Competitive SEO Analysis: How to Keep an Eye On the Competition from an SEO Texas Agency

By Julissa Guadagni, Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Competition Image Concept
Competitors Concept Photo by Jim De Ramos,

As a business owner, you understand the significance of SEO marketing. But what should you do if you aren’t seeing the SEO results you’re looking for? Whether it’s low keyword rankings or poor content performance, investing in your SEO efforts without much return means you must re-evaluate your strategy. 

One of the simplest ways to strengthen your SEO performance is by performing a competitor SEO analysis. This doesn’t mean copying what the competition is doing online. It means analyzing what your competitors are doing with their SEO marketing to discover opportunities to outperform and outrank. 

As an SEO Texas agency, we’ve seen many businesses make mistakes with their SEO strategies, such as wrong search intent and writing SEO content for the sake of writing without a clear goal for that piece. By monitoring what other businesses within your niche are doing successfully, you can find new ways to make your brand stand out. 

Here’s how to keep an eye on the competition effectively to discover SEO opportunities for your business.

How to Conduct a Competitor SEO Analysis to Uncover New SEO Opportunities

Did you know that there are over 200 factors that Google attributes to higher rankings? Even as an SEO Texas digital agency we, too, find it hard to keep up with at times. With many SEO ranking factors to consider, it can be challenging to understand where you stand amongst your competitors and exactly what to look for when you are looking to improve your SEO strategy. 

SEO is more than outranking the competition for keywords. It’s a balance of specific SEO marketing tactics unique to your company goals, your competitors, and your niche. 

Below we’ll explain how to perform a competitor SEO analysis to identify new opportunities that matter most to your business.

Identify Your SEO Competitors to Understand Who You Should Analyze

You may know your brand’s direct competition, but do you know your competitors in all facets of SEO? SERP competitors include brands with higher organic traffic, stronger backlinks, better-paid search results, and more. 

Here’s how to identify and define your SEO competitors so you have an accurate competitive market analysis

  • Domain Search: Enter your domain into an SEO tool, like Ahrefs, to identify competitors based on market relevancy and estimated traffic trends. 
  • Organic Research: Search for related topics and keywords you want to rank higher on Google for and review the SERPs. Sites in the top-ranking positions are your organic competitors. This can be for various reasons, such as keyword positions and high-quality backlinks, so ensure you run a content audit to discover these insights. 
  • Paid Ad Research: Check the keywords your competitors are bidding on for paid search keywords. You may uncover target keywords with low search volume but high ad conversion rates. 

Having a data-driven process to identify your SEO competitors allows you to make an accurate analysis. 

Perform a Content Audit to See Whose Content is Dominating the SERPs

Now that you know how to identify your competitors, next is understanding what factors are attributing to their SEO success. The first step is a content audit. As you know, content is foundational to SEO. 

That’s why having a process to analyze the content performance of your competitors is crucial. By tracking this, your brand can identify keywords they’re targeting and create content strategies with those high-value keywords to beat them in the SERPs.

Do a Keyword Analysis to Discover Keywords Attributing to High Ranking Positions

Run a content audit on the top-performing websites to discover the keywords used that are contributing to their high ranks. Look at various keyword match types, like long-tail and question-based queries, to identify keywords with high search volume and low-hanging fruit opportunities. 

According to SEMRush, long-tail keywords now have higher engagement rates. Keywords around 10 to 15 words long get 1.76x more clicks than single-word keywords!

After selecting the keywords you want to target, export them and create higher-quality content based on areas you are lacking, like custom infographics. 

Also, analyze their history of keyword positions for target keywords. By tracking their keyword positioning over time, you can see if they continuously optimize their content. If your competitors aren’t updating old blogs with current information, this can cause their keyword rankings to decline—allowing you to get ahead. 

Keywords that are 10 to 15 words long get 1.76x more clicks than single-word keywords. (SEMRush)

Perform a Content Gap Analysis to Discover Areas of Improvement in Your SEO Content Strategy

If you’re not seeing the SEO results you’re looking for in your content, this is a sign you need to optimize your content strategy. A content gap analysis identifies what your competitors are ranking for, but your website isn’t. 

