Starting a business is no easy task. You have to find capital, research your key audience and if you are a one man show you are wearing multiple hats. Once you get your business off the ground, you have more time to look into what your competitors are doing currently. You probably did research when you first started, but the landscape in your industry could have changed since the last time you did a good in-depth look.
Audit their Sites
When you decide to dive deep into competitor analysis, you have to start somewhere. Pick your top three or four competitors and see what they are doing. Audit their site and see what keywords they are using, how their site is laid out and what sites are linking back to theirs. Chances are you will see comparisons. Are they on similar sites? Are they using similar keywords and key phrases? How do their sites look similar and differ? What do you like about each?
How Can You Do It Better?
Once you have the information you need, the ball is in your court. How can you do it better than them? What are your strengths? Do you have a rock star SEO team that can blow them out of the water? Plan out a great strategy that will benefit your website and company. Remember Google can be fickle, and what works for one website might not work for another.
Revisit your strategy monthly. There are too many moving parts to online marketing not to. Stay up-to-date on industry trends and news. You never know when Google might pull out another major change to their algorithm. Make sure you stay ahead of the curve, it can help your site and blast your competitors out of the water.
There are a million different details that go into building a website. You need to know what the look of your brand is, how it will translate across the site and how user friendly your website is laid out. Another aspect to a website overhaul is how it will perform in the search engines. If your current website isn’t optimized correctly, this is your chance to start your SEO plan right.
Take the time to research keywords for your main website pages. This can become a tedious task, but it will pay off in the end. What are the words that represent what your company does? Are people searching for those words? Keyword research is a balance between what you find relevant, and what people are actually typing into Google.
Internal linking is a great way to boost your rankings and also give users what they want. Besides filling out your keyword tags on your website, make sure you are linking internally. On that same note, you don’t want to over optimize your site. Google rolled out last month a new update, cutely named Penguin. This update is to help combat web spam. Specifically over optimizing and linking on spammy looking blog networks. Be smart in your linking strategy and you’ll be fine.
When implementing a new SEO strategy, make sure it is one that is fluid. Meaning, it is always evolving and can be improved upon. Static SEO strategies won’t improve your rankings, and could potentially harm you. Staying up-to-date on new trends and updates is going to yield the best results.
Research, testing and standing back and looking at the big picture is going to help you in the long run. If you can keep this in mind while building your website, you will be one step ahead of the game.