The 4 W’s Of Competitor Analysis

Competitor research is a key SEO strategy that helps businesses identify their current and potential rivals.

Competitor research is a key SEO strategy that helps businesses identify their current and potential rivals.

It helps you to gain better insight about customers and find better ways to reach out to them. Competition analysis also helps you find keywords that are relevant to your industry and product/service. Researching about competition involves finding answers to the four W’s. These include:

Who:

You may have a fair idea about who your competitors are and may even be able to come up with a few names offhand. These could be your offline rivals and not necessarily your ‘search competitors.’ An SEO consultant can help you come up with an exhaustive list of competitors who are really relevant to your business. There are many ways to do this. You could either type ‘related: yourdomain.com’ on Google, or scan your LinkedIn profile. The former is a list of companies that Google thinks are related to your business. Look for the names of businesses that come up on the right-hand corner of your LinkedIn profile page to see companies similar to yours.

What:

What are the things that they do differently that helps them successfully reach out to targeted customers? What is their social media strategy? What are the issues that they discuss on their blog or social media? What are the posts that have the maximum likes or shares on their Facebook page? All of this information helps you come up with ideas to develop your content strategy.

Where:

Competitor backlink analysis helps you find the links that point back to your competitor’s website. You also get to track anchor text and citation flow. Where do they get their links from? Analyze some of their strongest backlinks and look for ways to connect with them.

Why:

Why are your competitors doing what they’re doing? Are their strategies aligned to their goals? And most importantly, are they relevant to your audience? Who are your competitors talking to? Are they directing their content towards a particular type of audience? For example, are they targeting influencers? Or, are they targeting the end user? A good content strategy includes different types of content that are targeted towards different types of end users.

The Author manages Think Big Marketing, an SEO company in Pittsburgh that specializes in affordable SEO for small and medium businesses.

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