Monthly competitor audits often focus on link acquisition development and other metrics such as indexed pages and load speed, but there are a number of elements that are often overlooked and can help piece together a more well-rounded view of your competitors’ activities.
This article will highlight elements that should be included in your competitor audits, where you can get this information and why it’s important.
Your Competitor’s Team
Using LinkedIn, piece together your competitor’s SEO team as well as team member changes.
The experience and level of expertise of your competitor’s team will play a huge part in how quickly they increase their visibility – plus you can compare your team to theirs. I personally pay attention to competitors with stronger SEO teams, even if the standard SEO metrics of their site isn’t as strong.
LinkedIn Premium offers many useful features, such as the ability to determine your competitors’ level of experience as well as the date they joined, so you can keep an eye on their new recruits.
Use Google Alerts, Talkwalker Alerts and press releases to stay informed about your competitors’ marketing activities.
You want to keep informed as this can correlate with an improvement in SEO, for example:
- If a competitor has done something completely unique or has opened up a new market then they can expect more brand searches
- If a competitor has slashed prices on certain categories for example then they can expect more navigational searches as people will seek out the offers
- If a competitor is opening more stores or expanding existing stores then this will have an effect on their local SEO
Not all news is relevant to improvements in your competitors’ SEO, so it’s a good idea to keep track of important events in a matrix like the one below.
CMS providers and analytics packages have their limitations and differencing features; thus, knowing your competitors' limitations can put you in a powerful position and help you prioritize your own technical SEO improvements.
Wappalyzer is an effective Chrome Extension for locating this information.
It’s also important to stay informed about the latest features of all CMS providers, as doing so can help you keep track of improvements in your competitors’ visibility.
Improvements in Competitors’ Content
Benchmarking your rankings against competitors is standard but one of the reasons you will see movement in rankings is the content on those pages.
Use The Wayback Machine to track changes in the content and design of key landing pages monthly:
There are various tools out there (Social Mention being one of them) that can help you track audience perception and sentiment towards a competitor – this can play a big part in the success of their outreach and link-building campaigns, as people are always more receptive to certain brands.
The more you know about your competitors, the easier it will be to form a business case to expand your SEO team and resources. The above are some resources I find useful and it would be great to hear what you feel is important to include recurring competitor audits.
Which competitor audits do you find most useful? Please leave your comments below.