Pretty catchy title, eh? I was going to title this post “How to analyse your competitors’ search engine effectiveness”; it’s probably more accurate, because that’s what we are going to learn how to do properly.
There can be many great advantages of working with a search engine optimisation agency like PENNInk Productions to boost your site’s impact in the search engine results pages (SERPs) – ranging from the better analysis and selection of potential keywords to improved on-page content.
But one other benefit that can sometimes be overlooked is the opportunity such partnership work gives you to scrutinise the finer points of what your competitors are doing. This way, you can mimic their best practices while avoiding methods that may not be working so well for them.
As it happens, competitor analysis is a crucial step in the construction of an effective SEO strategy for your site. But how can you undertake such analysis, especially if you’ve never done it before?
The identification of keywords will always be the first step of competitor analysis. Indeed, such is its importance that here at PENNInk Productions, it forms part of all three of our search packages.
But even before you get in touch with a search engine optimisation agency, you might conduct some informal keyword research.
- Create a list of all potential and relevant topics for your brand.
- Narrow them down to the top five or ten.
From these, you may then research and list the keywords related to each topic, encompassing both relatively short search terms and longer-tail keywords.
Now that you have a list of keywords – whether or not you partnered with a search engine optimisation agency to do this – it’s time to figure out who your competitors actually are.
Again, the basics of this don’t need to be too difficult.
- Start by simply entering the keywords you’ve selected into Google or Bing.
- Then pick out the web pages that clearly share your site’s niche.
Analyse backlinks and social media profiles
The strong correlation between high-quality backlinks and high search engine rankings for a given brand naturally makes it vital to consider these in any competitor analysis.
By glancing through your high-ranking competitors’ links, you will be able to get a sense of what sites you should be aiming to get links from for your own site and brand.
Nor should your competitors’ social media presence be overlooked, given the vital role that the likes of Facebook and Twitter play in cultivating many a brand’s online audience, which in turn greatly influences how well the brand ranks in the SERPs.
- What social media strategies are your site’s competitors using?
- Are there both good practices and mistakes you can take cues from?
Your competitors’ successes and failures alike can be instrumental in your own site’s efforts to refine and re-jig its online strategies so that you can always stay ahead of your rivals. Competitor research is included in both our Silver and Gold packages here at PENNInk Productions, and when you give us a call on 020 8144 7931, you will be able to learn so much more about them.
Edward Solomon has over 15 years’ experience in project management, technical education, computer networking, web design and development and is a Digital Business Consultant for PENNInk Productions Ltd.