How to analyse your competitors for SEO

Analysing your competitors is an important part of your SEO strategy and is something which you should be doing periodically, especially to see if any new competitive businesses have entered the market.


The first step in competitor analysis is to identify your main competition!  Whilst this may seem like an obvious statement, it is worth taking the time to identify those businesses which are targeting the same keywords as you, including some longer tail searches which may reveal sites you were not previously aware of.  If you have an online business selling products or services, you should be able to do a Google search for your main keywords and then make a list of sites ranking well for those keywords – these are likely to be your main competitors.  


Once you know who you are dealing with in terms of your main competition, the next step would be to visit their websites and analyse them.   Have a look at both the quality and quantity of content on the site, do they have an active blog, does their site look professional and maintained or static and out of date?  These things will give you a clue about how much Google will like their site and if Google will see them as authoritative.   The dwell time on a website is an indicator of the user experience and good quality, informative content will show in how long people spend on it.  If you notice site features which you like or which work well, consider how you may be able to adapt ideas to suit your own website and business model.  Similarly, if you see things which you don’t work well, it is also worth making a note of these.


Next, start looking at the keywords which your competitors are targeting.  This can be done via various online tools like SEMrush, or which will give you a certain amount of insight into keywords, search volumes and impressions and who is ranking well for those terms.   You can also use them to look for related keywords which may offer some longer tail search terms you may not have previously considered.  This can be especially useful if you are competing in a market with very large businesses as competitors because you are always unlikely to out rank them for the more obvious search terms.


Once you have a good idea of the keywords and phrases you are targeting, you can then look to create your SEO content around those terms.  Make sure that your content is informative, unique and adds value to your website. Don’t overuse keywords though as this will have a negative effect.  You content should primarily be about sharing information and expertise.  Make sure it reads well and adds value.   Don’t see content creation as a one-off job, regularly adding content to your site is one of the most effective SEO strategies you can employ.   

If you lack the time, skill or inspiration to create regular website content, consider looking at content creation services to help you.