There’s no better way to learn than by the successes and mistakes of others. When it comes to SEO, competitor analysis is a great way to learn what others are doing and, in turn, figure out how to do it better. Using competitor research to enhance your marketing efforts can be powerful when done correctly. Check out the following steps that will guide you through the best practices of SEO competitor analysis and how to outcompete your healthcare rivals in the online battlefield.
1. Identify Your Competitors & Gather Their SEO Data
The first step in SEO competitor analysis is quite obvious and self-explanatory. To start your analysis, you first need to determine what competitors you want to track and compete with. Start with the competitors you are familiar with, the ones that are directly competing with your healthcare business for services or products you offer and are the closest rivals offline. Then, identify the top industry competitors that are well-known and have a considerable credibility among your target market. Finally, identify your online organic search competitors, AKA the people that are positioned above you in search engines.
Here’s a little trick that’ll save you time and effort: use online tools like Alexa, Similarweb or SEMrush that will help you to find out what competitors your website has online. You can simply insert your website link and any of abovementioned tools will identify what websites are trying to compete for the same keywords. Once you’ve identified your top competitors, it’s time to gather their SEO data. Again, online tools like SEMrush, Neil Patel SEO Analyzer, and Alexa will compose a full SEO report about any website you type in, including your competitor’s.
2. Perform Competitor Keyword Research
The second step to a thorough and insightful SEO competitor analysis will be keyword research. In order to initiate your analysis, you need to figure out what the analysis will be based on. In other words, what keywords your healthcare practice wants to target to achieve established marketing goals.
If you already have a search engine optimized website in place and want to improve it, you’ll need to choose the main keywords your website is currently targeting. Not sure what keywords to focus on? Pay special attention to the keywords you’re ranking best for organically. If you are a fresh-to-market healthcare business with no search engine optimized website in place, you will need to figure out what keywords people use when searching for your services or products and target those.
If you don’t know what keywords you’re targeting/want to target, don’t freak out. Those online tools we mentioned in step 1 for searching for your healthcare competitors and gathering their SEO data can also help with this! For example, SEMrush keyword research online software will provide you with a comprehensive list of all the keywords your site is ranking for organically and help you to analyze these keywords, as well as suggest related keywords that may have a higher search volume.
3. Analyze Your Competitors
Now that you’ve identified your competitors and know what keywords you want to beat them for, it’s time to dig in and analyze.
When analyzing your competitors’ SEO, make sure to pay attention to the following SEO factors that contribute to search engine ranking:
• amount and quality of backlinks and internal links
• type, relevance, and ranking positions of the keywords they target
• page and domain authority
• title tags
• meta descriptions
• alt tags
• no follow links
• website load time
• content relevance and optimization
• indexed pages
Luckily, you won’t have to manually count all backlinks your healthcare competitors’ websites have or browse through hundreds of pages to check whether each image has an alt tag, you just simply need to refer to the report you’ve gathered in step 2.
4. Compare the SEO Competitor Analysis Results To Your SEO Performance
Finally, the most important step that will assign meaning to all you’ve done in the previous steps is actually comparing your competitors’ SEO data to yours. In order to do so, perform the same SEO analysis you did for all your competitors and identify the areas your organization needs to improve. Note that it’s not always the quantity, but the quality that you need to look for. So for example, when analyzing backlinks, don’t just pay attention to a number of backlinks a competitor’s website or your own has, also pay attention to their quality. Search engine bots are able to identify if the quality of the backlinks is poor, which will actually count against the website’s SEO ranking.
If you don’t have a website for your healthcare business already, you can identify the best practices that make your competitors rank well and use that information to your advantage when building one. In addition to that, when looking at the data, compare the keywords your competitors use to yours and add the keywords that work best for other competitors and consider removing the ones that don’t really work.
5. Create an SEO Strategy For A Better Search Engine Ranking
So you’ve performed an analysis and identified the areas your website needs to be optimized for, but what’s next? Next, you’ll need to create a cohesive SEO strategy that will include all the changes your healthcare website needs and will lead you to a better SEO ranking compared to your competitors.
But how to create one? If you don’t want to struggle with crawling through the depths of marketing and spending countless hours creating a comprehensive SEO strategy that will actually work, here’s where our healthcare marketing agency can step into the game. Not only will we handle full competitor analysis, we’ll use that information – combined with SEO best practices – to optimize your current site or create a new one from scratch that achieves your desired ranking results.
Junior Account Coordinator