Congratulations on making it through step 2! Today we move on to Step 3 – Competition Research! Smart and thorough competition research can be invaluable for local SEO. In this critical step you will be researching what works for both you and for your competitors and who is stronger in their own specific areas.
As with several of these steps, this is just a brief overview of the process. When conducting your competition research it is imperative to put all of your information together into a spreadsheet and reference it frequently. You would be shocked to see the progress that can be made over the course of three to six months.
- Find your competition.
This is where things get interesting. All you have to do is search for Google variations of what your business does. For example, this is what happens when you type in “Pest Removal, Wichita KS.”
- Discover Links
What we a re looking for here is anything that directs a person to one of your competition’s sites. Links can come in the form of a word, a line of text or even an image. How linking works: When a search engine crawls a site, it takes into account not only the contents of the pages but also the links inside those pages. Having strong links to established sites can boost rankings, and your competition may be enjoying increased traffic to their site from the links further boosting their own SEO.
But not all links have the same value. Spam links, can actually downgrade your ranking, whereas links from good, reliable sources can become virtual gold.
Here you are going to analyze your business’s presence on the internet. You are going to be looking for any site that includes your business name, address or phone number. Most of the time these listings will provide a link back to your site. It can be very helpful to see how many places your business is listed, and to check for any inconsistencies compared to your competition.
- Competition Strength
Here you will utilize an outside tool to see where your competition is strong, find out what keywords generate their traffic and how they are ranking. SEMRush is a great tool for this, or you could always give us a shout and we can help!
This is the final piece of the competition research puzzle, although its one of the most important. Reviews not only affect your traffic and rankings, but how much weight they carry with your potential customers. We will go more in depth into reviews later, but for the time being you will want to find and document the number of reviews your competition has and where they come from. Also look for for any resources your competition is using to collect reviews.
Now you should have an organized document with all the important information about your own business and your competition in one place. You know have a starting point to begin dominating your competition!
Stay tuned for Step 4, coming soon!