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Understanding your
competitor’s business to
be truly successful at SEO
Slideshare.Net/varnmedia
@VarnMedia
Tom Vaughton | Varn
linkedin.com/in/tomvaughton/
“I find your lack of competitor
knowledge disturbing…”
You can only succeed if you know
what you are up against
Being truly successful at SEO
Outrank and out manoeuvre your
competition where it matters most
=
If you don’t understand your
competition >
Your marketing strategy won’t deliver
a good ROI >
Neither will your SEO
So what do I mean by understand
the competition?
WHO ARE THEY? UNDER THE SKIN BUSINESS MODEL
01 02 03
Understand the Competition
01 WHO ARE THEY
So who are they?
01 WHO ARE THEY
PR/Google News
Google Trends
Google Ads/Spy Fu Research
SEM Rush
Market Research
Social Media Engagement
Just Ask :)
01 WHO ARE THEY
Don’t presume that your competition
know what they are doing!
02 UNDER THE SKIN
Don’t just use competitive analysis tools
to analyse your competitors’ on-site SEO
02 UNDER THE SKIN
Uncover target keyword clusters, not
vanity SEO.
Examine metadata, headline strategy
& internal linking strategies
02 UNDER THE SKIN
How does your website usability
compare?
02 UNDER THE SKIN
Where are your competition getting
their back links from and how?
02 UNDER THE SKIN
What’s the competition’s
website technology?
02 UNDER THE SKIN
What’s the competition’s
website’s architecture?
02 UNDER THE SKIN
What are they doing
with content?
02 UNDER THE SKIN
Is the competition outspending
you in paid media?
02 UNDER THE SKIN
How good are their SEO
team?
02 UNDER THE SKIN
03 BUSINESS MODEL
So what do we mean by
understand the business model
of your competition?
03 BUSINESS MODEL
What is the financial picture?
03 BUSINESS MODEL
Companies House -
gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house
Plimsoll.co.uk - compare companies, get good and bad
performance alerts, acquisition info
Companycheck.co.uk - for credit checks, financial
performance, assets and cash reports etc
03 BUSINESS MODEL
What’s happening in
the market?
03 BUSINESS MODEL
www.mintel.com
www.nielsen.com
markets.ft.com/data/sectors
www.ibisworld.com
03 BUSINESS MODEL
What is the
competition’s USP?
03 BUSINESS MODEL
Evaluate trends
03 BUSINESS MODEL
SWOT it!
Some other things to consider…
You need to take the client or senior
team on a long journey with you
Do you actually need
to do SEO?
Don’t ever stand still
Understanding means
you can always explain
Thank you
Useful Resources
Useful Resources
Research
www.plimsoll.co.uk
www.mintel.com (Brighton60, and give a 10% discount on any Mintel report on
https://store.mintel.com)
www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house
www.companycheck.co.uk/
www.mintel.com/
www.nielsen.com/
markets.ft.com/data/sectors
www.ibisworld.com/
Useful Resources
Tools
semrush.com/
trends.google.com/
brandmentions.com/ (track competitor and your mentions)
archive.org/web/ (wayback machine) look at previous competitor iterations
https://majestic.com/ (monitor backlinks and offsite SEO for competitors)
BuiltWith
Screaming Frog
Majestic
SEM Rush
Useful Resources
Tools
Sken.io (website change monitor)
Visualping.io (website change monitor)
Google News
BuzzSumo
Owletter
Understanding your
competitor’s business to
be truly successful at SEO
Slideshare.Net/varnmedia
@VarnMedia
Tom Vaughton | Varn
linkedin.com/in/tomvaughton/

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Understanding your competitor’s business to be truly successful at SEO