Sometimes, having a great strategy for your site isn’t enough to drive organic traffic. Competitive landscape analysis to boost your rank on Google is a must especially when you are just starting out.
Optimizing for search engines is a dynamic process because you always have to take into account what your competitors are doing.
It can get quite difficult and confusing at times, but there are plenty of strategies and tools that you can utilize to help you out.
In this short article, I’ll cover how you can analyze your landscape and beat the competition using a few tools and techniques.
First, determine who your competitors are. You will want to use a mixture of your business competitors in the real world as well as your online business competitors. A simple way of determining your online competitors is to do a quick search of your service and see how well you fare.
For example, if you run a mechanic service in New York, pop in a query on Google that looks like this.
Once you have a list of your competitors – don’t rush and add all fifty of them. Begin the analysis, slowly.
Keyword research forms the backbone of competitor analysis merely due to the fact that one of the main driving forces of traffic is search, and search involves the use of keywords.
Determining what keywords your web property will target in order to drive traffic organically is just the first part of the keyword research equation. This is where you have to consider the keywords that your competitors are using.
You can use a tool like SEMRush in order to find out who your competitors are and what keywords they are ranking for.
You can click on any of these competitors and you’ll be taken to their domain where you can find out what keywords they are ranking for.
Keyword Opposition to Benefit Analysis
One extremely effective way of determining which keywords you should go after is Keyword Opposition to Benefit Analysis (KOB Analysis). This involves hijacking the keywords that your competitor is ranking for.
Here’s the bottom line:
There are times where your competitor isn’t really taking advantage of a keyword and you can use this to your benefit.
The KOB equation is very simple to integrate into your keyword planning spreadsheet. Here’s what it looks like:
Opposition (Keyword Difficulty) / Benefit (Cost Per Click multiplied by Average Search Volume)
So after you have grabbed all the keywords your competitors are ranking for along with your own, you can start utilizing KOB to find opportunities.
Here’s a simple spreadsheet formula that you can use to integrate the KOB equation onto your keyword-planning sheet.
Now, using the KOB equation you will want to filter out your competitor’s keywords to determine which ones you should go after. Remember, the higher the score the better.
Want to get the spreadsheet? -Spreadsheet at the bottom of the post.
The Importance of Backlinks
Think of “search” as a popularity contest. According to prominent SEOs and people who have analyzed how search engines function, the quality and number of sites linking out to your own site is the biggest factor in ranking higher on SERPs.
This means that you have to make sure that you get enough good quality links that will juice up your ranking potential on search engines. This means links from websites that have good Domain Authority (DA), those who have a reputable authority in their niche, and have great content on their site.
That’s not all.
You also have to disavow links but beware, it will do you more harm than good if used in the wrong manner.
Think about this: if you have a site that sells bicycles, you will have no use for a link coming from a shady pornography site. Disavowing links means that you have to get on your Google Search console and tell Google that you do not want these sites linking out to you.
Then all you have to do is:
Linkody is an amazing backlink monitoring tool that helps you check out who is linking out to you with the details of those web properties.
For more info which backlinks to Disavow – see what 44 experts have to say.
Competitor Backlink Analysis
Part of your competitor landscape analysis is checking out who is linking out to your competitors and tools like Linkody will allow you to monitor the backlinks of your competitors as well.
Why is this important?
It gives you sites to target when you are doing outreach link building. Let’s say your competitor’s ranking went up a notch and you notice that he has a couple of new links from high authority sites which are a result of his link building campaign. You now have new targets for your outreach and a benchmark as to how you can move ahead of the competition.
After inputting your competitors on Linkody, it will now highlight in green which sites you and your competitors are being linked out from. The ones that are not highlighted are opportunities.
Outreach Link Building
Now that you have analyzed the backlinks and keywords of your site and your competitors, it’s time for you to use this information to help your site rank.
As discussed earlier, one of the most effective ways to rank is to make sure that you have a healthy stream of high authority websites linking out to you. A way of doing this is through outreach link building. This works by asking sites if you can write guest posts for them.
Isn’t this going to be difficult?
At this point you will already have a list of your competitor’s backlinks; you can now sift through where they have guest posted and attempt to guest post on those sites, too. Alternatively, you can use this as a guide as to what sites you should go after during your outreach process.
Some sites will offer guest post writing opportunities so you can contact them directly.
On other sites, you’ll have to personally reach out to the editorial team with an email. Keep your email short, sincere and offer them content that they can really use.
Here’s an example of a template:
In this case, the outreacher offered a guest post of super value to the prospect without even having to ask for a link. If the content provided is engaging enough with a viral headline, expect a successful campaign.
Now back to you
To summarize it all, you’ll need to identify your competitors, be able to perform a detailed KOB analysis using the keywords that they rank for, monitor backlinks and use an email marketing software to promote content by outreaching to potential prospects.
This competitive landscape analysis guide is designed to help you do exactly that.
Remember that successful sites stay successful because they are equipped with the right information and they monitor the playing field constantly.