It makes sense that you’re curious about your competitors. You’re probably wondering (rightfully so), why are they outranking you for certain keywords? And what are they doing both on and off the site that gives them their competitive edge?
Before you start doing a competitive analysis, you should always remember the number one priority for what you’re doing: to find actionable insights that will make your site better. Doing a competitive analysis just for the sake of seeing who ranks where does you little good if there’s no action that can come from it.
With that said, if you are a hospital looking for a checklist of things to look for from a competitive analysis perspective, use this as a guide. It’s the same overall process we use for our clients.
Keyword rankings – This is as simple as compiling a list of keywords and seeing where you and your competitors rank. Keep in mind that there are multiple factors (location, search history, etc.) involved in where you rank. Premium keyword ranking services can check rankings across multiple computers and average them out to come up with a more accurate assessment of rankings.
Alexa Traffic Rank – Indicates how popular a certain URL is with users of the Alexa Toolbar and is calculated using a combination of average daily visitors and page views to the URL over the past three months. The best possible Alexa Traffic Rank is 1.
Domain Authority – This metric shows much room for improvement. The higher the Domain Authority score the better, as it represents the likelihood of a domain to rank well on a search engine results page (SERP).
Inbound links – The quantity and quality of websites linking to you is a critical factor in ranking well. See how your site compares, and look closely at competitors links to see if you can be linked to from those sites as well.
Indexed Pages in Google – The is as simple as doing a search for “site:example.com” where you’d replace “example.com” with your and your competitors website. So if Under Armour was doing a competitive analysis for Nike they’d put into Google “site:nike.com” to see roughly how many pages are indexed in Google.
Low word count – Fathom recommends that pages have at least 250 words of content.
Duplicate content – The number of pages that have content found on other pages online, both onsite and offsite.
Meta Data Issues – These are issues regarding title tags and meta descriptions, which could include duplicate meta data, or meta data that is too long/too short.
Missing headers – Headlines are critical to grab a reader’s attention. Every page should have an H1 header.
Content assets – There are so many different aspects to “content” these days. See which forms of content you and your competitors provide based on the list below:
|Off-Site Content Assets||On-Site Content Assets|
|Facebook page||Local-focused pages|
|Groupons/Coupons||Meet our team|
|Guided shopping tool||Our history|
|Smartphone Apps||Why choose us?|
|Tools (ex. Calculators, quiz…)||Etc.|
Broken Link Issues – These issues include broken internal and external links found within a site
Image Issues – These issues include broken images as well as those without ALT text or title text.
Visibility Issues – These issues include items such as pages with improper redirects, pages being blocked by robots.txt and malware.
Again, don’t get so caught up in the numbers. Use a competitive analysis as a tactical strategy and motivation to make your site better.
If you focus on your customers and serving their needs by making your website as user-friendly as possible and building your hospital’s authority online, you’ll likely find yourself in an advantageous situation the next time you run keyword rankings reports!
For more information about this competitive analysis checklist for hospitals, or for help from our SEO experts, contact us today.