Semalt Recommendations On How To Conduct An SEO Competition Analysis In E-Commerce
In this article, you will learn the most important elements of competitor SEO analysis and tools that are worth using.
Are you considering switching from offline to online sales, or have you been online for some time? Surely you have already done a lot of activities - but one of them you absolutely must not neglect. Of course, we are talking about the observation and analysis of the activities of competitors on the web. You can't forget about it for one simple reason: the competition never sleeps!
Start tracking your competitors' activities
Something with competitor SEO analysis is a bit strange - in theory, everyone does it, but in practice, no one admits it out loud. And this is one of the first activities that we should do before the final decision to start any marketing activities.
Competitive SEO analysis should accompany you constantly. Not only to keep up to date with what is happening in the industry but above all - to find out what specific actions competitors are taking, what effects they are achieving, and what you can do to be one step ahead of them. In this article, you will learn the most important elements of basic competitor SEO analysis and free tools that are worth using.
Benefits of conducting an SEO competitor analysis
There are many benefits of analyzing your competition in terms of SEO. First of all, such an analysis helps in:
- identifying specific examples of industry competitors;
- focusing on the activities of the closest competition;
- defining the specifics of the industry;
- determining the strengths of the competition;
- approximately determining the weaknesses of your online activities;
- establishing an effective positioning strategy.
By checking the activities of the competition, you can focus on improving your own e-commerce positioning strategy. You can compare, for example, what keywords the nearest competition ranks for and what quality links it acquires. This is very valuable knowledge that is worth having - it will help you determine the direction of your further actions, which will be aimed at improving the website's results in the search engine.
What is competitor SEO analysis?
What is competitor SEO anyway? First of all, it consists in examining the competitor's website and analyzing the actions he or she takes as part of positioning. Therefore, by analyzing the activities of your closest competition on the web, you can collect as much relevant information as possible from the perspective of the industry in which you operate.
First of all, start the analysis by identifying the nearest competition that you know is doing well on the market. Remember not to compare your brand with industry giants or price comparison websites. Determine the closest competition in terms of the industry, services or goods offered, website traffic, and words you rank for.
Use SEO tools
It is always worth improving your work and using tools that will quickly determine the close competition for you - I mean tools such as The Dedicated SEO Dashboard. By using them, you will receive a lot of important information.
With The Dedicated SEO Dashboard, we can check the results achieved by a competitor on Google for specific words or compare TOP50 positioning results for common keywords. We will also easily determine a list of phrases used in paid Google Ads campaigns, but not only. The DSD also allows you to determine your nearest competition.
What to look for when analyzing the competition?
Competitive SEO analysis is a fairly extensive topic, and there are quite a lot of elements worth analyzing. If you do not have extensive SEO knowledge, it is worth thinking about using the help of an experienced positioner who will perform such an analysis for you. It is important, however, that he or she takes into account many factors and presents the analysis as a complete document with guidelines - not only as data generated from publicly available tools.
However, it is worth knowing at least the basic factors that you can check yourself. Below is a short list of issues to consider when doing the SEO analysis of your nearest competitor:
1. Key phrases
When conducting a competitor analysis, pay attention not only to the words your competitors rank for but also to the words they don't rank for. Thanks to this, you can consider whether it is worth incorporating these words into your own strategy and increase your website traffic.
Do not underestimate complex key phrases, (so-called long tail phrases). Although there are usually fewer searches for these phrases than for general ones, they very often bring customers who are determined to buy. So, including such phrases in the strategy can really increase conversions. Be sure to check what extended phrases your competitors are positioning for!
2. Link building
Although some specialists have been predicting the gradual disappearance of link building for years, as it turns out, acquiring links is still one of the most important elements of an effective SEO strategy.
What websites does the competition publish on and where does it get valuable links from? By checking this data, you will find out which portals are worth starting your own promotion on and whether these portals have strong domains.
If you decide to check your competition's link building yourself, you can use special tools such as The Dedicated SEO Dashboard.
3. Website traffic
When you choose a competitor's benchmark, i.e. a website that is an undisputed leader in the industry, which is worth taking an example from, also determine your nearest competition. This will help you evaluate the estimated traffic on the site.
Thanks to this, you can check in which months your competitors experienced decreases in traffic and what impact seasonality could have had on this. You will also find out about the general situation on the market: who has less traffic on the website than you, and who from the nearest competition you should definitely catch up with.
4. Website optimization
Optimizing websites in terms of Google guidelines is becoming more and more important every year. In assessing the basic optimization of our website, free tools will help us - below we propose a few proven ones that we recommend for self-testing.
First of all, pay attention to which solution used by the competition on the website definitely works, and what they still need to work on. And don't repeat their mistakes.
Therefore, while watching the activity of the competitor, evaluate his/her website and check the titles of the subpages, the structure of the links, how the headers are used, the page loading speed, and the internal linking structure. Tools for technical analysis of the website that show its basic elements can come in handy (important: we have to interpret the results of such analyzes ourselves). Here are some useful, easy-to-use tools:
The Dedicated SEO Dashboard:
Semalt's Dedicated SEO Dashboard will show you the results of the analyzed page, including the number of backlinks. Thanks to it, you can easily check whether the images on the analyzed page have ALTs, learn the structure of links, as well as the ranking of keywords.
This tool will evaluate the website in 5 categories: SEO, Usability, Performance, Social (i.e. presence of the website on social media), and Security. The free version is enough for basic analysis, but if you need additional capabilities, it is worth considering the Premium version.
Google Page Insights
Thanks to this simple tool, you will check not only the page load time but also its performance. In the results, you will also receive tips on what needs to be changed within the page to improve key indicators.
Use this free tool straight from Google to check if a website is mobile-friendly.
Google Chrome developer tools
Most web browsers allow you to view the mobile version of a given page, even if you are using a browser on a computer. And if we analyze the competition and use the computer, it is enough that, for example, in Google Chrome we use the Ctrl+Shift+I keyboard shortcut and go to Developer Tools. Thanks to this, we can see what solutions the competition has used in the mobile version of the website, but also what types of errors appear on their websites (this way, we know what to pay special attention to in the case of our website).
For whom is SEO competition analysis mandatory?
- are looking for inspiration and ideas for online promotion;
- have just launched a website and need to take concrete steps to attract traffic;
- are dissatisfied with the effects of the current positioning of the website (provided that positioning lasted at least 3-4 months and does not bring results);
- want to establish actions to achieve results higher than TOP10 in Google search.
Observe the competition, and analyze - after all, it's nothing unethical or forbidden! Besides, the data obtained is as public as possible and at your fingertips.
On the other hand, observing the competition should not consist in copying the activities of other companies. The conclusions of the analysis are to help you improve your own strategy - indicate weaknesses, but also niches in which you can increase your chances of gaining an advantage over your competitors.