How To Analyze Competitor SEO Strategies -
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How To Analyze Competitor SEO Strategies

How To Analyze Competitor SEO Strategies

How To Beat Out Your Competition’s SEO Strategy

Obtaining intelligence about a brand or unearthing its marketing strategies and optimization techniques is one of the hardest hurdles every marketer has to go through. Nonetheless, analyzing the competitor’s search query data can help you find out more about their SEO strategies used. Analyzing data obtained from a search query data, can also help you validate existing marketing strategies utilized by the company, and give you an idea of new ideas on how to promote yours.

Cracking optimization and marketing strategies used by competitors can be a challenge. To uncover these, the marketer has to dig a lot deeper into the specific brand and analyze its products to find bits of valuable information, and then add everything up for it to make sense before taking action.

Search query data is like music to the ears of a SEO strategist. As mentioned above, this data can be analyzed to give in-depth information about the rival’s competitive scope. Some of the valuable information that can be extracted from this include; how the market perceives the company, associated products and its impact on the market as well.. There are however more economical and faster ways of getting useful intelligence about the competitor.

To help you save time and money, we have researched and explored broadly on category and cultural trends to help you find whatever marketing data you are looking for. This educational series should help you know how to analyze search data to get accurate intelligence about your competitor, brand, and its marketplace as a whole.

Using Search Data As Your Own Focus Group

According to research, more than a billion searches are entered in search engines every day. These represent massive consumer expressions that are more valuable than the data you get from opt-in surveys and consumer focus groups. The search queries can be used to analyze the market and understand it from the consumer’s perspective.

From search data, we can get rough idea of the rivalry between some of the top U.S retailers in 2013, and how consumers were navigating the online landscape.

Retailer Search History Trends

From the charts, Walmart leads the search volume (presumably due to its geographical establishment, scale and chain size), while Saks and Kmart have a much smaller share. A marketer can however learn a lot from this data, though.

Upscale departmental stores are however located farther away from retailers, which suggests that they have entirely different target consumers, or customers have a different mindset when searching for stores such as Costco, Sear or (BBB) Bed Bath & Beyond.

Understanding what customers consider when searching for products online, helps brands focus on better marketing efforts and strategies. By boosting their marketing efforts, these brands start reestablishing themselves in the stiff market competition, and also get a larger share of the search share.

How To Compare Competitive Lifts In Peak Times

From the search data obtained, we can confirm that the strongest seasons for these retailers run between Black Friday and New Year’s Day.

Search Engine Traffic History on Black Friday

The most searched phrases and keywords during this time include deals, coupons, gift ideas, and discounts. Although these phrases/keywords may seem pretty obvious, searches for the big brands in the market also start to spike during this season as well. Although Walmart may be dominant in the market, Kohl’s also begins to get its share of search share dominance during the holidays, while Target breaks from the pack. From the data recorded above and its analysis, we can understand the statistics and brand much better. From this data, we can see that these brands not only make massive sales during the holidays, but also benefit significantly from other media efforts.


What This Data Says About the Customer

Looking deeper into the analytical search data also helps us understand how consumers perceive these products and brands. It is worth noting that, Kohl’s has a greater search share as compared to the big boys such as Target and Walmart. Nonetheless, Walmart takes the larger share of family related searches.

Search Engine Traffic For Coupons

From the insights discussed above, brands can plan strategically on how and who to compete with in the industry. With Walmart strongly associated with family searches, another brand could up its game to compete with it in the niche. Since Walmart is predominant in this, the other brand would have to be very creative and take on better optimization and marketing techniques to win audiences and customers over. Other brands such as Dillard’s can use the statistical data to close the gap on discount related searches as its competitors outdo it in this area.

Competition Face Off

The beauty of search query data is that, brands can compare their performance with their competition. Co-searched brands can take advantage of consumer perceptions and interests to dominate the market. Using this data, the co-searched brand can up its game by taking on highly converting optimization techniques and marketing strategies to beat its competitor. The brands can also use this data to monitor progress on already undertaken marketing initiatives.

From the original bubble chart, it is clear that Kohl’s and JCPenney are business competitors. This is because consumers co-search these brands thus resulting in overlapping searches. These companies compete in almost the same keywords such as credit, happy hour, and discounts. JCPenney however dominates searches related to fashion and jeans, meaning Kohl’s can easily close this gap by offering the same.

A look at the top broad search categories

Using the Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner, we can see that the most searched keywords associated with JCPenney are coupon related, electronics, credit cards, and outlets. From this, we can learn that its marketers focus more on these keywords to optimize audience conversion and generate leads. Other categories associated with this brand are fashion wear and clothes while Kohl’s takes on shoes.

Search Engine Volume Based On Landing Pages



Search Engine Data showing keywords associated with target

Any intelligent marketer can use this data to optimize his/her brand’s identity and improve performance on the same. While Kohl’s may be focusing mainly on shoes, its marketers could start vouching for other products such as fashion ware and electronics to drive traffic and sales. The search data also highlights JCPenneys stronghold, which is in electronics.

Embracing the competitive backdrop

From the analysis discussed above, it is evident that search data does provide a window in the brand marketing world. This is the window that every marketer should take advantage of, as it helps find better marketing ideas for his products and brands. The search data also helps you (the marketer) to see how consumers see your brand, and who your competition is. You can also see categories that your competition is taking advantage of, meaning you can use the data available to optimize your brand much better. The best thing about this is that, you never have to break any rules to access this information. All you need is an analytical mind and approach to search data, and you are good to go.