Some of the most powerful SEO strategy one can implement is derived from the SEO strategies of their competitors. Yes, every website needs a well-rounded, comprehensive strategy in order to succeed in search ranking, but search ranking is a competitive sport, and in order to beat the next guy or gal, you’ve got to know what they’re doing.
Doing a comparative analysis shows you just how your site compares to competitors’ and gives you a view into what you can do to outrank them. But without a diagnostic team behind you, how do you get started.
Conduct an SEO Audit of Your Competitor Sites: An online SEO audit is a great first step. There are a ton of free online SEO audit tools that will allow you to plugin your domain and get a point-by-point diagnostic of your search engine status. Running audits for each of your chief competitors helps you to see a professional analysis off their sites and get a list of site errors.
Errors are important. They represent opportunities for your website to overtake your competitors. Ensure that your website does not produce the same errors. Shore up any issues on your own site that present on competitor reports. It’s important to understand that Google is an equal opportunity judge and if your competitors have issues you don’t, you win on those fronts.
Compare Your Website’s Content Output to Competitors’: Another area of concern should be website size. Specifically, you want to compare the amount of written content your site presents with that of your competitors. And here’s a hint: if your site comes up short, you better start writing. Well-written, keyword-friendly, content that meets the needs and interests of your site visitors accounts for one of the biggest drivers for search engine ranking.
Think of it this way. If you were in college writing a term paper on clinical depression, would you use a pamphlet or a text book on the subject? Google sees websites in quite the same way. The less content you have on your site, the less reliable your site is seen as an authority in your space.
Compare Metadata (How Your Sites Appear in the Index): Finally, take a look at just how your website is presented in the search index when compared with those that rank above it. Title and description tags are vitally important to a potent and effective search strategy, and if your title tag and description are not being utilized to your advantage, its going to hurt your ranking.
Examine how your competitors utilize the 80 characters available to them in the title tags on their websites. How are they using the keywords for your industry? So long as they are not spamming search engines, it’s important to note that whatever you can learn about a competitor’s keyword usage is fair game for improving your own strategy.
Keywords, title tags and descriptions offer a window into what kind of resource your website provides. If a competitor does a better job of articulating their website’s value as a resource in their home page’s description tag and that sheds light on the need for you to up your game, then that’s a boost to your SEO strategy. Use it and the other above strategies to get a leg up on the competition.
If you would like to learn more about how search engine optimization strategies can power visibility and growth for your website, call Proctor Digital at 773.664.5819. We’d love to help!