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The Strategic Value of Competitive Analysis to Your SEO Strategy

January 30, 2024
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Developing a digital search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for your small business can be compared to a solo hike through an uncharted forest. The vast expanse and beauty of boundless opportunities are enticing, but your competitors can be likened to tangled shrubs and looming trees that obscure the path ahead. To make SEO and the overall digital landscape more manageable, small business owners require an accurate map in the form of a comprehensive competitive analysis. Understanding your competitors through a competitive analysis is crucial to building an effective SEO strategy.

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Common Business Issues a Competitive Analysis Can Solve

When small businesses begin to think about creating their SEO strategies and analyzing their competitors, many issues can make the process more difficult.

  • Limited Visibility: Small businesses often need help to be seen online. Search engines are the modern compass; if potential customers cannot easily find your business in a search engine, those potential customers will have a much more challenging time discovering you.
  • Competition Overload: Niche industries or local markets may seem small, but the fight for attention is fierce. Large competitors with a firmly established SEO presence dominate search results, leaving your website a forgotten trail.
  • Marketing Maze: SEO can feel like a complex web if you are unfamiliar with digital marketing. Researching keywords, website optimization, and content creation can be overwhelming and lead to businesses not knowing where to start, which can stall growth.

All of these issues, however, can be alleviated with the help of a competitor analysis. By analyzing your competitors as part of your overall SEO strategy, you can gain more insights into their methods for solving these problems. With that information, finding and implementing your solutions becomes much more manageable.

How a Competitive Analysis Lights the Way for SEO

Competitive analysis is indispensable in your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. By studying your competitors closely, you investigate their tactics and uncover concealed opportunities in your business path. These opportunities can manifest in different ways.

Mapping the Terrain

While competitive analysis is about analyzing your competitors, that research is also about understanding your industry’s overall SEO landscape. Examining your competitors’ websites, keywords, and online presence gives you a bird’s-eye view of the competitive landscape.

You learn about what people search for in your industry, their intent in those searches, how many people search for specific keywords, and how difficult ranking for those keywords can be. Analyzing how your competitors perform in search engine results can help you build an SEO strategy based on your target audience’s use and wants out of search engines. This data becomes your roadmap, informing content creation and inspiring strategic website optimization to attract more relevant searchers.

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By mapping out the overall SEO terrain of your industry, a competitive analysis can help you solve the issue of limited visibility. When you know what people are searching for, you can optimize your website for keywords that allow potential customers to find your business more quickly in a search engine.

Pinpointing Strengths and Weaknesses

As with any analysis of your competitors, analyzing their SEO tactics has the benefit of identifying what your competitors are doing well and their potential shortcomings.

Here is an example: two companies are in the business of selling backpacks.

Company A

Company A sells high-end backpacks and has an established SEO strategy in place.

Company B

Company B sells affordable, lightweight backpacks and is a smaller business beginning to implement its SEO strategy.

While both companies are ostensibly in the same industry, they sell different products to different audiences at different price ranges. And that is where the smaller business can find value, a niche within a niche that a competitive analysis highlights. This way, the small business gained insights to target different keywords, refine and personalize content based on those keywords, and give themselves a greater chance of bringing in and converting leads.

Finding these opportunities and niches within niches can help small businesses circumvent competition overload. Small companies can differentiate themselves from the competition by focusing on these specialized areas found via competitive keyword research and analysis. This could lead to developing unique products or services, targeting a specific demographic, or offering a more personalized approach to website content. By carving out a niche within a niche, small businesses can thrive despite the intense competition in their industry.

Providing Guidance and Direction

The insights and data uncovered during a competitive analysis give small businesses an additional advantage: clear direction on focusing their SEO strategy. SEO is a broad field of marketing tactics and techniques. Determining which specific areas to concentrate on is vital to ensure your overall strategy is realistic, achievable, and gets you the best return on investment.

Take the previous example of the two backpack companies. The small business that focuses on affordable, lightweight backpacks can write content about related topics and keywords and can get backlinks from websites that more closely align with their niche without having to spend significantly more time and money trying to outrank their competitors on keywords that do not drive traffic to their websites in the first place.

A competitive analysis can give your business a clear direction and guide of where to spend your budget and time best.

Steps to Gain an Edge Over Your Competitors

  • Investigate and Play as Sherlock Holmes: Visit your competitor’s store or website to see why people choose their products or services. Analyze their customer service, shopping experience, web design, online content, and marketing strategies. Use this information to improve your approach.

  • Learn from Other Business Industries: Learn from other industries’ digital marketing and technology success stories.

  • Use the Evidence and Data You Gather: Use the data you have collected from analyzing your competitors to improve your business. Determine what tactics your competitors use and make a plan to incorporate those into your existing strategies.

  • Focus on Your Vision: Stay focused on your unique selling proposition and refine your plan. Gaining an edge over your competitors is about making progress, so whatever you do and however you process the information you find, always move forward.

Contact VIEWS Digital Marketing for Competitive Analysis & SEO Strategies

VIEWS Digital Marketing can help your business navigate the competitive online landscape by providing expert guidance and tools to create a personalized SEO strategy. Our team of experienced consultants can handle the heavy lifting, including keyword research, website optimization, content creation, and campaign management, saving you time and allowing you to focus on running your business. In addition, we will track your progress, adjust your strategy as needed, and ensure that you reach your marketing goals. Partner with us today and achieve success online.