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  • Marc Primo Warren

Getting the upper hand in SEO through competition monitoring

This is an article ‘Getting the upper hand in SEO through competition monitoring’ by Marc Primo

For modern companies leveraging the potential of search engine optimization (SEO), it's common practice to monitor what competition brands are currently up to in their own campaigns. While there’s nothing wrong with taking a peek to see what your competitors are up to from time to time, charting your path to where you want to go should always be the top priority.

As many SEO practitioners and digital marketers would agree, competition monitoring is an essential aspect of any marketing campaign. Such white hat practices help businesses stay ahead of the curve and make informed decisions when it comes to their strategies in the digital space. The logic is simple: you keep an eye on your top-performing competitors' online strategy, and as a result, you'll be able to gather valuable insights that could work in your brand's favor.

To get the upper hand in SEO this year through competition monitoring, here are a few tips you can try for better engagement:

Track the leader to understand the market

Being a follower isn't always a bad thing, especially if you're following the leading benchmark of excellence. Actively monitoring the best performer in your niche and the people who follow them gives you a handful of insights that help your marketers understand the industry better. You'll have access to the latest trends, what people are talking about, and what pain points your target customers need so you can tweak your campaigns accordingly.

Aside from these insights that are not readily visible, you get to review up and down patterns, such as which economic factors affect the market or specific consumer preferences regarding products or services. You'll also be able to see what keywords your competition is targeting, what content they're developing, and what strategies they use to promote their website.

While not everyone likes copycats, gaining the correct information and making it your own strategy via a few adjustments helps you identify gaps in the market. After all, almost everything original these days comes from a particular inspiration someone has already done in the past. So, aim for improvement. From there, see if such a new strategy can work for your brand in terms of engagement.

Don't be left out on trends and updates

SEO is constantly changing, and it can be tough to keep up with the latest trends and best practices at the rate technology is going. One thing you can discover from monitoring your competitors is the strategies they're using and how they're adapting to these changes in your niche market.

Being informed about new SEO trends and how much your competitors know and are doing about them can make it more straightforward to see why they are ranking and why you are not on search engine results pages (SERPs). Try to keep your focus on specific facets of their strategies, including information about their content, keywords, backlinks, and other factors that can play a significant role in search engine rankings.

Paying attention to detail on the latest SEO trends also gives you the upper hand in recalibrating your tactics in search engine tracking and understanding Google's latest algorithm updates.

Keep an eye on what your competitors are updating and changing

Not everything on a page is optimized for search engine algorithms—some content and even pages you can do away with and not pay mind at all. When monitoring your competitor's website and landing pages, test the channels that involve SEO traffic and how they adjust the corresponding pages.

For example, your competitor utilizes a large volume of branded search traffic, which makes them the most prominent drive-to-site elements in their campaign. If that's the case, then it won't matter much if you focus on those pages' SEO. These pages are mainly used to test external UX factors such as average order value (AOV) or conversion rate (CR).

Instead, you can focus on UX factors and create a better site that further expounds on your competitors' performing pages and their messaging. You can offer more information, e-commerce prompts, and other trust builders to gain the upper hand. This way, you have something more to show on your site than that of your biggest competitor.

Try to find more opportunities

Performing a thorough analysis of every nook and cranny concerning your competitors' websites and landing pages may be too time-consuming, but all the work is worth it. Scrutinizing your competitors' websites and online marketing efforts will help you identify more opportunities to improve your campaigns while setting yourself apart from other brands.

For example, say a competitor ranks well for a particular keyword but their website needs better design and functionality. Investing in your on and off-page SEO allows you to outrank them by providing users with a better online and e-commerce experience.

Competition monitoring is a helpful tool for tracking your progress and measuring the success of your SEO efforts. By comparing your website and online marketing campaigns to what your competitors offer, you'll see how you're stacking up and identify areas you need to work on or shelve for better ranking and UX.

Always be two steps ahead

Sometimes, all it takes to be better than the competition is to add new features to your site such as visually appealing lifestyle shots, user testimonials, or FAQs. These copy blocks of information will help users differentiate your brand from the rest and give them the impression that you're an authentic band that wants to help the market.

While it's essential to always keep an eye on what other competitors are doing, it's also good practice to turn away from time to time and offer what isn’t available in the market. For example, if everyone is going for conversion tactics like a Fourth of July sale, you might want to find more traction via newsjacking content that can also lead their attention to your brand. Once you gain engagement, amp up your YouTube Shorts and TikTok content efforts for wider and instant mileage.

There's no denying that competition monitoring is a crucial aspect of SEO. If done correctly, it helps businesses stay informed, up-to-date, and ahead in the game. By keeping an eye on your competitors and analyzing their strategies, you can gain valuable insights, make informed decisions about your online marketing efforts, and expect higher conversions moving forward.

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