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Why Analyze Local SEO Competition, And How Can You Do It?
Do you know how important it is to analyze local SEO competition to rank high on search engines? If not, read on. In this article today, we will cover this fundamental (and often overlooked) activity in SEO analysis: competitor analysis. You will find out how to spy on your rivals and why you should do it.
What is local SEO competitor analysis?
Competitor's SEO Analysis is the study of how your competitors are doing from a search engine optimization perspective. It also shows you the road map to success indicating the gap between where you are and where you need to be. Using the competitors’ analysis you can create a strategy on how to outperform your competitors and what should be the budget needed for it.
It is essential because it can give you a big advantage when starting a new project, or when you want to give your local SEO a boost if you already have a site started, but you can't position yourself well in the SERP.
Why analyze local SEO competition – What does it give us?
Analyzing the competition in terms of local SEO is an extremely important activity. It allows, among other things, to evaluate the competitor's website positioning, as well as to formulate, implement, monitor, and adjust our own SEO strategy to the current competitive scenario.
When we analyze local SEO competition, we get an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of our competitors, both with an offensive and defensive strategic context to identify threats and opportunities.
From an offensive point of view, the analysis can bring out the strategic weaknesses of our competitors that we can exploit to our advantage. For instance, if our competitors do not put effort in SEO, we can exploit this weakness to preside over the organic channel by investing little.
From a defensive point of view, it enables us to counter competitor companies if they want to exploit our weaknesses. For example, if one of our competitors is working on content similar to that on our site, we can improve our content to avoid overrun in SERP.
To sum up, the competitor analysis practically shows us the way to align and help us surpass our competitors.
How can you analyze local SEO competition?
To analyze local SEO competition, there are a few important steps that you should consider.
1. Find your SEO competitors
It is impossible to do the SEO analysis of the local competition if you do not know the competitors. In some cases, the identification of SEO competitors is easy (they can be deduced from the offline ones, with which you deal in daily life), other times not: there are sites that rank well for the keywords of your interest and the list of competitors could be long.
2. Analyze competitor's sites
Once you have identified your SEO competitors and their sites, proceed with analyzing them in detail. See if the sites are professionally structured, if the contents are of quality, if they are dynamic contents and other verifications. From this first analysis, you can already draw the first conclusions about your SEO competitors.
3. Perform competitor keyword analysis
Keywords are the foundation of SEO. Therefore, if your competitors use the keywords correctly, their site will rank well in the search engines. From this analysis, you can build your SEO strategy and start working on keywords for your site.
4. Check details on Google My Business
Check and compare user reviews available on Google my business account along with other details such as overall rating, location pin on Google Map etc.
5. Detect the backlinks of the competitors
The backlinks are another tool used to do SEO. So, thoroughly examine the links that refer to competing sites, analyzing how many are they and where they come from, etc.
6. Look into other SEO factors
Keywords and backlinks are important, but they are not everything for SEO. To do the competition analysis, it is necessary to check the domain authority of their site on Google and on other search engines (Yahoo, Bing, etc.). Another factor to consider is the number of pages indexed in search engines.
7. Analyze the competitors' presence on Social Networks
The activity of a company in Social Networks significantly affects its reputation on search engines. The active engagement affirms the existence and dynamism of the company. Therefore, an analysis of the behavior of competitors in social media cannot be ignored.
8. Analyze competitors' PPC campaigns
Many companies use paid promotion campaigns to increase traffic to their site. Google Ads is the most used tool for PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns. So, look for these and deduce your own strategy.
9. Study SERP metrics
The SEO metrics such as domain authority, page authority, shares of Facebook, backlinks, and visits per month can provide important information about how hard it will be to beat your competitors.
In fact, metrics such as volume, competition, or keyword difficulty tell almost half the story. Even a promising keyword cannot perform if your competitors are more authoritative than you in the eyes of Google and users. So, do good homework first and then create your own strategy.
How to analyze local SEO competition on Google?
To comprehensively analyze local SEO competition, we also recommend manually checking the Google search results.
Knowing the key phrases for your industry, you can start typing them in Google and check which competitors display in the top positions. Google also suggests key phrases - if you start typing a given term in a search engine, Google will show you its hints.
Sometimes the direct results from Google may differ slightly from those shown by tools such as Ahrefs, so it is good to use both methods at the same time. Then you get the full picture of the situation.
Remember that before starting such an analysis on Google, you need to clear cookies in your browser to get objective results! It's a good idea to use Incognito mode.
Knowing your competitors' sites allows you to learn about their web positioning strategies. In this case, it is worth using tools for checking incoming links, e.g., LinkMiner.
Enter the website address of the competition and check the number of referring domains to websites and the domain authority (DA). In this way, you are able to estimate the workload related to positioning. To achieve higher positions, you will need at least a similar number of high-quality links as competing websites.
Benefits of competition research in local SEO?
SEO competition assessment brings benefits such as:
- You know the trends and habits in the industry in which you operate well,
- You know what promotional and sales tactics are used by your competitors,
- You know the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors so that you can stay ahead of them,
- You gain knowledge about your position compared to your competitors, which makes it easier for you to assess your strengths and weaknesses, such as to perform a SWOT analysis.
- You gain valuable data on key phrases and can create a better SEO strategy for your business.
The final verdict
When you analyze local SEO competition, remember that it is not about copying ideas but comparing them to your own strategy! Thanks to it, you can draw conclusions, translate them into your own actions, and try new solutions. Also, mind that thoughtless copying of ideas harms both the agency and its clients. So, take professional assistance.
Watch our Free Google My Business Video Mini-Course to find out what you can easily do yourself to improve your local SEO in just a few moves.
In this course you will also get access to a huge discount on our Full Local SEO Course.