Of late, if you are struggling hard to drive organic traffic to your website with your practiced SEO skills, then you may need some serious overhaul. It’s high time that you should move from traditional SEO techniques to modern Competitive SEO Analysis.
It’s the Google RankBrain that works behind such a drastic change in search results. Google search is gradually growing artificially intelligent to deliver the most relevant result to a query.
Before going for the Competitive SEO Analysis, let’s understand a few things those are impacting your search results.
What is Google RankBrain?
This is one of the most advanced artificial intelligence algorithms to sort the search results. The search results are shown based on the human viewing experience.
Unlike previous searches now Google finds out the most relevant result on its search page and simultaneously keeps eye on the behavioural aspect of the viewer.
This is a continuous approach and keeps on changing with trials and the user’s interactions with the results.
Google’s ultimate aim is to show the most relevant result, driving a better user experience in the long run. So, rather than creating an awesome content, put stress on making it intelligent commensurate with Google’s thinking.
How is Google RankBrain Different?
Our SEO strategies, say about 10 years or even 5 years back were vastly different from the one we are applying now.
The same Old SEO Tricks with dumping keywords into the content, buying do-follow links with anchor text have left a little room for ranking higher on Google search results page. In fact, Google penalises them.
Where is the Change?
The keyword used by you NOW is not a simple search term you would be ranked for. Google now considers every keyword as a CONCEPT. It finds out the most relevant results for the searched concept.
Here, the User’s Interaction (UI) matters the most. Google tracks how a user interacts with the results like click-through rates (CTR), how far he has scrolled down the page, how quickly he exits, time spent on the page, relevant internal links within the page, mobile responsiveness and many more.
A cumulative study of all those factors signals Google about how relevant the search result is. If it finds a webpage is not exactly matching the searchers’ expectations, the rank of the page would certainly go down and vice-versa.
A stand-alone article or content cannot draw you that high ranks even if they are made in heaven. You need an array of articles or web pages in a similar or relevant topic for the keyword you want to score for.
Google wants you to create a package of concept that values the searchers the best. Let Google see your website as a hub of information for a particular search query.
What is Keyword Competition?
Keyword Competition is the term used by the SEO analysts to explain how difficult it would be to rank higher in the search result pages for a particular keyword.
The site wordstream.com has a detailed article on this keyword competition.
Now let’s understand the thing with the help of an example. I tried a keyword ‘residential interior design’ on Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest. There is no doubt they contributed a lot to make SEO friendly content.
But, these days I found them less effective. Let me explain why?
Google keyword planner screenshot
Here you’ll see the competition level for the search keyword is low.
The situation is the same here. The competition score is 0.32 which is termed as pretty low.
As a newbie, if you are delighted to discover such a low competition keyword, then I am sorry. You are misjudging things. Doing SEO depending upon the competition score cited above you may even end up on the 14th page of the Google search results.
And now, the keyword competition is all about Keyword Competitiveness. Well, some may find that I am fooling them with the literary artifice.
So, let me clarify that the above two results shown by the Google keyword planner and UberSuggest are a merely generalised presentation of the level of competition of a keyword.
But keyword competitiveness is a bit personalised. It shows you the level of difficulty lies for YOU to rank in the Google search results.
Now you see the same keyword competitiveness in another tool called KWfinder.
Now see, for the same keyword, there are a couple of good players with you in the competition. In such a situation it would harder for you to get the Google Search Top Rank.
KWfinder shows you the websites/web pages competing for the same keyword you are sorting for. It also demonstrates the site components that are contributing to the keyword competitiveness.
The Case-Study of Bihog.com
As a co-founder of Bihog.com, I am overwhelmed with the concept of Competitive SEO Analysis as I know how it has turned our luck.
During my initial days as a founder of Bihog.com, I had a poor knowledge about SEO. Traditional or modern SEO techniques, everything was a far cry.
Of my first 6 months as a blogger, I was even in total darkness about keyword research. Those were the times when I made some of the greatest SEO MISTAKES.
At a later stage, I realised my mistakes took a few optimisation steps that gave a fillip to my blog.
You won’t believe our site traffic boosted like anything. And I was astonished to see that due to efforts at some point of time visitors thronged to our site.
The graph below will certainly convince you how we have grown exponentially within a span of six months or so.
The Traditional SEO Approach
As an SEO kid, I was fascinated with keywords without knowing their implications. I mean as I saw a keyword with low competition and high volume of traffic, I put it there in my articles.
