How to Do a Competitor Analysis for SEO
Competitive analysis is a key aspect when in the beginning stages of an SEO campaign. Far too often, I see organizations skip this important step and get right into keyword mapping, optimizing content, or link building. But understanding who our competitors are and seeing where they stand can lead to a far more comprehensive understanding of what our goals should be and reveal gaps or blind spots. By the end of this analysis, you will understand who is winning organic visibility in the industry, what keywords are valuable, and which backlink strategies are working best, all of which can then be utilized to gain and grow your own site’s organic traffic.
Why competitive analysis is important
SEO competitive analysis is critical because it gives data about which tactics are working in the industry we are in and what we will need to do to start improving our keyword rankings. The insights gained from this analysis help us understand which tasks we should prioritize and it shapes the way we build out our campaigns. By seeing where our competitors are strongest and weakest, we can determine how difficult it will be to outperform them and the amount of resources that it will take to
Identify your competitors
The first step in this process is determining who are the top four competitors that we want to use for this analysis. I like to use a mixture of direct business competitors (typically provided by my clients) and online search competitors, which can differ from whom a business identifies as their main competitors. Usually, this discrepancy is due to local business competitors versus those who are paying for online search ads. While your client may be concerned about the similar business down the street, their actual online competitor may be a business from a neighboring town or another state.
SEO Competitor Analysis (Only Guide You Need)
1. Enter your competitor’s URL into the search bar:
2. Under the “Organic Research” section, click on “Positions”:
3. See what keywords your competitor is ranking for:
Why Should You Analyze Competitors for SEO?
There are three reasons why competitor analysis is critical:
1. You can find what they’re doing well
2. You can find strategic advantages
3. You can find link opportunitiesI’ll show you every element you need to analyze to understand your competitors.
1. Find Their Keywords
The first step of the process is to see what keywords your competitors are targeting. The easiest way to find their target keywords is to use SEM Rush or Ahrefs. Here is how you can find your competitors keywords with SEM Rush:
2. Analyze Their Site Optimization
Wait… analyzing your competitors on-site SEO?
Isn’t that a huge waste of time? NO. You can gather a ton of valuable information from their on-site strategy or lack thereof.
One of the first things I look at on a page that is ranking well is the keyword density. It gives direction on how aggressive you need to be with keyword placement.
1. Go to this keyword density tool and enter your competitor’s URL: