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5 Data Points for SEO Research

Posted on 7.02.2014

You'd be foolish not to conduct at least some research into the search engine optimization practices of your nearest competitors. But what should you look for and how should you prepare your SEO campaigns to compete now and in the foreseeable future? Follow along to discover five essential data points for SEO research.

1. Rankings

If you know anything about SEO, you might just disagree with this data point as a component in your SEO research - but there's a good reason for its inclusion. Rankings reveal how successful certain companies are with their SEO initiatives. When you know who is competing with you, you can start analyzing their keywords, the content they use to attract/entertain/inform their audiences, the links they've acquired and the structure of their websites.

2. Keywords

Few things are more damaging to an SEO campaign than selecting the wrong keywords. While researching the SEO initiatives of your competitors, it is essential to understand what keywords are being used to drive traffic to their website, and (perhaps more importantly) which terms and phrases are not being used - presenting an immediate opportunity to capture visitor traffic.

3. Content

Every website has content - some of it is more valuable than others. Content comes in a variety of formats and levels of sophistication, so develop various categories and organize competitors' content types into clear classifications. For example, are they publishing white papers, short blog posts, guest posts from others within the industry? How about videos, infographics, podcats, tutorials? Identifying gaps in content production can, once again, expose opportunities to take advantage of in your own SEO campaign.

4. Links

With an understanding of what keywords and content types are being leveraged by the competition, you'll have a better understanding of the approach needed to unseat others from the top positions on popular search engines.

5. Structure

The authority and quantity of links aimed at a website is certainly one of the most important variables, but to compete, a sound website structure and architecture in general is of paramount important to the quality of a SEO research audit.

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