Search engine optimization may feel like a solitary endeavor but the reality is that you’re always going to be in heated competition with every other site that’s gunning for your keyword. If your site is worth ranking for then you can bet that you’ll be going up against competition sooner or later. That’s why it’s important to do research on your rivals, since you don’t want to let anyone gain a competitive advantage over you.
The first step toward comprehensive competitive research is checking out what sort of backlinks your competitors have. You want to see what sort of sites are pointing to your competitors, seeing how many links they have and what kind of links they’re getting. You’re looking for quality and quantity. This is important because if a site will link to a site similar to yours then they very well might link to yours. In addition when you look at sites near the top you’ll beginning to get an idea of how many links you need to build in order to reach similar heights. Search online and check out one of the many backlink checking tools available.
Make sure you actually visit your competitor’s site and see what sort of things they are doing to promote their site. Do they have social media accounts? If so visit them and see what sort of popularity they’ve achieved across the web. Just scour their website, digging into the code if you feel like, so you can get a sense of what they’re doing that you can use yourself.
See if your competitors are using SEO guarantee. Until you’ve checked for this you’ll never know if they might be getting a boost by investing in advertising through Google AdWords or a similar tool. If you create an AdWords account you can use their Analyze competition tool to get an idea about what sort of ads your competitors are running and how your own ads stack up.
SEO is a long term game. One look at how your competitors are doing is good, but if you want a really good idea of what’s going on then you should keep checking up regularly. Keep checking every month or two, tracking their backlinks, ranking and web traffic. Compare your trends with theirs and you’ll probably start to see patterns emerge.
Finally, if you are serious about doing competitor analysis but aren’t an expert on SEO then you should consider hiring a firm to do it for you. Really getting to the bottom of how a site has gotten to the rank it’s at requires a certain level of expertise and access to technology. You can invest the time and money to acquire those for yourself but for many people it’s cheaper and easier to outsource the task. For best results of search engine optimization hire SEO agency.
Good competitive analysis should give you an idea of what you need to match your competitors, but if you really want to succeed you have to go beyond what they’re doing. Better content, better links and better ads will all help you pull ahead and capture that top spot. But you can’t be sure that your methods are superior until you’ve determined exactly what they’re doing.