Cover by Rand Fishkin, Jessie Stricchiola, Stephan Spencer, Eric Enge

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Competitive Analysis

Everything we discussed previously regarding analyzing top sites applies to analyzing competitors as well, and there are additional analysis methods that can help you gain a thorough understanding of how your competitors in search are implementing their SEO strategies.

Content Analysis

When examining a competing website, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What content is currently on the site? Answering this question will tell you a lot of things, including how your competitors view their customers and how they use content to get links. For example, they may have a series of how-to articles related to their products, or a blog, or some nifty free tools that users may like. If they do have a blog, develop a sense as to what they write about. Also, see whether the content they are developing is noncommercial or simply a thinly disguised ad.

  • How rapidly is that content changing? Publishers with rapidly changing websites are actively investing in their websites, whereas those who are not adding new articles or updating content may not be.

  • What type of content is it? Articles? Videos? Images? Music? News feeds? The type of content your competitors focus on can give you insight into their marketing strategies.

  • Are they collecting user-generated content? Sites that gather a meaningful amount of user-generated content tend to have an engaged user audience.

  • Are they trying to generate sign-ups or conversions in a direct way with their content? Or is it editorial in tone ...

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