What is SEO Competitor Analysis?

SEO competitor analysis is the process of evaluating and studying the online presence and strategies of your competitors. It gives you insights into how they are performing in search engine rankings.

It involves analyzing various aspects of their websites, content, keywords, backlinks, and overall SEO practices.

SEO competitor analysis looks at various elements relating to your competitors' websites, such as:

  • On-page SEO factors like title tags
  • Keywords targeted and ranking positions
  • Content strategy and engagement metrics
  • Backlink profiles, sources, and diversity
  • Technical SEO aspects such as site speed
  • Local SEO strategies (if applicable)
  • User experience and site navigation
  • Conversion optimization tactics
  • Rich snippet and featured snippet opportunities

The depth and scope of your SEO competitor analysis will likely vary based on your industry, niche, and business goals.

For instance, in the SaaS industry, the analysis centers on identifying key players and their keyword strategies, while for local home services, the focus is often on local competitors and targeted local SEO tactics.

Nonetheless, regularly performing competitor analysis can keep you informed of the evolving landscape and support your ongoing SEO efforts.

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Why is SEO Competitor Analysis Important?

Competition is a good thing.

Embracing SEO competition not only ignites innovation but also drives continuous improvement. Yet, there's an exhilarating thrill when you're leading the pack and others strive to outperform you instead of the other way around.

This is the very goal of SEO competitive analysis. Once you identify your competitors' strengths and weaknesses, you can smartly use these insights to improve your SEO results.

SEO competitor analysis can help you identify:

  • Competitor websites in your niche
  • Targeted keywords and ranking positions
  • On-page optimization tactics
  • Content marketing strategies
  • Backlink profiles and sources
  • Technical SEO strengths and limitations
  • Local SEO strategies (if applicable)
  • Opportunities for featured snippets
  • Potential gaps in your own SEO strategy

Ultimately, SEO competitor analysis enables you to make informed decisions that drive organic search traffic, increase online visibility, and enhance business performance.

And that’s not it.

Your competitor’s SEO strategy can also help you understand your users better, refine your social media strategy, and stay up to date with the latest market trends.

The benefits of SEO competitor analysis go way beyond the obvious.

What’s even better is that you can simplify the process using a free SEO competitor analysis template.

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How to Conduct an SEO Competitor Analysis

Short answer? Download our free template!

Here’s the long one:

Conducting an SEO competitor analysis can indeed be a complex task with numerous factors to consider. To make the process more manageable and effective, we've laid out a multi-step approach to guide you through it.

But when should you run this analysis?

There are several occasions when it might help. Here’s one:

Imagine you have a small online store selling handmade jewelry. You notice that your website's traffic and sales have been stagnant for some time. You want to improve your online visibility and attract more customers, but you're not sure where to start.

This is where SEO competitor analysis comes into play. You decide to perform a simple SEO competitor analysis to see what your successful rivals are doing differently.

Step 1: Identify Competitors

First off, use industry knowledge, keyword research, and customer feedback to identify your main competitors in the online space.

To ensure things remain organized, you can always use our SEO competitor analysis template to list down your primary competitors.

Let's go back to the handmade jewelry example. In this scenario, imagine you’ve identified your main competitor as “Jewelry World.”

Step 2: Keyword Research

Next, you look into your competitor’s keyword rankings. Keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Semrush, or Ahrefs can come in very handy in this step.

Let’s say you find that Jewelry World ranks high for silver rings. This could be attributed to their superior product quality, well-optimized content, or high demand for the product.

Regardless of the reason, these insights open doors for enhancing your SEO strategy to compete effectively.

Step 3: On-Page SEO Analysis

It’s time to dig deep into your competitor’s content and optimization elements. For starters, simply observe what stands out, and what doesn’t.

Then, evaluate their title tags, meta descriptions, headings, URL structure, and keyword usage to understand how they target relevant keywords and attract organic traffic.

Go on to assess the quality and length of their content, linking strategy, user experience, and CTAs. This will give you insights into their overall approach.

Step 4: Content Strategy

This step of SEO competitive analysis involves a thorough look at your competitors' content-related activities.

Closely assess the types of content they produce, the topics they cover, the posting frequency, and anything else that may stand out.

For instance, if you find that Jewelry World consistently publishes blog posts on jewelry trends, you could consider a similar approach to enhance your own content strategy.

A strong backlink profile is crucial for your website to rank high on Google. The question is, how can you effectively acquire those links?

One way is to conduct a thorough analysis of your competitor's backlink profile. This involves evaluating their backlink quantity, quality, diversity, and anchor text usage.

