Analyzing local organic competition is an essential first step in defining your strategy, as it helps you understand what you're up against in organic search results.
You can take advantage of this competition analysis by knowing that your information will help you get the results you are looking for.
Depending on the content, it is possible to:
Going through this process helps you understand what they are doing so that you can adjust your content strategy and overcome them.
By looking at the links, you can guess the following:
If we look at local factors such as page optimization, it is also possible to go beyond the local strategy and develop a strategy that lasts.
The factors you look at in this local competition study will help you create a winning strategy.
Factors To Include In A Local Competition Analysis
Focusing on your market, your niche, and your place, you will want to do an in-depth study of local competition.
On the surface, the analysis of local competition will include the following factors:
Going deeper, the analysis of local competition should include the following in order to get a clear picture of the local competitiveness of the market.
Note that not all of these factors will increase local ranking; some will, but they are here to help create a winning local strategy based on everything the competition is doing.
On-Page Technical SEO
What You Want To Obtain During The Competition Analysis
This competition analysis should focus on Google's top 10 results.
Search for your local area + keyword phrase in an targeted industry (e.g. [Orange County Personal Injury Lawyers]).
Use a combination of tools to analyze Google Search Console, Majestic, Semrush, Raven Tools, and Ahrefs; export all data; collect this data; examine the link profile.
I recommend using at least two or three link profile analysis tools, as not all tools are always available.
What you are looking for in this link profile is:
Local SEO Directories
Directories still work as a linking tactic if it is done with high quality links and they don’t all seem to be spam.
Really, though, it's just a directory – pretty clear here.
You’re looking for directories that aren’t all ad spam, which means they don’t have ads on the fold, and ads don’t interfere with people looking for a link. Directories are generally clean, high quality, and can promote the equity of high authority links.
Niche Local Sites
Local site niches are sites in your industry that have local authorities on their issues.
From animal rights organizations to charities, to other sites that will help give you an air of authority when they link to you.
The main idea behind these links is to make sure they are of high quality and in no way spam.
These sites can also look like local partners.
Please note that I do not advocate for link exchanges in this way because it is a bad idea. I advocate for partnerships with other local businesses to get links that will help your website in the SERPs.
We are trying to measure the viability of the site in the search results. We don't really want to copy their link profile.
Measuring the viability of the ranking will make it easier to determine the overall linking strategy.
And the reason we don’t want to copy their link profile is because I can’t be there to drive every step of the way.
If you slip in with a low quality link and optimize it, you may end up getting a penalty for getting too many of them. It’s very easy to keep up with old habits once you start.
Chamber Of Commerce Links
In-house links are essential for good local SEO.
They provide great authority, can be a great partner-type link, and can also refer to local businesses.
However, it is important to note that not all links in the Chamber of Commerce will be .gov.
Local .gov And .edu Links
These links can be from local government offices or charities to local schools.
The .gov and .edu links are all just a big bonus.
Things haven't changed in terms of the weight of the .gov and .edu links.
These are usually the highest quality links available.
Content Considerations For The Local Competitor Analysis
When collecting data for analysis of local competitors, it is important to consider the following:
All of the above factors will help you determine what content to put on the site and how to get there.
Please note that John Mueller of Google stated that content does not have to be long enough to be properly categorized:
“There is no minimum length, no minimum number of articles you need to publish per day, and no minimum number of pages on a website. In most cases, quality is better than quantity. Our algorithms expressly try to find and recommend websites that provide users with high quality, unique and compelling content. Don't fill your website with low quality content. Instead, work to make sure your website is the best of its kind. “
On-Page Technical SEO
Basic URL Best Practices
This means always making sure that your website can be browsed from a local perspective.
When you use highly targeted keywords, use the URL while naming your page.
If your website is not crawlable and technically accurate, you can't expect Google to rank properly.
High Quality, Validated HTML And CSS Coding
Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either.
Although Google has no such requirements, high quality encoding matters and rankings can help significantly as a quality attribute.
Proper coding reduces the chances of having to “guess” what your browser is trying to render.
