3 ways to conduct your own SEO competitor analysis.

Google takes into account a wide range of factors when ranking pages – more than 200 data points according to some reports – which can make it hard to understand how, exactly, you can ensure your website is the first result people see when they conduct searches related to your business.

What search factors are most important to Google for search engine optimisation?

The first thing you need to be aware of is what Google rates most highly.

While Google generally keeps this information under wraps, the main search ranking factors, according to most industry reports, are backlinks, content and RankBrain.

The third – RankBrain – is Google’s machine learning system, which you can’t really influence directly, but the first two elements are within your control.

For content, you need to be creating relevant, helpful material that answers the key questions potential customers are asking about your products. You can find out what they’re looking for by conducting your own research and examining the most common Google searches related to your keywords (Google Trends is a good resource to help with this).

RELATED: How to drive traffic to your site with content.

For backlinks, the equation is a bit more tricky.

Essentially, you want as many high profile sites as possible referring to your domain – so you want sites saying your business is great and providing a link back to your page.

But how do you know who to target to boost your rank?

One of the best ways to do this is to study what your competitors are doing – and why they’re ranking higher than you (assuming that’s the case).

 1. Conduct a backlink analysis.

A great way to get an understanding of why a competitor is ranking in Google search is to examine the domains that are linking to them.

You can do this with ahrefs for free using their Backlink Checker. Simply enter any website and get a report on exactly which pages are linking to their site.

The report also shows how popular each linking page is (the Domain Rating), giving you a clear idea on which ones, specifically, are providing their page with the biggest SEO boost.

Using this, you can get an idea of what you should be targeting – and you might even find some sites to target to provide links to your business.

RELATED: What is backlinking and why does your site need it?

2. Check out social media links.

BuzzSumo gives you the ability to look at which social media platforms are driving the most traffic to any site.

Using their ‘Most shares’ content research element, you can enter any URL and get a listing of all the social shares each post has had. Based on this data, you can get a better understanding of the social platforms driving the most traffic to this site.

While Google doesn’t factor in social signals themselves when ranking pages, social shares do relate to website traffic and subsequent links, which are ranking factors.

By discovering where they’re getting more traffic from, you can get an understanding of where your target audience is most likely to be, and where you should be making more of an effort.

3. Check out which keywords drive traffic. 

Another great SEO tool is SEMRush, which will show you (among other things) which keywords are driving the most traffic for any website.

In SEMRush, you simply enter the URL you want to examine and it’ll give you a listing of that page’s top keywords.

With this information, you can get a better understanding of what’s leading people to visit a particular site, which can then help you develop your own keyword and content strategy by focusing on the same or similar search terms.

Get help from a dedicated SEO agency.

These are just three ways to get a better understanding of SEO and how to move your website up the search results page. It takes time, effort, and at the very least a basic understanding of all things search engine optimisation.

Whether you don’t have the time, knowledge, or interest in running your own SEO competitor analysis, you can at least turn to a dedicated SEO agency such as Yellow Pages for help.

Our team of SEO experts can create and execute a strategy to connect you with more customers online. Get in touch today to find out how. 

Not sure how to get your SEO up and running? Yellow Pages is here to help.

Our team of SEO experts can create and execute a strategy to connect you with more customers online.

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