You would be wise to question your search marketing company about their view on the importance of your competitors within a search marketing campaign. Within Google’s quality guidelines, they state “make pages primarily for users, not for search engines” but they go on to add “Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field”. For many, these two simple statements taken directly from Google should form the basis of all SEO campaigns.
While the initial statement of making your site with your users in mind is a key element of any campaign, the underlying concept inherent within the second statement is just as important in that your site needs to be better than that of your competitors. Whether that is a better concept, better value via content or offering a better user experience, your site needs to stand out.
This is why any forward thinking search marketing company will include competitor analysis in a seo campaign.
There are a number of pertinent competitor analyses that will give an immediate insight into the search marketing campaigns of your competitors, namely
- social media analysis
- back link profiling, and
- content analysis
Each of these analyses allow the researcher to understand how your competitor is building their SEM portfolio.
While social media signals are not currently a major factor in ranking potential, with the rumour of a decline in focus on links they look to play an increasing role in the future. They also drive (hopefully) engaged traffic directly to your site, which should increase page views and lower bounce rate. By analysing the activity of your competitors on social media channels, you can plan and implement a competitive campaign.
While it was just stated that the importance of back links is set to decrease, at the current time they still play a large part in the algorithm. Google itself said earlier this year that they had tried link free models in their sandbox mode and the results were notably inferior. While link building methodology can be quite flexible in terms of sourcing and securing links, by conducting a cross-referencing analysis of your well placed competitor’s links portfolios your link building team has a picture of which links are working well and can focus their attentions.
Content analysis allows you to identify which areas of your niche your competitors are targeting and with this information you and your search marketing company can decide to add more relevant content to your site or to select a range of keywords that are not in direct competition.
For more information about how competitor analysis can be incorporated into your search marketing contact the team at DSM.