Competitive Analysis to understand your competitors SEO Strategy -Position2

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					Competitive Analysis to understand your competitors SEO Strategy Position2

In order to execute a successful SEO strategy, it is very important to know who your competitors are. Understanding your competitors’ SEO strategy, website and their level of penetration in the internet is critical to the success of SEO campaigns. What I am referring to is not just direct competitors, but competitors that rank in search engines for the keywords that you optimize your website. Executing an SEO competitive analysis Competitive SEO analysis can reveal many interesting findings about your competitors’ SEO. After you have shortlisted the keywords and the competitors that rank for those keywords, run your competitors’ websites through this checklist:  Content Analysis: Analyzing your competitors’ content will help you set a benchmark on how much you need to optimize your website.  Title and Description Tags: Compare your title and description tags with your competitors’ to assess the number of times the keyword appears, placement of keyword and identify if you can make your tags look more appealing than your competitors can.  Heading Tags: Compare your competitors’ websites to identify if, your targeted keywords are used. Analyze the overall density of the keyword present in heading tags. Normally, a top-ranking website will always have the targeted keyword present in the H1, H2 … H6 tags.  Body Text: Analyze the overall keyword density, placement of your targeted term in your competitors’ website to assess how well the content is optimized. Identify if the content is contextually relevant to the keyword being targeted on the page.  Alternate Text: Analyze if the images used on your competitors’ website contain the targeted term.  Domain Names and URLs: Most of the websites that contain keywords in their domains would already have scored a brownie point; they would be ranking for those competitive keywords. If the keyword you are targeting is not present in your domain name, ensure that it is at least present in your URLs.  Strong and Bold Tags: Most of the competing websites would enclose important keywords within strong or bold tags. This highlights the important terms to search engines.  Bulleted Lists: Analyze if your competitors have the targeted keyword present in their bulleted list. Website Architecture Your website may have been optimized perfectly for targeted keywords, but if you are still not ranking for your targeted keywords in SERPs. Then it may be because you have bad website architecture

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URL Structure: Ensure your websites URL structure is free of any dynamic strings and parameters. This may help you score high rankings in search engines. Domain Age: If your competitors’ domain age is older than yours is, ensure that you register your domain for at least 10 years. This will help search engines consider that you seriously want to establish your presence on the internet. No-follow Tags: Check if your competitors have used no-follow tags to channel page rank juice throughout the website. Implementing a thematic website structure can do wonders for your website rankings. XML and HTML Sitemaps: Competitor websites that perform well in SERPs always have a HTML sitemap as their internal navigation. Ensure that you create an XML sitemap and submit it to search engines; this will ensure that all the inner pages are crawled, too. Internal Navigation: This is one of the most important factors that decide how well your website performs in SERPs against your competitors. Ensure that your innermost pages are accessible within the first three clicks when a user lands on a page. Your internal navigation could be in the form of top global navigation, footer links, breadcrumbs, category based navigation, news tags, cloud tags, etc. Flash, Ajax, Frames, JavaScript’s: Your competitors may take your place in SERPs if your content is not visible to search engines. Ensure that critical content that you expect to be crawled is parsed by search engines. Do not make your content as a part of Flash, Ajax, Frames or JavaScript’s. If you do, ensure that you present an alternate version of the same content in textual format to search engines.

Internal Linking and External Linking  Internal Linking: Assess your competitors’ internal linking for the keyword you want to optimize and you will notice in most cases that the keyword is present in the internal links of the competitors’ site. Assess how many such anchor texts are pointing to the ranking URL and the page rank of the pages that have the anchor text for that keyword in your competitors’ site. This will help you understand how many internal anchor texts you need for your website.  External Linking: Most of the external links present in your website must be relevant to the content that is being optimized. Most of your top-ranking competitors would have implemented a no-follow tag on most of their external links. Ensure that external links present on your website has a nofollow tag. This will ensure that you prevent the flow of valuable page rank juice to external sites.  Backlinks: Analyze your competitors’ backlinks for relevance and anchor text. Identify the number of websites that contain the targeted keyword as anchor text and measure the page rank of those linking pages. This will help you understand how much time you need to spend in your back linking efforts.

Once the analysis is complete, ensure that you use this data to compare your website against your competitors’. This will tell you how much you need to optimize your website to win your way through SERPs.


				
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posted:10/13/2009
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