SEO Competitor Analysis: It’s How to Beat Your SEO Competitors

Metaphor image of a person looking through a spyglass to represent spying on your SEO competition

How to Beat Competitors SEO

1. SEO Competitor Research

The first step in beating in the competition is to know who they are. You may have a vague idea, but you need to do your due diligence and really get to know their behaviors. Take some time to do keyword research to find out who is competing in your space. After you’ve compiled a list, start following their online activity. What kind of content do they post? What kind of engagement are they getting on their posts? Where are they in web rankings? Once you’ve identified patterns, successes, and failures, you’ll have the information you need to take the best pieces of your competitors’ strategy and use them to build your own strategy. Your competition might expand beyond those companies who offer similar products and solutions. Any company that competes with you in search results with similar keywords should be considered in your SEO Analysis.

Having some competition is usually beneficial to businesses, especially in terms of online performance. While snooping around rival brands may seem like a low tactic, it’s a great way to see what’s out there. Remember, you’re on the internet, vying for a place on the world wide web much like everyone else — a little investigation via an SEO Competitor Analysis can go a long way in helping your SEO strategy.

What Is Competitor Analysis?

Competitor analysis is the process of keeping track of the competitor’s every marketing move. Keeping yourself up-to-date with their search rankings, social mentions, content, and emails. Anything they do to boost their business can ultimately help yours.

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You Can Identify New & Old Competitors

Online traffic says a lot about a company’s performance. When one business is slowly, but surely rising above the page ranks, you see a potential competitor. When an old rival still gets solid engagement and conversion rates, you find a business that’s hard to beat. Competitor analysis tells you who you need to keep a close eye on, and this determines your next marketing steps.

2. Determine Your Website’s Strengths & Weaknesses

How do you fare against the competition? The key to answering this question is looking at their websites. If they are performing better than you, how are they doing it? After you get your answers, you should proceed to form an action plan to achieve the same rankings or surpass them. A new set of keywords might be all it takes to boost your site.

A gray keyboard with a large SEO button in place of the return key

3. Know Your Audience Better

They’re your competitors because you’re vying for the attention of a similar audience. When you monitor how the rival site is faring, you’ll see what drives the online visitors to them. You’ll determine what makes the audience tick, and you can make the necessary changes to improve your site.

We need to know what our allies are up to, but the real priority is keeping an eye on those we are battling against. While your SEO competitors aren’t exactly the “enemy,” we are still fighting them for rankings. If we want to beat them in the competitive world of search results, we need an intelligent competitive research strategy. Here are 4 SEO research tips to follow as you build your own tactics.

Chief Marketing Officer analyzing his competitors strengths & weakness on an iPad

4. Don’t Get Lazy

Once you’ve completed your SEO competitors analysis checklist, you can’t put it away and forget about it. Just as your digital marketing strategy is constantly evolving, so are the strategies of your SEO competitors. Make time to review your checklist and examine how the competition is behaving. It’s an iterative process and one that must be completed regularly and thoroughly. The digital marketing world is always changing, with new players entering the market and irrelevant players being phased out. Don’t let yourself become the latter.

5. Measure Your Own Success

Don’t forget to include your own SEO performance metrics in your competitive analysis. Do a side-by-side comparison to see how you rank. What is your average position? Keyword distribution? Average visibility? Compare short-term metrics against long-term metrics and identify patterns (good and bad) to help you better refine your future SEO tactics. Repeat this analysis on a regular basis to track your efforts over time.

6. Get Inspired by Great Ideas

One of the biggest payoffs from a detailed competitor keyword analysis and SEO checkup is that you can adopt the activities that are working well for your SEO competitors and make them your own. Don’t stop there, however; look for ways to improve on them and gain an edge in the market. Hone the right keyword list based on search volume, relevance, and profitability. It should be part of your regular marketing routine to measure performance and seek ways to perform incrementally better every day.

With a combination of good, old-fashioned manual research and applying the right SEO competitor analysis tool, you’ll have the information you need to rise to the top in SEO rankings. Remember to identify all of the competitors in your market (not just those who sell the same products and services as your company), periodically reassess their activities, and adapt successes to build your own wildly successful strategy.

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Avatar for Eric Melillo

Eric Melillo

Eric Melillo is a certified HubSpot Inbound Marketing expert, Senior Brand Strategist, as well as a lover of family, friends, and life. He enjoys good health, Tae Kwon-Do and discovering the most influential marketing trends.


Avatar for Eric Melillo

Eric Melillo

Eric Melillo is a certified HubSpot Inbound Marketing expert, Senior Brand Strategist, as well as a lover of family, friends, and life. He enjoys good health, Tae Kwon-Do and discovering the most influential marketing trends.