How to do an SEO Competitive Analysis

How to do an SEO Competitive Analysis

Search engine optimization is the process of augmenting a website's content for it to rank and get more traffic. SEO has taken the digital marketing industry by storm. Attracting traffic has become increasingly difficult, with new websites coming up daily. Furthermore, since the competition is intense, more than adopting the correct strategy and using sophisticated SEO tools is required.

That is where the SEO Competitive Analysis comes into play.

What exactly is SEO Competitive Analysis?

It is the process of examining your competitor's keywords, backlinks, the strategies they have incorporated, and which has worked or not worked.

With the help of a thorough SEO competitive, you could avoid making the mistakes they had made and replicate the elements that had gone right for them, thereby using your competitors as a viable resource. This process can save a lot of time and effort.

The Steps Involved in Running an SEO Competitive Analysis

Step 1 – Identify the Established Players

The first step involves doing in-depth research on who are the established players or your key competitors and making a list. Next, find out what keywords are most ranked for the pages that have attracted the most traffic.

If you are a beginner, you can find certain digital marketing tools online that can provide you with a list to identify your rivals in your market niche.

Here, it is important to remember that your competitors in SEO are not the same as that in the markets. In several cases, smaller businesses proved to have much stronger SEO strategies and, thus, rank higher than bigger businesses.

Step 2 – Proper Google Keyword Research

It is one of the major steps in performing an SEO analysis. Consider the keywords your competitor ranks for more than you.

Make a list of all the relevant keywords your competitor uses through any available tool online. Then, recognize the differences between your and their keywords and make the necessary changes.

Also, it is important not to check out only the top, established companies in your niche but also the emerging companies with a solid SEO foundation. You need to constantly ask yourself why the competitors' content is ranking more than yours or if the quality of content on their website is superior to yours.

Regular keyword research can give you an impressive insight into your competitors' SEO strategies and help you bridge the gaps and improve your rankings.

Step 3 – Recognising the aspects where you fall behind

After doing the proper keyword research, the next step is identifying your weak points. Every company or website has some weaknesses, even well-established ones. You need to examine the points where you are falling behind, whether in terms of quality of content, authority, backlinks, or even social media engagement.

You can achieve it in many ways. Analyze your competitors' content and check what sets their content apart:

  • Their outstanding quality.
  • Thoroughness.
  • The number of internal/external links.
  • The type of content they are producing.

Check if your competitor's website has more authority than your website. In other words, if they have much greater brand recognition or support from a well-established company, it becomes increasingly difficult to outrank them.

You can also compare the user-friendliness features of their website versus your website. Ensure that the products listed on your website are easy to purchase or that relevant internal links can guide the customer to what they might like to purchase.

Moreover, you can also assess the visual appeal of their website that might be attracting greater traffic, like GIFs, videos, photos, etc., and compare it to your website.

Step 4 – In-depth Analysis of Your Webpages

After successfully identifying all the weaknesses in your website, the next step is to analyze the elements in your web pages thoroughly.

Make sure your content's title has the keyword you have used to improve its visibility. The search engine will show your content only if it is relevant to the keyword.

Next, you must also optimize your meta-description to let the search engine know what your content is all about and rank it. Make sure to use the relevant keyword in your meta description.

Also, the headings (H1, H2, H3...) must contain keywords or synonyms. You can also closely look at how your competitors use the headings and if it significantly impacts their overall ranking.

Lastly, a frequently overlooked feature is the URL of the site. It is an aspect that most websites lack, so if you have an error-free URL that can indicate your overall content to the search engine, you have a leg up over your competitors.

Step 5 – Evaluating backlinks of your competitor's website

It is one of the important steps of running a competitive SEO analysis. If your competitors' websites have superior backlinks from well-reputed companies, it gives them more authority and, hence, a better ranking than you.

It is imperative to remember that not all backlinks are of high quality. Before jumping to conclusions, check if the backlinks on your competitor's website are reliable and from high-profile sources. After checking this, research how they managed to obtain it – whether through affiliations, media, or any other way.

After completing your research, you will be able to assess whether you can get into their recommendations or not and then proceed to take the necessary steps.


Running an analysis can be a long, tiresome process, as you can see. However, it can yield many benefits in the long run when done with the proper tools. The competition has become extremely intense today when many websites are coming up daily. 90% of websites attract almost 0% of the traffic. Furthermore, 90% of the traffic is attracted only by the first 5 websites that show up after a Google search.

Amit Kumar Khare

Author: Amit Kumar Khare

Amit is a tech enthusiast and loves writing about it. He is a senior developer with good hands-on experience in digital marketing.

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