5 Steps for SEO Competitive Analysis & Research
In this article, we will be talking about how you can perform competitive research to create a cohesive strategy. What are the barriers that are preventing you from entering the industry? How competitive analysis and keyword research are combined? Let’s explore.
Step 1: Keyword Research
The very first step in the competitive analysis is the identification of keywords that you are going to target. In this article, to make you understand the importance of keywords, we will be taking an example of “jewelry”. In case if you don’t have enough budget or brand authority like Kay.com or Tiffant.com, the chances of getting top rank with the keyword “jewelry” are practically none.
Your topmost priority or goal is to search for a successful niche in this competitive market that you can achieve easily. Various tools are available for organizing your keyword buckets and concepts, and Mindmapping is one of them. For your ease, here is an example of how this process will work:
There are various ways to improve your keyword list:
- Use Spyfu to create a list of the keywords they are bidding for.
- Create a list of keywords related to primary term using Keyword Planner
- Use SEMrush to create a list of your competitors and the keywords they are using.
Step 2: Identify Your Top Competitors
Now as you have a list of the keywords, Google them and notice the websites that rank in the top 10. You will also see those same sites appearing again and again. You need to identify the keywords that make those sites rank on top, and add them to the list of your competitors.
In this scenario, SEMrush is proven to be a valuable tool that can help you to determine the organic keywords and traffic that is help you to get rank in Google.
The more keywords you have that are ranking on Google with high volume, the more authoritative the domain is. SEMrush can be used to search for competitors, but you must know that this list not always 100% accurate.
In this process, you need to find websites that are “truly” your competitors. Like the comparison between “Iffany.com” and “Mary’s Silver Earrings” is not fair. One of the most important things is to identify sites that rank for relevant terms and long-tail terms that you will be targeting.
Step 3: Analyze Your Competitors
Now you have a list of all your competitors, the next step is that you need to dive into the profile of your competitors. You can start it by grabbing some general information and metrics about them. There is a tool called “Juice Tool” that can be used to grasp all the general metrics and information about each competitor, including Domain Authority, Link Velocity, and Inbound Links, and much more. Now you need to follow the below steps.
- Download their Backlink Profile
- Analyze Their Topical Authority
- Establish Industry Averages
Step 4: Social Media and Content Audit
Now as you have all the information about the backlink profile and general metrics about your competitors, now you have to research their social media strategy and content marketing techniques. Note how often they share blogs on social media? How many active followers they have? What is the value of their engagement ratio? Search their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest account as it is going to help you in resolving how you need to actively create and share content.
Step 5: Determine Your Barrier to Entry and Strategy
Now you have a complete understanding of your competitors, you have to start creating a strategy for your business according to that data.
To start, you have to identify the links that you need to acquire, and also the quality of those links. The ranking of your website will be based on the keywords that you chose. Please be assured to avoid keywords that have massive domain authority with a strong presence of websites. It is quite impossible to beat these domains as they are highly trusted by Google.
The data you extract from the research will help you form the backbone of your SEO strategy and the structure of your campaign.