How to Do an SEO Competitor Analysis

Forget everything you’ve heard about conventional SEO strategies for a moment. In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, there’s a technique that’s both underutilized and incredibly potent, yet it’s often overlooked: SEO competitor analysis. It’s not just about understanding your rivals; it’s about outsmarting them. This guide isn’t your average run-of-the-mill advice on SEO. It’s a deep dive into the art and science of analyzing your competition to refine and supercharge your SEO strategy.

Learn How to Do SEO Analysis

By reading this article, you will learn:
– What SEO competitor analysis is and why it’s important.
– How to identify competitors, analyze their keywords, backlinks, content, on-page SEO, and technical SEO.
– The importance of conducting an SEO competitor analysis for your website’s strategy.

What Is an SEO Competitor Analysis?

At its core, an SEO competitor analysis is your secret weapon in the digital arena. It’s the process of dissecting your competitors’ SEO strategies to discover what’s working for them and how you can capitalize on their weaknesses to boost your own rankings. Imagine being a chess master, predicting your opponent’s next three moves and strategizing your victory. That’s what a well-executed SEO competitor analysis can do for your online presence.

Why Do an SEO Competitor Analysis?

How to Do an SEO Competitor Analysis

In the digital world, not doing an SEO competitor analysis is akin to sailing a ship without a compass. You might eventually get where you want to go, but it’ll take longer, and you’ll likely be way off course. Here’s the cold hard truth: your competitors are probably analyzing your site right now, gleaning insights they can use to outperform you. By not doing the same, you’re not just standing still; you’re losing ground. But, when done correctly, an SEO competitor analysis can:

  • Uncover hidden keyword opportunities you haven’t tapped into yet.
  • Reveal content gaps in your strategy that can be filled for better engagement and rankings.
  • Expose backlink strategies that can be adapted and improved upon for your site.
  • Highlight technical SEO aspects that could be hindering your site’s performance.

How to Do an SEO Competitor Analysis

1. Identify Your SEO Competitors

First things first, let’s clear up a common misconception: your business competitors aren’t always your SEO competitors. Your real SEO competitors are the websites that rank in the top 10 for the keywords you’re targeting. To identify them, start by listing keywords critical to your business, then use tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to see who’s dominating these terms. This process was an eye-opener for me; some competitors I had never considered were actually outranking me on crucial terms.

2. Analyze Your Competitors Keywords

Once you’ve identified your top SEO adversaries, it’s time to dissect their keyword strategy. Tools like Moz Keyword Explorer or Ahrefs can show you not just the keywords they’re ranking for but the ones bringing in the most traffic. In my experience, this is where you find gold. I’ve discovered long-tail keywords that were under my radar but driving significant traffic to my competitors. This insight alone can reshape your content strategy to attract more targeted traffic.

3. Analyze Your Competitors Backlinks

Backlinks are the backbone of SEO, and understanding your competitors’ backlink profile can unveil opportunities to strengthen your own site’s authority. Use tools like Link Explorer to dissect their backlink strategy. What kind of sites are linking to them? Are there patterns or industries that are more inclined to link back? My “aha” moment came when I realized a competitor was getting substantial backlinks from guest posts on industry blogs, a strategy I had underestimated.

4. Analyze Your Competitors Content

Content is king, but only if it’s the right kind of content. Analyze your competitors’ content to understand what works. What topics are they covering? What format are they using? Is it video, long-form articles, infographics? One revelation I had was that a competitor’s most shared content was in-depth tutorials, something my site was lacking. This led to a strategic shift towards creating comprehensive guides, significantly increasing our engagement and shares.

5. Analyze Your Competitors On-Page SEO

On-page SEO can make or break your site’s rankings. Analyze your competitors’ use of meta tags, headers, and URL structures. Tools like Screaming Frog SEO Spider can help you dig deep into these elements. I found that tweaking my title tags and meta descriptions, inspired by my analysis, markedly improved my click-through rates from search results.

6. Analyze Your Competitors Technical SEO

Last but not least, analyze your competitors’ technical SEO. Site speed, mobile-friendliness, and structured data can significantly affect rankings. Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Mobile-Friendly Test can give you a snapshot of where you stand in comparison. For me, improving site speed was a game-changer, reducing bounce rates, and boosting rankings.


Performing an SEO competitor analysis isn’t just a task; it’s an ongoing strategy that can propel your website to the top of search rankings. It’s about learning from the landscape, understanding your position, and strategically outmaneuvering your competition. Remember, the goal isn’t just to mimic your competitors but to surpass them. By thoroughly analyzing and adapting the insights gained from your SEO competitors, you’re not just playing the game; you’re aiming to win it.

In the digital chess game of SEO, your move is an SEO competitor analysis. Make it count.

Questions & Answers

Q. Who should perform SEO analysis?

A. Anyone looking to improve their website’s visibility and ranking should perform SEO analysis.

Q. What is the purpose of SEO analysis?

A. SEO analysis helps identify areas for improvement in a website’s search engine optimization strategy.

Q. How can I perform SEO analysis?

A. You can perform SEO analysis using tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Moz to assess website performance.

Q. What if I don’t have technical SEO knowledge?

A. There are user-friendly tools and guides available to help beginners perform SEO analysis effectively.

Q. How often should I conduct SEO analysis?

A. It’s recommended to conduct SEO analysis regularly, such as monthly or quarterly, to track performance and make necessary adjustments.

Q. What if I don’t see immediate results from SEO analysis?

A. SEO analysis is an ongoing process, and it may take time to see significant improvements in search engine rankings and website traffic.

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Xavier Berkness

Xavier Berkness is the President of PERC, a renowned Digital Marketing Company. With an impressive career spanning over two decades since 1996, Xavier has earned a reputation as a leader in the field of digital marketing. He has leveraged his deep understanding and expertise in building websites to author a highly-regarded book, 'Mastering On-Page Optimization - The Secret Sauce of an SEO System.' Xavier's impactful contributions to the industry have been recognized in a Star Tribune feature, where he was hailed as a 'Mover and Shaker.' Outside the professional realm, Xavier is a nature lover who cherishes time spent near the ocean. He continues to fuel his passion for digital marketing, relentlessly seeking new knowledge and strategies every day. His combination of professional prowess and personal charm make Xavier a trusted authority in the digital marketing industry.