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How to Run a SEO Competitive Analysis

First Things First: What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving the quantity and quality of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page on search engine results pages (SERPs). For example, when searching for something on Google a list of results will appear. The goal of SEO is to rank higher and become the first result available for any search that involves your website’s content. It involves optimizing a website's content, structure, and HTML code to make it more attractive to search engines, like Google, but also many other search engines like Bing, Firefox, and Yahoo.

The goal of SEO is to rank higher in organic search results for relevant keywords and phrases that users are searching for. By optimizing a website's SEO, businesses and individuals can increase their online presence, attract more organic traffic, and ultimately, drive more conversions and revenue. According to Hubspot , PopularityGoogle takes 80% of the search market and over 95% of mobile traffic. So it is a good idea to understand how Google ranks and analyzes pages in order to be displayed better when someone is looking for our product or service online.

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SEO Competitive Analysis

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) competitive analysis is the process of analyzing your competitor’s websites in order to identify and obtain some insights into their SEO strategies, and opportunities, techniques and procedures that can be helpful to improve your own website's SEO. We can think about it like a hard investigation of our competitors to see what they are doing right and wrong so we can analyze and learn how to best improve our website's search engine ranking.

Learning from others' mistakes can save money, time, and resources at your company. We see this happening all the time in grocery stores, car manufacturers, restaurants, and many more industries. Understanding our competitor’s mistakes, investigating and analyzing their strategies to come up with brand new original ideas will create more chances to be successful. This is a new way to investigate and compare competitors, this time, digitally.

SEO competitive analysis is an important step to take because it helps you understand your competition and it gives you valuable insights that you can use to improve your own website's SEO, such as keyword usage, content quality, backlinks, and social media engagement, etc.

With all this information analyzed, you can identify your competitor's strengths and weaknesses. You will also identify areas where your website is lacking and make necessary changes to improve your website's SEO and create a better strategy.

SEO for Your School

If you are a school website owner, SEO competitive analysis is even more important because the competition in the education industry is high. With so many schools competing for attention online and many different programs and services, it's important to have a strong SEO strategy to stand out and attract potential students that easily can choose another place if they never get to hear about you.

To use SEO competitive analysis for school websites, you should start by identifying your top competitors. You can do this by using tools like Google Search, SEMrush, or Ahrefs, and identify the top-ranking websites for your target keyword. It is important to start locally, identify who is around and slowly move out to identify the city, state, or even nationwide competitors. It will all depend on what type of students you are targeting and what type of audience you are focusing on.

Analyze Competitor’s Online Presence

Once you have identified your competitors, the next step is to analyze their websites to gain insights into their SEO strategies. Check these four factors to look for when analyzing your competitors' websites:

Keyword usage: One of the most important things to check. Keywords are a vital part of SEO and should always receive a lot of attention. Keywords are not only singular words but phrases that will identify you and the way people are trying to find the service that you provide. You must try to understand how parents, students, and anyone related to the educational field would try to locate educational services.

Identify your strengths and convert them into words and phrases that parents or families may type to try and find your school. Once the first part is done you will move into analyzing the keywords your competitors are targeting and their keyword density to gain insights into their content strategy. With this you can compare what you have created and get insights into how to prioritize keywords that are performing better.

Content quality: Analyze the quality and relevancy of your competitors' content to gain insights into the types of content that are resonating with their audience. By knowing what type of content parents and students are more attracted to you will be able to develop content that can also be good and integrate it with your school’s philosophy.

Backlinks: Analyze the quantity and quality of your competitors' backlinks to gain insights into their link-building strategy. Essentially backlinks are clickable words or phrases that redirect the user to another webpage or website. Search engines like Google consider the quality and quantity of links pointing to a website as a measure of its relevance, authority, and credibility. In other words, if other websites are linking to your website and even using your pages as a reference using hyperlinks it can boost your search engine ranking, attract more organic traffic, and improve your site’s online visibility. Backlinks are like votes of confidence from other websites, indicating to search engines that your website is trustworthy and valuable.

Social media engagement: Analyze your competitors' social media engagement to gain insights into their social media strategy. Without a doubt, social media is essential and knowing how competitors communicate with their audience will give you an idea of what parents and students like or dislike to see. Activities, programs, and teaching methods are some things that are usually shared in school’s social media.

Improve Your SEO

Once you have analyzed your competitors' websites, the next step is to identify areas where your website is lacking and make necessary changes to improve your website's SEO. Here are some tips to improve your school website's SEO:

Focus on local SEO: As a school, your target audience is likely to be local. So, it's important to focus on local SEO by optimizing your website for local keywords and creating content that is relevant to your local audience. If you are looking to have a bigger audience you can use keywords that will apply to general terms of education. Making separate lists can be beneficial to target different objectives. What matters the most is identifying your keywords and who should be targeted.

Create quality content: Create quality content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to your audience. This will not only help improve your search engine ranking but also help attract potential students to your school.

Optimize for mobile: This is something that a lot of people forget. With more and more people using mobile devices to access the internet, it's important to optimize your website for mobile devices to improve user experience and search engine ranking.

SEO competitive analysis is an important tool that can help you gain insights into your competitors' SEO strategies and identify opportunities to improve your own website's SEO. By analyzing your competitors' websites and making necessary changes to your website, you can improve your website's search engine ranking and attract potential students to your school.

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