Evaluating your strengths and weaknesses is one of the first steps to any business plan. It’s one of the fundamental pillars in a digital marketing strategy, something to focus on if you’re looking to grow your business. An SEO SWOT Analysis is more granular. It’ll give you the tools to create a tailored SEO strategy, increasing your traffic to the site, and improving your conversion rate.
Are you wondering where to start? We’ve got you covered with this easy step-by-step guide to an SEO SWOT Analysis. We’ve got all the tools you need to get stuck in.
What is a SWOT Analysis?
If you’ve had some experience in a corporate working environment you’re probably familiar with a “SWOT Analysis”. The acronym stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. While it’s straightforward to complete a SWOT analysis, it’s one of the most powerful tools for guiding your strategy.
Think of the strengths and weaknesses as internal, specific to your company. These are things you have some control over like who is in your team, what your product offering is, and who you’re targeting.
Opportunities and threats are external, focusing on aspects outside your company in the larger market. It’s crucial to define your business opportunities, understand where you can take advantage, and outline threats, giving yourself time to protect against them. Take a look at your competitors, understanding their strengths and weaknesses.
Why is SEO important for small businesses?
SEO, Search Engine Optimization, refers to the technical process of increasing traffic to your website. You can do this in many ways, including incorporating keywords in your pages, earning backlinks, enhancing metadata, and adjusting your content.
If your business has a website, blog, or online store, your ranking on Google can directly affect your sales and awareness. SEO helps you get free targeted traffic by improving where you appear on the search engine results page. 70% of users are more likely to click on your page if it’s one of the top five results. There’s a sense of trust and authority associated with those top slots.
If you’re a small business, SEO should form a fundamental pillar of your digital marketing strategy. It’s a long process, something that takes time to build and grow, so it’s worth starting sooner rather than later. Consumers will judge your brand image on its findability, focus on making it as accessible as possible from day one.
Who should I include in my SEO SWOT Analysis team?
SEO usually falls under Marketing, but it covers a range of business processes. While content is crucial, it relies heavily on the correct backend set up. Employees need to combine their knowledge, covering a range of SEO metrics to complete a comprehensive SWOT Analysis.
You should include:
- Marketing – They are going to play a significant role in content creation and competitor analysis. Your strategist needs to check out your competitors and your copy team needs to understand keyword best practices. In a small company, this may be the same person.
- Web Development or Tech – The page load speed is an essential ranking factor for mobile Google Search results.
- HR or Finance – If you identify any skills gaps or missing resources, it’ll be helpful to have HR and Finance involved. Again, this may be the same person if your business is small.
What’s the best process for completing an SEO SWOT Analysis?
Like most things in business, there are several ways you can approach an SEO SWOT Analysis. Whatever template you decide to use, remember to include the relevant people from your company. A broader picture is going to help you formulate a more accurate report.
Step #1: Start with your strengths
To determine what your strengths are as an organization, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your unique selling point?
- What sets your product or offering apart from other brands in your industry?
- What do your customers love about your company most?
- What are your most positive brand attributes?
- What resources do you have access to?
Spend some time discussing your product and your company as a whole. Sometimes it’s easy to forget your strengths as you get caught up in targets and growth, grounding yourself with this step in the process is crucial.
Now you’re ready to hone in on your SEO strategy. Start with some of these questions:
- What keywords do you rank well for currently?
- What are your digital assets?
- What drives the most organic traffic to your website?
- What are your best-performing links?
- What content ranks well now?
- What previous SEO had the best results?
Step #2: Tackle your weaknesses
Outlining your weaknesses is often easier than defining your strengths. Try not to get caught up in your business insecurities and focus on identifying real faults in your SEO strategy. Ask yourself:
- Which areas need improvement?
- Where are your competitors ranking?
- How far behind is your brand?
- Which SEO tactics have previously failed?
- Do you have the required SEO skills in-house?
- Have you allocated enough budget to reach your SEO objectives?
As you list out your weaknesses, try to think about how you could flip them into strengths. Can you make a strategy adjustment? Can you acquire the resource you need? Sometimes understanding where you’re lacking can give you direction for what to do next.
Step #3: Determine your external factors
As you tackle your opportunities and threats, address the external factors of your business. Whether it’s social changes, the economic landscape, the technology required, or the political climate, you need to understand what this means for your company.
Spend a bit more time on this section of your SWOT analysis. Take a thorough look at your competitors and examine broader business trends. Some questions you can ask yourself include:
- How can we improve our customer journey?
- How can we reach a wider audience?
- What can we do to engage more with our customers?
- How can we allocate our budget more effectively?
- Which channels should we focus on?
Tackling your threats in the SEO space includes a critical appraisal of how search engine results are changing in ways that could impact your business. It helps to stay on top of any updates or changes from Google. Ask yourself:
- Which competitors are strong where you are weak?
- Is there a gap in the market where your competitors are growing?
- Have the SERP features changed?
- Are there any new startups aggressively gathering market share?
Step #4: Create your action plan
With this knowledge in place, you can now formulate a plan for your business. One of the most challenging elements of an SEO campaign is knowing where to focus your efforts. A detailed SWOT analysis forces you to answer this question.
The biggest thing to remember is that you won’t be able to tackle everything in your SWOT analysis in just a few months. SEO is a long-term play, so spend some time formulating a 12 – 18 month plan.
When you’re putting your strategy together, focus on the following:
- How can you preserve your strengths?
- What can you do to rectify your weaknesses?
- How can you take advantage of the opportunities you have?
- Can you proactively combat any threats to your business?
Every action in your SEO plan should link to one or more of the points you’ve listed in your SWOT. Design and monitor your KPIs based on these figures and remember to include them in your next SWOT analysis. Over time, you want to build up a robust SEO strategy that is continuously led by critical thinking and your SWOT outcomes analysis.
Where do I find the information for my SEO SWOT Analysis?
There are several tools available to help you analyze your website in terms of SEO. It’s essential to focus on the metrics that are important to you. Use Google Search Console if you want to find out what keywords you rank for. You’ll also be able to see where your page sits on the SERP, what your traffic and performance are, and any issues your site may be experiencing.
For backend analysis, you can use Google Page Speed Insights. You’ll be able to read the latest developments, give feedback, and ask questions on Stack Overflow along with suggestions on how to improve your load speed.
Looking at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats is beneficial to any strategy. When it comes to something as complicated as SEO, it’s a great way to identify your successes and shortcomings. It gives you the tools to set realistic objectives, upskill in areas where your resources are lacking and focus your attention on the top-performing avenues. An SEO SWOT Analysis should be the first point of call for any small business owner as it’s one of the best ways to increase conversions in the long-run.
About the Author!
Dallin Porter is a Communications Manager at Galactic Fed. A self-motivated and strategic professional with 7+ years, experience, and success working within the communications, marketing, and content management industries.