The Importance of Analysing Your Dealership’s Digital Competition
- February 26, 2018
- Posted by: Kari Jones
- Category: Tips For Dealers
If you have decided that it’s time to initiate an SEO campaign to help your dealership’s website gain more visibility and clicks, you need to do your preparation. You may be itching to get stuck in with link building and content optimisation but before you do any of this, it is important that you conduct an analysis against your competition.
Why Competitor Analysis is Important
Analysis of your competitors should be an essential part of your SEO preparation, because what you learn from this could help you beat them. This analysis will reveal which strategies are working for vehicle dealerships and this information can be used to devise your own campaign plan. If you start your campaign armed with knowledge of effective SEO tactics, your chances of succeeding will be increased.
Not only can you learn from your competitors’ strengths through analysis of their SEO strategies, but you can also identify their weaknesses. This means that you will be able to determine the areas in which there is potential for you to outperform them.
Identifying Your Competition
The first stage of competitor analysis is to find out who your main rivals actually are. There may be one or two business competitors which operate in the same area as you that you are already aware of, but including a mixture of direct business competitors and search competitors in your analysis is likely to be most beneficial to you.
To identify your search competitors, put yourself in a consumer’s shoes and make use of Google. Enter a query into the search engine that customers looking for your products or services are likely to input, such as ‘used cars near me’ and make a list of the first ten rankings. Repeat this and highlight any websites which recur frequently.
Remember, websites which consistently appear at the top of the search engine’s results page (SERP) are likely to have a higher click-through rate (CTR), so these will be your biggest competition.
Analysing Your Competitors
Once you have your list of competitors, you can review how your rivals’ websites perform in regard to certain criteria. You may want your checklist to include the following SEO factors.
Select a sample of pages from each of your rivals’ websites that you will assess. I would recommend reviewing at least three of their URLs, including the brand’s homepage, a page which lists their vehicles in stock and a page which contains informative content, such as the ‘About Us’ page or a blog page. When you analyse the content on one of your competitor’s sites, you should look out for several things:
- Title tags and H1 tags – If each page on the site has a unique title tag or H1 tag that is relevant to any content below it, the competitor should receive a tick on your checklist.
- Quality – The quality of content on any website will be largely subjective, but you should see whether or not you find the content on each page to be well-written.
- Calls-to-action – internal links and calls-to-action are good because these tools help the consumer progress on their journey towards conversion.
There are certain online tools available which can tell you the domain authority and the number of linking root domains that a website has. Try to find out how many backlinks your competitors have, as well as the domain authority of sites which have provided links.
Keyword research is vital for a successful campaign. You can use Google to see where your competitors rank against you for certain keywords. From this, you should be able to create a good keyword mapping strategy.
Rather than simply guessing which keywords will be effective, this will give you a better-informed idea of which keywords to incorporate in your SEO strategy. You should try to avoid a keyword set that will overlap with that of your competitors and put you at a disadvantage and instead look for keywords that rivals are using but aren’t working for them too well, so that you can devise a plan to overtake them.
Another aspect of your strategy which should not be overlooked is your competitor’s social media presence. Look at their activity on various platforms, taking note of how many followers they have and how much engagement their posts receive.
Optimise Your Strategy
Throughout this analysis, you should be making notes of your competitor’s strengths and weakness. These notes can then be used to shape and perfect your SEO strategy. Remember that your competition will change constantly as businesses adapt and new companies come onto the scene. Consequently, competitor analysis should be conducted on a regular basis.