SEO Competition Analysis Guide + Tools
SEO Competition analysis is an essential aspect of any SEO campaign. Aside from your link building campaign, content writing and publishing, and keyword research, you must be mindful with how your competition performs in the online landscape.
SEO Competition Analysis
Competition analysis is not as easy as it sounds. You have to be critical in knowing every aspect of your competitor’s performance and how you should adapt your strategy accordingly. If you follow just a single strategy all throughout your campaign and you were never aware of how or what your competitors were doing, then you will be missing out on important things that could have improved the circumstances of your website if you had taken advantage of them.
Having the ability to analyze your competitors can help you improve your strategies, and be enlightened on opportunities that can take your campaign to even greater heights. Another benefit of knowing your enemy is being able to know the areas where you could be doing better. This will give you the opportunity to step up your online performance and be ahead of all your competitors.
The frequency of your analysis is not limited to a monthly basis. But what’s important is that you should be aware of the metrics of your competitors to regularly measure the distance between you and your competitors. So, today I’ll be highlighting 4 of the most important factors to consider whenever you are analyzing your competitor’s performance. Let’s start.
Before starting your competition analysis, you should first understand what the word “competitor” means in the online industry. It might seem as though the meaning of competitor is straightforward, but it’s not. You might have a competitor in the physical aspect, but that does not mean that they’re your competitor in the online landscape. This is an important factor that most SEOs forget. They think that whatever physical competition they have automatically has an online presence, but this is not always the case.
Another factor that SEO professionals forget is local SEO rankings, and there’s a much wider scope after that. They might rank high in their local rankings, but in the overall search rankings, they might not even be visible.
The first step to knowing your online competition is a simple act of searching in Google. Input the keyword/s you want to rank for, and see who is ranking for that specific keyword. Afterward, you can input the keywords you want to rank for and the domain names of your competitors in Ahrefs. I particularly like using Ahrefs because they have a massive database, it’s comprehensive, and it updates consistently – which means that the results they show are timely and useful. If you want to know my complete thoughts about Ahrefs, here’s my Ahrefs review.
If you’re not particularly versed in using Ahrefs, you can use any competitor research tool that you are comfortable with.
4 Factors to Consider
You can’t just take in every little bit of data you see when you analyze your competitors. Whenever you analyze them, you should remember:
You should always be looking at your competitor’s visibility in the SERPs (search engine results pages). Take a look at the totality of their organic visibility, and evaluate what position they’re ranking for and their page’s quality. Knowing and understand the difference between their pages and yours can help you understand the things missing on your site, and incorporate them accordingly.
Be mindful of their page’s rankings. Check if it has gone down or up. You might be able to understand why that happened to them, and how you can avoid or mimic what they have done to increase or decrease their rankings.
Another aspect of visibility you need to be aware of is the traffic they receive from paid search. If you find out that they receive high amounts of traffic through paid search, then you might want to put up paid ads to improve your site’s traffic.
Aside from monitoring their visibility, you should also be aware of your competitor’s pages that are slowly moving up in the rankings. Do not forget that you are not the only putting out new content or revamping old pages.
Start by keeping an updated list of their content’s visibility, and check if they are revamping or changing anything inside the page, and learn from it.
To have an easier time, I recommend that you use CognitiveSEO’s content assistant whenever you’re revamping your content. It provides immense help in optimizing your content, and could potentially help your page rank higher.
As you may know, links are exceptionally important for your website. One primary way to find links is through assessing your competitor’s backlink profile. Logically, you share a common denominator with your competitor, so your website would most likely be relevant to the websites that link to your competitor.
Monitor your competitor’s newest links, and start earning links from there. You can start monitoring your competitor’s links by using tools that show them their backlinks. I personally use a tool called GrowthBar which allows me to scout competitor website links right from the search results. It also shows the PA and DA and links to help you identify high-quality links right away.
Lastly, check your competitor’s popularity across social media and news channels. This will help you understand why they’re known across the online landscape, and be able to increase your own brand’s popularity from there.
This does not primarily relate to the websites linked to them, but it helps you understand the strategy of their PR and Marketing team. Being popular across social media can lead to more links and more brand mentions – which means good news for your brand. There quite a few tools for this that are available in the market. Tools such as Google Alert or Ahrefs alerts can help you with this.
Competition analysis is not for making you feel good whenever you find out that you’re doing better than your competitors. It’s done because it helps you know the inadequacy of your strategy, and to make you learn more from other SEOs.
If you have not noticed, the most important aspect of competition analysis is relevance. If your competitors are truly relevant to your website, then whatever they do their website will be applicable to yours as well.
Whenever you do a thorough and comprehensive competition analysis, you can always do better than your competitors. If they have content that ranks well, then you can do a similar approach with your content, but with better quality. If they have links from authoritative websites, you can also attain the same type of links.
Basically, learn from your competitors and then do it on a much higher level.
What other factors should you look at during your competition analysis? Tell me in the comments below and let’s help each other out.