How to Quickly Analyze Your Competition in SEO

The nice thing about the internet is that you can easily gather heaps of data on your competition.

Compare this to analyzing your competitors back in the days of the Yellow Pages.

A good competitor actually states their competitive advantages on their own website to attract more customers. So, researching your competition is far easier and faster than ever before. Here’s how to do it in 2019:

  1. Keyword Research

SEMrush actually lets you check these for free. You might be able to eyeball your competitor’s keywords at the small and local business level without it.

However, if there’s any complexity to figuring out those keywords, SEMrush clears it up – for free.

  1. On-Site Optimization

How well your competitor has optimized their website for their target keywords is a major ranking factor.

Their primary keywords must appear in the their page’s title (the big blue one you see when you do a Google search), in their meta description, and on the page itself about 2-3 times or so.

Watch for “unnatural” use of keywords.

This means keywords that sound “awkward” or “forced” when read out loud. Google does not like that kind of optimization. It still pulls ranking ability. But, not as much as keywords which sound “natural” (those which you barely notice when you read the sentence out loud).

Either overdoing it or underdoing it represents an opportunity for you to gain an advantage.

  1. Internal Linking

Links in your competitor’s site which link to other pages on their site are called “internal links.”

And this is another strong ranking factor Google analyzes.

There’s dozens of articles (and hot debate) about the best internal linking practices. But, generally, internal links should make it easy for users to navigate your site, link to more useful information, and point most frequently to the most important pages on your site.

Neil Patel has a great in-depth blog post on internal linking.

  1. Content Analysis

The uniqueness of content outshines all other aspects of creating content that gets noticed by Google.

Long is good. But if it’s already been said 10,000 times elsewhere, it’s not as good as something new. Check your competition for frequency, rank, and freshness.

  1. Design

Your website doesn’t need to be beautiful, or even eye-popping (although both are good).

But it does need to look modern so it looks like you’re still in business (not all SMBs understand that).

It also needs to be easy-to-use, fast, and make sense to visitors. And this might be the point you find you need a professional opinion.

If your competition has an older-looking design, this can indicate an opportunity for you to trump them in search.

So yes, analyzing competition at the local level, where websites are smaller, isn’t an overwhelming task.

And frequently, you’ll find easy opportunities for nice gains in your search rankings.


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