SEO Comparison– If you’re scratching your head . . . Here’s the 411

  • December 3, 2014
  • SEO
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SEO Competitive Analysis

What is an SEO Comparison and how could you use it to maximize your web presence? SEO Comparison is the technical manipulation of data to arrive at the best means by which to optimize the visibility of a web site by the application of key words use, competitive analysis and comparative rankings. Whether you’re using key words, analysis or ranking you’ll need a couple of tools and innovative word wizardry to set your set your banner above the rest.

First things first, you need to determine what your best course of action is to set your site a notch above. You can do so by identifying a few key factors; such as, long term industry competitors or the top sites in your field or industry and your Organic Search Competitors.

Long term and Top Ranking industry competitors

Long term industry competitors are the service or content providers that have been in business in their respective fields for a period of five years or more. They are the providers that are renowned for what they do or have achieved a level of trust and integrity that makes them a contender in the field.

That said if you choose to search by key words it’s important to note that they are not restricted to sites in your industry. Key words that you’re searching and planning to use in your site may be non-brand key words intended to pull in a particular target audience to sites that are not in your field.

For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re planning on publishing a site promoting a business magazine, your long term competitors might be Forbes, Fortune 500, etc. While building your site (or improving it as the case may be) you would want to know where these other magazine producers rank to target your audience, and hopefully untapped markets. (In this case study local search queries were applied, but you can do both local and global depending on your intended break out market).

The local search for business magazines in Canada produced following top five search results:

The Economist

Once you have your top search results, check them out.

How long have they been in business? How long have they maintained their position in the rankings? When did they last update their sites? Is there a cached version available, if so does it differ greatly? How many ads are they using? How many internal links? How many external links? How much or how little content is offered above the fold?

Top sites in your industry

In keeping with the example used in the Long Term Competitors search, apply the same to review your five top sites in your industry. The results may or may not be the same as your Long Term Competitors. In this case, they were the same.

Again, review their lay out, the information they’ve made available, the key words they’re using, the content visible above the fold and all the links and ads they have available on their sites.

You’ll want to keep your content original and unique, but seeing what others are doing is a good place to know where you’ll have to focus your attention to return higher search ranking and visibility.

Some SEO’s will also look for their Organic Search Competitors. This may, arguably, be of the most benefit, as some key words are non-branded as mentioned. See the organic search results will identify where traffic is being pulled in from simply by the search queries applied by the end user.

Organic Search Competitors

Searching for your organic search competitors is as easy as identifying your Long Term and Top Site industry competitors.

There are varieties of search tools available to source out your Organic competitors: KeywordSpy, MOZ or SEMrush.

Typically you’ll have only to input the competitors you’re looking for, or you can use key word search as well. The Organic Search on business magazine’s identified the following as Organic Competitors:

So now that you’ve identified your Long Term, Top Site and Organic Search Competitors, reviewed the data pertaining their site ratings you can infuse your results with information relating to index pages, titles that have keywords in them, sites using Pay-Per-Click advertising etc.

Optimizing your build

At this point you should have been able to source out all the relevant data to maximize your site. When you apply this information in the way you’re manipulating your own data your competitive value will inevitably increase.

Remember to incorporate flash files, video media and other forms of data by including text descriptions in the .html without losing any ranking, write top notch solid content in an original way, add key words that are topic appropriate and update your content at regular intervals.

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