What is Data-Driven Digital Marketing?A data-driven digital marketing agency is exactly what it sounds like – it’s an agency that makes marketing decisions based solely on actual, concrete data. This data is collected from long-term research surrounding search queries, keyword rankings for any given particular keyword, and organic traffic within a specific industry. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of many forms of data-digital marketing that allows clients to increase visibility on search engines, like Google, as well as increase organic search traffic to websites. Many expert digital marketing agencies, including Digital Logic, commonly use an SEO competitor analysis as part of their data-driven online marketing efforts.
What Is SEO Competitor Analysis?
An SEO competitor analysis is the process of evaluating, studying, and comparing online strategies and the performance of competitors in order to gain helpful data insights and identify unique opportunities for improving search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
A competitive analysis strategy involves analyzing various aspects such as top keywords and the competitors’ rank, keyword difficulty, backlink profiles, on-page optimization, competitors’ content strategies, and overall website performance of competitors in the same industry or niche market.
By compiling an SEO competitor analysis report, our expert marketers can identify gaps and weaknesses in our own SEO strategy, learn from successful competitors, and develop personalized online marketing strategies to outrank them in search results pages (SERPs).
Performing a competitive analysis helps in refining organic keyword targeting, content creation, link building, building high-converting landing pages, and overall optimization to gain a competitive edge and improve organic search visibility.
The following information is usually included in an SEO competitor analysis report:
- Competitor backlink analysis
- Keyword gap analysis
- Top content analysis
- SEO keyword competition analysis
If you’re interested in running a competitive analysis on your competitors’ content, it’s important to note that you aren’t required to research and compile the information manually.
There are a variety of competitive analysis tools, like Ahrefs and SEMRush, for example, that will run a thorough competitor analysis fairly quickly, so that you can see your website’s weaknesses or pain points.
Gathering all of the relevant data is only half the battle, though.
If your digital marketing knowledge or experience is limited, more than likely, you won’t understand how to accurately interpret and utilize this data to increase your website’s organic traffic.
That’s why so many businesses turn to professional digital marketing agencies – like Digital Logic – to not only run a comprehensive SEO competitive analysis, but to interpret the data and use it to outrank organic search competitors and improve search engine rankings.
Analyzing your SEO competitors’ websites is a critical piece of any successful SEO campaign.
Reviewing the competitive landscape before you get started on your own SEO efforts is extremely important because you need to see what industry competitors are doing so you can ensure your marketing tactics are superior and outrank those competitors on top search engines, like Google.
Not only that, but a competitive analysis can reveal what you and your competitors aren’t doing – whether it’s not using certain organic keywords, title tags, inbound links, etc. – so that you can beat them to the chase and outrank them.
At Digital Logic, we believe that the SEO competitive analysis is important for several reasons:
Strategic Planning for a Successful SEO Strategy
First, when we conduct a competitor analysis, our SEO experts are able to gain valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of our client’s competition.
This understanding helps our marketing team develop a strategic search engine strategy that’s tailored to each client’s specific needs and target audience. We use the competitor SEO analysis to identify hidden gaps in the local market, uncover strategies seen on the backend of competitors’ sites, and leverage those opportunities to help our clients dominate the organic search landscape.
Marketing Performance Benchmarks
When our SEO team analyzes competitor performance, it also allows us to benchmark our client’s website against their industry leaders.
We can evaluate their competition’s keyword rankings for organic keywords, referring domains, content strategies, and more.
The competitive analysis helps us set realistic goals for our clients, track progress, and measure the effectiveness of our SEO campaigns.
Identify Marketing Opportunities
By performing a competitor analysis, we can also identify untapped keyword opportunities, organic content gaps, and potential areas for on and off-site improvement.
This helps our SEO professionals to optimize our clients’ websites as well as their content to rank higher in search results, attract more targeted search traffic, and ultimately outrank competitors.
Stay Ahead of Trends
The only consistent fact with respect to organic marketing is that it is always changing. Our marketing agency consistently adapts our SEO strategies to ensure the most successful outcomes for our clients.
By actively monitoring and analyzing our SEO efforts, our marketing team can stay up-to-date with our client’s specific industry trends, new algorithm changes, and upcoming best practices. This helps to ensure that our client’s SEO strategies remain competitive.
Securing More Client Success and Better ROI
Ultimately, the SEO competitor analysis contributes to our client’s success and return on investment.
It helps our SEO experts better understand the competitive landscape for each of our clients and implement effective strategies.
This, along with other SEO techniques, helps our clients outrank competitors, increases organic search visibility, drives organic traffic, and generates more qualified leads. A competitive analysis also allows our marketing experts to deliver quantifiable results and demonstrate the value of our SEO services.
