Competitor research is the backbone of any successful SEO campaign. It helps create a clear, cohesive strategy that will improve your organic search traffic. This ongoing process is also an effective way to develop a deeper understanding of your competition.
Why is Competitor Research Important to Online Marketing?
Competitor research is an essential before implementing any online marketing tactics. It can benefit your business in significant ways, including:
- Learning more about your industry
- Improving targeting of your potential customers
- Forecasting the potential of your business
- Learning more about your competitors
- Finding new customers
4 Simple Research Steps to Follow
1) Identify your Rivals
Your research should begin with a thorough assessment of the competition. Create a list of your local competitors, the top websites in your industry and which companies might compete with your business for organic search traffic.
2) Keyword Research
The next step of young competitive analysis is keyword research.
You can start the process by identifying keywords that are relevant to your products, services or industry. Select those terms which you would have a realistic chance of ranking high for on search engine results pages.
You can use marketing software, like HubSpot or Google AdWords, to further analyze your list keywords. To achieve the best results, select terms that are more than one word, also known as long-tail keywords. This strategy improves your chances of ranking for them in search engines, like Google and Bing, because they are more specific and have lower competition.
3) Analyze your Competitors’ Content
Your competitor research should also include an examination of your rivals’ content.
Ask yourself these questions first:
- What types of content is on my competitors’ sites?
- Do they have blogs, product pages or landing pages?
- How do they structure their content?
- What is the authority of your competitors’ domain?
- Do they have any call-to-action buttons?
Then, compare how your site’s pages rate against your rivals’ content. Before you finish, don’t forget to evaluate competitors’ social media accounts, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
4) Update your Business Strategy
This in-depth competitor analysis helps you to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your competition even before you begin your marketing campaigns.
Through your research, you may find a variety of keywords which are relevant to your business that offer a ranking opportunity. Or, you may learn there is an opportunity to produce long-form content that no one else in your industry is currently publishing.
You can then use this wealth of inside information to build SEO campaigns that will increase the number of visitors to your website now and in the future.