If you notice that a competitor has earned backlinks from industry-specific websites, you can reach out to those sites. This improves your chances of winning backlinks.

Step 6: Technical SEO

There’s a chance that your competitor is ranking higher than you due to potential issues with your site speed. This step will give you insights into technical aspects like these.

A technical SEO analysis includes assessing your competitor’s site architecture, URL structure, mobile-friendliness, XML sitemaps, robots.txt files, etc.

This step is all about boosting search engine rankings by enhancing user experience. You can also discover rich snippet opportunities by examining schema markup.

Step 7: Social Media Presence

Although social media activity may not directly influence search rankings, it can lead to more backlinks and content distribution, essential for SEO success.

For instance, you observe Jewelry World’s social media channels and find that they have a large following on Instagram, with regular posts showcasing the latest designs.

This insight gives you a glimpse into what your potential customers are likely interested in. Sharing similar posts could help boost engagement and drive traffic to your website.

Step 8: Plan Your Strategy

Thanks to the data collected, you’ll identify areas where your competitors are excelling and opportunities where you can improve.

The next step is to tweak your content strategy accordingly. This may include targeting specific keywords they may have missed or sharing more visual content.

That said, remember that SEO is an ongoing process. Continuously monitoring your competitors and adapting to changing market dynamics is crucial for sustained success.

Step 9: Track Your Progress

It’s no secret that the world of SEO is ever-changing. This makes it all the more important for SEO professionals to continually track progress.

That’s because what worked for you six months ago, may not work today. It’s important to gauge whether your SEO efforts align with current trends and algorithm asks.

If necessary, you can even use SEO reporting tools for this task. Over time, you’ll be able to dominate search engines, beating your SEO competitors.

And our competitor analysis template can put you in the fast lane to achieve this.

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When Should You Conduct an SEO Competitor Analysis?

SEO performance can’t be considered in isolation. It’s influenced by various factors, including competitor behavior and search engine algorithm changes.

That's why regular analysis of your competitors is essential to understand how you compare and identify areas for improvement.

Conducting SEO competitor research can reveal weaknesses in your competitors' strategies that you can use to your advantage.

Here are some significant events that should prompt you to perform an SEO competitor analysis:

  • Before or shortly after launching your website
  • While developing your SEO content strategy
  • After you notice a sudden drop in keyword rankings
  • While planning a website redesign or overhaul
  • If your page is stagnant despite your best efforts
  • When your content ideas lack innovation

But wait, this isn’t it.

There are other lesser-known but significant occasions to conduct an SEO competitor analysis. These include situations like expanding to a new geographic location, preparing to pitch to potential clients, or gearing up for seasonal trends.

With experience, you'll develop a better sense of when to conduct an SEO competitor analysis. And our template can help you speed up this process.

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Why Do You Need an SEO Competitor Analysis Template?

By now, you’re probably aware of the value an SEO competitor analysis holds.

But like most other things relating to SEO, it isn’t an easy task. There are several elements at play, and it’s common to feel lost in the process.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

A well-designed SEO competitor analysis template like ours can be your guiding companion, leading you through each step with ease and clarity.

With our template's assistance, you can navigate through the intricacies of competitive SEO analysis. It will help you stay on track to uncover valuable insights about your competitors' strategies, enabling you to enhance your own SEO performance effectively.

Now here's the exciting part…

Whether you're a beginner or an expert, this SEO competitor analysis template will do the job for you.

Let's take a quick look at what this SEO competitor analysis template has to offer and the things it can help you with:

  • Comparing data consistently over time, enabling better tracking of your competitors' strategies and progress.
  • Examining many aspects of competitors' SEO efforts, from keyword research to backlink profiles and social media presence.
  • Conducting a comprehensive SEO competitive analysis using a structured framework, so that nothing is missed.
  • Generating professional and standardized SEO reports so you can convey valuable insights in an organized manner.
  • Discovering your competitors’ strengths, while also pinpointing areas where you can surpass and outrank them.
  • Remaining informed about the most recent algorithm updates, SEO trends, and industry developments.

Our SEO competitor analysis template is especially useful for digital marketers, content strategists, and SEO professionals.

Additionally, agencies handling multiple projects simultaneously often discover that templates assist with better organization of their work. So, stop the wait. Get our free SEO competitor analysis template now.

Free Template To Beat Your Rivals

What’s Included in This SEO Competitor Analysis Template?

Our SEO competitor analysis template helps you gain a better understanding of your rivals’ strategies. It lays particular emphasis on keyword and backlink gap analyses.

But that isn’t it.

