There are lots of competitor analysis methods, techniques and procedures out there because there are a lot of competitive marketplaces. This article covers SEO competitor analysis. You are competing for a position on the search engines, and would especially like to rank highly on the Google search engine results pages. Your competitors are of the same mindset, so here are a few ways you can learn from them and use what they are doing to your advantage.
Look at Their Website With SEO Eyes
Telling people to look at their competitor’s website in order to gain a bit of SEO insight is such a crap piece of advice that you see littered around the net. So, here is what you look for: 1. The Words That Are in Bold
They have been put in bold for the sake of the search engines. The search engines still key in on the words that are put into bold within the text of a website. It is an old trick that a lot of people now choose to ignore, but you will find that it is still applicable as your competitors are using it and they are ranking above you.
2. Look For The Words That Affiliate Advertising Has Keyed Into
Do your competitors have affiliate advertising? And if so, are one or two words in the text highlighted? Underlined? Or are anchor texts? If so then the page was no doubt created to hold those keywords.
3. Mirrored Words Throughout The Page
Take a look at that title, the URL, the anchor texts, and the content itself. Look for words that seem to appear in all of them or most of them. These are the keywords that your competitor is trying to optimize for.
4. Look At The Source Code of The Website
This is going to give you some very nice information and it can be found using a regular web browser. You just press CTRL+U and the source code will appear for the page that you are looking at. Now press CTRL+F and a small search bar will come up. Here is what you are searching for:
It will highlight different things depending on how the page has been written. Some web designers may have made it easy on you and have a keywords Meta tag that is clearly defined; in which case a search for the word “keyword” will take you right to it. Look at all the occurrences of the word “keyword” as it will be close to the keywords for the web page.
This may take you to a number of different places in the source code. You are looking for the Meta description. This piece of text will act as a good example for your worn Meta description, and you will notice that one or two of the mirrored keywords are in it too. You may also wish to optimize for those mirrored keywords.
This will take you right to the H1 text. It should be a short phrase or sentence that is surrounded by the H1 tag. This tells the search engine that the phrase and words within are important. It makes inspiring reading when coming up with your own keyword profile and H1 text.
- Word counters will show you their keywords
Find a good word and phrase counter online. Do not pay for one as most of them are free, just search out good ones. Copy the content of your competitor’s page and cut out any unnecessary text such as guarantees, disclaimers, sitemaps, etc. that may also be on the page. Paste the content into the word counter and see which words seem to appear with routine frequency.The important words that appear there are probably not on there by accident. They are probably there because the webmaster is optimizing the page for them. Use your frequency list to update your keyword list with new/important keywords. Then run the text through a phrase counter. You are looking for phrases of two or more words that have been repeated. Look to see if they appear to have repeated by accident. If they look suspiciously like key-phrases, then they probably are. You can steal them or write anti-SEO against them when you optimize your web pages. Read: Best Places to Put Keywords in Blog Posts For Optimization
- Take a look at their ALT text
It is now common practice to embed a keyword or two into the ALT text of the web page images. Look at the descriptions within the ALT text of the images by looking at the source code, or hovering your mouse pointer over the image (this does not always work). If all else fails then go to your Internet options on your browser and turn off your image loading. Go back to your competitor’s website and all of the images on there will not load and you will be able to see all of the ALT text.
ConclusionOnce you have gathered enough information through the various means listed above, you can start to alter your ON-Page SEO to match and beat that of your competition.
You can create a keyword profile that is as full and varied as theirs. Plus, you are collaborating the keywords that you came up with, with all of the keywords that you have researched from your competitors. This will mean you will be able to narrow down your keyword profile to the most powerful and usable keywords. You will also be able to see what your competitors are trying to optimize for. If the competition is too harsh then you can go out of your way to optimize for something else by avoiding the keywords you discover on their websites.