You (or your digital marketing team) should always run an SEO competitive analysis before creating any sort of SEO plan.
At Digital Logic, we believe that conducting a competitor analysis should be a regular practice. But, there are certain situations where this becomes more important than usual.
Listed below are times that you (or your marketing agency) should also perform a regular SEO competitor analysis:
Before Creating a Search Engine Strategy
As we mentioned, conducting a competitor analysis is critical before putting together your SEO game plan. It helps everyone better understand the industry landscape from the search engine’s perspective, identify online competition, and gain insights into successful SEO campaigns.
Website Redesign or Website Launch
Along the same lines, before we launch your new website or redesign your existing site, conducting a competitor analysis is extremely helpful.
The analysis allows our web design team to evaluate successful design elements, analyze user experience, and see how the competition is optimizing its content.
You want to review all the top keywords that your competitors rank for and integrate them into your monthly content plan.
For example, if you’re a personal injury lawyer, you’ll want to create web pages with the most obvious money-making keywords (like Chicago personal injury lawyer or Chicago car accident lawyer). Meanwhile, you’ll want to use long-tail keywords (keywords longer than 3 to 5 words) to create blog posts. For example: “Can You Sue for a Dog Bite Injury?” or “Can You Sue for a Slip and Fall Injury?”
Performance Decline or Organic Rankings Drop
The Google search engine algorithm and the competitive landscape are ever-changing. These factors, plus many others, can cause your rankings to suddenly dip even after you’ve made significant progress.
Performing SEO competitive research can help you figure out what the problem is so you can fix it.
New Successful Competitor
As more and more industries flock to the digital marketing scene, you’ll likely see new competitors pop up and outrank you from time to time. This is a great time to perform an SEO competition analysis to see what they’re doing that you’re not.
That way, you can tweak your organic marketing strategy and go from there, that is, assuming that your marketing team has more experience than your competitor’s marketing agency.
Just like dips in rankings, stagnation is also very common. Running an SEO competitive analysis can be incredibly helpful in figuring out how best to tweak your SEO efforts and continue making progress.
Ongoing SEO Strategy Refinement
Search engine marketing is a continuous process, and many digital marketing agencies, like ourselves, go to great lengths to stay informed on upcoming algorithm and marketing trends.
By regularly conducting competitive analysis, we’re able to stay informed on competitor activities, track SEO performance, and refine our marketing strategies accordingly.
This allows our expert marketers to proactively adapt to new changes, identify unique opportunities for growth, and maintain our competitive edge.
Types of SEO Competitive Analysis
SEO competitor analysis is an umbrella term for more niche types of analysis, including organic content analysis, referring domains analysis, and technical SEO analysis.
Competitor Organic Content Analysis
Technical SEO Competitor Analysis
A competitor organic content analysis is the process of evaluating the organic content marketing strategies of competitors in order to gain helpful insights and improve in-house SEO content marketing efforts.
The process involves analyzing the various types of content that competitors produce, including web pages and blog posts, the quality of high-ranking content pieces, industry relevance, keyword targeting for more competitive keywords, website engagement, and overall performance of the content.
By conducting a competitor content analysis, our SEO experts can understand the strengths and weaknesses of the content, identify gaps in content strategy, discover unique keyword opportunities, and refine our content marketing strategy to help our clients gain a competitive advantage.
This competitive analysis helps in creating high-quality, valuable, and search engine-optimized content that resonates with your target audience, improves search engine rankings, and drives more organic traffic.
The goal here is not to copy content from your competitors. Instead, the goal is to adopt their content and keyword strategy, while also matching your target audience’s search intent, in order to outrank them on Google.
Using Competitor Analysis to Identify Search Intent
You may be asking, what is search intent, and how do I know what my target audience’s search intent is?
Search intent is a term used to describe 'the why' behind a user's Google search.
There are four main types of Google search intent: informational, commercial, transactional, or navigational search intent.
Keyword research can help you determine exactly why your target audience is using specific keywords in their search queries.
Using Competitor Analysis to fill In Content Gaps
Analyzing the competition's top content and keywords allows our experts to fill in the content marketing gaps for our clients. What does this mean?
We cover the bases by including informative web pages of all products and services. Then, we create additional web pages, blog posts, or graphic content for any high-value keywords for which our client's competitors aren't covering.
Essentially, this is exploiting the weaknesses of the competition, leaving our clients there to answer popular questions their target audiences are asking.
Using Competitor Analysis to Create High-Quality Content
Another important step to take after competitor content analysis is to essentially recreate a bigger, better version of all the high-value content currently on their sites.
