SEO Competitor Analysis: Why Is It Essential And How To Perform?

December 20, 2023 | Advanced SEO

In this modern era of digital marketing, the competition is neck-to-neck.

And the backbone of your ranking is SEO, which is a complex, continual, and competitive process.

If you think having a solid team of SEO experts who will relentlessly work on your website’s SEO is enough to outrank your competitors, you are only partially correct.

Yes, that is essential, but analyzing your competitors’ SEO strategies is equally important to improve your own SEO techniques and outrank your competitors.

Hence, performing an SEO competitive analysis is paramount to staying ahead of the competition.

This article will discuss the importance of SEO competition analysis, and when, and how to do competitor analysis.

But, first thing first!

What Is An SEO Competitor Analysis?

SEO Competitor Analysis

An SEO competitor analysis is the method of analyzing your competitors’ SEO strategies to gain insight into their strengths and weaknesses with the motive of outranking them.

Why Is An SEO Competitor Analysis Important?

Competitor analysis in SEO is vital because your competitors also target a higher position on SERPs like you.

It helps to know your competitors’ SEO strategies to improve your own marketing strategies.

Why is competitor analysis important for SEO?

Following are the key benefits of performing an SEO competitors analysis,

  1. Performing an SEO competitive analysis lets you identify your competitors in the industry.
  2. SEO competition analysis helps you avoid mistakes by providing a clear snapshot of what works and what does not in your niche.
  3. It gives you the opportunity to capitalize on your competitors’ weaknesses.
  4. Competitive analysis allows you to clone your competitors’ successful marketing strategies.
  5. Competitor SEO analysis helps you uncover new keyword opportunities.
  6. It provides you with new link-building opportunities.
  7. It helps you measure your current SEO scenario compared to competitors.

When Should You Conduct A Competitive SEO Analysis?

You must perform a competitor SEO analysis if you are in any of the following situations,

Competitor Research

  1. Your website is brand new.
  2. Your SEO strategy is in the planning stage.
  3. There is a massive drop in your keyword rankings.
  4. Your competitors are outperforming you.

How To Perform An SEO Competitive Analysis?

Now that you know the importance of competitor SEO analysis, you must be eager to know how to conduct an SEO competitive analysis successfully.

How to do competitor analysis?

Let’s dive in!

Identify Your SEO Competitors

The first step of competitive SEO analysis is to identify your competitors.

Any website ranking for your targeted keywords in organic search results is your SEO competitor.

You need to select a reliable tool for identifying your SEO competitors accurately. 

The RankWatch domain research tool can provide you with the ideal solution.

RankWatch domain research tool

The tool shows the list of your organic competitors.

List of organic competitors in RankWatch domain research tool

Find And Cover Keyword Gaps

The keyword gap consists of the keywords your competitors rank for, but your website does not.

You must ensure your website targets those keyword gaps to draw more traffic.

Competitors’ ranking keywords

The RankWatch domain research tool provides the list of keywords your competitors are ranking for, along with their average rank, share of voice, and traffic.

Investigate Your SEO Competitors’ Strengths And Weaknesses

No matter how renowned your competitor’s website is, every competitor has weaknesses.

The main motto of competition analysis in SEO is to capitalize on your competitors’ weaknesses and mirror their strengths.

It would help if you analyzed the following factors to gauge your competitors,

Authority

‘Authority’ is an SEO property (measured on a scale of 100) that reflects the authoritativeness of a website (Domain Authority) or a web page (Page Authority).

It implies how well Google and other search engines will rank them in search results.

The higher the value of authority, the higher the probability of ranking well.

DA and PA checker

You need to compare your authority compared to your competitors using an online DA & PA checker tool.

If your website is new, you need not worry much about these numbers. However, you must improve your website’s authority score over time.

Content

Content is the most critical factor for any web page. High-quality content is the main USP that drives more visitors to your website.

The format of the content is equally important, as is its quality.

Hence, it is essential to keep an eye on the type of content your competitors rank well for while analyzing your SEO competition.

Competitors’ top ranking pages

The RankWatch domain research tool provides a list of your competitors’ top-ranking page URLs. 

You can quickly see what type of content provides good traffic to your competitors.

That will help you understand the content format already performing well in organic search results.

You can curate content for your web pages in that format and rip off the benefits.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the process of identifying and resolving technical issues of your website that are stopping your website from ranking higher or spoiling the user experience.

It is a must to optimize your website by resolving those issues to improve your site’s performance in search results.

The best way is to execute an in-depth site audit using a reliable tool like the RankWatch website auditor.

RankWatch site auditor

The tool provides an overall site score out of 100 based on a website’s SEO health after analyzing more than 110 SEO parameters.

Site Score in RankWatch site auditor

It would help if you compared your site score with your competitors to understand how much improvement your website requires.

The ‘Issue distribution’ chart shows the types of your website’s SEO issues.

Types of issues in RankWatch site auditor

The tool also categorizes your website’s SEO issues into three categories based on their criticalities: high, medium, and low.

Categories of issues as per criticality level in RankWatch site auditor

It helps you quickly identify the major issues and resolve them at the earliest.

New Keyword Rankings

One of the essential steps of SEO competition analysis is to keep track of new keywords targeted by your competitors and target them for your website as well.

The RankWatch domain research tool provides you with the new keywords your competitors target.

‘New Keywords’ in RankWatch domain research tool

The tool also allows you to monitor the change in performance of those new keywords.

