SEO: Analyzing the Competition
When it comes to building a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, you not only need to understand HOW to get to the top, but you also need to understand HOW MUCH it will take to get to the top. SEO is an ongoing process, so don’t wear yourself out by sprinting out of the gate! Do what it takes to get just above the competition. Then, on an ongoing basis, review the standings and do what it takes to stay ahead of the competition.
There are several different tools available that can analyze the competition and help you develop a marketing strategy. At RemoteLink, we use a tool that pulls several different types of information, including but not limited to:
Citations are any instance of your business name, address, and phone number. Your goal is to have 50% more citations than your leading competitor.
Reviews from customers are a key indicator to Google and other search engines that your business is not only real, but people want to share feedback with others. Businesses with reviews have an advantage over businesses without reviews.
How pictures have you shared on the internet? How many do your competitors have?
How many videos on the internet are associated with your business? How many are your competitors sharing?
Owner Verified Listings
Are your local listings claimed? Taking ownership of these “properties” is an important step for businesses. Search engines give more credibility to businesses who claim their local listings. It shows that you are serious and care about the reputation of your business.
Categories are one of THE most important things that can help – or hurt – your rankings. Categories should match the keywords you are focusing on in this SEO strategy.
Distance from City Center
Location, location, location. Whether using a desktop or a mobile device, location of a business is absolutely crucial. For example, if someone is searching for “fast food” on their mobile phone, a restaurant 2 miles down the road is much more likely to appear than the restaurant 10 miles away.
Total Keywords in Home Page
Content is key. Using relevant keywords in the written text on your website will help search engines understand what your business sells and will help you rank for those keywords.
A backlink is any link from an outside website to yours. The more you have, the better! But if your competition has more than you do…..then you have some work to do!
The older the domain age, the more credibility you receive from search engines. You cannot simply “buy” years for your domain name, so this is not something you can change for a current business. If you are thinking about opening a new business, however, keep in mind that older domains are given more credit than new ones!
Search engines are able to compile a large portion of this data by scanning the internet for your phone number. That is why it is so important for you to use the same phone number for any SEO work that you do for your business.
Knowledge is power. Understanding how strong or weak your competition is will help you as you build a strong SEO strategy. Whether you collect this information manually or use a tool to scan the internet, this information can help you be more efficient in your use of resources and make a greater impact more quickly.