A growing number of companies in all fields of business are discovering that search engine optimization (SEO) helps them gain a competitive edge. But one marketing expert says it’s also important to know what the competitor is doing.

Stoney deGeyter, writing for Search Engine Guide, says it is possible to develop a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy without knowing what the competition is doing, but by having the information it can help a business outperform their rivals.

deGeyter says by doing some research on the search engine optimization (SEO) strategies of other companies in the field, a business will learn more about themselves as well.

"Accessing the competition will give you a good idea of who they are, where they are, what they are doing, what’s right or wrong about their campaign and what is or isn’t effective," deGeyter writes. "This data can then be assimilated into the other areas of your research to help you develop an optimization campaign that will help you succeed, not just with the search engines but for your visitors as well."

It might be important for companies to learn more about the principles of search engine optimization (SEO) itself. A recent study from practical ecommerce finds that although many companies use SEO, a large percentage do not understand it.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.