As a local business you most likely cater to customers in your immediate demographic. Competition can therefore be tough as you may have multiple companies competing for the same customers.
Because of this, it’s vital to gain any advantage you can for your website, online store, and SEO strategies and a neat way to do this is by local SEO analysis. In this guide, I explain the premise of local SEO analysis, why it’s important, and five simple things you can do to see what your competitors are up to.
Why Should You Care About Your Local Competition?
Consider this, if your business operates locally, and you are getting outperformed by local competitors, how can you hope to be successful or expand? You have to conquer your local market first and local SEO analysis is a great way to do this.
Local competitor SEO analysis can give you an advantage and help improve your own SEO strategies. You can see what they are doing right, and what works for them and incorporate these ideas into your business.
I’m not saying you should just copy what your competitors are doing. Instead, learn from them for your own betterment and use their strengths and weaknesses to boost your plan and dominate your local market.
How Can You Analyze Local Competitors?
A lot of this work has to be done manually but you could also get an SEO site audit service which can include competitor analysis. There is also a range of SEO tools available that include competitor analysis like SEMRush. To get you started, I have listed six effective methods below that can help with local SEO analysis:
1. Check their website
I typically start by looking at local competitor’s websites to see how they compare. This includes a simple look at the usability, UI, and customer experience, but also an analysis of things like page loading times, image optimization, and keyword usage.
You can tell a lot from a company’s website and you could see some useful things they are doing that you could incorporate into your own site or online store. Just don’t outright plagiarize anything!
2. Look at the keywords they are using
As we know keywords form the basis of SEO strategies so it stands to reason that you should look at the keywords your local competitors are using.
There are tools available that include local keyword analzyisis and you can use things like Google Analytics to dig deeper. If you see what short term and long tail keywords your competitors are trying to rank for you can use this to your advantage.
You may also spot keywords that they are not ranking for that you can jump on instead.
3. Do they have a Google My Business page?
Google My Business is an incredibly useful tool and this is something you should have already done so your company has a proper listing on Google Maps and search results etc.
You can also look at competitor business listings to find out useful information about them and also see what customers are saying about them. Info such as negative feedback can be used to your advantage as selling points where you can offer something more than your competitors can for example.
4. What backlinks are they using?
Having an excellent backlink cataloge is vital for SEO purposes and you hopefully have a decent set of external and internal links throughout your content.
It can pay dividends to look at what backlinks your competitors are using to see if they have any additional high-quality websites that you could utilize in your link strategies.
5. Are they active on social media?
Social media plays an important role in customer engagement and also helps boost SEO as Google loves it if businesses are active on social media and have a decent following.
Check out your local competitors social media profiles (don’t follow or like them obviously!). Are they active? If so, which platforms? Are they using any unique post types or content that you could benefit from?
Analyzing their social media presence can help you spot gaps in your own profiles and see if you could make more of an impression on a particular platform for example.
6. How are they ranking on SERPs?
Lastly, do they rank highly on Google? As organic search results are one of the best ways to gain traffic, it’s a great idea to see how your local competitors are ranking on Google.
You could look at SERPs of keywords that you rank for and see how you compare with your competitors. Additionally, you can see what other keywords they appear for and generally how high they are ranking. This gives you basic info and an idea of what positioning you need to strive for to beat them!
Local SEO Analysis is the Key to Growth and Improvement
Part of creating competitive SEO listings is to utilize local SEO anylsis and see what your competitors are doing right. The wealth of information you can glean is invaluable and seeing where their SEO strategies excel can help you improve your own marketing and gain the upper hand.
Obviously this should be just part of your overal SEO strategy and you can’t overlook things like keyword research and on-page optimization. However, if you want to dominate the local market, this is certainly a great step to take.