who are your online competitors and what are they doing?
online competitor analysis
Its interesting you know. One of the first questions we ask as part of our marketing brief is "Who are your online competitors?". More often than not, our clients give us a list of direct competitors in their area of expertise. Interestingly, when we actually get down to the nitty-gritty of who their "REAL" online competitors are, we find that their online competitors aren't even in their industry. Simply put, anyone who is competing for your valuable keywords as a competitor, and it is necessary to take this into account in your analysis.
One such example, a plumbing company had contracted us to analyse their geo-targeting. Whilst all their local listings were performing well, one specific local listing was nowhere to be seen. Upon closer investigation, we found that a local university was offering a plumbing course in their specific suburb and had all the top search results. In this case, we have a plumber competing with a university.
So when was the last time you analysed your competitors? Your online competitors provide a plethora of valuable information as to the extent to which you must go to achieve good results in Google. It also provides an opportunity to better understand their pricing structure, brand positioning and much much more!
As part of our online analysis, icu2 will dissect your competitors website to better understand their online strategy. We will look at all aspects of their website including;
- keyword analysis
- website structure
- keywords density and proximity
- key phrases
- on-page optimisation
- off-page optimisation
- linking strategies
- social media marketing
- General analysis of competitor websites
Step 1 - Identify your online competitors
In order to identify your online competitors, we will compare you to the top 10 listings in Google Places and Organic searches for your low-medium competition searches, in addition to your more competitive search terms (medium to long term depending on your current rankings). Using Google Adwords keywords tools, icu2 will identify the most valuable search terms based on competition and searches.
Step 2 - Conduct a website structure analysis of your online competitors
This is where we get into the detail of your online competitors website structure. We will run a comparative analysis between your site and your competitors sites across a variety of valuable keywords and phrases. This analysis gives us all the ammo we need, to understand what your competitors are doing well, what they are doing poorly, and implement a strategy to help you get into the rankings.
- Website Traffic Analysis
- Top of the Funnel Analysis
- RSS Feeds
- Blog frequency
- Social Media (Facebook and Twitter)
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Number of pages indexed with Google
- 301 Redirects
- Alternate Image Tagging
- On-site optimisation
- Page Titles and relevance to search terms
- Metadata and relevance to search terms
- Page descriptions and relevance to search terms
- Inbound linking authority
- Mobile sites
- Apple icons
- Metaviewport tags
- Social Media
- Average time between tweets
- Klout Score
- Facebook Business Page
- Middle of the Funnel Analysis
- Landing Pages
- Marketing Automation
- Visitor Engagement
- Blog Social Subscriptions
- Blog frequency
- Social Media
- Social Media linking to home page
- Tweet replies
- Lead Generation through social media
- Website Metrics
- Google Analytics Analysis
- Number of unique visitors per month
- Comparison to other companies
- Data gathering on keywords density and proximity
- Compare URLs, Metadata, Titles, Descriptions
- Website trends
- Analyse website archives (identify competitor website changes)
Step 3 - Data analysis
Upon gathering all the data, an icu2 SEO analyst will go through all the data with a fine tooth comb to identify strengths and weaknesses in your competitors websites. Upon completion of the analysis, we will have all the ammunition we need to put together a short, medium and long term strategy. Of course, we always take into account Google algorithm changes in our strategy.
Step 3 - Online competitor strategy
Once a Data Analysis is complete, we will put forward our recommendations as part of a strategy as follows;
- Short-medium term strategy (<6 months for low-medium competition keywords)
- Medium-long term strategy (>6 months for medium-high competition keyword)
Naturally the extent to which we can actually implement a strategy, is dependent on your budget. We will keep this in mind when putting forward our recommendations, and establishing an SEO maintenance schedule.