How to steal your competitors’ traffic
SEO competitor analysis (aka competitive analysis) works as a powerful research strategy in helping you to rank higher, get more traffic, and earn more conversions. Its magic happens by uncovering SEO opportunities you may not have seen otherwise.
Competitor analysis helps successfully answer questions like:
- Who are my actual SEO competitors?
- What keywords should I target?
- What topics should I cover?
- Where can I find links?
- What do I need to beat the competition?
There are many ways to do a competitive analysis for SEO, but the basic principle works like this: analyze what’s working for your competition (keywords, content, links, etc.) and leverage this intelligence to improve your own SEO efforts.
Get the free template!
We’ve included a nifty Google Sheets template to guide you through the steps and help generate an actionable report. Download now
What exactly is SEO competitive analysis?
SEO competitive analysis involves researching the links, keywords, content, and more of your SEO competitors in order to reverse-engineer the most successful elements of these tactics into your own SEO strategy.
Instead of guessing which keywords to target, content to create, or links to build, you can instead see what’s already working for others, and build upon that success.
Consider a real-world example: Imagine you operate a grocery store — one of three competing stores in town. Your customers are happy, but you know they also visit other stores because they can’t buy everything in one place. So you go on a road trip to gather competitive intelligence. You visit the other stores to understand the popular items they offer. By offering these items yourself — or even superior ones — you help your customers make fewer trips, and in turn, you gain more business.
There are many ways to do a competitor analysis for SEO. Consider this your starter guide. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Finding Your True SEO Competitors
- Keyword Gap Analysis
- Top Content Analysis
- Link Gap Analysis
- Google SERP Analysis
Smarter SEO research
The idea is not to copy your competition, but to leverage data to improve upon them, and use this knowledge to create better experiences for your visitors.
Download the free template
To walk you through this guide, we’ve put together a free downloadable template that you can use to perform your own SEO competitive analysis. This template will also help you create an actionable report.
- Make a copy of the spreadsheet by clicking here
- Follow the instructions to gather data
- Replace the sample data with your own
- Sort, filter, and customize to your needs
Note: For the simplest SEO competitive analysis, you don’t need any special tools — your eyeballs and Google can get you started. But if you really want to uncover opportunities, it helps to have a good all-in-one SEO tool at your disposal. A software suite with a good link index and keyword data works best. To illustrate these points, this guide uses Moz Pro. If you don’t have a Moz Pro account, feel free to take a free trial for 100% access for up to 30 days. (This will easily give you all the data you need to complete an analysis!)