Properly coding and developing a website reduces your page speed and browser rendering speed.
Page speed is a factor in Google ranking that we all know.
In any case, high quality and validated HTML and CSS encoding should always be the end result of your site development work.
If your competitors' sites don't have such high-quality validation or encoding in their framework, then you have an attribute you can use against them: make sure your site's coding and page speed are much better than theirs in all areas. : well-optimized code, no server bottlenecks, etc.
Schema.org Coding For Local SEO
Schema.org encoding must be present on all websites that contain Schema data type information.
It is essential that this site appears in the rich parts and carousels of Google search results.
If these sites do not have a schema mark for the data types on your site, here is another useful ranking sign that you can optimize for your benefit.
The first brand that every local business should have is the LocalBusiness brand.
Locally Optimized Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, URLs
Each site that is optimized locally should have local title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs.
This means that if you're trying to optimize for keywords like [Garden Grove Personal Injury Attorney], you should use the city name in your target keywords.
Here's an example of locally optimized title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs:
[La Habra personal injury lawyer] search screenshot, Google, August 2018
Locally Optimized On-Page Copy With Tight Topical And Keyword Focus
In local competitor analysis, you are also looking for competitors who may or may not have an optimized copy of your local page, with a narrow focus on topics and keywords.
This will tell you what is being done for this on-page optimization page.
Cheating With Your Competitor Research
If you really want to get started with local competitor research, I encourage you to do an audit of your competitor's sites with Screaming Frog.
Set the Screaming Frog settings to the specifications you want, browse each competitor's site, and after exporting your Excel spreadsheet data, filter all data, including titles, meta descriptions, and URLs.
You can also see what they are doing with the H1 tag.
If you look at all of these useful facts, your competition will show you what it does on the spot and help you improve yours.
Competitive Keyword Research
Start With Locally Focused Versions Of Keywords Your Clients Are Actually Looking For
Keywords and topicality are important factors in ensuring that your page optimization is properly targeted and fully optimized.
When you do keyword research, you are looking for keywords with a good search volume (which is a good number to get more than 70 searches per month), which are less competitive and highly targeted.
The version based on a key phrase for attorneys may be [Fountain Valley personal injury lawyers].
If you are trying to get a personal injury lawyer without a local focus, good luck. It will take a lot of link building, authority building and market penetration to expand your marketing to the kind of reach you want to achieve.
When conducting such key research, it is important to consider the size of the market as well.
If you don’t consider the size of a market like Los Angeles (millions of pages in Google’s index and businesses that have already built their authority), you’re in for a rough wake-up call if you promise a customer will see the rankings. In three months in Los Angeles. It won't happen.
It will probably take you a year or more to get results on the first page of Google in a market the size of Los Angeles – assuming you have everything you need to beat the competition in gaining links and other SEO efforts.
Get Good Search Volume, Lower Competition, Highly Targeted Niche Keywords
Good search volume, less competition, niche keywords are highly targeted diamonds.
These keywords will lead to the most requested improvement for an important metric for your customer: conversions.
Although lower competition is good, a good search volume should be at the top of your list when you do local keyword research.
The higher the search volume, the greater the search engine interest in the topic.
If you don't pay attention to your search volume, you may be lucky with a couple of conversions. But that luck will eventually end.
Strong research is at the forefront of any SEO efforts.
Highly targeted niche keywords are keywords that target people in your industry. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people.
For example, if you know that people in Fountain Valley are looking for attorneys for car accidents, you might want to use a keyword phrase like [Fountain Valley auto accident lawyer].
You know that people are often looking for specialized items in a particular industry, there are often intentions and questions behind these searches.
By analyzing and thinking about the potential intent of the people who are looking for these sentences, it is possible to complete a key list that includes questions about these topics that you can use to create even more in-depth and highly targeted topic sheets. These types of pages can be real converters for your customer.
The reason behind this in-depth keyword research is that as a result, you can better determine which keywords will work best for your customer.
Featured image: Paulo Bobita / Search Engine Journal