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In the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), there isn’t one magic trick to get your website to the top of Google’s results page. SEO requires close attention to every part of your website, and the work can seem overwhelming.
When optimizing your website, a great place to start is by analyzing your competitors. You can use a number of SEO tools on your competitors’ websites to gain insight into your customers and understand your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
Knowing Where to Look
Odds are, you have a few top competitors, but it’s important to do a complete analysis to know exactly where your web competition lays. You will need to start by doing a keyword analysis for your own website and create a list of the top keywords you want to rank for. Then, you will need to know how many competitors use your refined keywords. This will be rated in frequency from high to low and can be done using a number of SEO research tools, which we will look at later in this article.
Next, you want to research global and local monthly searches of your top keywords to see which of your competitors are ranking at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The last part of your analysis will be keyword in-anchor and in-title results. In order for an SEO campaign to be successful, one has to do more than simply post keywords on a page. Using keywords in titles and anchor text (a word or phrase that links to a webpage) gives them more weight with search engines and improves SERP rankings. In order to use your competitors’ websites to improve your SEO, you’ll need to understand not only which keywords they are using, but also how they’re using them.
Information Becomes Action
Once you’ve completed a competitor analysis, it’s time to start optimizing your own website. It’s important to use your discretion when inputting keywords from competitors. The keywords you use need to be relevant to your website, otherwise it could damage your SERP rank.
For example, if you own a t-shirt company and a top competitor prints t-shirts in Spanish, but you don’t then some of their refined keywords will differ from yours. While “Spanish customized shirts” may rank high for them, if you were to input those keywords without content or services to back it up, Google and other search engines could punish your website by lowering your rank for authority.
More Than Keywords
There is a lot more to SEO than simply inputting keywords, but using those popular words and phrases is an important step. While keyword optimization is what most competitor analyses turn out, you can also get important information about your competitors’ pay-per-click campaigns. If you know what words competitors are using in their pay-per-click campaigns and how much they are spending on advertising, then you can potentially outbid them for keywords and phrases you are most competing for.
Online Tools for Your Analysis
There are a number of online research tools that can help you compile a complete competitor analysis. For an initial analysis or a tight budget, there are plenty of free research tools available.
To take your campaign to the next level, these paid research tools offer additional information that could help push your website to the top.
The Competition Doesn’t Stand a Chance
Using your competitors to optimize your SEO campaign is a must to see results. Search engines don’t look at webpages autonomously, but compare them with every other webpage on the Internet to give users the best resources possible. When optimizing your website remember to give keywords, content, meta tags, and backlinks equal attention. With a comprehensive SEO plan in play, you’ll have a stronger advantage over your competitors.