If you haven’t researched where keywords and backlinks rank among your competition, now is the time to do so. There is no better way to know how to market your website than by observing the competition.
Even if you feel you have thoroughly researched keywords related to your business, you should take a look at some of these helpful hints to determine if your competition is capitalizing on keywords, phrases, or backlinks that you may have inadvertently overlooked.
To do this, you will need to perform a competitor analysis. Using a competitor analysis program like SEMrush will allow you to analyze your competition by examining keywords, backlinks, and advertising that your competition is utilizing to drive in traffic to their website.
What Is Competitor Analysis?
Competitor analysis is the act of researching keywords and backlinks related to your competition to determine if there are additional keywords or backlinks you need to incorporate into your website to drive more traffic.
Your competition may be utilizing various long-tail keywords, short-term keywords, or backlinks to drive in traffic. Analyzing keywords and backlinks used by your competition will help you incorporate these keywords and backlinks into your website to drive traffic.
Essentially, if your competitor is doing something right, you need to know what that is and do it, too.
Identify the Industry
The first thing you will need to do is identify the industry in which your business is categorized.
Common sense is becoming less common, so here is an example of how to identify your industry: If your site specializes in selling baseball equipment, your industry would be retail and/or sports. Your industry would not be food service.
Identify and Research Your Competition
Next, you will need to analyze the competition by identifying your organic competitors. To identify your organic competitors, you will simply search keywords related to your industry in a search engine and examine the results.
Organic competitors are websites that are found in the results pages of keyword searches on a search engine. These competitors are easy to identify because of the straightforward way in which they are found.
Referral competitors are more difficult to identify because you need to know the backlinks the competitors are using to drive traffic to their website. To identify referral competitors, you will want to use an analysis program, such as SEMrush, to discover the backlinks the competitor is using to drive in traffic.
Organize the Data and Put it to Use
As you research your competition, organize the data you discover into a database you can filter. You can use a website designed to analyze the data or a desktop program like Microsoft Excel. You will be able to see the information you obtained during your research and compare what opportunities your competitors are taking to market their business.
The information should include how often keywords are searched each month, the backlinks the competition uses, and how frequently the competitor’s website is visited.
Now is when you will perform the actual competitor analysis. Look over the data you have obtained to determine what areas your competitors are outperforming you. By knowing how much traffic is being driven to your competitors’ webpages through keywords and backlinks, you can take this information and maximize the traffic being driven to your website by applying these same techniques.
Apply the Results
Once you have discovered what works and what doesn’t, it is now time to put this to use. Create content that will drive traffic to your website based on the information you have discovered.
For example, you may have noticed that long-tail keywords are generating more results on the search engine results page than short-term keywords. Long-tail keywords are four or more words or a general phrase that is typed into a search engine to produce results.
Generally, most people will use short term keywords when searching for a website related to their topic, so you may have spent a great deal of time utilizing short term keywords to drive traffic to your site.
However, long-tail keywords should not be overlooked, and this may be apparent in your competitor analysis. Therefore, you will need to create content that includes these long-tail keywords.
When creating new content, you can create a blog post or a landing page in order for these keywords to be put to use to drive traffic.
If your competition has included backlinks to reputable and quality websites related to the industry, you should incorporate these backlinks to your website, as well. Backlinks are a piece of the search engine optimization puzzle that can be easily overlooked. By backlinking credible websites to your webpage, search engines are able to read this information and rank your website on the search engine results page.
Alternatively, if you backlink spam websites, the search engine will remove your website from ranking on search engine results pages because they do not want users to be infiltrated with a results page of websites that are spammy or irrelevant to the keywords being searched.
Bottom Line: Know Your Enemy
Analyzing the competition is something you should spend a couple of days invested in if you want to know what to do and what not to do.
All you need is a few hours, a computer, and an organizational system for comparing the data. Knowing what works and what doesn’t can mean the difference in driving in a trickle of traffic or a rush of traffic. Traffic may not be a good thing on the interstate system, but on a website, it is everything.
Let’s say you want to monetize your website by incorporating a pay-per-click advertising system. In order for those advertisements to be clicked, you need visitors. In order to gain visitors, you need people to find your website.
In order for people to find your website, you need to rank on search engine results pages. Therefore, if your competition knows exactly how to take advantage of vital search engine optimization resources like keywords and backlinks, they are essentially stealing the traffic you could be obtaining if you were taking advantage of these resources, too.
So, what are you waiting for?! Analyze your competition now to see what else you can do to drive visitors to your website!