In order for a business to be the better version of its competitors, the marketer needs to improve the following elements of every piece of content:
- Meta description and meta title
- Target keywords and their placement
- Readability (including search engine readability)
- Page structure (including mobile responsiveness)
- Word count
- The quality and quantity of pictures and videos (including alt text descriptions)
- Frequency of publication
- Formatting of answers for popular or searchable questions (including FAQ schema)
- Amount of referring domains
Technical SEO competitor analysis means comparing the technical details of your website to your competitors. Listed below are the key technical SEO elements you need to analyze and compare:
Internal linking plays a critical role in technical SEO by providing several benefits:
Enhances Website Navigation: Internal links connect various web pages within a website. This enables website visitors to navigate and access relevant information easily.
In turn, this improves the user experience and reduces bounce rates, leading to higher engagement and increased time spent on the site.
Distributes Link Equity: Internal links distribute link equity (Here, at Digital Logic, we call this link juice.) throughout a website. When one web page links to another, it passes authority and ranking potential to the linked page.
This helps search engines find more pages on your site during the crawl and understand the importance and relevance of different pages within the website.
Improves Indexing and Crawling: Internal links help to create pathways for search engine bots to crawl various pages on a website.
By strategically interlinking pages, important or high-priority pages can be prioritized and indexed more efficiently, ensuring better visibility in the search results.
Keyword Optimization: At Digital Logic, we also use internal linking to optimize anchor text (the visible text of a link).
By using relevant anchor text and incorporating target keywords, we can provide the search engines with additional context and signals about the content of the linked page. This can positively impact organic rankings for those keywords.
Establishes Structure: Internal linking also helps define the structure of a website. By strategically interlinking pages based on importance and relevance, we're able to establish a clear site architecture.
This helps search engines better understand the site structure and how various web pages are related to each other, which further improves search engine rankings.
Your website should never take more than 3 seconds to load on a desktop or mobile device. That is how long it takes for people to get impatient and irritated, click off your site, and find answers elsewhere. This can be a devastating blow to SEO efforts.
To optimize your web page speed, our technical SEO experts minimize server response time, optimize images and coding, enable browser caching, reduce 301 redirects, and leverage content delivery networks (CDNs).
By improving page speed, our client's websites can enhance the user experience, boost search engine rankings, increase organic traffic, and achieve better SEO results.
Good website structure is another key element that helps both visitors and search engines understand your website better. You want your site structure to be simple, visible, and visually appealing in order to achieve the best possible crawler rating and user experience.
Website structure plays a vital role in technical SEO for the following reasons:
Indexing: Websites that are well structured are much easier for search engine crawlers to navigate and index.
User Experience (UX): An intuitive website structure enhances the overall user experience. This increases engagement and encourages search traffic to spend more time on the website.
Internal Linking: Website structure influences the way internal links are established between various internal pages on the site.
Keyword Targeting: By organizing content into relevant categories, it's easier to optimize individual web pages for specific keywords. This helps search engine crawlers understand your content relevance.
Optimized for Mobile
Having a website that's optimized for mobile is critical for technical SEO success for the following reasons:
Increased Mobile Usage: Smartphones and tablets are now the primary means for accessing the internet. By having a responsive website, you're catering to a rapidly growing user base and providing a seamless user experience for search traffic.
Mobile-First Indexing: Google primarily uses the mobile version of a website for indexing and search rankings. If your site isn't optimized for mobile, it won't perform as well on organic search results pages.
Decreased Load Times: Generally speaking, mobile users typically have a slower internet connection, compared to desktop users.
A responsive site should be optimized for faster loading times on mobile devices. This improves user experience and decreases your site's bounce rates.
Lastly, make sure that your website has HTTPS protection. This means that visitors will see a padlock icon next to their URL instead of a label that says “not secure.”
Lack of HTTPS protection can hurt you in several ways – you’ll likely lose visitors (because no one wants to visit an unsecured website), and your Google rankings will suffer.
How to Run an SEO Competitive Analysis
Now what we’ve all been waiting for– how to run a comprehensive SEO competitor analysis.
In our SEO competitor analysis template below, we discuss how to identify competition, conduct page analysis, build the best backlink profile, focus on search intent-driven keywords, develop the best content strategy, and track your progress.
Conduct Page Analysis
Focus on Intent-Driven Keywords With a High ROI
Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
Track the Progress of Your SEO Strategy
The first step in conducting a competitor SEO analysis is to figure out who the SEO competition is. This step is easier for certain industries than it is for others.