The difference between content and keyword analysis is their scope. A content gap analysis looks at the overall bigger picture of how content performs and why. It includes reviewing all content performance contributions, like rich results, backlinks, featured snippets— and, of course, keywords. 

A keyword analysis only looks at search query performance. It’s a category under content gap analysis but within the same umbrella. 

Pool of Competitors

Pool of Competitors Photo by Sergio Souza,

Ways to improve your content gap analysis findings include:

  • Editing Your Content: Fix content writing mistakes, like a lack of comparison tables for “vs.”middle-funnel topics and surface-level details that push users toward your competitors with more thorough research.
  • Optimizing Your Content for Metadata: Update headings more descriptively so readers know what your page is about with a simple scroll. 
  • Creating Valuable CTAs: Write persuasive CTAs that encourage users to take action in all stages of their buyer’s journey to meet them where they are to prevent spamming.

With SEO tools, they automate suggestions to fill in these content gaps so you can spend less time figuring out how to improve your content performance.  

Brainstorm New Link Building Strategies With A Backlink Analysis

Link building is arguably the most important Google ranking factor. Websites with high-quality backlinks not only perform better in search engine algorithms, but they also generate greater referral traffic. 

When reputable and widely recognizable resources with high Domain Authority link to your website, it creates word-of-mouth marketing within their network—which you don’t always have to pay for! Users within their network typically generate higher qualified leads because a brand they trust recommended your business. 

That’s why you must go beyond cold email outreach for your link building strategy after your backlink analysis. 

How to Do a Competitor Backlink Analysis

Audit your competitor’s website and review their top-performing pages. This step identifies the backlinks contributing most to their higher performance metrics so you can develop link acquisition strategies to win them. 

Look for the following information during a backlink analysis:

  • Domain Authority: Find quality backlinks with high Domain Authority (above 60 score) relevant to the content you want them to link to.
  • Backlink Quality: Avoid low-quality backlinks with penalized domains, unrelated sites, and nofollow links. 
  • Page Performance: Find websites generating high monthly traffic and keyword rankings to tap into their following.   

SEO tool features, such as SEMRush’s Backlink Audit and Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker, allow you to easily access competitor backlinks analytics. This way you can acquire the most relevant and top-performing ones more easily. 

Link Building Strategies to Acquire Your Competitor’s Backlinks (That Aren’t Cold Emails)

After determining the backlinks you want to contact, create new link building strategies than traditional link exchanges and cold email outreach. 

Consider the following link building strategies instead:

    • Social Media Campaign Post: Instead of a social media post, offer a free shoutout for a social media campaign that you’ve done previously. Share the proven results of prior campaign performances to showcase the value of your social proof. 
    • Cross-Promotional E-Newsletter: Offer a free link and mention of their company in your email newsletter for a cross-promotional value. Showcase the value of your email list contacts and successful e-blast performances with case studies or brand accomplishments. 
  • Podcast Niche Interviews: Find industry experts within your niche for podcast interviews. Search engines prioritize relevancy. It’s beneficial for networking, too, which is invaluable. 

Offering something valuable to your backlink contacts in exchange resonates better—instead of asking them to link to your website as a favor, especially if you’re a stranger to them! 

Utilize SEO Tracking Tools to Measure Competitor SEO Performance

Your competitor SEO analysis and strategy should always be data-driven. If you aren’t developing and updating your SEO strategies with analytics, it’s like flying blind. You should always have a clear vision from marketing concept to execution based on SEO performance data. 

SEO monitoring tools with competitor SEO analysis features include:

Core Web Vitals to Review Your Competitor’s Website User Experience (UX)

Your business most likely uses Google’s Core Web Vitals to monitor your website’s health performance. But do you know how to maximize its features for competitor UX analysis?

Google prioritizes UX now, more than ever, with its recent algorithm update to the now E-E-A-T model, adding a second “E” for “Experience.” Focusing on the search experience, Google rewards the way sites provide original and quality content to users from various sources.

Source: Chrome for Developers

You can customize Chrome UX (CrUX) dashboards with Google Looker Studio. This feature lets you compare field data metrics to your competitors so you can continuously monitor their UX trends. 

