23rd March, 2011
If I asked who are your main competitors in your local area then you could probably list a few company names off the top of your head… However, if I asked you who is currently top of Google, Yahoo and Bing for search terms relevant to your business, then would you be able to list these sites?
Competitor analysis allows you to assess certain areas within a business, assessing the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) for the key phase you wish to target will give you a better understanding of who and what you are up against! If the site top of Google is well established, has several thousand-quality backlinks, over 500 pages in its sitemap.xml, a news blog updated weekly, regular twitter, Facebook and social networking activity, a nice looking and modern website then you will know the task ahead is not going to be an easy one!
When working on past SEO campaigns I have sometimes called up the main competition and asked, “Whom does your SEO work? We are a company in a different sector looking for a quality marketing firm to represent us”… If the company has a monster-marketing budget then 9 times out of 10 you can expect to hear that they do this kind of work in-house… So if your budget for SEO is less than that of a full-time SEO guru, then targeting less competitive keywords maybe the better / more cost effective option for your business.
Whatever keywords or key phrases you decide to target you will always find another site (well ranking or not) competing for the all-important SERPs… Once you have the key phrase(s) confirmed then look online at your competition and emulate what they are doing right… Remember, quality competition is not always a bad thing, a decent site can offer you vital data and information to help you promote your own website and business. Sites are often found on page one for a good reason, if you can understand why then you are one step closer to pushing your site to page one also.