Competitor Research

How Gremlin Works Use Competitor Research To Boost Your Rankings

01. Intro

In an industry or a niche likely full of competition, it’s important to always be looking for an edge. When you’re looking to put yourself at the front of the race as far as your business is concerned, there are a few things you can do to make sure you give yourself as much of an advantage as possible. You’ve got all of the essential things like your brand, your product, and basic SEO, but how do you get that edge to put yourself in front of the competition and keep yourself in the running. In this article, you’ll learn all about how we at Gremlin Works can use competitor research and analysis in order to bolster your SEO.

02. How Competitor Analysis Works

To effectively utilize competitor research in your SEO strategy, you first need to understand what competitor analysis is all about. It’s where you take a look at your competitor, get their information from various tools and take a look at how they’re performing in comparison to yourself.

You’ll be able to get an inside look at their strategies and techniques, and what’s working for them and what’s not.

Being thorough when doing this kind of research is one of the most important things that you can do when you are looking to really get the edge on your competition as well as boost your overall SEO and digital marketing campaigns and plans.

03. Importance of Competitor Research

So now that you understand what competitor research consists of, just why is it so darn important?

Done well, competitor analysis gives you the means to look into the minds of your competitors to see what they’re doing right, where they are going wrong, and how they can better optimize their strategies. When this all comes together, it gives you the ability to, essentially, learn from their mistakes and make sure that your own SEO plans are executed as flawlessly as possible.

By seeing and knowing how your competitors are getting their traffic and what they might be overlooking, you can tweak your own plan and make it stronger to get the leg up on them.

It’s important to note, too, that there’s absolutely nothing wrong about using competitor research as part of your SEO strategy. Competitor analysis is simply one of many tools that you have at your disposal. Not only is it available to you, your competitors are likely doing the same exact thing!

04. Get Started

If you don’t know your main competitors already, do some preliminary searches for your seed keywords and several variations. To start, focus on searches that are directly relevant to your website. Take a look at the first page results to identify your top competitors.

If you’re in a relatively saturated niche, it might be a good idea to go all the way to the third, fourth, or even fifth page to see just who it is you’re dealing with. When surveying competitors’ sites, keep some tools like Moz Open Site Explorer handy so you can keep an eye on their Domain Authority and other relevant metrics. This way, you’ll have some idea how long they’ve been around and how well established they are in the industry.

05. Competitor Data Collection

You and your competition are sharing (or, will be sharing) a niche of some kind, so you need to take a look at the statistics of both your competitors and niche and see how you fare relative to them. Take a look at the metrics that are available for your competition and it’ll show the statistics that you need in order to be able to crack into it.

Now that you have a list of direct competitors to work with, you can start really looking into them. Start collecting information on their strategies so you can use them yourself or better yet, improve on them.

The power of data is undeniable.

Superior data collection over your competitors means that you can more effectively predict user actions and fully make the most of your resources. The below mentions are some great tools to get you started on researching and keeping track of your competitors’ movements.

Ahrefs – As one of the most powerful backlink tools on the market, Ahrefs is one of the top go-to choices among SEOs who want to delve into the backlink profiles of their competitors. By simply entering a competitor’s domain, you are able to see a plethora of sites linking to them. If you want to keep the data for future use, you can easily export full backlink reports with the click of a button.

SpyFu – True to its name, SpyFu gives you a full report of detailed competitor analysis with just a single search. You can identify a variety of metrics using this tool such as what keywords they’ve bought using Google Adwords, their organic and keyword rankings, their top competitors, and even their statistics by history! Especially for research on their PPC campaigns, very few tools pack the punch that SpyFu does.

SEMRush – Although each of the aforementioned tools do a little bit of everything (which you’ve probably noticed by now), they do have their specialties that they excel at in a certain area. Ahrefs excels at backlink research, SpyFu at advertising research, and finally, SEMRush at keyword research. In our piece on Competitor Keyword Research and Analysis, we mentioned SEMRush as being one of the top keyword research tools. In addition to SEMRush being great for finding new keywords for you to rank for, it’s actually just as good if not better for keeping a close watch on competitors’ keyword rankings. If they ranked high for a good niche-specific keyword, you can identify that via SEMRush and go back to check just how it was they went about ranking for that keyword.

