Even if you think your goods or services are unique, there can be some competitors elsewhere you don’t know about.
Do you want to check it, find every competitor and stay always one step ahead of them?
You should want as competitor analysis is one of the most important steps in your site promotion.
Carefully conducted analysis of competitors’ sites allows understanding what kind of strategy they are using. It’s much easier to make the project competitive on the market and Internet on a basis of data obtained during such analysis.
Pros of competitor analysis
- You can learn from others’ mistakes and don’t repeat them.
- It’s a great source of inspiration.
- This analysis helps you follow your niche trends.
How to conduct competitor analysis properly
This process isn’t so simple as it may seem to be. The full analysis of your competitors contains a long to-do-list. Here I suppose to develop a checklist for your convenience. Just follow it and get all information you need for great promotion of your site.
- Find competitors
Now we’re talking about online competitors. Don’t mix up them with your real ones.There are different ways to find your competitors online.
The most common of them is to search Google. Run your main keyword and take the first 10 from SERP excluding advertising links. They should be your biggest competitors. Don’t forget about the type of the sites, they should be similar to yours (commercial, informative or so on.)The other and more efficient way to discover your competitors is to use SEO tools such as Serpstat, SEMrush, Ahrefs. I`ll go with Serpstat.Type in your site’s URL into the search box and get the list of your competitors here: Website analysis > Domain Analysis > SEO Research > Competitors.
- Comparing competitors’ sites
To get a detailed information for your future promotion you should make a deep analysis of different aspects of your competitors’ work.Keywords
For several reasons, it’s one of the main steps of your research. You should learn competitors’ keywords to find some new and useful ideas for filling gaps in your site`s optimization. This data also can give you some ideas for content topics and an assortment of items.Serpstat allows you to see easily what keywords your competitors are organically ranking for. You may see their keywords on the same page as in the previous point. The second column of the table shows us keywords that are similar to competitor’s site. Focus on the third column, here you`ll see missing keywords. It’s phrased which your competitor ranks for, but they aren’t present on your domain.Choose some keywords your competitors have and use for your ranking. But don`t take every one of them. Pick only those which are worth targeting. It means the balance between keyword`s popularity and competition (how difficult it`ll be to rank for it).
You can find out these indexes at Google AdWords. The other easier way is to use SEO tools. Insert keyword into the search box and go to Keyword Research > Overview.
Here you`ll get general information about search volume, competition, trends of the phrase.
Use information from those reports properly and you’ll get more traffic and income as a result.
Determine where the traffic comes from to competitors’ sites – from organic ranking, email – mailing, social networks or from other sources.
You can do it by using the SimilarWeb service. It gives an overall picture of your competitors’ sites traffic and shows its sources, thereby giving an idea of where to move your resource.
Enter your competitors’ domain in its search box and get the report right after it.
Link-building is one more meaningful way of organic search promotion.
So having studied data about competitors’ backlinks, you can determine which methods of increasing the backlink profile are used by them, and which ones should be applied to your site.
You can’t use every strategy as it can be non-efficient or non-appropriate for your site. Analyze every backlink and then make some conclusions. Developing such analysis, pay your attention to the next indexes:
– The number and quality of referring web pages and domains
– Regionality of domains
Information about backlinks isn’t in public access so you can get it only from SEO tools.
A rather good one for it is Ahrefs. Enter the domain of your competitor in its search box and go to Backlink Profile.
Among other factors, content plays an important role in the promotion of the project. The way in which competitors present information on their websites affects their ranking.
Content is created for users’ convenience and is important for SEO. To understand how competitors use this way, you need to analyze their sites.
Is the optimized content on the landing pages sufficient? Is there a section on a website with informative articles or a blog? Is the quality of materials from the perspective of potential customers sufficient? Which articles are published and how often? And other questions can such analysis answer.
You should perform content analysis taking into account the volume of publications, the presence of subtitles, pictures, the number of keywords used in the text.
For blog pages, it’s important how often the publications are made, whether there are users comments under them. Blog articles are also analyzed by volume and availability of keys.
When analyzing the filling of goods’ cards, it’s important to note how fully each position is described, whether there are video and users’ reviews.
In general, the content is evaluated for utility for visitors. Using only SEO promotion tools, it’ll not be possible to hold high positions on the site for a long time.
To get information about your competitors’ content you should learn their sites deeply and also use specific SEO tools. You can use Serpstat to find pages with the greatest visibility in SERP and study competitors’ keywords.
Buzzsumo can help you find pages that are shared on social networks the best. Enter a domain in its search box and study pages that have the biggest number of shares. Try to develop similar ones to get higher traffic on your site.
When analyzing meta-information of competitive sites, you need to consider their strategy in relation to each page’s type. Meta tags on the main page and categories of the site have a certain specificity and differ from the blog, for example.
Having studied the strategy of placing meta-information on the competitor’s site, you can learn useful practices.
Structure, design and usability analysis
Review the structure of competitors’ sites, evaluate the differences between them and your one. Perhaps there is a need to add similar blocks to your resource.
Analyze what the main page of sites look like, the catalog of goods or services, and various other types of pages. Pay attention to readability, simplicity, and ease of use, the location of key elements, as well as whether the template is adapted for use on mobile devices.
Also, pay attention to add functionality that is present on each of the sites, which of them are repeated for several competitors, and which ones are unique.
Sites’ load speed
Regardless of loading speed of promoted pages from competitors, your ones should be at a very good level. It’s useful to know this information, as you can consider it during the optimization of your site pages.
You can analyze a loading speed of competitors’ pages through the service Google Page Speed.
- Make conclusions
Now you understand better what your competitors are doing for promotion and can create rather good ideas for your site to keep pace, and then to surpass them.Identify areas of your project that need improvement after gathering all of this information about each competitor. I don’t believe, you haven’t at least one thing you need to improve after such deep competitive analysis.After understanding this, develop a plan for your further movement in the promotion and stick it neatly.As a summary
Collecting as much information about your competitors as possible is a necessary thing if you set a goal to get around them. You need to understand how they are working on their sites, which changes are useful and which are not, and what of all these can be applied to your project.
Steps of analysis listed in my post may require a considerable amount of time. After all, competition also never stops, and even if you can’t displace leaders in Top, you can learn a lot from them. Use this knowledge for yourself.
And finally, don’t forget to carry out such work at least once every six months. It’ll allow you always to keep abreast of what competitors are doing.