Knowing what your competitors are doing online can provide vital information for the creation of a successful SEO campaign.
What is Market Research?
Market research is better known as competitive analysis and is a wonderful strategy for helping build your own SEO plan. By utilising competitive analysis, you can find SEO opportunities that you might not have originally thought of without seeing your competitors current rankings. It helps you work out things like what keywords you should target, what topics should your content cover, where you can find linking opportunities and more.
With SEO being a ‘’one-up’’ sport, where everyone is trying to create better and more powerful content to improve their rankings, doing market research on your competitors is vital in the success of your SEO plan.
Identifying your competitors
Identifying your competitors is the first thing you need to do when conducting market research. Before you can analyze your competitors websites, you need to actually know who they are. Simply looking in the Yellow Pages or Googling ‘’electrician Sydney’’ and seeing who comes up are very ineffective ways to know who ALL of your relevant competitors are. Generally speaking, your competitors will fall into 3 categories. Direct, indirect and semantic competitors.
Example of the 3 types of competitors
If you are an electrician in Sydney who does call outs to peoples homes to fix wiring and other electrical work, then a direct competitor would be another electrician in Sydney who does the same.
An indirect competitor in this same situation would be a business that sells electrical products that are installed in homes, such as ceiling fans, smoke alarms or light switches. They may not advertise themselves as a business that sends out electricians to install these things, but they are selling these products to those people who are looking for an electrician who does install them.
A semantic competitor in this situation would be a kind of online news or blog site that specializes in information about electrician work, almost like a DIY website for those who want to do the electrical work themselves.
How do you do Competitor Analysis on A Website?
Now that you know who your competitors are, you now need to analyze the websites of those businesses who are your direct competition. There are countless ways to do market research on your competitors, but one of the most effective ways is to put your competitors’ website into a tool like Ahrefs. By using a tool like Ahrefs (or even Semrush), you can see what is already working for your competitors, so you don’t need to guess what keywords are popular. This helps prevent having to write content for keywords that no one is searching for.
Let’s say you are an electrician in Sydney, Australia and youre looking to do local SEO. Sure, you can type ‘’electrician in Sydney’’ into Google and see who are on the first page of the search results, but that is a very amateur way of working out who your competitors are, as there are literally thousands of keywords that your website could rank for and checking for all of them manually is simply too inaccurate. So, it is essential that you use a sophisticated built for purpose tool such as Ahrefs or Semrush.
What do I look for when analysing a competitors website?
There are countless elements to a competitors website that you could analyse for your market research, however there are 4 main ones that you should focus on. If you can win in these 3 sections against your competitors, then in 99% if cases you can outrank them.
Domain authority is basically the level of authority a domain has, in relation to the number of relevant backlinks it has. Created by a company called Moz, it helps determine where a website might rank in the SERP. Using one of tools such as Ahrefs or Semrush mentioned above, you can easily find out your competitors domain authority. Knowing your competitors level of authority, you can then have an idea of the level of authority you need to achieve in your SEO plan to be able to out rank them in this part of the process.
Domain authority is a logarithmic number from 0 to 100, 0 being the lowest and 100 being the highest. When anaylsing your competitors website, the number one position on Google for a keyword that they rank for might only have a domain authority of say 40. This means that to out rank them in this department, you only need a domain authority of 41 or more.
It is very important to your market research that you analyse your competitors website for the keywords that they rank for, and ones that they don’t. If your competitors rank for various keywords that relate to your industry, use some of the tools mentioned above to help determine how hard it would be to out rank them. Furthermore, these tools can help you find other keywords that they may not be targeting, which are missed opportunities for them, but east wins for you. Once you know the keywords that they rank for, you at least now know what and who you are up against for keywords you want to rank for in your SEO plan.
When analysing your competitors website, you also want to look at the amount and quality of the content on their website. How many words do they have that relate to the keywords they are targeting? Do they have a blog which helps them bring in traffic? Do they mention their target keywords a lot? The content on your competitors website tells their customers and Google what the website is about, and if they have great content, you will need to write even better to be able to out perform them in this department.
When conducting your market research on your competitors, its of paramount importance that you find out how many backlinks they have, from what level domains, and the quality of content (if block based backlinks). A general rule of thumb is that if you match your competitors in all other areas, to out rank them, you will need to have better backlinks than them. Using the tools mentioned earlier (Ahrefs and Semrush), find out their exact position when it comes to backlinks. Do they have many? Are they spammy or from legitimate sources? Knowing this information will help with your SEO plan, as you will know what is involved in beating them in the backlink game.
Why Extension Group for my Market Research?
Extension Group truly excel in competitor research and can find opportunities for your SEO plan that even the best analyst could come up with if they were to do the analysis manually. By doing this, we can get set up for the keyword planning in the following step, meaning we can see where we rank for specific keywords in relation to where our competitors are, which helps us decide which keywords we need to try and rank first and with what strategy.
How To Get Started on SEO with Extension Group
We have a simple 4 step process which we go through with our customers to get set up to help with their SEO. First, we will have a quick 5 to 10 minute chat about your business and what you are looking to achieve with SEO. Then, we will work out a strategy to be able to achieve these results for your business. From there, depending on the product that you have chosen with us, we will assist with the following steps whether it be build you a new website or update your existing one, and then finally once you are making money from your SEO, you can decide whether or not you want to stay with us.
For more information, click here to view how our process works.