Keeping tabs on our competition’s online activities and success (or otherwise) is a worthwhile exercise, but it needs a benchmark.
This benchmark, of course, is how we’re performing ourselves.
When it comes to SEO, this involves understanding the keywords we rank for and those we’d like to; pinpointing our position in search engine results; and defining our target audience. Once we know what these are, we have a list of things we can also investigate for our competitors, to see what we can learn.
Identifying the competition
The next step is to identify the true competitors online. It may give us a warm glow of superiority to highlight that certain commercial competitors have a poor online presence, but we can’t learn much from those examples. We should zero in on analysing those just ahead of us in the search engine rankings. These present achievable targets. As we progress, it’ll be possible to shift our focus to the biggest players, if there are any.
And remember, the race is continuous. Outpacing a competitor once doesn’t guarantee they won’t make a comeback. That’s why regular scheduled monitoring, whether it’s monthly or annually, is so useful.