Does your client have enough SEO resources on board to compete in their niche?
Hello, thanks for listening to SEO tips today.
Today I’m going to walk through the process that I undertake to do competitive audits for my clients to give them a better understanding of how they stand on line for the topics for which they want to appear. I created these presentations to convince senior leadership to increase their internal or outsourced SEO staffing, and start the conversation around removing silos between various marketing departments and channels.
The first step is picking a set of online competitors. I find the easiest way to confirm your online competitors is to take a bunch of keywords, add them to Ahrefs and use the “top domains ranking” report. I’m sure your client is going to throw you a few sites they also think are competitors. I just put them into your favorite tool (I use Ahrefs and SEMRush). I pull the terms for which those sites are ranking on page one of Google and then have the client confirm that those sites are still in the competitive set.
Once you’ve got your set of competitors, I look at the following:
- What is the SEO maturity of the organization? I determine this based on the crawl data I have for each of the competitor websites and anything I can dig up online about the staff that works at the organization. LinkedIn is excellent for this. It’s also beneficial to do searches looking for job descriptions or interviews of SEOs who worked at those organizations. (I use the SEO maturity model here published on Moz)
- I add the number of SEO staff and any intel I can get about the agencies they use.
- I pull and count the top-ranking pages they have in Google search for the topics that overlap with my clients. I also check how many Featured Snippets for which they are ranking.
- I dig into how future thinking they are related to their SEO program. This depends on the topic or client, but it might include schema.org markup, voice search projects (Alexa Skills, any Google actions I can find), mobile app efforts, VR/AR work, YouTube savviness, and optimization, etc.
I usually present these findings in a chart format so that my clients can see where they stack up and see whether their SEO strategy is under-resourced and where there might be opportunities to overtake their competition if they commit pivot their SEO work.
In my experience, SEO competitive audits can be a powerful tool to motivate clients to increase their SEO commitment, and if you haven’t added it to your arsenal, you should.
Thanks for listening. Come back tomorrow for another SEO tip.
Listen to the previous episode: Federal .gov websites cannot rank for anything they want
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