Competition SEO Audit – The Secrets to Using your Competitors
Do you know the best thing about digital marketing? You can find out everything about your competition. What they do, how they do it and what mistakes they are doing, you can find out everything you need. By now, you’ve learned everything about optimizing your website for local SEO.
It’s time you start using your competitors to your advantage. There’s nothing unethical in this method too. You’ll only use the data which is available for anyone. Analyzing your competition and auditing their websites for SEO can help you find out what they’re doing differently.
What to do Before Conducting the Audit?
Before you begin auditing your competition, make sure that you find some ideal competitors:
- Have 4 or 5 competitors in your niche and preferably in your area who are performing better than you
- Have a low-performing competitor
You can find both of these kinds through organic search. We recommend you to have a low-performing competitor so you can avoid the mistakes they’re doing. You have the competition, let’s audit them.
How to do Competitive Audit for Local SEO?
Checking your GMB Page and Citations
We’ve already analyzed your website for keywords. Like in the previous chapter, you should analyze your competitors’ websites for keywords. You can use the Google Keyword Planner for this purpose. This time, instead of entering your website URL in the console, you’ll enter the URL of your competitor.
The tool will then display the keywords your competitor’s website should rank for. You can get keyword ideas from these suggestions. Apart from GKP, you can use SEMRush for finding the most relevant keywords your competitors rank for. SEMRush provides a lot of info in this regard, which is enough for you to get started with.
How to check competitor’s Backlinks?
You already know how vital backlinks are. If your competition is ranking ahead of you, it must have followed some amazing link building strategies as well. In order to overtake your competitors, you’ll need to at least match the number of backlinks they have. You can use Moz or Ahrefs for finding this data.
They’ll tell you:
- How many backlinks your competition has
- Where they get the backlinks from
- How they get the backlinks
This information is vital. You can use their strategy and implement it on your site. This way, you’ll easily gain at least an equal number of backlinks. Combine those implementations with the tactics we discussed earlier, and you’ll be well on your way to outrank them.
How to Use competitors’ Meta Data?
Remember we mentioned Screaming Frog? You used it to analyze the Metadata of your website. We checked the Metadata so we can be certain that your website doesn’t lag behind in this area. Now you should check your competitors’ site for Metadata optimization. You can use Screaming Frog and find out this information. It will show you the title tags as well as the Meta descriptions.
Check this data to find any repeated keywords. You’ll begin to see a few keywords mentioned here and there. Once you’ve found some keywords present in the Metadata, search for the same in Google to see how your competition fares. If this implementation is helping your competitor, feel free to apply it on your site too.
Checking Social Signals
Like other SEO factors, you’ll also have to take a look at the social signals of your competitors. Doing so is relatively easy. Search for your competitor on Google and you’ll come across their social media profiles. You can visit their website to find their social media links as well. It is important that you know which social media platforms your competition is focusing on.
For example, they might be more active on Twitter. Or, they might have an account on Pinterest, where you don’t have an account yet. Find out the number of followers they have and compare those numbers with yours. If they have better numbers, then find out what is it that they’re doing differently. Maybe they post more often, or tag social influencers in their posts?
Your goal here is to understand their social media strategy and compare it with yours. In regard to social signals, it’s always better to have more followers and user engagement. You can use a social media management tool like Lithium, to handle your social media presence.
Comparing the Content
We’ve discussed the value of publishing quality content. You should find out how your competitors are publishing content. You can use BuzzSumo or Ahrefs (premium version) to analyze the content of your competitors. These tools let you find the most popular pieces of content on the web depending on the keywords. They sort the content on the basis of their social media shares and other factors. By finding the most popular pieces of content on the basis of the keywords, you can find what is working and what is not. You can check them for local keywords in your area, such as ‘best dentist in Michigan’ and see the most popular content for it. Using this knowledge, you can develop a better and more accurate content strategy.
Evaluating the Popularity with Google Trends
Google Trends is an amazing tool to find the popularity of key phrases at a time in a region. You can search for the business name of your competitors as well as the keywords they rank for. If they’ll be enough data available on them, Google Trends will show the rise or fall in their popularity.
It can give you a rough idea of the topics popular in your niche and region. This information can be handy in developing local SEO campaigns.
Stay Active with Google Alerts
Google Alerts is a tool which notifies you about the recent happenings on selected topics. For example, if you follow ‘social media marketing’, Google will notify you if anything related to ‘social media marketing’ gets published on the internet.
You can follow relevant topics in your industry and stay updated with the recent events. You can create an alert about your business and get notifications in case something related to your business is posted online.
Create a Google Alert for your competitors to stay updated with their progress.
To create an alert, follow these steps:
- Visit Google Alerts
- Select the box at the top and enter the topic
- Click ‘Create Alert’
You can change the settings for the topic, such as which Google account should receive the notifications, how often should it receive them and the types of sites you want to get covered.
Mining for Information
Lastly, you should check the ‘Contact Us’ and ‘About Us’ page of your competitors and see if they are following a different approach. You should also check their offers. Maybe one of them is offering a discount? Or, a free guide? You can get inspiration from their tactics and use them for your site’s marketing as well.
Staying ahead of your competition requires a lot of effort and dedication. However, by auditing their sites’ SEO regularly, you can always keep yourself updated of their progress. You don’t need to try every marketing strategy out there.
You can learn from your competitors’ mistakes and successes as well. In the next chapter, we’ll be discussing how you can track your local SEO progress.