SEO Competitive Analysis Timing

Written by Nick Stamoulis

When we start working with a new company, we also take some time to perform a competitive analysis. We do this to analyze all aspects of digital marketing, with SEO being one of them. We have learned that it is a good idea to perform them on a regular schedule, but we have also learned that timing is everything.

If you do it too soon, you’ll get bogged down in the data, which can impede progress. If you do it too late, you won’t have a chance to benefit from the valuable insights that an analysis can trigger.

Are you wondering how often you should perform a competitive analysis for SEO? Here’s a look at some insights that will help you figure it out:

Our Recommendations for Frequency

When clients as us how often we should do a competitive analysis, we tell them a range of between six months and a year after implementing our initial SEO recommendations. We always do this type of analysis when we first start working with a company for several reasons:

  • It helps us assess our starting point, and have the data to prove where things began.
  • It gives us a chance to learn from these insights and adjust our strategy as needed based on what we see.
  • Gives clients a chance to see where they stand with their competitors.

Keep in mind that this data should be taken with a “grain of salt”. At the end of the day, your business is unique and you should focus on your audience, not your competitors. Yet, it is useful to see where you stand.

Keep in Mind Your Industry

Of course, your industry will be a factor when deciding how often to perform a competitive analysis. In some industries, where the sales cycle is fairly long, it doesn’t make sense to do them too often. After six months for industries with longer sales cycles, there probably wouldn’t have been enough forward movement in your business, and in your competitors’ businesses, to make gathering data worth the effort.

Consider how long your sales cycle is, and let that be your guide for coming up with frequency. Chances are pretty good that the digital marketing agency you are working with will recommend the optimum timing based on data such as this.

Timing Ties to Your Initial Baseline

Also consider that your timing ties in to your initial baseline. How far along is your SEO? If you are starting completely from scratch, you will need to give yourself longer than six months to run a follow-up competitor report. If you already had an SEO program up and running before making improvements and adjustments, you might want to do it every six months. It all depends on your business.

These are just guidelines that will help you determine the frequency that is right for your business. Over time, as we get access to longer term data, we may adjust the frequency to align with your needs. If we do it too often, it won’t have as strong of an impact. If we don’t do enough, it will affect your results. It’s all about finding that balance.

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