And waited months after month for their rankings. Forget about listing on the first page of Google, they were not even on the first ten pages.
Then somebody suggested me about using long-tail keywords. I stuffed them too, but…
I won’t say the long-tail keywords do not work, but, surely they need some competitiveness check. In fact, a well competitive (for you) long-tail keyword works better in terms of conversion, as it narrows down the search results to potential customers.
Another means that I took to popularise our site Bihog.com was gathering backlinks from other sites, even without considering their niche, quality and relevance to my site.
This is ridiculous. In fact, I would say even do-follow links won’t work this way. Google simply dump the irrelevant links and often penalises the sites.
The New Competitive SEO Analysis
What’s the new in SEO?
Google RankBrain is smart enough to predict the most relevant answer for its search query and is growing daily.
When you are booming high with your website traffic, suddenly you noticed after a couple of days that some of your web pages have been ranked down on Google Search Console.
You wonder, being such a good article how can it lost position. Your On-page SEO was excellent and some really good inbound links are giving you the push. Then what’s gone wrong?
Nothing. It’s everything ok with your content. But for such rank drop, the credit goes to Google’s algorithm update.
After every algorithm update, Google suggests some fixations in the SEO content. But the August 2018 update is meant for more relevant results and for a better human experience.
Now, you have to understand how your competitors’ higher rank pushes your site down. You have to analyse your competitors’ insight to tackle the situation.
This is Competitor SEO Audit, where you have to analyse where you went wrong while your competitor is winning.
Competitive SEO Strategy
Competitive SEO Analysis is a modern concept currently eclipses the traditional SEO hacks that we used to apply.
Hence it’s a need of the hour that we should devote our major resources doing COMPETITOR SEO AUDIT, over and above what we do for our own site improvement.
A major part of this strategy is to analyse your competitors’ site in terms of inbound links accumulated by them, keywords used, their credentials etc.
How to Analyse Your Competitors?
Normally a web page is ranked based on a few factors like Domain Authority (DA), Page Authority (PA), Domain Score, Trust Score etc. These are the primary ingredient of competitive seo analysis.
First, you pick up the keyword you want to rank for and type it on Google search box. Google will throw some results. Copy the first result url and paste it on MOZ.com link explorer box for checking the DA and the PA.
Alternatively, you can use Chrome browser extension MOZ Bar to see the DA and PA as an inline insight. SEO Quake extension will show you the domain score as well as the trust score. The aobe result would look like this.
Now from data and score, you have to chronologically arrange your competitors’ web pages and read their content to make your’s worthy.
But in reality, things are not so straightforward. There are hundreds of factors behind such a page rank and one of them is inbound links pointing towards the ranked page.
Hence I prefer to use a Competitor SEO Analysis tool to push my web pages to a higher rank on the search engines. Remember Competitive SEO Analysis is all about keeping you ahead of your competitors, concurrently maintaining a good reading experience.
Competitor SEO Analysis Tool
The SEO jobs these days are so complicated and resource-oriented that no free tool can deliver you such an insightful analysis. Hence, I took the assistance of an excellent SEO tool, SEMRush for improving my search rankings.
This is a very comprehensive tool that I have ever met with. As my primary concern was to analyse my site’s competitors, I find some really cool stuff to carry on my competitor seo audit.
SEMRush provides three types of competitor seo analysis tool.
- Find competitors’ keywords
- Finding New Organic Competitors
- Tracking the competitors’ position changes
SEMRush gives you a few flexible plans and I thought of citing two such popular plans of subscription. The Pro Plan and the Guru Plan.
I would like to share some of the Plan features for your convenience to choose the suitable one.
|Subscription Plan (Monthly)||$99.95||$199.95|
|Total Keywords to Track||500||1500|
|Historical Data Analysis||Not Available||Available|
|Traffic Analysis||Only Overview Reports||All types of reports like Traffic Sources, GEO Distribution, Historical Data Filter etc.|
|Projects can be handled||5||50|
|Scheduled PDF reports||5||20 (with an option to place your logo as a brand)|
The Bottom Line
Website SEO is a continuous process and the major search engines keep on updating their algorithms updated frequently. The tricks working today may or may not work in the coming days.
The best way to counter such changes is to write good quality content that adds value to the human life and not to the machines because machines are meant for human and not the human meant for machines.
Feel free to share your queries. I would be pleased to share my experiences.