Struggling to keep up with the competition? Wondering why they always seem to be one step ahead of your brand or business? Or maybe, you simply choose to not focus on your competitors. Whether you want to or not, it’s vital that you don’t ignore your competition in B2B marketing, especially when it comes to SEO.
As much as you wish you could single-handedly dominate the market your brand is in, there are thousands of other committed marketing teams who are getting results for their clients. So how exactly can you figure out, and beat, your competitor’s digital performance?
Tracking, analysing and beating your competition can be tricky. As a marketing professional, it’s likely that you already have several SEO tools that you love and use on a day to day basis. But! Have you ever considered how you can use those tools to beat your competition?
Why do you need to keep track of your competitors?
Competition is a healthy part of every industry and business. Not only does it prevent complacency, but it also encourages creativity and forces you to do better! In terms of SEO, as we previously mentioned, keeping track and analysing what your competitors are doing enables you to improve your own SEO strategy. Identifying who your top competitors are, and discovering why they’re outranking you, allows you to explore various options as to what you can do about it.
How to identify your SEO competitors
It’s likely that you already have an idea of who the big-name brands in your industry are, but do you know who your main SEO rivals are? These two aren’t necessarily the same, and you may have multiple SEO competitors who you haven’t even considered that you need to compete within SERPs.
For example, an interior designer in Manchester trying to rank for keywords like ‘interior design for businesses’ would be competing with other design firms for first page results. But if that interior designer was also trying to rank a helpful how-to blog, they would also be competing with the likes of Ikea too!
Your leading SEO competitors are the businesses who rank in the first search page of the keywords you’re targeting, regardless of whether they’re your business competitors.
5 SEO tools you can use to figure out and beat your competition
Here are some of the best SEO tools for competitive analysis that can help you track, analyse and provide you with the most accurate data about your client’s current competitive landscape.
SEMRush is a great tool to find out where your competitors are ranking in organic search results, as well as using it to analyse their keyword strategies. SEMRush supports an extensive Google database of 131 countries that you can use to identify organic competitors for your brand.
Their dashboard displays the proportion of branded to non-branded traffic, the number of search queries, and the amount of traffic branded search brings along with how it’s been trending over time. It also shows you what category a domain belongs to, based on the keywords for which it ranks in Google.
You can locate successful keywords and phrases that your competitors are using to rank better in Google and see if they are relevant to your brand. Once you know this, you can start to structure your SEO strategy around those keywords and phrases.
Moz’s Keyword Explorer is a great tool that you can use to rank higher than the competition by factoring important metrics into your SEO and search engine marketing strategy. It provides a view of individual keyword data, including search estimates, potential difficulty, and the types of results in organic search. For potential difficulty, this includes competitiveness, so you can better assess how difficult it may be to rank high on Google’s first search engine results page.
Once you’ve defined your keyword strategy, Moz Keyword Explorer provides a comprehensive view on how to apply it. You can use it to assess the type of results that appear for a given keyword target, as well as uncovering comparable keyword opportunities.
Whilst you obviously can’t run your competitors’ websites on Google Analytics, you can use the tool to monitor visitor traffic on your own. Having a solid understanding of what’s driving this performance will help identify the right strategies moving forward.
There are some features on Google Analytics that can give you an idea of your competition and your industry. The benchmarking option allows you to compare your data with aggregated industry data from other companies who share their data.
Once you’ve enabled benchmarking, you’ll be able to see data related to devices, location and channels, which can give you an idea of where you should focus more, where your competition is, and where you have issues. More than that, you’ll have the opportunity to get some insights on your market.
Google Trends allows you to see trends around a particular topic and what information people are looking for on Google. This real-time data will give you a better idea of what your target audience is searching for and how they are searching for it.
When you type in a keyword or phrase, Google Trends will suggest some of the most popular and related topics to improve your search. Then, you can adjust the timeframe and geography-based on the information needed to get a varied view of the popularity of that keyword or phrase over time.
Are there any obvious trends? Was the topic more relevant at one point than it is now? Did popularity recently spike? These types of questions can be used to guide your B2B SEO strategy and stay ahead of the competition.
SERPstat has grown from a keyword research tool to a growth hacking tool for content marketing, which appears to mirror features other SEO software tools have. For example, the quality of its data is comparable to SEMrush.
SERPstat allows you to deep dive into a competitor’s SEO and get data on that site’s best SEO keywords that are bringing them the most traffic. The main dashboard gives you an overview of the most visible pages, which is extremely useful as it will save you time and help you avoid the endless process of exporting organic rankings data!
Are you still struggling to compete?
If your competitors still ahead in the SEO race, then why not enlist the help of a B2B marketing agency? At List & Found, we’ll improve your Google rankings, outperform your competitors, drive more of your ideal customers to your site, and turn your visitors into customers. Sound good?