When it comes to SEO, competitive intelligence is critically important. In any given industry and geographic location, there are hundreds (sometimes thousands) of companies competing for the ~10 organic spots on the first page of Google (excluding the map / local listings). Before you make a single optimization to your website, perform a comprehensive SEO analysis on the websites that rank well in your industry and for the best keywords for your business. You’ll achieve far greater long-term SEO results if you follow this process (vs. shooting from the hip).
NOTE: You’ll probably want to do some tracking of your own website and execute a keyword research campaign even prior to performing a competitive SEO analysis. Just because your competitors are targeting a particular keyword, doesn’t mean it’s a good one! You’d be amazed at how frequently otherwise successful businesses optimize their website for the wrong keywords! To learn more about running a well-executed keyword research campaign, contact us.
At a minimum, you’ll want to answer the following questions as part of your competitive SEO analysis are:
General Website Questions:
Is their website coded in CSS/HTML or tables?
What are the primary ‘calls to action’ on their website?
Are they tracking conversions of these ‘calls to action’?
How many pages is their website?
What is their service area?
Are they using flash, videos or other interactive design elements?
Specific SEO Questions:
What keywords are they targeting on their home page and primary sub-pages?
What is their keyword density on each website page – which keywords are being targeted most heavily?
Who are they linking to and what types of websites are linking to them?
What is the anchor text of the in-bound links pointing to their website?
Have they optimized their website for local search?
How does their website rank organically on Google, Yahoo and Bing for their target keyword phrases?
Do they have a social media marketing strategy?
Are they utilizing article directory websites and online press-releases?
Do they have an active pay-per-click campaign?
These are just the basics – there’s far more information that you can and should obtain. The insights derived from performing a competitive SEO analysis are critical to developing an intelligent long-term SEO strategy. Companies in highly competitive markets (law firms, plumbers, roofing companies, home remodeling companies, etc.) will need to perform this type of analysis at least once every 6 months and once per quarter might be even more appropriate.
For small (and not so small) companies that don’t have the time or expertise in-house to perform this type of SEO analysis, Blue Corona has developed several cost-effective and turn-key competitive SEO analysis packages. Drop us a line to learn more.
About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
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“We trust our support team at Blue Corona completely and quite frankly are involved in very little of what they do for us. They truly understand SEO and what is needed to make it work. I would say this has been the most valuable aspect of working with Blue Corona. They do so with little to no effort on our part, which allows our sales managers to focus on sales rather than SEO tasks and education. For all of these reasons I would recommend Blue Corona to any business seeking Web design and a strong Internet presence. ”