In this podcast episode, Rebecca talks about the importance of competitive research and how it plays a critical role in the SEO process.
Rebecca performs this task at the start of any new SEO project and she revisits it multiple times per year for her own websites. It’s important to do this research periodically because the online landscape can change based on a number of factors ranging to algorithm changes, terminology shifts, or new websites arriving online.
Why Competitor Research Rocks
- You’ll discover who your top online competitors are and you’ll realize they are many times not the ones you expect
- You’ll see what keywords your competitors are trying to rank for
- You’ll discover your competitors’ top ranking keywords
- You’ll discover your competitors’ top ranking content
- You’ll be able to explore your competitors’ backlinks and referral traffic
- You’ll learn more about your competitors’ social media activity
- You’ll discover some great keyword options for writing future content
- You’ll have a much better idea of how often you need to write content and how long this content needs to be
- You’ll be able to see how good a competitor’s on-page SEO efforts are in real-world usage
- You’ll realize they have SEO issues too
Rebecca’s Favorite Software Tools
- Dyno Mapper – This software will crawl a competitor’s website and provides a full list of URLs it discovers that can be viewed in multiple formats and exported to Excel or PDF files.
- MozBar – This tool allows you to see key data points like H1 headers, meta titles, meta descriptions, meta keywords, and bolded text for a competitor’s pages, posts, products, or virtually any piece of content on their website.
- SpyFu – This software will provide great overview data like traffic trends, a keyword universe, pay per click spending, top keywords, etc.
- SEMrush – This software will provide similar information to SpyFu but has the added benefit of producing awesome reports on a competitor’s top pages and keywords. This is great for both viewing their ranking status as well as how this might relate to your current or future ranking.
- Ahrefs – This software focuses on backlinks and link profiles, but also has some great goodness on keyword data.
- KW Finder – This tool is used at the end of my process and it provides data on individual keyword phrases, who is on page one of Google, and what their page’s profile is for said keyword. This helps in understanding not just who is ranking, but why.
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