There are a number of different types of search engine optimization (SEO) competitor analysis. The first type of analysis involves figuring out who the competition is for a particular keyword. It is then important to assess the competitor’s on-page SEO factors, such as meta tags, to discover any potential weaknesses. Using tools to discover which websites link back to a competitor’s website is probably the most important part of SEO competitor analysis.
SEO has become an important part of any marketing department, because it has the ability to generate a large number of targeted visitors to a business website. A website near the top of search engine results also benefits from a large amount of implied trust, often making it easier to complete a sale. There are a limited number of positions available on the search results for a particular keyword, however, and the top three positions receive the majority of traffic. This is why SEO competitor analysis is essential to working out how to beat competing websites.
The most basic form of SEO competitor analysis involves discovering exactly who the competition is. Competitors for a particular keyword online may not always be the same as a company’s competition offline. It often is straightforward to perform this type of research, because a simple query on a major search engine for the desired keyword immediately shows the main competitors.
On-page SEO factors are those that are directly influenced by the competitor’s webmaster. These include how many pages of content a website has, whether the content is all unique or copied from elsewhere, the meta tags of the website and how the page is structured. SEO competitor analysis should initially focus on finding weak points in a competitor’s on-page SEO, such as a title tag that doesn’t include the main keyword, because these can provide an immediate advantage.
Off-page SEO mainly refers to external websites that link to a website. The most important part of SEO competitor analysis is finding out where a competing website is obtaining links, because these play a major role in search engine rankings. The anchor text, which is the name given to the words that are linked, also is important. If, for example, many websites link to another website with the phrase “printer heads” then that website is more likely to rank for that phrase. There are many tools for finding the quantity of links a website has along with the anchor texts used.