Find out what your competitors are doing with their website to attract traffic.
Getting more traffic than your competitors is what most companies are striving for online. Achieving this usually requires that you rank better than your online competitors – this requires that your website has more authority and that your content is better optimised.
How do you find out what your competitor are actually doing in terms of SEO?
1. Find out how much authority a website has naturally? i.e. how old is the domain.
You can use this great service from Web Confs tofind out how old a domain is. If all your competitors are 10 years old and your websute is 1 year, you’re in for a real fight to get a good ranking. If this is the case, maybe you can choose a less competitor keyword, maybe focus on geographical terms in the keyword, e.g. instead of ‘dog grooming services‘ you could optimise for ‘dog grooming services Baltimore‘ – what’s the difference in returned pages? 3.9 millions returned results versus 120,000!!
2. How much authority has a website attracted from the web?, i.e. what is the Page Rank of the homepage and subpages on the website – Not sure what PageRank is? Find out more here.
Pick one of your competitors, lets say again for ‘dog grooming services Baltimore‘ , lets take the one of the website’s returned for this search, http://www.getfave.com, you can check the PageRank for this website at PRChecker. You can see it has a PageRank of 6, but that’s the homepage, what about the listed page in the SERP? It has a PR of 2.Â With some good content and focused link building activities you should be able to outrank this competition.
3. Is hosting or TLD important for your chosen keyword? Does it matter if you’re hosted in your target country.
This is really a question for website owners outside the US as the majority of US websites are hosted in the US and have a dot com. But what about Europe, or Asia? How importnat is hosting. You really have to check out the top 10 competitors to see what impact hosting has.Â A good rule of thumb is to have either a ccTLDÂ or be hosted in your target country, either one should be enough to get good rankings. For example, if your target country was Spain, if you were hosted in Spain, or had a .es, this should be enough. To check what countries your competitors are hosted in you can use the Whois service from Domain Tools.
4. Do your competitors use your keyword in their Title Tags?
The title has long been seen as one of the more important meta tags used by the search engines when determining relevancy. To check if your competitor has your keyword phrase in their title tag, go to Google and type in intitle:keyword phrase site:www.competitordomain.com. This will show you if your competitor has any title tags with the keyword in them. There are varitions on this, e.g. allintitle:keyword1 keyword2 site:www.competitordomain.com. This will look for both keywords in the title tag. These commands, i.e. intitle, allintitle are called Google Operators.
5. Are your competitors using your keyword in their bodytext?
This may seem a little stange – surely a competitor has to have the keyword in body of their text in order to get a decent ranking? Actually I’ve come across many examples of websites getting very good ranking primarily on their meta data and backlink profile. You can use the Google Operator allintext to check for competitors that have your keyword in the text of a page, .e.g allintext: dog grooming services
6. Is optimising your images important for your competitors?
When you upload an image, do you optimse it? Do your competitors? Do a search in Google Images to find those sites that are optimising their images. Do they match the organic SEO SERP listings? There are essentially three way to optmise your images. The first is to name the image with one of your keywords, e.g. dog-grooming-services.jpg.
Next, add appropiate alt test, i.e. <img src=”dog-grooming-services.jpg” alt=”The Best Dog Grooming Service Baltimore”>.
And the thrid way is to link your image to a relavant page, e.g. <a href=”http://www.dog-grooming.com”> <img src=”dog-grooming-services.jpg” alt=”The Best Dog Grooming Service Baltimore”> </a>
7. The description tag can still be a key area to gain competitive advantage.
Writing a good unique descriptin tag has many benefits, a better optimised page, potentially better click through rates from the SERP’s, more targeted traffic from the search engines. Again, you can check out your competitors to see how they are using their description tags. Unless your using SEO Software, there’s no shortcut here, you just have view the source of your competitors web pages.
8. Keywords used in your competitors URLs’
Back again to the Google Operators. How do you check to see what websites are using your keywords in their url’s? Let’s says we’re looking to find out if your competitors have the keyword, ‘dog grooming services’ in their URLs. The competitor in this case is Shaggy Dog Grooming, so type into the Google search box,Â allinurl:dog grooming services site:www.shaggydoggrooming.co.uk
9. Keywords in the link text – are your competitors linking deeper into their website using their keywords?
Internal linking is again one of the top indicators of relvance used by the search engines. Pick a competitor and a keyword, or just keyword and go to Google. Type in inanchor:dog grooming services , this will return only pages in which the anchor text on links to the pages contain the words â€śgod,â€ť â€śgrooming,â€ť and â€śservices.â€ť For about Google Operators vist here.
10. KeywordS in Domain Name, the last SEO factor is probably the hardest SEO factor to get (sometimes), but if you do…
Search for domains that are available for your keyword phrase. There is a trade off between branding and traffic when it comes to having a good domain. You can always add additional domains to your network. In our example of ‘dog grooming services’, a quick check shows that, at the time of going to post, the domain www.dog-grooming-services.com is available to purchase. If you’re in that business, you could do worse that rush out and snap it up.
What techniques do you use for competitor analysis? What about competitor backlinks and link building? How do you approach these?
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