Remember when your teachers would chastise you for peeking over the shoulders of your classmates? As it turns out, this is an essential practice in the world of digital marketing. The most successful companies are taking cues from their direct competitors to increase sales.
As a plumbing contractor, you are probably not thinking of a hostile corporate takeover of a competing company. Still, SEO competitor analysis is a vital part of your digital marketing strategy…or at least it should be.
Keeping a close eye on your competition can help you emulate their success and help you find weaknesses in their SEO strategy and exploit them. In the following post, HVAC-Plumber SEO Webmasters will discuss SEO competitor analysis, why it’s essential, and how you can use it to your advantage.
Perspective on SEO Competitor Analysis
The problem with deeply entrenched SEO strategies is that it’s effortless to get tunnel-visioned. You get so involved with your keywords and rankings that you lose objectivity. Soon, all that exists is your plumbing website.
There is an enormous world out there, though, in terms of plumbing marketing and SEO. It would help if you didn’t allow yourself to lose view of the outside world. One of the reasons why SEO competitor analysis is so critical is because it gives you a fresh perspective.
It allows you to come to the surface of the water and take a much-needed breath of air. That breath of attitude comes in the form of seeing how your competition is performing. SEO competitor analysis allows you to take a look at the market as a whole and see where you stand instead of where you think you stand.
SEO competitor analysis is essential even if you are sitting at position zero for all your target keywords because it will help you stay on top when a small army of competitors want to knock you off.
Identifying Competitor Strategies
An enemy may be a harsh word but “Know your Competition” lacks pizzazz. In any case, it’s essential to identify who your competition is. Many marketers and business owners make a mistake by not recognizing their competitors. They think their competition is limited to the people who are ranking better or near themselves for their primary keywords.
While these companies certainly deserve your attention, focusing solely on your main keyword competitors is a mistake. The fact is that long-tail and niche keywords hold value and that less notable websites may rank for those terms. Don’t forget to do thorough keyword research in tandem with SEO competitor analysis. Consider your niche and see who is ranking higher than you on SERPs.
It’s also essential to identify who not to consider in your SEO competitor analysis. Remember that just because a company ranks above you for a specific keyword doesn’t inherently make them a competitor. For example, the Kohler website may rank above you for a term like “toilet maintenance,” but a supplier like Kohler is undoubtedly not your competition.
Analyzing the Competition
Of course, you should already be using a keyword research tool even if you have never done an SEO competitor analysis. Keyword research is essential when it comes time to analyze the strategy of the competition. Once you have all your analysis tools fired up, check for the following:
Source: MOZ Keyword Explorer
Most tools will allow you to see your competitor’s ranking keywords and compare them to yours. The comparison reveals if you have any keyword gaps or keywords that you have omitted but could still earn you traffic. It may also inform what new pages or content you need to add to your site.
It is also essential to look at which pages on your competitors’ site are the most popular. Some popular pages rank for more than one keyword which, helps make them so popular. Find out what these keywords are too. Find out which pages are generating the most traffic for your competitors so you can mirror the content. r
Asking your customers and site visitors is not a bad idea for SEO competitor analysis. If you have a mailing list, send out a questionnaire about the user experience of your site. Feedback can provide you with valuable consumer insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your website.
Looking at the long-tail keywords that your competition isn’t ranking for is an excellent way to get in on the ground floor and gain more authority for your site. Carefully analyze the long-tail keywords that your competition is omitting and try to incorporate them into your site’s content.
Nature of Content
Taking a simple look at the written and video content on your competitors’ site and comparing it to your own is also important. Google will penalize you for low-quality content so that you may be ranking lower for specific keywords purely because of content.
Sometimes, technical issues may be hampering your rankings. Compare your site to the sites of your competitors. Do they have any dead links? Is their site easy to navigate? Does every page link to another? Now, does yours?