How To Perform An SEO Competitor Analysis

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and nowhere is this old saying more relevant than in the world of search engine optimization. If you’re trying to get more traffic to your business website, your best strategy is often to start by taking a closer look at what your competitors are already doing to attract visitors to their sites.

By identifying certain SEO keywords that are in demand, you can build an SEO strategy that helps you maximize your competitive advantages versus other sites – whether that means targeting certain keywords or avoiding others. By doing an SEO competitor analysis, you can figure out how your site compares to other top-performing sites in your field, and possibly get some new ideas on how to structure your site and build your content in a way that attracts more traffic and piggybacks on your competitors’ strengths.

I have performed advanced SEO analyses for a variety of companies, from Fortune 100 groups to Silicon Valley startups. And through my successes and failures, many tools have stood out as providing better metrics and more accurate data. Here are a few key steps you can use to create an effective SEO competitor analysis.

Identify Keywords To Analyze The Competition Against

The good news is that most SEO competitor data is readily available and easy to analyze. Many tools exist to provide keyword data for competitors like SpyFu, SimilarWeb and SEMRush. I personally use SEMrush to identify keywords to target because it’s accurate and affordable. Simply enter your competitors’ website URLs, then under the organic research section, click “positions” to see which SEO keywords your competitor’s site ranks for. This will give you a list of SEO keywords and show you which position your competitor ranks in the search engine rankings, along with the total volume of traffic and other data.

For example, I used SEMrush to check’s (a website that ranks well for a lot of keywords, providing a good example for this article) ranks in position 1 (e.g. the first site at the top of Google) in Google for “gaming mouse” (over 40,000 average monthly searches) and “gaming laptop” (also over 40,000 average monthly).

Identify Top SEO Competitors

The next step is figuring out which sites are ranking highest in Google and Bing for particular keywords. By far, my favorite tool is AWR Cloud to find out which websites are top ranked for various SEO keyword queries, as well as which sites are trending up or down over the past week or months. AWR provides all the ranking content across multiple keywords. One of my tricks is to export all of the keywords and URLs as a .xls document so I can use Excel to examine each site by their ranking keywords. This will give you much more analysis power.

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