Competitor website analysis is the process of analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of those sites competing for the same keywords and target audience as your own website. It is fundamental in SEO, as it shows you areas you can optimize to increase your website traffic.
For instance, by analyzing your competitor’s websites, you can find content ideas for your blogs or tutorials. Or even can find link-building opportunities by examining where and how they’re getting backlinks to their website. And learn how to optimize your landing pages.
You can realize the need to fix some problems on your site, like missing keywords, poor site structure, slow loading speed, and poor user experience. So, analyzing your competitor’s sites gives you insights into what works for them, and you can use the information to optimize your own website. And ultimately, increase your search engine rankings and organic traffic.
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How to do Competitor Website Analysis
Conducting a competitor website analysis is very important. It helps you identify the level of competition in your niche, and enables you to understand your target audience. It is a critical process that can help you formulate an effective and practical SEO strategy.
Here’re some factors to consider while analyzing your competitor’s website:
#1: Know your Competitors
The first step is to identify what website you’re competing for the exact keywords and target audience. But before doing so, list down some keywords you want your website to rank for. Then search them on Google and notice the websites that appear at the top of the SERPs.
Suppose you want to write an article on the target keyword, “Digital Marketing Courses.” In that case, you’ll have to compete against websites like ReliableSoft, Udemy, and Hubspot. With the Ubersuggest extension, you can know their DA, traffic, and backlinks.
You can also use tools like Semrush and Ahref to identify the websites ranking high on SERPs. And I’d suggest you do so at the page level (for every article), to identify how easy or hard to rank for a specific keyword. That way, you can even find relevant sites to look for backlinks.
#2: Analyse their On-Page SEO
After selecting at least 5 competing websites (for a specific keyword), analyse their on-page SEO optimisation. Take the above image for example. You can realise that the target keyword ‘Digital Marketing Course(s)’ appears in the SEO title, meta description and page Url.
The keyword also appears within the content and headers. For instance, the article from Reliable Soft mentions it at least 44 times, including in the headings and at the beginning.
Check this entire on-page SEO checklist, and use it to study why your competitor’s websites are ranking at the top of the search results. Notice how they use keywords within their text. And whether they have made any optimisation errors, like keyword stuffing, that you can avoid.
#3: Get Content Inspiration (Ideas)
While conducting the analysis of your competitor, check out their entire website. Specifically, the pages and keywords drive them more traffic. Try to understand how they have optimised their pages to rank for those keywords and learn a thing or two you can do to improve yours.
Monitor how they structure their content, especially blogs, and whether they include visuals like embedded videos. And review their social shares and social media content. Ultimately, you’ll have a list of content ideas for your business, and get insights to improve yours.
#4: Backlinks Quality & Quantity
Use backlink analysis tools like Ubersuggest, Ahref and Moz to monitor the quality and quantity of backlinks your competitor website has. Also, check how they have used their anchor texts. Where are your competitors getting backlinks from? What strategies can you replicate?
So, find at least 10 websites you’re in the same niche. Get a report of their backlinks from tools like Semrush, and then look for opportunities to build links for your website. For instance, you can email those websites linking to them and request them to link to your specific articles.
#5 Analyse their Website Structure
Another area you need to analyse is how your competitors have structured their websites. How have they structured their menu (header and footer) and their URLs? To what extent have they used internal linking? How is the loading speed, and is their site user and mobile-friendly?
The analysis helps you understand how other websites are formatting their content. And give you ideas on how they are trying to rank for specific keywords. You can use this information to your advantage, for instance, by improving your site loading speed and mobile friendliness.
#6 Check their Social Media Presence
Check if your competitors are active on social media and if they are using it to drive traffic to their websites. Analyze the number of followers they have and the engagement they are receiving on their posts. You can also monitor the number of social shares their content gets.
And then come up with a strategy to leverage social media to increase your website traffic and sales. What type of content has the highest engagement? What is their audience saying? Are they giving content recommendations? Use this information to improve your online presence.
#7 Compare your Website with Competitors
Finally, compare your website to that of your competitors, and identify areas where you can improve your own SEO. Are you using on-page and off-page SEO best practices? What are some of the things you need to work on to increase your website visibility and performance?
If your competitors have more backlinks than you, work on finding high-quality do-follow backlinks to your site. And find new content ideas to write more articles on, to increase your organic traffic. Also, if you don’t have a business blog or vlog, create one asap.
You can also adopt some of the digital marketing strategies they have applied to increase their traffic and sales. And learn some of the mistakes they are doing, avoid them, and strengthen your strengths while solving your weaknesses. And eventually, you’ll outrank your rivals.
Then, keep monitoring your competitors’ SEO performance and their new strategies. And also the tactics they are using, changes they are making in their website structure, and On-page optimization. Make a plan on which areas to prioritize, and improve your website.
Conclusion: Your Assignment
Competitor website SEO analysis is a critical process that helps identify the websites you’re competing with for the same audience and keywords. It helps you find content ideas for your website, whether it’s new or not, backlink opportunities and optimisation errors/mistakes.
This process entails:
- Identifying at least 5 competitors
- Analysing their on-page SEO
- Finding high-volume content ideas (keywords)
- Analysing their backlinks (off-page SEO)
- Checking their site structure
- Monitoring their social media presence
- Comparing your website to theirs and making improvements
Remember, you have to take action, but make a strategic plan on what to implement, why and when. And you cannot copy everything your rivals are doing. Just find tips and strategies that align with your goals and niche, and implement them to increase your website visibility.
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