Having an edge over your competition obviously goes a long way and helps a brand to sustain its identity via better brand recall and building goodwill. And for that, online competitor research is one of the many tasks that will help businesses fine-tune their digital marketing strategies.
It's vital for your digital strategy to incorporate competitor research as a first step to affirm your digital footprint and even at any other stage of your brand cycle. Stated below are five tips which will help you get a solid insight into what your competitors are doing to improve their visibility.
Identify your SEO Competitors
An SEO Competitor is one who ranks higher organically for the primary search phrases that pertain to your business.
It often happens that actual competitors belong to a completely different industry and still hamper your brands' presence in SEO preferences. For example, a keyword search for "car accessories" might sometimes also show results for "clothing accessories".
Curate a list of main search phrases that pertain to your business, products and services.
Competitor Research Tools
Make use of competitor research tools which:
- Help you gain valuable insights into your competition
- Analyses their site
- Compares it with your site, and
- Provides data pertaining to paid search.
There are also tools that help you provide more comprehensive data ranging from their average spending on paid search to the number of organic clicks they get.
SEMrush is an ideal tool to use for researching your competitor's organic ranking history and keywords and search terms they rank for.
Check their Backlinks
Upon identifying your top SEO competitors, it is wise if you check their Backlink portfolio. Backlinks are valuable because, if the links are healthy, they help improve a site's domain authority. However, if the links are poor quality, they search engines can also mark the as spam.
A healthy backlink should:
- Come from a site with a high domain authority
- Have content relevant to the content on its landing page
You should look at targeting the same domains for backlinks while also looking for similar and related domains, and any referring domain with a healthy presence that is relative to your business.
Analyse their Blog
Blogging is still a crucial component to any digital marketing strategy. So, it is vital to understand if their blogs really make sense or are just a bundle of generic keywords to give them reach and resolve customer’s needs. With recent improvements in mobile voice search and the increase in smart home searches, content created to address common concerns in natural language not only ranks well but converts well too.
Blogs serve more than the mere purpose of improving SEO. Good content nurtures and coverts customers, also continue to engage existing buyers, create brand awareness and differentiate you from the similar businesses.
Identify what your competitors do well in their blogging strategy and look for opportunities in their shortcomings. Once you have identified that, you can become the expert to voice your opinions in your industry, boosting your visibility and online reputation.
Identify your Social Media Competitors
While competitors' blog and website analysis are important, understanding your social media competitors is also vital to aid your growth goals through your digital strategy. Having an active presence in social media is valuable because it:
- It offers valuable insights for your website to improve SEO
- Makes targeting your audience easier
- Increases the chances of your "word of mouth" publicity
- Promote your brand identity
- Draws traffic to your blog and product pages
Also, there are tools which actually help you track your competitors' social media strategies and moves with respect to frequency of posts, engagement rate and also allows you to manage your social media presence.