Decide Who To Compete With and Who Not to Compete With
There’s a difference between your biggest market competitors and your biggest SEO competitors. Your biggest market competitors are probably going to be those that everyone knows within your industry.
For example, if you’re a personal injury attorney, your biggest market competitor may be Morgan & Morgan Law Firm. They are one of our country’s largest personal injury law firms, so many consumers seeking legal assistance are familiar with the brand. While Morgan & Morgan may be a huge market competitor for you, they’re probably not a huge SEO competitor for you at the local level.
You want to identify competitors who are specifically outranking you on local search results, because that’s where the majority of your business comes from.
The next step in an SEO competitor analysis is to perform a page analysis, also known as a keyword gap analysis.
The goal of a keyword gap analysis is to figure out which unique keywords (preferably with high search volume) your site lacks, that your SEO competition is ranking for.
You also want to use keyword competitor analysis for the inverse: to determine if there is a certain keyword that your competition isn’t ranking for, so you can fill in the gaps.
Be sure to create a list of relevant keywords with high search volume that relate to your business, product, or service. From there, you can create well-written and informative content that uses all of these keywords.
Back to keywords because picking the right ones to rank for is truly a science that not many business owners understand.
You can likely rank for hundreds of keywords within your industry, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
- Your first priority should be to rank for keywords that most relate to your industry, product, or service.
- Your second priority should be to rank for keywords with the highest return on investment (ROI).
Essentially, the focus is on keyword rankings that are going to result in the most leads and sales conversions. This could mean focusing on low-competition keywords because the data insinuates the use of those keywords could lead to an increase in clients or sales.
The last step after an SEO competitor analysis is to track the progress of your SEO campaign.
Tracking our client's SEO performance against other SEO competitors enables our SEO experts to identify areas in which our client can improve and stay ahead of local competitors.
The SEO competitive analysis allows our team to adapt the search engine strategy, outperform SEO competition, and seize valuable results within the organic search results.
A professional SEO agency like Digital Logic can keep track of the KPIs and metrics that are most important to you and help you adjust your SEO strategy as needed.
Should I Conduct an SEO Competitor Analysis After Major Algorithm Updates?
Some algorithm updates change the way that search engines navigate organic content. So, yes, conducting an SEO competitor analysis can help to ensure your business stays on top of search engine algorithm changes and how those may affect keyword rankings within the organic search results.
The algorithm may change in a way that highlights internal SEO shortfalls, moving the website down in ranking for the same search queries.
You always want to make sure that you’re on the lookout for what you’re lacking compared to your top SEO competitors.
Why Should I Analyze More Than One Competitor Website?
Analyzing more than one SEO competitor is important for gaining a comprehensive understanding of the organic search landscape and maximizing quality search traffic.
Here’s why our internet marketing experts believe it’s important to perform an SEO competitor analysis on more than one website:
Analyzing multiple SEO competitors allows our SEO team to identify trends across high-ranking competitors in your industry.
This provides our team with valuable insights into what SEO strategies are working for that specific landscape, as well as where there may be opportunities for on-site improvement.
Analyzing multiple SEO competitor websites helps our team identify gaps in the local market.
By examining the content, backlink profiles, social media presence, and user experience at the local level, we can discover untapped organic keywords, target underserved audiences in the area, or uncover high-value content gaps that we can then fill with professionally-optimized content.
This competitive intelligence enables your business to gain and capture additional organic traffic.
In competitive niches, staying ahead of your SEO competitors is critical for business success. Analyzing various competitor websites helps our team stay updated with the competition’s latest SEO strategies and industry trends.
By constantly analyzing these activities, we can then adapt our client’s own SEO efforts to remain competitive by proactively responding to changes in their market.
Performing an SEO competitor analysis on multiple sites also provides a broader perspective on what works and what doesn’t in each client’s industry, at the local level. It allows our SEO professions to evaluate the effectiveness of our in-house strategy.
By learning from your competitors’ successes and failures, our SEO experts can refine each SEO approach, fine-tune tactics, and optimize the website to outperform SEO competitors in search rankings and organic visibility.
Get a Free SEO Website Audit From an Award-Winning SEO Agency Today
Performing the occasional competitor analysis is the easy part of a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. The hard part of the SEO competitor analysis is interpreting all this data correctly and then implementing a plan to become the superior business within your industry.
If your goal is outranking local SEO competitors, but you don’t know where to begin, you need the expertise of an award-winning, top SEO agency like Digital Logic.
Not only do we provide the best SEO services, but we provide PPC management, web development, content marketing, internet marketing, conversion rate optimization, graphic design, and social media management services as well.
Get your FREE Marketing Plan