Researching Your Competitor’s SEO Strategy

Do you research your competitor’s seo strategy and activities?  If you don’t then you should, this is the only way to beat them at their own SEO game.

Firstly lets define a competitor. Comptetitors are not necessarily your traditional bricks and mortar competitors.  Your online competitors are the websites with the number one to five positions in the search engine results pages (SERPS) for the keywords you’re targeting.

Now that you’ve discovered your true competitors, its time to start researching their seo strategy in order to discover why they are ranking on top of the serps.

There are a few things you can do immediately to get an overview of their seo strategy:

  1. Perform a site colon search for their url on Google.  This will show you all the pages in their site listed in Google.  So for example if you’re trying to research my site, you would typed in the Google search box site:omarkattan.com. Analysing the results of the site colon test you can quickly find out if their doing seo or not and if they are, you can find out what keywords their trying to target in their meta tags.   

  2. Next, go to Yahoo! and perform a link colon for their url.  This will take you to Yahoo’s site explorer where you can start researching your competitor’s link popularity.   Make sure to select the drop down options of “Except from this Domain” and “Entire Site”  This will exclude any internal links and will show links pointing to the entire site, not just the homepage.

  3. Go to Technorati and type in the domain name into the search box.  This will show you how popular your competitor is in the blogosphere

  4. Go to Google image search and type the domain name in the search box.  his will show you if their images are optimised to show up in the search results (an increasingly important factor) as Universal Search is becoming the norm.

  5. Go to YouTube and type in their URL, this will show you if their optimising for video search, again a universal search biggy.

The above are but a few factors you can measure, there are many more, but if you start with the above, you’ll be in a better position to implement a winning seo strategy.

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Omar Kattan is Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital, the MENA region's first specialist content marketing agency headquartered in Dubai. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.

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