Paola Didone's Posts

Competitor Analysis: A Structured Approach

This blog post is for you if you need a structured way to do competitor analysis that allows you to focus and prioritise tasks without missing out on any important information. It’s also for you if you’ve never done a competitor analysis before or don’t know why you might need to do one.

Some of the reasons you may want to do a competitor analysis are:

  • You used to be the winner in organic search results but you are not anymore
  • You’re expanding in a new market (geographically or with a category/service/product)
  • Competitors always outrank you
  • You’re ahead of the game but want to discover why certain competitors are growing

I came up with this method because last year one of our clients asked us to do a competitor analysis but with a very specific question in mind: they were interested only in the Japanese competition, and more specifically they wanted to get this done on their Japanese website.

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Backlinks: How to Analyse Competitors

I’ve recently worked on a backlink audit that also focused on competitor’s backlink profiles. The results helped my client create a long-term strategy for obtaining backlinks from additional authoritative domains. I put together a list of steps that will be useful if you also are thinking to develop a plan for obtaining more strategic backlinks.

Here are the major steps that you will have to go through:

  1. Compare your backlink profile to your competitors
  2. Analyse the quality of domains linking to your competitors
  3. Discover domains linking only to competitors

Before going over each step, it’s important to have a clear picture of who your competitors are so I advise you to make two lists:

  • Direct competitors: directly competing with your business

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How to Use REGEX Formulas in Google Sheets

Handling big sets of data to analyse is quite normal if you work in SEO. On a regular basis, either in Google Sheets or Excel, I use formulas such as vlookup, index, iferror, and the list goes on, to sort quickly through endless data. Not only are they fundamental for my survival as an SEO analyst, I often still have to refer to the Distilled Excel guide to achieve what I want. But sometimes, these functions are just not good enough. They’ll do the work, but the time it takes to set them up makes me question whether I am actually working faster.

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