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How To Conduct an Intelligent Competitive Analysis for SEO Success

What’s the reason my competitor ranks high on Google than me? What’s missing in my SEO efforts?

These are few questions that linger when ranking high in organic SERPs is important for the health of your company.SEO analysis

In this post, we will provide you tips that will give you head start to find the answers to all these questions via a list of criteria that are vital when carrying out competitive SEO analysis. It’s the best approach for fresh, industry-specific, new strategies to boost your organic search rankings. You can also apply this criteria for development of your website to build a really strong foundation even before it is launched.

Now let’s have a close look at important competitive analysis SEO criteria:

Web Page Layout and Site Structure

Since Google released its page layout algorithm, it has affected four percent of search queries, and many websites now place high importance on page layout for SEO. For example, websites with good SERP position tend to have few above-the-fold ads. High ranked websites also use CSS grid systems and responsive design to enrich their user experience on the website on mobile devices.

Website structure is not limited to visual layout, but vital factors such as navigational structure, URL structure and internal linking structure. So list out all these page criteria and then compare your website to your competitor’s to find more on how well you’re doing.

Usability

Google gives higher ranking to websites that ensure rich user experience. If your competitor’s website has elements of usability that may affect their search rankings, this can be a good way to benchmark your website and somehow improve upon it.

You need to consider the following aspects of usability:

site nav

  • Cross browser compatibility
  • Page load time
  • Custom 404 pages
  • URL structure
  • Broken links
  • Trust elements on the site
  • Call-to-action characteristics
  • User-friendly navigation
  • Typography

Realizing some of these elements are missing your website can offer great opportunities for SEO. This may be as simple as fixing a few broken links, or more substantial, such as investing in mobile website design services in Peoria.

Test the Technology Used to Build the WebsiteWeb Design Code

Learn more about the CMS used or the web development platform your competitor’s website are built with. Many website platforms do a great job of optimizing most on-page SEO factors. Other technical elements, like hosting server, also have good effect on SEO to a certain extent. If website hosting server is unreliable, then user site experience is affected thus affecting overall Google SERP ranking as well.

Also, when web servers have quick access to a robust cloud infrastructure, website speed is increased, which also boosts SERP. Although this area of SEO is important, it's also highly-technical and requires proper training and expertise to execute effectively.

Check for Robots.Txt File and XML SitemapSEO sitemap

Check if your competitor has a robot.txt file and XML sitemap on their website. If there’s no sitemap this way you can have a close look at the robots.txt file. A well organized website will list their sitemap(s) in their robot.txt file as well.

These SEO elements help in efficient and fast indexing of a site. Though websites can be indexed even without them due to improved algorithms, but it’s best to provide information to the search engine bots. These elements are especially vital when doing SEO for ecommerce companies.

Keyword Consistency

Check how frequently and consistently keywords are used on your competitor’s site compared to your own. Are their target keywords placed on main on-page elements, such as title, headers, description, and image alt attributes. The keyword density tool from SEO Book is a nice resource for this part of the competitive analysis.

Backlink and Traffic Analysis

Your competitors may be building links at many places. So discovering niche sites from your competitor’s back linking profile can be helpful, as this can help you get higher search rankings. An advanced competitor’s review will show you list of authoritative links that point to your site. Our SEO team prefers Majestic as the go-to tool for backlinks analysis. This is a huge aspect of analyzing competitors, and it's a good way to determine who the best plastic surgery SEO companies are.

Content Analysis

There are many content based criteria that can help compare websites; the keyword density, the length of the content, grammar and language, images and videos, navigation, headings, whether the blog is associated with websites and how often it is updated, presence of promotional offers and social media connections.

Check number of ads displayed on the site, and also compare text-to-html ratio of their content as well. Also analyze the structure of the content used in metal descriptions and meta titles throughout the site. These are still vital aspects of today's SEO best practices.

Top-Ranking Keywords

Check keyword your competitor’s website ranks for. Research the:

  • Volume of searches for the keywords.
  • Top ranking keywords.
  • Number of short-tail and long-tail keywords.
  • SERP position for sets of ranking keywords.
  • Number of location-specific keywords.
  • Ad positioning on major search engines for top-ranking keywords.

