How to do an SEO competitor analysis

If you are just starting out in SEO or are simply tired of losing traffic onto your site, you should consider an SEO competitor analysis. There is a lot of useful information you can gain from your competitors. They can help you improve your SEO strategy by providing tips as well as insights about the content. So how do we conduct an SEO analysis on our competitor sites, and what information do we search for?


Before you can begin your analysis, you first need to figure out who your competitors are. There are two ways you can go about finding your competitor websites, manually or by using a tool.

Going about the manual way is quite simple; all you have to do is type your primary keywords into the search bar and look at the results. The top-ranked pages will give you an idea of who your competitors are. If you want to be extremely thorough, you can repeat this process for a couple of keywords and get the most common sites. These will be your competitors.

This process can be sped up by using a keyword explorer tool. You can find some great ones from Google, Moz and Ahrefs. Here you will do the same process of searching your keyword and finding the top-ranked pages. One benefit of using a tool is that you can select up to three domains and search them for similar keywords between your sites. So you can get a more in-depth analysis of what keywords you and the other sites are competing for.



There are many advantages to get by performing a competitor analysis. Some of the main ones are:

  • You learn what is working and what isn’t in your industry. Many of these top-ranking companies have been in the business for a long time. Thus they have established what type of content attracts the most traffic.
  • Another thing you can get from the competitors is to find their weaknesses or things that they aren’t ranking on and use that to your advantage.
  • Not just their weakness, but you can also learn from their strengths and recreate them so you can benefit.
  • You can also understand what SEO tasks need to be of top priority so you can enhance your SEO strategy and rank higher because of it.


After we have our competitors established, we need to delve into their SEO metrics further. It is best to keep an Excel spreadsheet with you to keep track of all the data you can refer back to anytime. You can conduct your analysis through any tool that allows for batch analysis. Ahrefs has one that works extremely well too. In the tool, you will add multiple competitor domains and click analysis to get the metrics. Now there are a couple of metrics we will focus on here:

  • Domain rating

The domain rating score tells you how strong the backlink profile of a page is. The higher the rating, the better it is. You have to check the domain rating in comparison to your own site; if the difference is too large, it can be difficult to compete with them.

  • Number of referring domains

This measures the quantity of the links. The higher the number, the more links they have. This also includes the low-quality links, so you have to combine it with the domain rating to get an accurate result.

  • Estimated organic traffic

This is pretty simple to understand. The higher the organic traffic number is, the better they are doing in organic search. You have to look at the high traffic pages and apply those strategies to your pages.

  • The number of keywords ranked.

This determines the number of keywords they are ranking for. This can give you an idea of the keywords you can use for your own content.



Backlinks are a great way to boost your rankings in the search result pages. What’s even better is when you can find broken links on competitor pages. Here you will need a tool like Google search console or any other backlinks reporter tool. By entering your competitor links, you can find the broken or removed pages that they are still linking too. This is pretty easy to find, as the broken pages will give a 404 error.

After taking out five links from your competition data, you need to determine what content they were linked too. That way, you can publish similar content and then persuade all the sites that link to that page to link to yours instead. This will enrich your backlink profile and increase your authority.


The content gap concerns the keywords that your competitors may be ranking for, but you might have missed. All you need for this is a content gap tool; there are great ones available by SEMrush and Ahrefs, which allow you to find content gaps from multiple domains.

All you have to do is select your domain and find the keywords all of them are ranking for. You can then consider those keywords and find some new keywords that you may not have thought of. You should also note to select the keywords that are ranking in high spots in the SERPs. Ensure you don’t select an under-performing keyword as it will not generate enough traffic for you.


Now that we have looked through the nitty-gritty, let’s come back to the competitor sites’ popular page. Firstly, you will have to go to your site explorer tool and select the popular pages option for your competitor site. You should note the pages bringing in the most traffic, look at the keywords they are focusing on, and what the content looks like.

Then come up with similar content but use a long-tail keyword for their keyword to gain some traffic that way. Since you know it is a popular page, that means many people are asking a variation of that query. Thus, it is guaranteed to bring you some traffic.

All these tips are just a few ways you can learn from your competitors. With more advanced tools, you can dig in further to find the best way to learn from your competitors’ data. Since SEO is vast, there much even the best don’t know of. So it’s ideal to keep researching to find what works for your site.

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