How to Do an SEO Competitor Analysis
If you want to get traffic to your website, one of the best things you can do is check out what your competitors are doing to get traffic to their website. SEO competitor analysis is one of the SEO services that we offer here at The Digital Marketing People. Here is how we do it:
Find Your Competitors
You may already have a good idea of who your competitors are in the industry, but there may be a few that you weren’t even aware of. Use Google to search for your products or services and list the competitor websites that show up, especially to identify your local competitors. Use Ahrefs or SEMRush to find your closest online competitors by searching for competing domains. These tools take all the guesswork out of the equation and make it easy to see how well you compare against your online competitors.
Competitor Strengths and Weaknesses
Once you have found your competitors using Ahrefs or SEMRush, just drill down further into their web presence and review how their SEO has been performing. You can plot their information over the past 24 months to uncover:
- Their estimated budget that was spent on search advertising,
- The specific months when they engaged in search engine advertising,
- The keywords they targeted and the ad copy they used to attract search engine visitors, and
- Their SEO traffic volume over time – this metric tells you whether they are active with SEO.
Reviewing the above and other metrics will highlight their strengths and weaknesses, which is particularly helpful when you plot them against your website and other competitors.
Strategies Used by Competitors
The way in which we work out a competitor’s digital marketing strategy is to look at whether they use all or any of the below tactics to generate website traffic:
- AdWords – the use of AdWords can reveal that they are getting an ROI on their budget spend. Drill down further into the AdWords to uncover which keywords are their best performers and use this information to plan your AdWords campaign. This way, you can make sure your AdWords campaigns are running optimally right from the start.
- Keywords – the keywords that a website ranks for can reveal a lot about a competitor’s strategy. All you need to do is download their top 100 Google ranking results and filter and categorize them as follows:
- Branded keywords and the traffic they generate will show you the strength of the brand.
- The non-branded keyword traffic will be for their products or services. The value of a visitor that comes to your website by typing in a non-branded keyword search is that they are now exposed to your brand, and probably for the first time.
- Intention or commercial keywords are keywords that include a modifier such as bargain, best, buy, brand name, compare, coupon, discount, for men/women, guide to, low price/cost, on sale, buy online and other similar modifiers. If a website ranks for these modifier keywords, then they are targeting the bottom of the marketing funnel.