Introduction

Some businesses may incorrectly believe, that when you invest in seo, all that is needed is to pay an seo agency and then after a short period of time, the business will appear on the first page of Google.

However, this is not the case, and the reason its not the case is a business can only be placed higher than another business if its seo is better than that business, and the business is deemed more relevant.

So this basically means, that your company’s seo has to be better than your competitors. However, here’s the thing, some competitors may have been investing in white hat seo for a very long time, meaning that the seo agency should carry out a competitor analysis, and therefore work out how strong the competitors are.

This will allow the digital marketing agency to have a rough idea of how much work is needed in order to beat the competition.

However, as there are well over 200 ranking signals, and these are the signals that the algorithm uses to work out how good a businesses seo is, then often there are so many variables it can make it difficult to come up with an accurate guess as to how long it will take.

With that said, a competitor analysis will be needed, as this can give the seo company an idea of how to beat the competition. For example, if your competitors do not have many good quality backlinks, yet as most seo companies know, backlinks are a really important part of the seo process.

So this means that if the business was to build good quality backlinks, and your competitors haven’t got many good quality backlinks, well your business could see its SEO improve.

So a competitor analysis should allow the seo company to create a marketing strategy, one which they can follow and aim to beat your competitors.

However, as mentioned earlier, sometimes your competitors will have simply been investing for a very long time. So often a business that’s just started to invest in search engine optimisation, well often they will have much catching up to do.

How should my SEO company carryout a competitor analysis?

As mentioned earlier, there are over 200 ranking signals, these signals are used by Google’s algorithm to work out how strong a business’s seo is.

Therefore, our seo company, which is based here in Cardiff, would carry out a competitor analysis, and we would therefore endeavour to work out how strong your competitors seo is in the following areas:

Backlinks

One business may have one million backlinks, and another business may have one thousand backlinks, yet the business with one thousand backlinks may still have better SEO-how is that so?

Well, that’s because the only backlinks your business needs are good quality backlinks that are relevant to your business.

So, for example, the business that has one thousand backlinks, well these may come from high-quality websites.

Yet, the business with one million backlinks, well if these are low-quality backlinks, then the business may incur a penalty.

So, for example, Google may issue a Google Penguin penalty on any business that has low-quality backlinks.

For this reason, your digital marketing agency must decipher during the competitor analysis, which of your competitors has good quality backlinks, and which ones have low-quality backlinks.

The businesses that have good quality backlinks, the seo agency may then further look at the business’s backlink profile.

The seo company may then spot link building opportunities.

How good are your competitors onsite seo?

Its important to remember that you can often pick-up many helpful tips on how to improve your own seo from your competitors.

Now, when we say this, we don’t mean by copying the competitions work, as this will damage your own seo, and will lead to a penalty.

However, your digital marketing agency may evaluate some of your competitors website and spot areas where they are really strong.

Perhaps that’s through adding really detailed blog posts, which are written by experts. So for example, the business in question may well be a construction business.

And this construction business, well they may write a blog post say once a month, but the blog post is really detailed, its quite simply a brilliant piece of content marketing.

For example, one month they may explain how to better insulate your house, or how they go about building a loft conversion.

Yet, the information may well be so well written, have internal backlinks, and make good use of anchor text that the seo company starts to appreciate why the business ranks so high.

Then using this information your seo agency should aim to create even better content marketing, so that they exceed the standard set by your competitors.

And this is the whole point of undertaking a competitor audit, that’s to gain an appreciation of what the your competitors are doing right, and then aim to beat that level of seo.

Of course for that to happen you will need to partner with a white hat seo company, like us.

So if your business is based here in Cardiff, then why not call us?

Content marketing?

One of the main areas your seo company is going to have to audit, is how good is your competitors content marketing is?

We already mentioned blog posts, but your seo agency will also have to work out how good the ever green content marketing is as well.

For example, let’s say your business is a demolition business, and your business offers demolition of both commercial and domestic buildings.

Well, the marketing business should aim to work out how does the competition ensure that it gets enquires from companies wanting a commercial building demolished, and how does it get enquires from people wanting a domestic building demolished?

For example, the company may have a really good domestic demolition page on their website, where they have used text, a YouTube video and bullet points to describe why people should choose that demolition business.

So your marketing agency should make notes, and see how good the competitions content marketing is and then come up with suggestions as to how your companies website could be made better.

Level of competition

Here’s a really important point, and that is before your seo company offers you a quote, they should gain an understanding of the level of competition that your business faces.

For example, let’s say you run a solicitor’s practice, and your solicitors practice specialises in employment law, well its safe to say that in most cities in the U.K there will be a lot of competition to get a business to rank for “employment solicitors + name of city”.

However, with that said, the level of competition may vary substantially from city to city. This means in one city there may well be over 100 employment solicitors that are investing in white hat seo.

Yet, then in another city, well there well be only say four businesses that investing in seo.

So your marketing agency should therefore gain an understanding of how many businesses look to be investing in seo, as this will give the marketing agency an understanding of the level of competition they have to beat.

Also, if it seems as though some of the businesses competitors have been investing for a long time, well, then the marketing agency will know that the SEO standard to beat is most likely set high.

