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SEO: Checking in on the competition

For decades companies have been keeping an eye on their rivals. Large corporations dedicate funds every year into finding out what the competition is doing. They do this to try and stay ahead and make sure that they’re offering the best products and services on the market. If your company relies on its online presence then it’s a good idea to also be on top of what’s going on with the sites you’re competing with. Take a look at their SEO strategy and evaluate how it compares with what your own site is doing.

Start with checking the content:

Good quality content is always a top priority for search engines. When you first look at your top competitors this is often something that will stick out right away. Many of the top ranking sites have got there by becoming an authority and acquiring a following. Some may have already had an audience from the offgoogle website optimizerline world, but many have established themselves through the quality content and information they provide. So the question you need to know is: How does your content stack up to the competition?

  • Is the competition regularly producing new quality content?
  • Are they using user generated content to their advantage?
  • Is their content generating buzz?
  • Is the community within the industry responding to their content?

If you are able to produce better quality content then the other top sites, you should then in turn be able acquire more natural links from the community which will help boost your visibility.

Look at the competitions links:

Links as we all know are one of the single largest factors when it comes to ranking well within search. Taking a look at your competitor’s backlink profile can go a long way to helping you find opportunities for links of your own. Learn about whose linking to your rivals and why they’re linking to them and you may be able to use this info to your advantage. There are a number of websites and tools that will help you with this including the following:

Yahoo:

Type the following into Yahoo to find which sites are linking to your rival:
Linkdomain:example.com -site:example.com

Link Diagnosis:

This is a great tool that will give you a good roundup of their top links and the anchor text being used.

SEOmoz Link Scape

Another good tool with plenty of added features.

Listen to where the competition is being mentioned:

While you probably monitor what is being said about your own company, it doesn’t hurt to find out what’s going on with your competition. Setup something as simple as a Google Alerts and you will be able to find sites where they are being mentioned. Compare this to your own site to determine areas where you need to ramp up your efforts.

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