There is a lot of noise when it comes to local SEO.
From the latest industry buzz to the nuances of a particular website, your strategy to-do list can quickly become overwhelmed with tasks that don’t consider the big picture.
However, none of these tasks matter when you ignore your competitors.
A local SEO competitive analysis reveals:
- Who is at the top of the rankings?
- Why they achieved this ranking.
- A location they have chosen as a target for their strategy.
- How much effort did you put into your rankings?
- when you might be able to outperform them.
If you understand the efforts and approaches used by local top rankers, you can thrive in even the most competitive search environment.
Identification of local competitors
Local SEO competitors require a different approach than domestic market competitors.
In national SEO campaigns, competitors typically target hundreds or thousands of keywords. At the local level, most competitors typically target keywords in the 20-100 range.
Local SEO is usually defined by the physical community and therefore has fewer keywords.
Local SEO is designed to support small businesses, franchises, and networks of physical goods and services. Unlike national SEO, there is no SaaS or cloud-based architecture or major national e-commerce websites.
Local dealers, practitioners, and businesses offer services or items that customers receive in the community. The products and services of these companies are limited to the parameters of the local population. If a local business offers garage door repairs, demand is limited to the number of people in that community who need garage door repairs.
Local SEO is confined to your physical community, so finding your competitors is easy. Identify 5-10 core keywords and see who ranks first.
However, local SEO competitive analysis quickly becomes complicated when you have multiple locations for your business. Each location has its own challenges.
Local competition analysis considers a smaller portion of keywords, but local search complexity affects these keywords.
3 Steps to Conducting a Local SEO Competitive Analysis
Competitive analysis for local SEO considers keyword search visibility in the context of three local ranking factors:
- Compare proximity.
- Evaluate your Google Business Profile (GBP) optimization.
- Analyze the content on your page.
1. Compare proximity
Are you farther from the city center than your top competitors? Is this information about your location important? After all, SEO doesn’t mean you can move places.
It is important to understand where your company is located in relation to your competitors’ locations. Because proximity may be the reason competitors rank him #1.
In the image below, a search for “Kansas City Attorney”, a highly desirable keyword for Kansas City Attorneys, ranked the number one law firm located 0.2 miles from downtown Kansas City. holding The second largest business is located 3.1 miles from the city center.
A quick search for your top keywords will tell you if proximity affects your campaigns. Check the distance between the #1 ranked GBP (a.k.a. competitor) verified location in the local pack and the city center. Then compare your competitor’s distance to the distance between your verified location and the city center.
If you’re a Service Area Business (SAB), you won’t be able to see the distance between your address and the city center because your competitors are likely to be SABs as well. In these scenarios, you should be aware of the distance between your confirmed location and the city center.
If your website is struggling to achieve local ranking growth in the future, proximity may be limiting progress. may not be attached. This means you need to change the target location.
For local SEO competitive analysis, a quick look at competitor distance is enough to understand how important it is in a given market. However, from this initial check, you may decide that a deeper understanding of proximity can help frame your strategy.
If a more comprehensive analysis of your proximity would be helpful, consider completing a full proximity audit as your next step. For example, if looking at distance, GBP, and on-page strategy fails to determine why a competitor ranks higher, you can consider a full proximity audit. A proximity audit is a deeper analysis of all the factors that influence proximity-based rankings in a particular market.
2. Evaluate GBP optimization
The Google Business Profile is the star of Local SEO. Everyone is competing for 3rd place from 1st place in the local pack. Competitors usually pay most attention to he GBP in their local SEO strategy. This is because this profile appears directly at the top of search results.
Evaluate the following ranking factors across the GBP list of competitors and compare your profile.
- Primary category
- Other categories
Your name, primary category, and reviews will appear directly on your profile, but you’ll need a tool like GMB Everywhere to see additional GBP categories for your business. While these are key ranking factors for your Google Business Profile, it’s also important to see how much your competitors are investing in their additional GBP features.
- questions and answers
If your competitors are ranking solely for reviews and proximity, a small tweak to your GBP category could improve your local pack ranking. But if your #1 ranked competitor has a detailed profile and posts every week, it’s going to take a lot of effort to rank high.
Ultimately, Google Business Profiles aim to update users with as much information as possible about their business. Rankings are great, but keeping customers informed about your business is a sure thing across all communication channels.
3. Analyze the content on the page
On-page SEO is an important ranking signal for local packs.So what does your #1 ranking competitor’s website look like? Included directly in your local pack[Web サイト]Click the button to get started.
When analyzing competitor websites, we typically see two types of sites linked from GBP.
- A home page for your business in a single place.
- Location page for a multi-location business.
The home page content is often structured differently than the location page content.
|home page||location page|
|Navi service page||All services mentioned on the page|
|advanced business information||Location-specific information|
|lots of backlinks||usually low backlinks|
|original content||Content may be duplicated between locations|
Check your competitor’s home page or location page to determine how much effort your website requires. How much has your competitor invested in his website or location page for their company?
Below are some questions to check for either the home page or location page linked from GBP.
- Do you have many service pages on your navigation system?
- Does your website look modern and mobile friendly?
- Does your website have awards, testimonials, or customer reviews?
- Does your website use optimized title tags?
- Does your homepage include videos, Q&As, or other standalone content?
Questions about location pages:
- Does the location page describe local services?
- Is the content original for the page at that location?
- Do you have a CTA that users can easily see and interact with?
- Do your location pages use optimized title tags?
- How does the rest of the website link to pages at this location?
- Does the page contain local provider content (videos, bios, etc.)?
These questions are by no means exhaustive, but they are a good starting point and can help you understand the level of investment and strategy behind your competitors’ websites.
Bringing together information to see the big picture
We collected information about competitor proximity, GBP, and website. Now let’s analyze this information and come up with a local SEO strategy.
Here’s an example of what we can learn about the #1 ranking competitor for “Houston Dentist”.
|1st ranked competitor||our place|
|0.5 miles from city center||2 miles from the city center|
|812 reviews on GBP||435 reviews on GBP|
|Main Categories: Dentists||Main Categories: Cosmetic Dentists|
|Post weekly on GBP||Post irregularly to GBP|
|Link to GBP Home Page||GBP link to place page|
|Homepage contains video content||No video content on location page|
|15 service pages||The location page lists two services|
In the local SEO competitive analysis example above, we can see that several improvements are needed to compete for the top spot, from updating GBP categories to considering video content.
The best local SEO strategies are unique to that market
That market includes competitors who have invested in varying amounts of content optimization, links and even physical real estate. Helps determine which tasks have the greatest impact.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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