Competitive Analysis & Searcher Intent
TL;DR: To do SEO research well, you will need to analyze your competition, and know the searcher intent that you want to target.
You have to know what the competition is doing. You could outrank them without knowing what their SEO efforts are, sure, but for the absolute best results and meaningful, actionable SEO research, using your competition as a benchmark is the way to go.
You want to outrank your competition, and you want to outrank them in the minimal amount of time. Why wait 6 months, if you can do it in 3 months? Competitive analysis in SEO research is the only way to get any sort of idea about how much work and time is expected to achieve the ranking results from your SEO efforts.
SEO Competitive Analysis Checklist
Link Gap Analysis
- Where are they getting links that you can get?
- Where should they links from, but haven’t yet?
Keyword Gap Analysis
- What are your easy wins?
- What are your hard wins?
- How to create a different brand message? What user intent are they going after?
Content Gap Analysis
- New page opportunities
- New blog opportunities
- Same content that you could do better
- What they’re missing so far?
Review Gap Analysis
- How many reviews do they have?
- Where are they getting reviews?
- Are their review stars appearing in the SERP?
Site Structure Analysis
- Is their URL structure clean and easy to understand or did they over optimize?
- Should you follow this structure, or can you do a better structure?
- Can you make your menu and website easier to navigate?
You must research how people will search for your product or service outside of your company name (brand searches). This is Keyword Research.
You will want to ask yourself what your marketing strategy is, so that you know which keywords to go after.
Keyword Research For Search Intent Analysis
Are you going after people in multiple sections of the sales funnel, or a single section? This will determine if you do email, social, paid, influencer marketing, etc.
- Hight funnel – You’ll need to create content that focuses on informational keywords.
- Mid funnel – You’ll want to create content for navigational keywords.
- Low funnel – You’ll want to focus on purchase intent keywords (transactional keywords).