Competitor research for SEO is an overall assessment (both strengths and weaknesses) of a company’s competitors in a specific industry or market. The value of competitor research is in creating a framework that helps identify the opportunities for a site and building an effective strategy around these findings. This module focuses on showing you the process of conducting competitor research and what areas your company should focus on.
In SEO, a company’s competitors can be segmented into two major categories: business competitors and search competitors.
Business competitors will sell similar products to you and may operate online or offline. However, they may not necessarily do well when it comes to online. They may have a website, but it may not rank very well for the keywords you want to rank for. If you work at an agency, you need to make sure you ask for a list of business competitors from your client.
Search competitors will compete for the same keywords as you’re targeting, but they may not be considered direct business competitors. An example here could be if Amazon is ranking for “comfortable mens shoes,” which you are also targeting. They are a search competitor, but you probably wouldn’t count them as a business competitor because they are so diverse and do not specialize in these products.
It is important to identify search competitors because these are the websites that you can learn the most from when it comes to improving your own rankings. The rest of this module will show you how to do this and show you how to approach different types of competitor analysis.