When it comes to any business, you should always be aware of what your competitors are doing. If you fall behind you’ll be able to respond quickly but if you track what they’re doing you’ll most likely already be able to predict it.
There are five things that you should be tracking about what your competitors are doing in the search engines, and online.
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New content is possibly one of the most obvious things that you will be able track when it comes to your competitors. You should be seeing what types of content your competitors are putting out and whether it resonates with their target audience. This can be observed by how many of their users engage with their site and share the content.
Within their content strategy, you should also see whether they are targeting any specific keywords. If so this might be a good way to see where they’re heading in their strategy and you can react accordingly.
Your competitor’s links can often be tracked and found with many link analysis tools on the web. These tools will often tell you exactly where your competitor’s links are coming from, with what anchor text and how long ago. Oftentimes you’ll be able to even get some of the links that they are getting. This can be one of the quickest ways to gain a link.
Your competitor’s social metrics is a big indicator as to how well they are doing. If you notice an influx on followers then it could be a good sign of effective SEO or due to a recent campaign. The amount of followers can often be due to how much traffic the website receives and will be a good indicator as to how well they are doing.
However you should also take note of whether they are running any competitions as this can affect their followers.
Your competitors rankings is definitely one thing you should track. There are a few tools out there that actually enable you to compare your rankings. This will be useful if you’re competing in a tight niche that causes you to fight for every customer. It’s also important to track if you’re within a high investment niche. A high investment niche can be categorised as one where someone takes an extended period of time to think about purchase. This can range from holidays to car insurance.
If you don’t have access to the tools then you should always try and incorporate their rankings into a spread sheet. You should track your ten most important keywords and see how they compare to you.
The above are five good ways you can tell how your competitors are performing compared to you. However you should never be in a position of reaction to your competitors. If you end up getting further behind consider opting for a blue ocean strategy. This is where you innovate and then start to get ahead of your competitors. However, either way you should always keep a note of what your competitors are doing within the SEO space.
One website that I use for analytics is freewebsitereport.com. I’m not sure how accurate this site is; however, I believe the information is accurate based on several entries I placed in it.