When it comes to business, understanding what’s going on around you is a must. And in the competitive landscape of operating online, that means constantly looking over your competition’s websites, marketing strategies and more.
Naturally, you must first get your own house in order. Building a website isn’t easy and if you want to rank then you must firstly be operating under best practices yourself, with your site engaging and meeting Google’s Core Web Vitals as a starting point.
If you are unsure what those are, then there are a number of guides which can help with that. Duda is a good brand to look at in this instance, with their Core Web Vitals resource center offering tons of insight into how to get your website in the good books with Google.
Once you’ve got your own website up to a standard where it can competitively rank, you’ll start to see an improvement in results, and it’s from there where you can really start to delve into the nitty gritty of your competitors.
You can find tons of great insights from them, and for agencies across the world competitive analysis is such a huge part of what they do. But what should you be looking at competitors’ websites for?
Backlinks are hugely important in developing the authority of your website, and by exploring the backlinks of competitors you can learn an awful lot. Firstly, you can compare how your backlink profile looks in comparison to competitors, answering questions such as:
- How many more links do competitors have?
- How authoritative is my backlink profile compared to competitors?
- Are there any gaps in my backlink profile?
Answering these questions will give you a good idea of what you need to do when it comes to link building. You’ll also find websites to target that are pointing links to competitors but not to you. From there you can go about setting a plan on how to earn those links, whether it be through the likes of digital PR or simply by reaching out to them and seeing how you can potentially help them.
While it’s likely you will have developed your own keyword research, exploring what competitors’ pages are ranking for is a good way to find low hanging fruit or search terms you simply hadn’t thought of.
Search intent of users is constantly evolving so it’s always useful to revisit this a few times a year, just in case rival pages have begun to rank for a keyword you were not. You can then adapt your strategy and content accordingly to try and rank for that keyword.
What you may also find is that there’s a stack of content you still need to develop, and it can really spawn a whole load of new blog post ideas which you can then produce and start to rank for even more keywords.
Google will typically favour pages with particular features. This will always be guided by the user’s search intent. For the keywords you want to rank for, analyse the pages that are in the top positions and find any common denominators.
If you’re lacking those denominators then it may well be worth integrating them into your site. Things such as video, content length, reviews, imagery, interactivity can all see Google prioritise them depending on the search. For example, product pages will undoubtedly be more likely to rank if they have videos as ultimately they offer more insight and more worth to the user. In the case of guides, Google would be more inclined to rank pages that have clear headings, bullet points and graphics as that is the best way to engage a reader in that instance.
Think about the intent, how competitors are adapting to suit that, and exactly what you can do to keep up with them and surpass them.