Understanding Your Competition
Besides paid searches (SEM) and compliance with the ever-changing algorithm (SEO), the main factor impacting strategy formulation for top Google rankings is what your direct, local COMPETITION is doing. Web marketers first require clear understanding of all traffic-qualified keywords being typed into Google to search for our products and services in the context of monthly ranking reports showing how we measure up against the competition for our key industry/market-specific terms.
When we employ SEO tools to assess our local competitive landscape, 1) we understand how we rank on major search engines relative to our competitors, and 2) we see if the strategic, verified-traffic keywords used in our web content are even showing up at all.
When we see established rankings for strategic, high-traffic keywords suddenly dip, the first place we go is to the competitor’s website where we often discover new content in the form of a video, blog, or expanded section on that topic. Seeing this, we can then steal that concept, edit, improve and augment it (Google HATES duplication and actually scrutinizes all new content for plagiarism), and voila—we’re back to number one for that term—at least for this week.
Understanding the scope of your competitor’s SM strategy while monitoring keyword rankings tells us how and where to prioritize our time, money, and energy for inbound marketing— whether it be communicating through mediums in which the audience has granted permission (i.e. subscription-based email marketing; social media; podcasts; blog subscribers; webinar attendees; ebooks; newsletters; white papers)—or by answering the questions people are asking and proliferating those answers around the web in anticipation of the question (website SEO; keyword targeting; landing page strategy; content/blog strategy, etc.).
With inbound marketing, those blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, newsletters, whitepapers, SEO modifications, social media activities, etc. are NEVER static nor applied indiscriminately. They are assembled and introduced into the “system” in a scientifically calculated sequence derived from data analysis to capture and defend specific organic search ranking objectives RELATIVE to the position and sophistication of our direct regional competitors.