A look into competition analysis as one of the best SEO hacks for your business
Every successful business has its strategies in the right place. By strategy, it is not just optimal funding, branding or marketing that is implied. Though these are some of the very extrinsic and overt ways of going about a project, there are certain intrinsic strategies that have a huge role to play in determining the success of an organisation. Competition analysis is the prime factor in the territory of Search Engine Optimisation; and if you have been wondering why we shifted our focus from the success of a business idea to Search Engine Optimisation, let me tell you that it is all related. As a matter of fact, there is no way you can scale up your business and grow without banking on the favourite strategy of this half of the century, which is SEO! However, before diving into the process of competition analysis, here are a few things that you must wrap your heads around.
What is Competition Analysis?
To offer a textbook definition of the term, competition analysis can be defined as a process where you use recommended SEO tools like Ahrefs or Moz to check every on-page element of your competitors’ websites. The process provides you with an understanding of how optimised your competitors might have their websites and where exactly they lack so that you can take advantage of those loopholes and optimise your website accordingly, to outrank your competitors in the SERPs.
No matter how majestic and authoritative a page might look, be informed that every page has certain flaws. Some might not have many backlinks pointed at them, but have great content, which is why they have been able to acquire a decent rank on the search results. On the other hand, some pages might have great backlinks which successfully added to their page authority and thus, enables a higher ranking. Whatever the case might be, competition analysis sheds light on the drawbacks of a page so that you can make optimal use of those.
Why is Competition Analysis So Important?
Before we talk about why competition analysis is important, it is crucial that you understand what exactly it is about SEO that has taken the digital world by a storm! SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a way of optimising your website using calculated tactics and educated guesses so that they make it to the top ranks in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). The biggest search engine is, by default, Google. Therefore, if you have gotten a way to analyse how Google’s algorithm of ranking works, and bagged a sweet spot for yourself in the ranks, you shall by default, rank in the results of every other search engine (if that is even a thing!). Applying effective SEO techniques to attain this ranking increases the visibility of your website and thus, lures customers to your products and services. This further, helps in tweaking the traffic to your website and eventually, the conversion rate. Therefore, SEO is that one weapon that businesses cannot afford to give amiss. SEO analysts and experts are hired by organisations, because it has become almost impossible to run a business without these people.
Now, coming back to the point of competition analysis, in order to optimise your website to suit the needs of Google, you need to carry out an extensive research process. You need to check for all those websites in your niche and see why they have ranked in the first place. You also need to understand how you could manoeuvre their flaws for the benefit of your website. A process that ostensibly looks tedious is actually quite simple if you have the right tools at your disposal. The best tool, as recommended by SEO experts all across the world, is Ahrefs. It is a paid tool, and rightly so. The features and services that this tool has to offer to its users are nothing like anything. Therefore, without much ado, we shall look into how you could go about the process of competition analysis using Ahrefs.
Using Ahrefs for Competition Analysis:
There a few basic steps that you need to follow while looking into your competition, and the best way you could do that is by using Ahrefs. Here is how.
Check if the Rankings are Unbeatable
Government-owned pages and pages of some high-end organisation shall always stay unbeaten. This is not because they have some miraculous SEO hacks in their bags, but simply because they serve as the most relevant pages in the domain of that particular keyword. Take, for example, the keyword ‘revenue’. You cannot hope to come up with a site that has boatloads of information about ‘revenue’ and outrank the government site that deals with the same keyword. Therefore, it is vital that you choose a niche that has better chances to rank. See, this is the reason why competition analysis is required from the very beginning.
You will get an insight into which keywords to target and which niche to choose. Though you would not need any tool to identify whether a page is government-owned or not, you could always check for the authority of the page in Ahrefs before giving up on your hope to outrank it.
Look at the Page Authority
In order to analyse the page authority, you need to place the link address of the website in Ahrefs. Once you do that, you will get all the information you require about the website’s URL rating (UR), Domain rating (DR), the quality of backlinks, the number of Referring Domains (RD) and several other elements. The most important of all these is the UR. For instance, if a website’s UR is something like 50, then it is quite a challenging figure, and the site might be difficult to beat. However, if the UR is somewhere in the range of 20 to 30, you have fair chances at outranking the site. You will need to look into other factors as well, but the UR is a good head start.
Finish the analysis of one site and then move on to the other top-ranking sites. Once you have an idea of the page authority of all these sites in the topmost ranks, you shall know how to optimise your website.
Scour for On-Page Optimisation Factors
This is the place where you look for all the other elements of the page like its meta-tags, quality of content, content structure, H1, H2 and H3 tags, images and multimedia. If a page has a shoddy content, this is where you can seize the opportunity. No matter how strong a page might look, the audience will always leave the page if the content is esoteric or grammatically erroneous. Therefore, make use of this flaw and optimise your content with the right sentence and paragraph fragmentation, grammar and information. Google has high regards for great content, and you should keep that in mind. Also, check how many images or multimedia your competitor has used on their page to support their content. You have a high chance of outranking them by outnumbering their multimedia. Finally, use your target keywords in the first paragraph of your content, in the H1 and H2 tags and also in the meta-description of the page. This is one of the best tried and tested methods of ranking higher in the SERPs.
The greatest of pages has the silliest of drawbacks. It might not dawn upon you when you are starting new in this domain. However, as you go about analysing more and more pages, the reality shall sink in, and you shall be able to emerge as an expert. Therefore, if you employ the appropriate techniques of competition analysis, there shall be no looking back for any of your business endeavours.