Competitive intelligence used to deal primarily with market research and product positioning. If you could ascertain your competition’s product launch plans, product and service offering strengths, and their marketing strategies then you could learn enough about the competitive landscape to work out your own product and marketing plans. These days, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Search engine optimization has become its own competitive arena. You can place that within the marketing realm, but you could just as easily place it within its own domain too
Regardless how you see it, though, you need intelligence on your competition’s SEO initiatives. Here’s what that intelligence entails, in a nutshell:
- Number of web pages
- Number and strength of inbound links
- Keywords targeting
- Search engine rankings per keyword
- Web hosting relationships
- Page load speeds
- Code-to-text ratios
- Unique SEO strategies implemented
- Movements within search rankings
That’s just to name a few. You can drill down deep in the SEO landscape to find out more about your competition or keep it simple. It’s entirely up to you. But I recommend that you learn as much as you can about your competition’s SEO strategies, both those planned and implemented, as you plan your own campaigns.
If you want to compete online, competitive SEO intelligence is an absolute necessity.