SEO Competitors Checklist – For Competition Analysis

Posted: March 5, 2013 in Blog

By Amit Rawat

1. Identify Targets: Any Sites listed above yours in SERP’s.

Identify Broad Competitors: Sites that compete with the majority of your products/services

  • Ask client for list of Top 10-20 off line clients
  • Perform search for Top 5 most important keywords. Add any repetitive listings to competitor list.
  • Survey selection of client’s customers and ask who they also considered in their purchase process
  • Identify to industry associations and research to companies listed as members

Identify Niche Competitors: Sites that compete with only a fraction of your products/services

  • Perform search for Top 10 keywords, adding the to2-3 listings to competitor list

2. Search

Objective: Determine what a competitor’s internal site optimization strategy is, how successful they are at implementing it and to learn from it

Keyword Analysis

  • What keywords are they targeting in their title tags? List the current competitor rank and search volume for each.
  • Which keywords are they showing as a priority in their tags (based on keyword positioning)?
  • Are they listing any keywords in their Meta keywords tag? This shows that they think they are important.
  • List current competitor rank and search volume for each

Content Analysis

  • What keywords are they focusing their headlines on?
  • Are they focusing heavily on branding or optimization?
  • What keywords are they using for internal link anchor text?
  • How often are they creating new content?
  • What types of content are they creating? Is it link-bait content or branded content?

Technical Analysis

  • How well are your competitors’ websites rendering in search engines?
  • How are they optimizing their navigation?
  • What are their calls to action — are they obvious?
  • How well is their site being indexed in the SERPs? Are all of their pages being properly indexed?
  • How clean is their HTML? Does it look like they are actively optimizing their code?

3. Anchor Text Check

Objective: Determine what a competitor’s external site optimization Strategy is and to capitalize on it

Backlink Profile

  • How many backlinks does each competitor have?
  • How many unique domains do they have backlinks from?
  • Can you identify any backlinks growth patterns based on the date links were created?
  • Which pages on their site receive the most backlinks (outside of the homepage)?
  • What anchor text is being used and to what pages?
  • What percentage of links is images/no-follow?

Types of Links

  • What forums are they participating in?
  • What associations/organizations are they member of?
  • What conferences are they sponsoring?
  • What blogs are they guest posting on?
  • At what frequency and on what topics?
  • Can you tell if they are buying links?

Link Acquisition

  • Are they inviting guest bloggers to post on their blog?
  • Are they creating viral content?
  • Are they creating free tools and/or widgets?
  • Are they conducting interviews?
  • Are they holding contests?
  • Are people reviewing their products on their own sites?
  • Where are they getting mentioned and what is the sentiment of those mentions?

4. Regular Watch on Competitor – Best Strategy

After Initial Competitor Review, revisit every quarter

Determine how their strategy is evolving:

  • How have their rankings increased/decreased?
  • How many inbound links have they built?
  • How much has their site grown?
  • Did they launch any major link bait programs?
  • What were their successes and failures?

How does this compare to your site?

Are there any new links, communities, and keywords for you to target?


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