Competitive analysis 101: Know your competition!
 by Casey Markee

Competitive analysis 101: Know your competition!

  • We have a competitor that is routinely outranking us online for our target keywords. We've looked at their site, product offerings and have done some research and we still can't determine how they are beating us. Can you provide us a refresher on conducting good on-site competitive analysis before we take a second look?

competitive-analysis1.jpgAnswer: SEO competitive analysis is by far one of the most important (and under-utilized) components of successful online marketing. Knowing how your competitors structure their Web sites, what links they are targeting, which keywords they feel are the most important, and how they handle their social marketing are all imperative to getting a complete picture of how they stack-up to you online.

In essence, what you are doing here is conducting a reverse marketing analysis on your competitors to identify possible weaknesses. You want to pinpoint what they are doing right, what they are doing wrong, and what you can exploit. You need to look at these four major areas to find out the answers to these questions:

  • 1. Keyword Research
  • 2. Site Structure
  • 3. Backlink/Link Building Practices
  • 4. Social Media Presence

keyword-research.jpgKeyword Research:
Keyword research is a logical first step when identifying how you stack up with top competitors. Knowing which keywords your competitors are targeting, how strong the demand is for those keywords, and if there exist keywords that you may or may not be utilizing are all essential first steps when conducting competitive research.

As we just covered in our Octo...