Change in performance of new keywords in RankWatch domain research tool

You can either create new content or revamp your existing content to target these new keywords to drive more organic traffic to your website.

Lost Keyword Rankings

It is equally beneficial to monitor the keywords lost by your competitors and make them work in your favor by targeting those lost keywords.

The RankWatch domain research tool provides you with the keywords lost by your competitors.

‘Lost Keywords’ in RankWatch domain research tool

Your competitors used to rank well for these keywords previously but lost them later for various reasons. The most common reason can be that their content got affected by the latest Google updates.

However, it is an opportunity for you to develop fresh content targeting those lost keywords.

If you already have web pages targeting those keywords but need to perform better, optimize those web page content as soon as possible.

Review Your Competitors’ Featured Snippets

Ranking in Google’s featured snippets can flood your website’s organic traffic.

Hence, reviewing the featured snippets your competitors are ranking for in competitive SEO analysis is essential. You can replicate the same to achieve a space in Google’s featured snippet rankings.

The RankWatch ‘Competitor Analysis’ feature

The ‘Competitor Analysis’ feature of the RankWatch tool provides you with that information.

The ‘Competitor Analysis’ feature of the RankWatch tool provides you with that information.

Review Your Competitors’ Backlink Profiles

It is well known that backlinks play an essential role in SEO. If your web pages have high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites, it boosts the trustworthiness of your web pages to search engines.

Analyzing your competitors’ backlinks is mandatory for any SEO competition analysis. That helps you identify the sources of their backlinks, and that, in turn, provides new backlinking opportunities for your website.

The RankWatch free backlink checker tool makes that essential task a cakewalk.

RankWatch backlink checker tool

The tool provides you with your competitor’s all referring backlinks, active links, and deleted links.

Referring backlinks, active links, and deleted links in RankWatch backlink checker tool

Check The Quality Of Backlinks

You need to remember that you need to target the authoritative sources from your competitors’ backlink profiles.

Low-quality links can do more harm than good.

Link Quality in Rankwatch backlink analyzer

The Rankwatch backlink analyzer shows the quality of your competitor’s backlinks.

Study Both ‘NoFollow’ And ‘DoFollow’ Links

While studying your competitors backlink profiles during your SEO competition analysis, consider reviewing both DoFollow and NoFollow backlinks.

The RankWatch backlink checker shows the total number of your competitors’ DoFollow’ and ‘NoFollow’ links.

DoFollow and NoFollow backlinks in RankWatch backlink checker

Perform A Page-Wise Analysis Of Competitors’ Websites

In this section, we will take the SEO competitive analysis one step further by performing a page-wise analysis of your competitors’ websites.

However, first, you need to analyze those web pages of your competitors that are ranking for a common keyword you are targeting, but none of your web pages could rank for the same.

RankWatch SEO IQ feature

Following are the main on-page factors you must analyze during this review using a reliable tool like the RankWatch on-page SEO analysis tool.

Title Tags

Readers view the title tags of your web pages in SERPs first.

Hence, writing a compelling and punchy heading with targeted keywords is your first chance to hook them.

You should include the keywords in the initial part of your title to achieve a better ranking.

RankWatch SEO IQ H1 recommendation

RankWatch SEO IQ provides you with the details of the usage of exact keywords in your title and also suggests if it requires any further improvements.

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions briefly describe what users can expect by landing on your web page.

The meta description should be clear and to the point.

Including your targeted keywords and search phrases in the meta description is essential. Google makes them bold when used in meta descriptions. That, in turn, can boost your click-through rate.

RankWatch SEO IQ Meta suggestions

RankWatch SEO IQ provides you with the details of keywords used in your meta descriptions along with necessary actions for further optimization.

URL Structure

The URL structure of your web page indicates to users what they can find on the page.

URL also signals Google crawlers about your pages’ site structure and intent.

RankWatch SEO IQ helps you identify the exact keywords used in your URL.

Exact keywords used in your URL by RankWatch SEO IQ

The tool suggests if any action needs to be taken on your URLs of landing pages.

Content And Keywords

It will be of great help if you put yourself in searchers’ shoes while writing your web page content. That will help you to understand users’ intents and expectations while they perform a search.

You need more than just placing your targeted keywords naturally within your content to target your audience. 

You need the right tool to provide content improvement ideas and recommendations for your landing pages.

Those can be invaluable landing page tips!

The SEO IQ feature of RankWatch provides you with those tips.

The feature offers improvement ideas for your content in detail.

SEO IQ improvement ideas

You can get suggestions on keyword usage by clicking the content recommendations tab. That also measures the relevancy of the keywords to the context of your web page content.

SEO IQ content suggestions

You can find the optimization status of your web page content by clicking on the ‘Content Editor’ tab.

SEO IQ optimization ideas

The tool also provides you with keywords for better optimization.

Conclusion

Knowing your competitors and their latest marketing techniques is necessary in today’s digital marketing era.

Remember that your competitors also fight for the same SERP positions targeting the common keywords.

Hence, you must know what your competitors are doing differently than your website that works well or poorly for them.

Yes, you must know their strengths and weaknesses both.

That can provide you with new marketing ideas and opportunities.

Performing an SEO competitor analysis is a must to get an idea about your website’s SEO status compared to your competitors. 

If you are building a new website or planning SEO strategies for your existing website, your rankings are dropping dramatically, or, say, your competitors are outranking you, a competitive SEO analysis using the right tool can be your antidote.

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