When you start using the template, you can compile a comprehensive list of your primary competitors, ensuring they remain on your radar. Next, you can monitor essential metrics like their domain authority and estimated monthly search traffic.

And best of all?

Our SEO competitor analysis template lets you track traffic breakdown by country and sources, along with identifying the top pages for each competitor.

Keyword Gap Analysis

Keyword gap analysis helps you identify keywords that your competitors are ranking for, but your website isn’t.

These gaps indicate areas where you may be missing out on valuable organic traffic.

Our SEO competitor analysis template lets you maintain :

  • A list of keywords
  • Minimum search volume
  • Maximum search volume
  • Keyword difficulty levels
  • Rank competitors for each keyword

Link Gap Analysis

This is pretty similar to a keyword gap analysis. A link gap analysis will let you discover the backlinks that your competitors have, but your website doesn’t.

Backlinks from authoritative websites can improve your website's organic traffic, domain authority, and overall online visibility.

Here’s what our free SEO competitor analysis template helps you maintain and track:

  • URLs pointing to competitors’ sites
  • Spam scores to assess content quality
  • Domain authority of backlink sources
  • Link-building strategies for your own site

How to Use This Free Template for SEO Competitor Analysis

Using our SEO competitor analysis template is pretty straightforward. Here’s how:

  • Access this free template using one of the download buttons on this page.
  • Next, find competitors, and mention all of them in the template.
  • Then, input data in the template relating to your competitor’s keywords and backlinks.
  • Repeat this process for as many competitors as you want.
  • Create an action plan based on all the collated SEO data.

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Q1. What exactly is SEO competitor analysis?

A. SEO competitor analysis is a strategic process that involves evaluating and comparing the online presence and performance of your competitors in relation to your own website.

The goal is to gain valuable insights into their SEO strategies, strengths, weaknesses, and areas of opportunity to improve yours.

It involves examining factors like keyword rankings, backlink profiles, content strategies, social media presence, and technical SEO aspects. This way, you can make data-driven decisions to refine and optimize your website's SEO performance.

Ultimately, SEO competitor analysis enables you to stay ahead in the competitive online space. It’s a great way to climb to the top of search engine results.

Q2. Is it necessary to conduct an SEO competitor analysis?

A. Unlike things like keyword research and internal linking, conducting an SEO competitor analysis is not a strict requirement. That said, it’s highly beneficial and often considered a best practice in the field of SEO.

As you may already know, the competitive online landscape is constantly evolving. In this light, understanding what your competitors are doing can provide valuable insights and inform your SEO strategy, and that’s where our SEO template can help.

SEO competitor analysis helps you identify industry trends, discover high-potential keywords, improve content strategy, and build links. It also enables you to differentiate your brand and offerings, understand customer preferences, and adapt to changes in the digital landscape.

Q3. How do you run an SEO competitor analysis?

A. Here's a step-by-step process for running an SEO competitor analysis:

  • Download our free SEO competitor analysis template.
  • Start by identifying the main competitors within your industry or niche.
  • Analyze the keywords they’re ranking for and find new keywords to target.
  • Examine the type, quality, and engagement level of their content.
  • Conduct a backlink gap analysis to enrich your link-building strategy.
  • Analyze your competitors' social media activities to understand their engagement with the audience and gain ideas for your own social media strategy.
  • Assess technical aspects like mobile-friendliness and site architecture.
  • Use the gathered data to identify areas where competitors excel and fall short.
  • Make data-driven decisions to improve your organic traffic and online visibility.

Q4. Do I need to use an SEO competitor analysis template?

A. Using an SEO competitor analysis template isn’t mandatory, but it can definitely save you time. Moreover, it provides a structured and organized framework for conducting the analysis, ensuring that you cover all relevant aspects and data points consistently.

An SEO competitor analysis template is also helpful when you want to conduct multiple analyses. It streamlines the comparison of data and enables the tracking of competitors' strategies over time. Additionally, the standardized format ensures seamless sharing of findings and facilitates smooth discussions about strategies among team members.

Q5. How can I conduct an SEO competitor analysis for free?

A. You don’t need to invest in the services of an SEO agency to conduct a competitor analysis. Instead, use our free SEO competitor analysis template as your guide and perform the assessment independently.

You can also take the help of free SEO tools to conduct competitive analysis. These include Semrush, Ubersuggest, Moz, Similarweb, and SpyFu.

Ready to Outperform Your Competitors?

Download our FREE SEO competitor analysis template to discover winning strategies you haven’t considered before. Find out what your rivals are doing right, and how you can do them even better.