It compares website health performance with field data metrics for three types of pages:

  • Core Web Vitals Overview: Tracks key UX metrics based on Google’s recommendations, such as the amount of time a user first interacts with your site and your browser’s response rate to that interaction
  • Metric Performance: Measures page performance based on Core Web Vitals metrics with desktop and mobile device filters
  • User Demographics: Tracks user devices (phone, desktop, and tablet) and effective connection types (ETCs) for page views

For example, if you find that your competitor’s website has predominantly mobile users engaging with their site and it’s performing well, you can better optimize your site for mobile UX. 

When you compare how users navigate your website with your competition, you gain valuable insights and opportunities to outperform their UX.  

Moz to Identify Your Top Competitors and SEO Content Strategy Gaps

Moz’s True Competitor feature allows you to identify who your top SEO competitors are through data-driven comparison insights—because it may not always be who you think it is.  

Source: Moz

True Competitor uses advanced search filters to find your true market competition:

  • Preferred Market: SERP analysis research on competitors within your industry niche
  • Domain Type: Research filters by domain, subdomain, and subfolder
  • Top 25 Competitors: List of competitor websites with comparative data, including their Domain Authority (DA), shared keyword rankings (Overlap), and Rivalry, to identify your biggest rivals by comparing you and your competition’s DA scores
  • Compare Competitors: Competition comparison analysis to see who is dominating the SERPs in your industry most

Moz also allows you to identify keyword research and ranking gaps between you and the competition with Traffic Lift. Under the Keyword Gap feature, Traffic Lift estimates the amount of organic traffic your site will gain if you outrank your competitors for specific keywords. 

By comparing keywords your competitors are ranking for and you’re not, you can strengthen your SEO content strategy from missed keyword opportunities.

SEMRush to See Your Competition’s Complete SERP Performance

SEMRush has a comprehensive Competitor Website Analysis feature, providing a complete picture of competitor SERP performances. 

Source: SEMRush

The Competitive Analysis feature categorizes your competition’s SERP performance into seven categories:

  • Organic Competitors: Shared organic keyword rankings and keyword gap opportunities with a list of top competitors
  • Backlink Competitors: Shared backlinks based on the most referring domains you have in common with backlink gap opportunities
  • Paid Search Competitors: Shared paid search keyword rankings on sites competing with you the most based on PPC results 
  • Paid Listing Ad (PLA) Competitors: Shared Google Shopping keyword rankings based on PLA results you compete with most
  • Position Tracking Competitors Discovery: Identifies top competitors if you don’t have keyword rankings yet by analyzing their ranking position performance
  • Market Explorer: Top competitor filters by industry with estimated traffic and market demographics 
  • Display Advertising Competitors: Display and video ad competitors (including social media) to see how they perform on various platforms for off-page SEO

SEO requires multi-faceted marketing tactics beyond outranking for keywords. By having a total SERP performance analysis, you can consider all key metrics when creating or updating your SEO marketing strategies.

WEBii Website Audits to Compare Competitor Technical SEO Performance

WEBii offers website health audits to better understand your site’s technical SEO so you can evaluate and plan your SEO strategy more effectively. As an SEO Texas agency, we know that SEO can be complex for business owners, especially for technical SEO optimization. 

Our website audits include finding:

  • Lack of sitemaps
  • Missing contact information on their home and contact pages
  • Missing metadata
  • No social media links listed on the website
  • Duplicate content issues
  • Competitor comparison reports

By comparing technical SEO performance, you can ensure Google crawls and indexes your website more effectively than the competition. In return, users can better discover your website’s content for search queries relevant to your page’s content. 

Supercharge Your SEO Strategy From the Competition With an SEO Texas Agency

As a business owner, understanding the complexities of SEO can be challenging. You know SEO is crucial to the bottom line, and have to manage the company at the same time. 

Our SEO Texas agency offers a wide range of SEO services to help brands stand out in a saturated online market. Whether you need consistent SEO content writing or as-needed SEO consulting, we can optimize your strategy for better results. 

Let us do the SEO heavy lifting for you. So you can do what you do best, your trade.

Contact us to strengthen your SEO performance today!  

Posted in: Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Small Business, WWW Learning Center

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