In order to efficiently work in SEO, especially for on-page work, it is crucial to use reliable data, and analytics is key here in compiling reports which will enable for instance to identify the number of visits/unique visitors and conversions for specific pages and site sections, or compare data by device type or browser.
Google offers a free version for an analytics tool: Google Analytics. Its set-up is quite straight-forward.
Activate the account by adding the snippet in the code (head section) for each page you want to track. Create Accounts / Views for each account: All Data, Test, Master Create Filters: exclude for instance all spam bots traffic and internal traffic. Create Reports and Dashboards. Correctly setup UTM for your marketing campaigns. Optimize continuously, analysing reports and acting accordingly (new reports, new filters, etc).
To get more valuable insight especially in terms of keywords, it is better to integrate Google Search Console to Google Analytics. GA itself does not show any keywords; they appear as not provided.
For a SEO Competitor Analysis, one first needs to identify the SEO competitors, which may not be your business competitors offline, those which are leading in terms of organic traffic acquisition, domain authority and other important SEO factors. These are the websites which rank the best and the most consistently for the main keywords you have identified, and/or those websites which rank best for long tail keywords.
To improve the way you do business online, it is very difficult to be successful if you ignore the competition. The same applies with SEO. Knowing how your competitors operate, what they offer helps to find out: keywords you are possibly missing one, backlink opportunities, and benchmarks. Copying however is not really a long time efficient strategy; being aware of what they are doing, your strengths and weaknesses, to offer better value to your customers.
How is the website organised and structured, including main navigation items and the internal linking strategy. What is included in their Sitemap(s).
Analysis to understand how your competitors get their backlinks
Competitor analysis is great to be aware of what your competitors are doing, how their site is structured, how their get their backlinks, and check if you are missing out on low hanging fruit. But by no means should you copy and paste how they do business. Get rather inspired, and plan to do better. Be aware that if for instance they are doing black hat SEO Berlin and you have the bad idea to copy them as they are currently outranking you, if they get punished for what they do in the future, you might also follow suit.
A Competitor analysis comprises of backlink audit, on-page audit and keyword research. Analysing how competitors get most of their traffic also helps to establish content creation strategy.
The content is the value you want to create. If you content has no value to the user, or if it is duplicate content, your content will not be brought forward. Check content quality, good usage of semantics, still using the most important keywords and variations in the right places, while keeping focus on relevancy for the user and not focus on SEO only.
In one year for this client, with a strong Content Growth Strategy, traffic was multiplied by 10, that is excluding Brand keywords.
For this client, an audit showed that a new Keyword Targeting was needed, while better exposing important pages with more traffic potential, and improving technical settings and performance. Changes enabled the client to double its organic entries. Also it is important to note that brand terms traffic actually dropped during March to May compared to the previous period.