Social media

Most digital marketing agencies, including ours believe that Google’s algorithm will understand if a business is using social media, like Twitter, and whether the business has many followers.

Therefore, your digital marketing agency may see which social media accounts your businesses competitors are using. Then the seo company may spot that your competitors are getting more followers on some social media accounts, then your business may wish to concentrate on using the same social media company and to also this account to help promote your business.

Offsite SEO

Offsite SEO could be backlinks, it could also be business citations for example. This means that your marketing business might check how good your competitors offsite seo is.

For example, your marketing agency may spot that your competitors have a Google My Business account, and much time has been spent adding as much information as possible to that account.

Then the NAP information that is on the competitors website, well this matches exactly with the businesses Google My Business account, plus the business has many business citations, and the NAP information there matches the company’s website as well.

This would mean that the business has invested time into improving its local seo, therefore the marketing agency should spot that this work would also needed to be implemented for their clients, that’s if the marketing company is to also improve their clients seo.

White hat?

Okay, so here’s another really important point, so listen up!

That is some businesses use black hat seo, which your business most definitely should not use, the reason for that is your business could incur a penalty, such as Google Penguin penalty.

This means that the algorithm will detect which businesses are using black hat seo methods, and the business could be removed from Google.

However, some businesses use black hat seo, and they know that eventually the business will be removed from Google. However, its sometimes possible that for a short period of time, say a week or two the business may rank on the first page of Google.

Now obviously, most businesses that want to invest in seo, they want to get their business on the first page of Google for as long as possible. So black hat seo is a waste of time.

So just to be absolutely clear, we would never recommend investing in black hat seo, yet some businesses do.

Its also worth mentioning that the businesses that do, when they do incur a penalty, well often they will need another seo company to fix the seo problems, and sometimes this can cause thousands to fix.

So your seo business should be able to spot which competitors are using white hat seo, and which ones are not. This is important, as some business owners may want to know how a business has got onto the first page of Google, and which seo methods they are using.

Some will be on the first page because they have used black hat methods, however, we would never recommend doing the same. As we have mentioned often an algorithmic or a manual penalty will often quickly be applied to the website, which means it will often be removed.

Marketing budget

Your seo company must undertake a competitor audit because its important to gauge if the businesses marketing budget will be enough to take on the competition.

For example, a business may have one thousand to spend on promoting a local business, that is a car insurance broker. And the insurance company wants to get more business for its commercial motor insurance side of the business.

However, what an seo company must do is weigh-up whether the thousand pound a month will be enough to get the business to rank for motor insurance terms, such as “van insurance companies”.

And it most probability it wouldn’t be enough, and that’s simply because so many insurance businesses are most likely spending millions per year on their SEO.

So its also the duty of the seo company to make sure that they are setting realistic goals.

How many strong competitors are there?

So as you can see from this article, your digital marketing agency should be calculating how strong your competitors seo is.

This therefore will help to guide your businesses seo strategy in the following ways:

Building backlinks

Therefore, to summarise, your SEO company should be working out how many good quality backlinks your competitors have.

Then using SEO tools, such as Majestic, we will be able to see which backlinks your competitors have.

We will also be able to work out which links are really good quality, so that we try to build the same links for your business.

However, we recommend that link building is only undertaken by an expert seo company. All backlinks must be built in white hat way, as if they are not your business could incur a link penalty.

So all backlinks must be good quality, but they must also be relevant to your business, this means for example if you run a construction business, then you should only build backlinks from websites to do with the construction industry.

Content marketing

Your digital marketing agency should also work out how good your competitors content marketing is.

For example, let’s say you own a business that sells classic cars, well, are your direct competitors writing good quality blog posts?

If so, how often?

Also, with the blog posts how long have they been writing the blog posts for.

So, its worth having a look at this, as most businesses need to be adding good quality content marketing to their website. However, some businesses will expect to see seo results quickly.

However, if your direct competitors have been blogging about classic cars for many years, there seo will be stronger simply because they have been improving their seo for longer.

So, if your business is a start-up business, you do have to bear in mind that organic seo and local is normally a slow process.

Onsite SEO

Onsite SEO is really important, sometimes a business will pay a lot of money for a new website for their company.

However, sometimes website designers will neglect the most basic seo details, such as adding meta titles and meta descriptions.

So, part of the seo process, your seo agency should see if they could improve your businesses:

·        Meta titles

·        Meta descriptions

·        Alt tags

·        Internal backlinks

·        Anchor text

·        Add Schema mark-up

·        Make sure that your businesses NAP details are on your website

·        Make sure that you have detailed product descriptions

·        Fix any 404-page errors

·        Add good quality blog posts

·        Monitor the websites bounce rate

·        Reduce the websites bounce rate

·        And much more

Local SEO

Do you own a business in Cardiff?

Well, if your looking to get your business ranked on first page of Google in Cardiff, then your business needs to invest in local seo.

So whether your own a construction business, or you own a solicitors practice, we will be able to quickly work out why your competitors are ranked on the first page, and then create a marketing strategy for your business.

We work with many businesses here in Cardiff, so if you would like to invest in top-quality white hat seo, then why not give us a call?