Whether you’re actively engaging in SEO or not, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the top Google results for the keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business. If your search engine optimisation campaign is under way, and going well, your website should feature among the top results, but even if you’re not actively optimising and promoting your website, you should be aware who is regardless.
Most SEO companies offer ranking reports, showing where your website appears for relevant searches, but that doesn’t show you the full picture. Even if your ranking report shows you on the first page, if your main competitor is just one place above you, work still needs to be done.
While many website owners constantly check their rankings within Google, they don’t always look around to see who else is ranking, and more importantly, why. If a website is ranking above yours there is a reason for it. Are they better optimised than you, do they have more links, are they updating their website more regularly with fresh content, or is it something else? Understanding why a site ranks well within Google is the first step to improving your own rankings.
Additionally, but monitoring keywords and phrases that you want to target, you can see if any new websites appear on the first page. Even if a website is new to you, and represents a competitor you have never heard of, if they’re ranking on the first page of Google they’re a competitor in the eyes of your customers, customers who use Google to find the products and services that you offer.
It’s therefore vital to analyse your main competitors and see exactly how their websites compare to yours from an SEO point of view.