There are a lot of so-called SEO and SEM specialists who will tell you marvelous tales of all the things that they can do for you, very often in the context of destroying your competition. While the language of competition can be over the top, some practices don’t come up to snuff. Learning the difference between White Hat and Black Hat practices in competitor analysis will let you stay on the right side of the law, and of Google and other search engines.
What is Competitor Analysis?
Competitor analysis – or competitive analysis – consists of analyzing your competition and their strengths and weaknesses relative to your own. Generally this is done by third-party with no emotional or financial investment in the business. The process consists of identifying competitors, looking at their market share, analyzing past and present strategies, and how they are marketing themselves to customers that you would like to reach. It is a perfectly legitimate business process, by everyone from Fortune 500 companies to sole proprietorship operating through a website.
Analyzing a Competitor’s Web Presence
Analysis of a competitor’s web presence and marketing strategies is a legitimate practice. Calling it hacking is something of a misnomer, but like hacking this analysis is meant to point out weak spots in your competitor’s marketing strategy as well as your own. Using research tools such as SpyFu will help you to find the best keywords, eliminate those that might hinder your ranking, and create the best ad copy and content that will boost your ranking and visibility to potential customers. These tools can also tell you what keywords your competitors are using, and expose their marketing strategy in such a way that you can take advantage of what they’re not doing. There are lots of tools to help you do exactly that here are just a few of them to fill out your tool box:
- Keyword Tools: find out what they are using for their keywords, and think about how to improve your own keyword game to up your rankings in the search engines. Keywords can be identified using a variety of different tools including SpyFu, SEMRush, and others.
- Ranking Tools: Breaking down your competitors rankings is a very important tool comparison with your own standings.
- Monitor Reputation and Visibility: MOZ SEO toolbar is one of the best tools for monitoring important SCO metrics, all while you’re surfing the web. There are other tools as well that can help you monitor reputation and visibility of competitors websites, as well as your own.
The Most Crucial Step Is…
The most crucial step in any competitive analysis is a completely impartial analysis of what you yourself are doing. Because, after all, if you are analyzing your competition is more than likely that they are analyzing you in return. Never assume for a moment that you are the only one who has an idea. A ruthless look at your own campaigns strengths and weaknesses can improve your position much more than tracking your competition’s every move.
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