Before diving head first into local SEO it is important to analyze local SEO competition, commonly referred to as a local SEO analysis or competitive analysis.
How good is their SEO performance? What are their target keywords? How much traffic do they receive?
Many businesses use SEO marketing to drive website traffic in order to get more sales and customers for their business.
However, if the SEO competition is too high it will take more time and effort to get results.
After reading this blog post you will learn how to do a local SEO analysis as you create an SEO strategy.
With this knowledge, you will be able to monitor your competitor’s SEO and website changes.
How do I find my local competitors?
To find your local competitors simply enter your target keyword + target city, or target keyword + near me if you are in the proximity of your business.
Google will display the local SEO ranking of your Google Maps and organic competition.
Pick your top 2-3 competitors in both Google Maps and Google’s organic search results while disregarding Google Ads.
How to analyze local SEO competition:
1. Analyze The Competition’s Google Business Profiles
SEO for a local business begins with an SEO-optimized GMB profile.
Before performing a local SEO analysis of their website, start with competitors’ Google Business profiles (GMB).
Pay close attention to the following:
- GMB name – Does the name contain SEO keywords, city, or service area?
- Description – Does the business description include SEO keywords, landmarks, products or services, or directions?
- Images – Do they have images of their storefront or office, employees, or product or service?
- Address – Do they have an address, are they using a virtual office or service area?
- Reviews – How many reviews do they have? What do their customers say about them?
- Website – Which page does the Google Profile link to? Is it a homepage, service or product page, or a city landing page?
- Products or Services – Did they list their products and or services?
- Phone Number – Is there a phone number with a local area code?
The above items will give you an idea of their SEO performance.
For most of the above items, you want to check to see if they are including target keywords. this is a sign of a well-optimized Google Business profile.
2. Pay Attention To Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP)
The use of NAP is important for SEO because it helps search engines understand the business name, where they operate, and contact information.
An established business’s NAP will be cited in dozens of local business directories like Yelp or Yellow Pages.
They might even be listed in their city’s chamber of commerce or directories dedicated to a city, region, or country.
Check to see if their information is consistent on the following properties:
- GMB profile
- Social media profiles
- Business directories/citations
3. Check for City Pages on Their Website
To get more website visitors a local SEO website might use city landing pages to help them rank for target keywords in a city or region.
If the on-page optimization of their local SEO content is good they will rank for “near me” keywords which in turn will drive website traffic from a target area.
If your competitor is using one or more it is likely that they have invested in their SEO.
They also use these pages to interlink to their services, products, and store locations, while also showcasing customer reviews, testimonials, case studies, blog posts, etc.
If their GMB lists a city landing page as their website it is another sign of good SEO.
That does not mean you do not have a chance to compete, but understand that you must do better SEO than them.
4. Find The Directories They are Listed On
Directories are a good source of citations and backlinks for SEO.
Find out where your competitor is getting their citations from and start submitting your business to the same websites.
After submitting your business to a directory complete your profile by adding customer reviews, pricing, contact information, and your address.
You can use BrightLocal to audit and build citations.
It is best to find directories that are specific to your city, service area, region, country, and especially your industry.
5. Look at Their Backlinks and Interlinks
A well-established business often has received press, whether it is local, national, or international.
Press often results in backlinks from places like blogs, press releases, news and media websites, etc.
This establishes credibility and trust with users and customers, but with Google too.
Use an SEO tool like Ahrefs, Semrush, or Moz to find where your competitors are getting their backlinks from.
Create a list of their best backlinks, websites with the most traffic, keywords, and Authority (domain rating, domain authority, or authority score depending on which SEO tool you are using).
Contact the webmaster of each site via email and ask them to link to a piece of content on your website, or write a guest post article for them to publish.
Backlinks from high-traffic websites is a sign of good SEO that will be hard to compete with.
Next analyze your competitor’s interlinks, how pages are interlinked together, and the anchor text they use.
6. Find Out If They Use Local Business Schema Data
If a competitor is using local business schema data markup on their website it is a sign of strong SEO competition.
Use Google’s rich results testing tool to check if a competitor is using schema data, and which type of markup has been used.
Check their homepage, service or product pages, and or city pages if they have them.
To create your own local schema data to add to your website you can use TechnicalSEO.com’s Schema Markup Generator.
Examples of local SEO optimization are keyword targeting, GMB, directory submissions, NAP consistency, on-page SEO, interlinks, and backlinks.
By analyzing the above SEO techniques of your local competitors you will understand if and how you can succeed with SEO.
In order to beat them inside search engines you will need to do a better job at optimizing your GMB profile, on-page optimization, backlinks, and including target keywords.