) – like using rich snippets
- Keyword research – what keywords are your competitors targeting?
- Google Keyword Research Tool
- Keyword research – what’s actually sending traffic to your competition?
- Goals and benchmarking
- Google allintitle:, allinurl:
- SEOmoz keyword difficulty
- siteopsus – for bulk allintitle search
- SEO for Firefox
- Google AdWords Tool for paid
- Ranks and traffic
- Google Trends for Websites
- Google Analytics Benchmarking
- Advanced Web Ranking
- Link building
- Majestic SEO
- Open Site Exployrer
- Wordtracker Link Builder
- Advanced Link Manager
- Social media listening
- Follow on Twitter
- Tweetbeep alerts
- The archivist
- Facebook’s own search
- Like their company page
- Reputation monitoring
- iGoogle and Google Alerts
- Sprout Social
How much should I be spending on my SEO campaign?
- How much am I spending now?
- How large is my market share?
- How large do I want my market to be?
What kind of content do my competitors have?
What do I need to do?
- Blog mentions – check out Digg, GoogleGuide.com, Yahoo Site Explorer
- Social media widgets
- Press releases
Jeff MacGurn, Covario
Where can you compete now?
If you are more established: Decide where you can make progress
Tools for competition research
- Compete for traffic funnel
- SpyFu for keywords
- Google Insights for search
- Open site explorer (has anchor text and page importance)
- Majestic SEO
Pay attention to
- Content analysis
- Add content
- Add alternative keywords and phrases to your pages to cast a wider net
- Internal links
- External links
SEO & Competitor Analysis: This is War
Identify broad and niche competitors:
- Broad competitor: competitor in your market
- Niche competitor: competitor for a segment of your market
How to identify competitors
- Take note of competitors routinely showing up for related searches
- Ask client for 10-20 competitors
- Survey customers
- Research industry associates, forums, and networks
Operation Search: Internal Structure
- What keywords do they believe are a priority?
- What keywords they are targeting that you should?
- How well are they ranking for their targeted keywords?
- How are they optimizing their title tag structure?
- What keywords are they focusing headlines on?
- Are they focusing heavily on branding/optimization?
- Are they optimizing their internal link strucutre?
- How often are they creating new content?
- What types of content are they creating?
- How well is their site rendering in the search engines
- How well are they optimizing their navigation?
- What are their calls to action? (Are they obvious?)
- How well is their site being indexed in the SERPs?
- How clean is their HTML?
- How quickly is their site rendering?
Operation Anchor: External Structure
- Total number of backlinks (Majestic SEO)
- Date backlinks were created
- The pages receiving the most backlinks (Majestic SEO)
- Anchor text being used
- What percentage are images/nofollow?
Types of Links
- What forums are they participating in?
- What associations/organizations are they members of?
- What conferences are they sponsoring?
- What blogs are they guest posting on?
- Can you tell if they are buying links?
- What are they doing to acquire these links?
- What is their content creation strategy? (guest blogging, viral content, free tools, widgets, conducting interviews, holding contests?)
- Are people reviewing their products on their own site?
- Where are they getting mentions and what are the sentiment of those mentions?
Enemy Surveillance Program
- After initial competitor review, revisit every quarter
- Determine how their strategy is evolving:
- Rankings increased/decreased?
- Inbound links?
- Site grown?
- Link bait programs?
- Successes? Failures?
- How does this compare to your site?
- Are there any new links, communities, keywords for you to target?