One of the most important parts of an SEO strategy is proper competitor research. This is where a lot of search engine optimisation strategies go wrong.
I have previously discussed the importance of proper PPC Keyword Research and how that research can directly feed back into your organic campaign. This post specifically deals with competitive analysis and how it can be done in no time at all with Keyword Spy Tool.
30 Seconds of Work
For this example we are an ecommerce store selling “gstar loose jeans”. Typing this into Google.co.uk we can see who are top competitor is:
We see our top competitor is republic.co.uk (I have picked a competitive niche but the process is the same). Over on Keyword Spy Tool simply enter the URL of your competitor and you will get all keywords this competitor is ranking for organically (I choose the United Kingdom as my region).
The above is a very small selection of keywords shown. Within 30 seconds of starting my research. I have now got all organic keywords republic.co.uk are ranking for, in what position and how many pages are indexed against this keyword.
What Just Happened
Keywordspy has gathered a database of over a billion keywords. When collecting information for paid keywords, keywordspy also records the top 20 organic ranking for those keywords. It then sorts this information by domain and shows you this information.
One extremely important point to understand is when you search for the domain, keywordspy will show you all keywords that domain ranks for (as we did above). But when you search for a keyword it will just show you only the top 20 domains for that keyword (your competitors).
Getting more Competitor Info/strong>
On indication of a well optimised site and a competitor who may be hard to shift is how their interior pages are ranking. If a competitor is ranking for keywords in a focused way throughout their site, it’s probably a fair guess you have a tough road ahead (but never impossible).
A great little feature of Keyword Spy Tool is the exported doc it produces.
From this we get a clear indication of not only the keywords they rank for, position of those keywords, pages indexed against that keyword and also the landing pages mapped against these keyword.
How To Determine What Strategy to Adopt
Another great little trick you can implement with Keyword Spy Tool is identifying what competitors are worth taking a long hard look at (and producing a report like the above). Taking the keyword “london hotels” as an example we can view the top domains for this keyword. What I am looking for is those domains that are ranking well with a smaller amount of keywords:
Here there are a couple of domains I am interested in as they have a really focused strategy. Keep in mind, these were the positions the last time keywordspy scrapped the page. In this market there will be a lot of movement. Looking at the top spots of Google.co.uk now we get:
This is pretty interesting. The domain www.londonnights.com may only rank for a smaller portion of keywords than a lot of the others. But it has certainly flew up the rankings from 16 to 1. This is definitely a site we want to take a look at.
The competitor analysis above could be easily completed in 5 minutes. There may be a lot more you need to do. But that is quite a bit of information for such a short period of time. Make sure you check PPC Keyword Research on steriods if you liked this. Also don’t forget to check out Keyword Spy Tool for yourself.