How to Perform a Competitive Local SEO Analysis

Some businesses like dental clinics, plumbing services and attorneys largely rely on local clientele. Even with the local customer base as the target, these kinds of businesses must realize that majority of their prospects will come from the web. This means that a business must do local competitive Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to stand out from the competition in the same locality. How can you assess if your business website is visible enough to search engines to pull in more traffic, and hence leads?

Keywords research

Keywords are those terms that are normally typed in when doing a search. A person looking for an attorney in Manhattan, New York is likely to ask Google for “Attorney in Manhattan.” Keywords research helps rank highly for such keywords such that when they are used for a search, your website comes up.

A local business should target at least 3 keywords to rank for. You can do this in simple steps:

  •    List 3 keywords to rank
  •    Search each of the keywords on Google and list the top 3 results for each keyword. You should mark these as organic results
  •    Look at the top 3 paid ads listed on Google and make them as Paid search results
  •    Repeat these steps on your mobile as well. This is because different sites could be optimized differently for different devices. When analyzing these results, look what is the daily trend. How often are the websites showing up? Then know those are your tough online competitors.

An seo analysis of these results will tell you who your local competitors are as they keep popping up. The next step would be to see what they are doing better.

Analyzing Competitor’s Tactics

Analyse your competition on the following points:

  •    Local ranking factors for maps and organic search listings.
  •    On-site factors, for example, content.
  •    Off-site factors, for example, backlinks from other websites.

Compare local ranking factors such as the number of reviews. MOZ’s list has a comprehensive number of local search engine ranking factors you can use in the comparison. You should also look at the mentions your competition is getting. Search the name of the competitor e.g. “Dan’s plumbing.” The double quotes force Google to show all citations your competitions have.

Analysing on-site factors

You should chiefly be analyzing content here. This is what you should look at:

  •    Do a Google search for the domain e.g. site: dansplumbing.com. This will show you how many pages are indexed.
  •    Search the competitor business name. How many mentions come up on other websites? Does the business have social media profiles?
  •    Analyse the competition’s website using a crawler tool like Screaming Frog SEO Spider. This shows linking, Meta descriptions, title tags, and even errors and broken links. You will also see ranking keywords
  •    Visit the website. How is the user experience? Is the site mobile responsive? Is the content fresh?  Does the site offer customer engagement like onsite chat?

Off-site factors analysis

  •    Social media presence

How vibrant is the social media presence? How active is the social media presence? How good is the engagement in terms of likes, comments, and responses?  How many fans/followers does the competition have?

  •    Linking

How many authority links point back (backlinks) to the site? You can use tools such as Ahrens, or Majestic to review the linking. Backlinks from authority sites give a site higher Domain Authority. What is the topic of these links? Compare this with your website.

Analyse paid search

Use SEMrush or Spiff to see what keywords your competition is bidding and ranking for. You can then bid on these keywords as well while including what you found in your keywords research in step 1.

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