At Gremlin Works, not only can we help you collect massive amounts of highly relevant, up-to-date data about your competitors’ backlink profiles, keywords, and PPC campaigns, we can take this information to formulate a strategy that gives you a clear advantage over the competition. This means finding better means to go about improving on backlink profiles, ranking keywords more faster and more efficiently, and targeting the right advertising keywords for your Google Adwords campaign.

06. Traffic Patterns

Once you’ve picked out your ideal competitors and have done some digging into their backlink profiles, keyword rankings, and advertising campaigns, you can make a much clearer assessment of their traffic sources. You need to put some effort into making sure that you are understanding where their traffic is coming from.

Understanding how the traffic flows in will give you the power to make sure that you use those same traffic channels and direct it towards your own website in the future. With any part of competitor analysis, having good data and lots of it will only serve to give your future SEO and digital marketing strategies a stronger foundation.

While this is true, don’t be just a collector! What I mean by this is, don’t just be someone who hoards tons and tons of data without putting it to good use.

Now when it comes to determining where traffic is coming from and how much of it there is, Google Analytics is the top dog by far. But of course, it’s not like you’re going to be able to go around accessing your competitors’ Google Analytics accounts. So let’s a take a look at various tools that provide a pretty close alternative to Google Analytics.

SimilarWeb – This is a great tool with a clean and easy-to-understand user interface that gives you information, albeit still not 100% accurate, about how much traffic your competitors are getting, their traffic sources, what countries their traffic is coming from, their referrals, their traffic distribution, and more!

By going in-depth into a competitor’s traffic data, Gremlin Works is able to formulate a solid and clear-cut marketing and SEO strategy to go about replicating traffic sources, referrals, and even developing new channels of your own to serve as additional sources of strong and consistent traffic.

07. Social media analysis

As you know, social media channels can be a powerful tool for not only traffic, but also establishing yourself as a brand within your industry. When you have a strong social media presence, users are much more likely to find you as a credible figure and trust you as a result. Customer trust means a lot when it comes to making purchases. What reason do users have to buy something from a site they don’t trust? By tracking your competitors’ social media movements, you can adjust your own social media strategy accordingly in order to optimize results.

BuzzSumo – This is one of our favorite tools for keeping an eye on competitors with pinpoint accuracy. By searching for specific competitors, you can get a full list of how each of their posts are performing in terms of social media shares. This gives you an idea of what’s trending at the moment and what’s not so popular. You can apply this to your own social media strategy by publishing content on similar topics or maybe even writing on a counteractive piece that’s meant to spark some controversy.

Sprout Social – This is a powerful tool that does a direct side-by-side comparison for any social media channel of your choice, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Sprout Social uses a slightly different approach from BuzzSumo’s content-first approach. Sprout Social focuses first on the backend statistics and allows you to draw conclusions based solely on the data. The user interface is rather straightforward and easy-to-use, and gives you just about every statistic you could think of for each of your social media pages all in one place.

Here at Gremlin Works, we are able to track not only your own social media statistics, but also your competitors’. Using this data, we can effectively optimize and adjust your current social media marketing strategy to not just mimic your competitors’ results, but rather to overtake them.

08. What’s Next

To create the right impact when you’re ready to take on the market and your competitors, you need to take all that you’ve learned to create an ironclad SEO strategy that will help you set a strong first impression on your target audience. This is the amazing part about competitor research: the positive effect it’ll have on your own tactics to improve your link building strategy, keyword rankings, advertising campaigns, social media marketing, and your overall SEO.

So it’s time to buckle down, get your data scientist hat on, and get to researching your competitors. With Gremlin Works, we’ll be here to guide you every step of the way, even getting each aspect of the research and analysis done for you in thorough, yet efficient manner. But what good is data if you don’t know what to do with it? That’s where we come in. With all the information and data we’ve collected, we’ll apply our accumulated experience and expertise while combining our wide range of methods and techniques to formulate an effective digital marketing strategy to vastly boost your SEO.