Business and Content Competitors
Search Results Competitors
There are many preconceived notions about what can be achieved with a well designed SEO program. Sometimes the visions of what can be achieved are not realistic. Before a company allocates substantial resources there needs to be an effort to understand the competitive landscape.
With search engines the competition can present itself in several ways. These ways are organic search results, paid search results, ratings and social recommendations, digital assets and links. You may think of your competitions as anything that takes the attention of your potential clients away from your content.
It is very important to realize that the search engine results are not static. The search engines may change their methods for ranking and positioning results. New competitors may appear. Old competitors may step up their efforts. The people searching may move to a different platform and desire one type of website over another. The news may impact how people search. Online marketing is not static. The more static your efforts are (completely static is no effort) then the more your competition can move into the places where they gain exposure and you lose it.
The starting point for your efforts to compete in the search results is keyword research. If you have some ideas on the most relevant phrases that represent your products or services then test these phrases on Google or Bing to see which competitors come up for these phrase. Click through to some of these competing websites to see what they do well and what are potential opportunities for you.
Next use a tool such as the Google Adword Keyword tool to help clarify your assumptions about popularity and competitiveness. You need to develop a refined list of keyword phrases.
Once you have this list then put each phrase into the Google and Bing (while you and not logged in) to see specifically which competitors hold the top 5 positions for each phrase. You need to determine if there is a “weak” competitor that can be dislodged from one of these top 5 positions. If all 5 are strong then you need to identify the weakest as this is the on you have the greatest chance of dislodging.
Also, look to see what types of content Google and Bing present in the search results. Are they showing blog posts? Is there a big block of results being displayed in Google Places? Do they present images or video content? Are social media “real time” results being displayed? To see what type of content is being displayed in the search results will help you to determine the type of content you may need to produce to be competitive.
To do keyword research up front and then to monitor the search results over time using these keyword phrases can be beneficial for understanding your marketplace. Your business is competing in an online marketplace and it behooves you to know it well. Tracking what you are up against will help guide you to define the right keyword phrase set, your content plan and your optimization approach.
To learn more about content marketing and SEO we have created a complete set of content marketing tutorials. Here is a link to the Content Marketing Tutorial Introduction.
Also, here are some other blog posts which relate well to this topic: