SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is becoming more crucial for every online organization. The cause? Where you rank is important since SEO is one of the primary methods through which customers discover your business online.

After all, according to Backlink, the top slot on Google has a click-through rate of 27% as opposed to just 0.63% for Google’s second page.
You can discover what your rivals are doing with SEO and how you stack up against them by conducting an SEO competitive analysis (as an add-on to a comprehensive digital marketing comparative study).

It will highlight their advantages and disadvantages so you can design a plan that keeps you in front of them in the rankings (both Google and other search engines). When doing a competitive analysis, you must follow five essential steps:
> Determine your rivals
> Examine their SEO approach.
> Examine their keyword use
> Check out their on-page optimization
> Check out their backlinks

Let’s get started and learn how to do a competition analysis for SEO.

Step 1: Identify Your Competitors

Regardless of whether your business is new or well-established, you should be aware of your rivals. This holds true for both the goods and services you offer as well as your SEO rivals’ search engine rankings!

Making a list is the first step in identifying your rivals. Look at the websites or businesses that appear when people search for your keywords and the website you want to rank top for.

For instance, in the example below, while looking for “SEO trends 2023,” Wordstream has obtained the featured snippet, while Search Engine Journal has occupied positions two and three. These are your main rivals if you’re aiming to rank for this phrase.

You may also find some excellent SEO competition analysis tools online. With the help of the competition analysis tab in SEMRush, you can learn more about other websites that are performing well for related keywords. Another tool having a rival option to take into account is KW Finder.

This will also help you discover websites that you may not have known about or considered, making it a useful method for identifying rivals.

Step 2: Analyze their SEO Strategy

To learn more about the SEO tactics of your rivals, visit their websites. This covers the layout of the website, the kinds of material produced, and the chosen keywords (both broad and specific).

Additionally, you want to evaluate the adaptability of their websites for mobile devices. Tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Mobile-Friendly Test can be used for this.

Knowing these details will enable you to assess how your website stacks up against those of your rivals in terms of technical SEO.
Analyze your competitors’ content

It’s critical to understand both the sorts of content your rivals provide and which material attracts the most visitors. To aid your SEO approach, ascertain:

What pages are the top performers there?

Which pages appear in keyword rankings?

Which pages receive the most traffic as a percentage?

To locate the most well-liked articles in a certain category, utilize a program like BuzzSumo. This will enable you to determine the kinds of material that are popular with your target audience and the subjects on which you should concentrate.

The material that attracts visitors for your rivals can astound you. It may be a landing page, blog, or even an ebook.

Check out the social media presence of your competitors.

When it comes to increasing brand recognition and directing traffic, social media is quite powerful.

Check out the social media sites of your rivals. Take a look at their interaction levels, amount of followers, and sort of material shared.

This will enable you to comprehend how your rivals use social media to increase website visitors.

Check your competitors’ rankings for keywords that you are targeting

You may learn more about the keywords and levels of performance of your rivals by doing this.

A target list of the major and secondary keywords you wish to rank for should exist. Keep in mind that these keywords might change and their ranks could drop, thus it’s advised to regularly review your keywords.

The objective is to rank for your primary keywords, but you should also consider low-hanging fruit, or related but unpopular phrases, in order to move up the rankings.

Step 3: Analyze their Keywords

When it comes to your main keywords, you could be performing well, but what about the ones you rank for but which push you to the bottom of page one of the SERP?

Pay attention to such keywords since making an effort to include them in your article may help you surpass your rival and grab the lead.
Additionally, search for keyword possibilities and keyword gaps. Using tools like SEMRush or AHREFS, you may use this to find keywords or phrases that you might and ought to be ranking for.

Additionally, you want to examine any terms with high search traffic that could have been lost by your rivals. Visit the page, see where they are falling in the rankings, and try to determine why. Then take advantage of that chance by including those keywords into your text.

Step 4: Analyze their On-Page Optimization

Your rivals may rank higher in search engine results than you because they put more time and effort into optimizing their pages.

Therefore, you must examine the pages that are ranking higher than you. This will enable you to understand why your rivals are performing better when it comes to their search engine positioning.

You should take into account the following in your analysis:

Titles: Google gives importance to page titles since they demonstrate how relevant a term is to a search and affect rankings. As they instruct browsers on how to display the title of your website in search results, social media, and browser tabs, make sure your title tags are accurate and linked to the appropriate keyword.

For the meta keywords and meta description tags, meta-data is crucial. Both will aid Google in understanding the subject matter of your page. Look at what your rivals are doing to improve search results.

Google prefers headers and adds importance to h> tags when they are connected to particular keywords. These may be extracted for featured snippets as well, which will move your material to the page’s top. Be aware that, according to Ahrefs, Google utilizes H1 tags almost 51% of the time in place of the title tag.

Internal linking structure: Internal links are useful for guiding users to pertinent material and can boost the SEO of your sites. Avoid overcrowding a content with links, but do add good ones that will keep readers on your site.

Quality content is important because even if you produce a lot of stuff, people won’t read it and search engines won’t give it a high ranking if it isn’t good and relevant. When creating material, quality is preferable to quantity. Do a short search to see which blogs the top-ranking rivals are using to establish themselves as authorities on the subject. If you need some ideas, check out
this “Guide to Content Ideation.”

Are your rivals optimizing their photos and videos for the web and mobile devices? Do they have descriptive and pertinent names on them? To compete, you must take the same action.

Structured data and schema markup assist search engines comprehend the content of a website and can increase a page’s visibility in search results.

URLs: Check out the URLs of your rivals to determine if they’re doing anything unusual. Make sure your URLs are clear, descriptive, and loaded with pertinent keywords.

Customer experience: Usability is a ranking element, so have a look at the navigation, load time, and page layout of your rivals’ websites. What is the typical customer experience like, and how does it compare to yours?

Step 5: Analyze their Backlinks

Search engines and ranking depend on backlinks. Using Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz to get insights into the backlink profiles of your rivals may teach you a lot.

But the number of backlinks is not what matters. What you need are high-quality backlinks, which are an excellent addition to any piece of content. In reality, outreach shouldn’t be used to just obtain links from anyplace because low-quality backlinks might harm your sites and be perceived as spam.

For instance, if one of your sites receives a link from a reputable website like Wired, it gives those pages more authority and improves their rating.

Analyze the backlinks that your rivals may be using to boost their ranks and see if you can mimic them. Are they receiving quality media links or recommendations from a reputable group or entity?

Take note of the websites that link to your rivals since they may connect to you as well. You may always get in touch with them to discuss a new blog or guide that covers a novel subject or a more effective method for obtaining backlinks.

Learn how to do an in-depth SEO competitive analysis

We can tell that SEO is always evolving by looking at trends, thus it’s critical to regularly carry out a competitive study to stay on top. The SEO basics, website optimization techniques, content optimization techniques, on-page, off-page, and local SEO strategies are all covered in the DMI SEO course. Join right away!

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