With 15 years of expertise in SEO, we have analyzed thousands of websites, including their backlink profiles, their content and their design. And we have seen everything under the sun, from top-notch high quality businesses to the most spammy automated backlinks and content.
This knowledge and experience gives us a great edge, as we can decipher any niche and understand rapidly what the main players are doing. But how do we conduct a competitor analysis?
The backlink profile
By just perusing a backlink profile, we already get a very good idea of what type of backlinks a website has acquired; so here is a list of the top 10 types of backlinks:
- High quality reference links: a link on https://www.wikipedia.org/, https://www.forbes.com/, https://www.bloomberg.com/ or https://www.columbia.edu/ is considered a reference link; it does not matter if it is do follow or no follow, Google trusts these high authority sites; they are the most precious links to earn, and the hardest to get.
- High quality citations: some directories and citations are also highly trusted by Google; if you have a link from https://www.yellowpages.com/ or https://yelp.com/, Google sees it as proof that your business is legitimate.
- High quality guest posts: getting backlinks from high ranking websites in your niche is yet another way to improve your backlink profile in a white hat way; for example if you own a US moving company, a link at https://todayshomeowner.com/moving/reviews/best-moving-companies/ is very valuable, as todayshomeowner.com is a top website in a related industry.
- Social links: linking from social business pages such as https://www.facebook.com/comperioSEO or https://twitter.com/ will add another layer of reputation in Google’s eyes.
- Press release links: press releases are also part of a good backlink arsenal, as this is what top sites do, such as https://www.amazon.com/ or https://www.apple.com/; but here quality matters, only use the best press release providers (check this).
- Review site links: reviews on review sites such as https://www.yelp.com or https://trustpilot.com/ are expected to help as well; their reinforce legitimacy.
- Web 2.0: now we are entering the lowest quality types of backlinks; Web 2.0 backlinks are a thing of the past, and any SEO agency promoting these is doing a disservice to its customers.
- PBN links: so-called PBN links are part of black hat SEO; we can recognize PBN links at the blink of an eye; they may work sometimes, but they are toxic, so keep away from them.
- low quality links: next we have the spammiest types of backlinks, such as blog comments, profile links or low quality links on foreign sites (Korean, Russian, Chinese, etc); they are of no use and could even hurt your website!
- Automated spammy links: finally, at the bottom of our list, we have the spammiest of all links, the automated spammy links; there are tools that can automatically send thousands of links on link farm pages, such as the GSA tool; these are to be avoided like the plague.
Every niche is different, from lawyers, movers, plumbers to e-commerce, gaming sites, the list is long.
The first step in any of our projects is to decipher and reverse engineer the SEO work done on the top 10 sites for the main queries of our clients.
So we know what the big guys have been doing! Did they use black hat? Did they use PBNs or spammy links? In this case, it should be easy to beat them with our white hat approach.
But even if they mainly used white hat techniques, we can still beat them. By employing the same techniques they used, just better and in more quantity if needed!
Does the design and look of a website matters? Of course it does!
Sometimes we can see old school type design websites ranking high in the organic search results, but this is so 1990!
As user experience and bounce rate are ranking factors with a high weighting, and as websites keep on getting and looking better and better, a website with a poor design and navigability is not at an advantage in the modern Internet landscape.
Part of our competitors’ research is to study their layout and design to see what works for them. We make sure our clients get a good-looking and user-friendly website, so that they are on an even field with the top ranking websites in their niche.
Another part of our market research is to define the most targeted keywords for our customers. Precise targeting is needed so that most of the traffic comes from qualified buyers.
We may also get traffic from surfers seeking information about our niche, and this is good too as this reinforces our authority in the niche. And who knows, these users seeking helpful information may decide to make a purchase at a later time.
In a nutshell
We conduct market research and competitor analysis for all our clients and this is the first step of our services.
This provides us a clear picture of the landscape in Google organic results, and every customer and niche is different!
From there, we create a marketing plan, which depends on the niche and the website stage. Some of our customers’ sites are new, some are established, most of the time they require content optimization, sometimes they need to recover after their organic rankings have dropped.
That’s why all our services are tailored to your situation, so that you get the best chance to rank on page 1, preferably in the top 3.Or why not, number one!.