If you’re a business that relies on local customers, you need to keep an eye on what your local competitors are up to in the SEO world. A regular analysis can help you improve your own business and stay competitive.
Start with keywords. Make a list of your top three keywords and place them on a spreadsheet. Now, we’re going to search for these words in six different ways.
Using a computer/laptop, search for your keywords and:
- List the top three results for each in the maps listings, including the company names and websites. Mark these in your spreadsheet as “maps results.”
- List the top three results in the organic search results, including the company names and websites. Mark these as “organic search results.”
- List the top three results in the paid search results, including the company names and websites. Mark these as “paid search results.”
Using a smartphone or tablet, conduct the above searches. You will often have different results because you are on a mobile device.
Look at the results, and notice if there are any trends. Are the same websites popping up over and over again? If so, those are your online competitors. Even if they don’t provide the same level of service or expertise, they are still your competition.
ANALYZE COMPETITORS STRATEGIES
This is where you should start:
Local ranking factors for maps and organic search listings.
First, check out online reviews, and write down how many reviews they have. Compare it to the number your business has.
Google your competitors’ address and see how many times it is mentioned. Compare that with the number of times your business is mentioned. This will indicate how many local citations — i.e., listings of the name, address and phone number, or “NAP” — your competitor has.
On-site factors, including content.
Review the content and organization of your competitors website with these steps:
- Perform a site:domain.com search on Google to see how many pages are indexed.
- Search for your competitors business name – what shows up? Its it social media pages? Do other websites mention this business? (And could they also mention your business?)
Use a crawler tool like Screaming Frog SEO Spider to look at your competitor’s website. View the site’s title tags, headings, meta descriptions, what it’s linking out to, how large its page content is, and how many errors are on the site, among other factors. This can help determine keywords the competitor is targeting, based on what they’re putting in title tags and other content.
- Is there anything on your competitor’s website that yours lacks? For example, is the competitor’s site updated regularly? Is it easier to navigate, or more mobile friendly?
Off-site factors, including inks from other websites.
First, look at your competitors social media profiles.
- Does it post regularly on its blog and then on social media?
- When it posts on social media, do its followers respond and comment? Or are there comments and likes? Does your competitor engage with its followers?
- When was the last time your competitor posted on social media?
- How many followers does it have?
Then, examine the links directing to their site, using a tool like Moz Open Site Explorer.
- How many in-bound links does your competitor have? How many does your site have?
- Compare the quality of the links pointing to your competitor’s site. What is the Domain Authority?
- Review the link topics that are pointing to your competitor’s site, to see if they’re relevant. For example, links that point to childcare should be related to that topic, as opposed to a bakery.
- Is your competitor’s site consistently receiving in-bound links?
Once you conduct this analysis, you can take a hard look at your own website and try and determine where you can improve. If you think you need help with small business SEO, contact us for a quote.