Measure Social Media Reach

This is an important criteria that will provide you deeper insight into why your competition ranks higher than you in SERPs. Social signals contribute to any website ranking, especially when it comes to Google+ and Google local 3-pack SEO So check social media sites of your competition, their number of followers/fans, their level of engagement and number of times they interact with their followers.

These are the main criteria that you need to consider for competitive SEO analysis of your website. Once you get hold of comparative study data, determine all factors that are missing or can be improved, and then start implementing changes based on what might have most impact. This can lay a strong foundation for building a long-lasting and fantastic website structure.

SEO Insights for a Successful Strategy in 2015

Although Google continues to tighten-up rankings algorithm as it rolls-out the latest Penguin 3.0 update, the grand scheme of SEO has never been more predictable. For smart SEO's, it is now easier than ever to understand and gauge exactly what it takes to get a website ranked at the top.

SEO 2015Here at OIC Group, we've been on the forefront of SEO best practices for the last few years. Our methodology and resources have adapted significantly over that time, and righteously so, as the success stories we're helping clients create have been as plentiful as ever.

If you're going into 2015 with SEO as a means to drive traffic to your website, then this article is for you. Below we share some powerful SEO insights that can help you actualize a successful strategy for the new year.

Become an Authority: Carve a Niche Within a Niche

There are a couple ways you can view this. If you run a local business, you'll want to strive toward being the local authority for the products and services that you have to offer. If the local market is a little saturated or presents some tough competition, perhaps focus on one or two specific products/services as the core of your company. For instance, if you offer well water services, maybe you should make well drilling the primary core of your business.

If you're business targets a wider market (and thus contends with many other related businesses,) then you need to carve a very fine niche. For example, a few months ago OIC Group created a niche SEO company targeting surgeons (www.OptimizedSurgeons.com). Some might think that a company that provides SEO services specifically for surgeons is pretty darn niche. However, we have gotten even more targeted and carved a niche within a niche. That is, we focus our business model and its resources on providing SEO services for surgeons who provide breast augmentation, implants, and other related cosmetic surgeries?

This approach enables us to provide premium quality SEO programs that deliver outstanding results. Further, we can attract breast surgeon prospects with highly-targeted Facebook ads. In essence, we can target surgery professionals with specific credentials and affiliations, and serve them ads that say "Could You Handle 3-5 Breast Implant Patients per Month?" Carving a niche within a niche is a win-win for SEO and Internet marketing.

Develop a Content Strategy: Be a Problem Solver, Solution Provider, Educator, and/or Inspiration

A couple years ago, developing a content strategy would go hand-in-hand with SEO and keyword targets. For instance, if we were targeting a keyword like "computer repair shop," then we might create content around topics like "5 Questions to Ask a Computer Repair Shop Before Hiring Them." These keyword-focused articles would help to establish greater keyword relevancy.

While the latter approach does still work, the focus should go beyond just keywords. Instead, focus on creating content that offers value and meaning to your target audience. The objective is induce reactions like "hmmmm, interesting" and "ah ha!" These reactions are what build faith and credibility in your business while prompting your audience to like, share, tweet, +1, or pin your content (attributing it with social signals - a growing factor in Google's search engine algorithm.)

Step-up Your Social Presence

Social media is emerging more and more in the SEO scene, as social signals (Likes, +1's, Shares, Pins, Tweets, and Re-Tweets) serve as a sound mechanism for Google to valuate legit content. Social signals are becoming increasingly vital for SEO, and many smart businesses are developing and expanding their social presence.

The underlying challenge for most SEO's and web marketers is accumulating a sufficient number of followers to engage a sufficient level of interaction (to naturally earn social signals.) Facebook and Twitter both offer advertising solutions which provide a means to earn greater exposure and more followers. But doing it naturally is tough. Regardless, some level of investment (whether it be money, time, or effort in actualizing a viral-driven content strategy) will be required.

To become more popular naturally, we suggest making a list of some of the top influencers in your market. You can leverage influencers to help spread awareness of your content, or perhaps see if they're interested in a guest blogging relationship. This in itself is not easy, so go embrace this idea with a what's in it for them mentality.

For more specific and actionable insights for your 2015 SEO strategy, contact us to inquire about a free, no-obligation audit of your website.

 

Peoria Web Design Company Offices:
OIC Group, Inc.
Phone: (309) 680-5600

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1111
Peoria, IL 61653