As the amount of internet users increases, so do the number of businesses that set up websites. Unfortunately, this saturation creates a significant amount of competition. And standing out from the crowd can be incredibly difficult, to say the least.
If you’re a Singapore business owner who is interested in getting a leg up on your competitors, then it’s time to start scrutinizing their SEO strategy. This way, you can determine what methods are working best for them and how you could use them to improve your own brand. Here are 5 tips for reverse engineering your competitors’ SEO strategy.
1. Identify Your Competition
Your first priority should be to find out exactly who your competitors are. This may seem like common sense, but in actuality, it can be much more challenging than you think. You see, most people are aware of their indirect competition–the brands that offer the exact same services and products as they do.
For example, if you sell mobile phones, you know that your indirect competition is electronic stores. In this case, they are known for more than their mobile phones. With a little keyword analysis, indirect competitors are easy to find.
However, many tend to overlook their perceived competition–the brands that don’t offer identical products and services, but who compete for identical energy and time from customers. These are the brands that could replace you.
For example, if you sell digital cameras, mobile phone brands would be your perceived competition because the features they provide could make cameras replaceable or obsolete. These are the competitors that are more challenging to identify. In this case, you would need to use customer surveys as well as social listening tools in order to find out what other interests your target audience may have that conflict with your brand. Once you’ve found your competitors, identify the top five.
2. Dissect Their Content
The next step is to scrutinize your competitors’ content. More specifically, you need to be on the lookout for the pieces of content that have been shared the most. Tools like Social Crawlytics can be very helpful with this process. The benefits of identifying the content that performs well is that it will help you decide the types of content and topics that your audience is most interested in.
Remember to consider several different types of content, including hero pieces which work to raise brand awareness, hub pieces which work to entertain or educate the audience, and hygiene pieces which work to keep your audience engages.
If you want the best indicators of interest, then check out the amount of social shares the content receives. This is a great way to tell if the information resonated with the audience. Even if these pieces haven’t managed to generate a lot of quality links, it still shows that customers care about the topic. Once you identify what is most popular, you can test these out on your own blog.
3. Pick Apart Their Technical SEO
If you feel that your company is missing a few SEO techniques, try analysing your competition’s technical SEO. What do their tagging titles look like? Do they stuff keywords? Are they making use of content that is multimedia in order to keep users on site? And most importantly, are the pages of their website engaging?
Once you know more about these elements, you can look further into their advanced SEO strategies. Your competitors may be using on-site techniques that are not readily visible. For instance, you may find that some competing brands use HSTS. This is a directive that lets the search engines know that a website is secure. They may use AMP in order to increase the loading speed on mobile devices. Your competitor could also be using JSCON Schema, which is tool that incorporates Java and ensures that the site is more flexible.
If your website is not as fast as your competition, then it could be very hard to make any real progress. And that’s why you should know as much as possible about advanced SEO. If you find it difficult or want to learn more, then you may need to consider working with a SEO pro until you get the hang of it. This person will be able to take a look at your competition and quickly identify opportunities that you are missing out on.
4. Identify Their Backlinks
When it comes to backlinks, there are several advantages to finding out where your competitors’ are coming from. Not only can you create a list of prospects for your own website, but you can also find out if they are running new campaigns. And there are several tools online that can help you with this.
One of the most popular tools for finding the source of backlinks is Ahrefs. It gives you the ability to discover sudden spikes in links which point to your competitor’s website. And you can easily find out if these spikes are related to their newest campaign.
The most obvious indicators are spikes that are related to certain niches. If you pay attention to the anchor text, you will be able to identify which topics are the most popular among the wider audiences. Consider creating something similar. Perhaps you could even cover this topic on a smaller scale. Use this strategy to identify niches that you have yet to tap into.
What makes this technique so effective is that if can help you to create a list of website that you can reach out to when building a new campaign. If you want to approach a website about a recent article, but you notice that they have already covered a piece that is very similar, you should still reach out to them. This is because websites are always interested in getting the latest and most up-to-date information. They could also appreciate a different perspective on the topic. Just remember that even if your content is great, getting backlinks still takes quite a bit of work.
5. Combine Your Findings
While it’s a good idea to take advantage of all of these techniques, it won’t do much good if all of the information is kept separately from each other. If you want to get the most out of your reverse engineering, then it’s important that you put all of the information you’ve collected in one, central place. Start by developing a profile for each of your competitors.
This is best done when laid out in slide presentation form. Break each company down into sections. And each campaign can have its own slide. Include each company’s strengths and weaknesses. You can end the presentation by making bullet points of your goals as well as the steps you’re going to take and the dates by which they will be completed.
If you want to become a leading brand in your industry, then it’s a good idea to examine and evaluate your competition’s SEO strategy. Sure, you could always come up with your own creative ideas, however, you should always keep an eye on the trends that are occurring around you. And this means monitoring other brands within your niche. Identify all of the major players and then put your plan of action into work.