Carrying out an internet competitor analysis is very important when optimising a website. Your main offline competitors may not be your main online competitors. Some offline competitors may not have a strong online presence or reputation whereas other competitors may be stationed so that it is mainly the internet that drives their business. What you have to work out is what they are doing, what is working and what is harming their websites. The overall aim is of course to get the highest volume of relevant traffic and conversions through to your website.

To achieve this first pick a variety of keyphrases that you think your website should be performing better for in search. This can be a mixture of industry general and specific phrases. Once you have these, we carry out an in-depth analysis into each one. We mark where your website is currently ranking for each term on search engine results, the amount of searches that each keyphrase receives both globally and locally and also which of your competitors is winning 1st place currently.

With this information we can determine who the biggest online competitors are. Once we have that information, we can delve into their internet use. We evaluate their website to find out how they are achieving their current ranking, above your website, in the search results. We run through a checklist looking at meta-tags, URL strings, content, structure and links in/out.

Analysing your competitor’s results is key in building our initial and on-going strategy. There is no point in building a strategy without this research. You could go down the wrong route entirely only to end up reaching irrelevant traffic. Irrelevant traffic will harm website statistics by increasing the bounce rate, reducing time spent and pages visited on the website. All of these factors are incorporated into your search ranking. If a page has a high visitor bounce rate, search engines see this as an indication that the page content does not match the search query and the website will therefore be dropped in their rankings.

The strategy is not based wholly on your competitors however; the strategy is based first and foremost on you with improvements introduced from our view and understanding of competitor’s outcomes. Many other factors are involved which are addressed by carrying out a full audit of your website. The audit results allow us to see elements we need to improve upon in areas such as keyphrase relevancy and density, broken links, duplicate content, robot accessibility, links in and out and also uncover any negative elements that we need to resolve such as keyword stuffing, cloaking or bad links. All in all, competitor analysis is one of many extremely important factors to be considered when building your SEO strategy.