How am I being outranked by a much smaller competitor? Or how about, “how does this company manage to rank first for every keyword I search related to my industry?
This is a common question that crops up in the mind of many businessmen. What they can’t get a handle on is the fact that Google and other search engines does not see how your company is in the ‘real world’. You can only make an impression on these search engines by how you maintain yourself online. This is where a competitor analysis can help you greatly – by knowing how the search engines view YOU in the online world. Because if you want to change their perception, first you got to find out what they think of you vs. other brands.
SEO is a zero sum game. That is why you should get a competitor analysis done early in the optimization process. It can nearly make or break a business. So it makes complete sense to think about it with a cool mind: there are only 10 websites on the first search result page.
What makes it so essential for your company to be on page 1 of Google, Yahoo or Bing?
That’s because according to reports, most of the searchers never venture into the second page, doing so only in extremely rare occasions. For your company to rank in the first page anyhow, it is imperative to leapfrog the competition. And how would it be possible to do that?
The four analysis phases:
The SEO analysis workflow is divided into four phases:
1. Identify your likely SEO competitors:
This first step is especially crucial if you are working on a SEO process for a new client or industry that you know very little about, and you need to start from scratch to know all the relevant competitors. They may not essentially be companies who offer similar content, product or service, but can be any company that competes with you in the search results for your target keywords.
2. SEO competitors – validation:
Once you have made a list of all your likely competitors, you should start by analyzing and filtering the ones that are always ranking, for the same keywords that you are targeting. Now you must also find out and add more potential keywords to your list by performing keyword research. For this, the sources must be fresh and not include ones that are already identified, including your current organic search data – sources for which your competitors and you are still not ranking, but which may represent new opportunities.
3. Compare with SEO competitors:
Now that you have a list of your SEO competitors, and target keywords, start comparing your site to the competitors, using all relevant data to select and prioritize the keywords. This will include ranked pages, search volume, current rankings, and keyword relevance, including domains’ link popularity, content optimization and page results characteristics.
4. Select your target keywords:
Analyze the gathered data of your own site and your competitors, using the specified criteria to select the best keywords to target during the SEO process – those with the highest relevance, search volume and profitability.
Here are some tools and data sources other than the traditional ones to implement a great SEO process.
For small (and not so small) companies that can’t invest in time nor in-house expertise to undertake SEO competitor analysis of this scale, IKF has come up with cost-effective and turn-key competitive SEO analysis tools.