We are familiar with online competition. Regardless of your niche, industry, or target audience, many other site owners don’t want you to succeed. This is particularly true if you’ve just started chasing your dreams and find someone else sitting atop the highest pile of money and won’t easily move. Fortunately, no competition is impossible. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and where there’s the Internet, there’s SEO. It’s risky to go alone! Take this guide on how to overthrow your competition and rank higher.
What Is Competitor SEO?
Simple. Competitor SEO allows you to achieve two crucial goals:
1. Identify the weaknesses of your competitors.
2. Utilize those weaknesses to increase your website traffic, rankings, customer base, and revenue.
The best part is that this strategy is self-informative. SEO tools will handle most of the work and guide you on how to overthrow your competitor and rank higher. So, let’s not keep you waiting any longer.
Competitor SEO lets you exploit competitors’ weaknesses to increase site traffic, rankings, customers, and revenue.
Step 1. Gather Information About Your Website.
Before analyzing others, ensure you have enough information about yourself and your site. You will need this to compare against your competitors. Here’s what you need to gather:
– Your ranking keywords, which you are currently using and planning to use.
– Your current ranking positions in Google and other search engines.
– Your site visitor traffic, including where it comes from and how well it converts.
– Your page metrics from all social media platforms where you advertise your business.
– Your location if you are running a brick-and-mortar business.
– The specifics of your niche and what it does and does not entail.
– Your target audience and who does and does not make up that audience.
This minimum information is needed to describe your current SEO situation and serve as your starting point. When you gather the same information about your potential competitors, you can weed out websites that don’t pose a threat and don’t need to be analyzed. Most of this information is easy to collect with pen and paper, but some points may require tools like Google Analytics to assess your traffic situation.
Step 2. Find Your Direct Competitors.
Consider the following before you start looking for competitors:
– How many competitors should you analyze?
– How do you distinguish competitors from non-competitors?
– Which websites should you compete against?
– Should you compete against the same websites forever? If not, when do you stop?
– Do you need to add new competitors? If yes, how often?
Let’s address these questions one by one.
How Many Competitors Do You Need To Analyze?
A dozen well-chosen competitors are enough to improve your SEO strategy.
How Do You Distinguish Competitors From Non-Competitors?
Not every website you analyze will be your direct competitor. You can identify a direct competitor if they rank for the same keywords, target the same audience, and operate in the same location (for local businesses).
Which Websites Do You Pick To Compete Against & Do You Compete Against The Same Websites Forever?
Let’s answer both of these questions at once.
You may find numerous websites that meet the criteria above. However, if you want to create a list of websites to surpass shortly, there is no need to choose all.
You can start with the ones not significantly outperforming you – they will be the easiest to surpass. Then, you can progress to compete against stronger competitors.
But, it is important to keep an eye on the websites you defeated, as they may return anytime.
Do You Need To Add New Competitors For Analysis? If Yes, How Often?
The top dogs in your niche are not easily dethroned. Once you find them, it’s safe to assume they’ll remain at the top for a long time — unless someone ambitious like you catches up to them. At the very least, this won’t happen without causing a stir, so you won’t need to search for another competitor to make sure. However, other websites in the niche will constantly try to outdo each other, and some may climb the ranking ladder while others may fall. New challengers may also emerge. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check the overall status of your competition periodically to overthrow your competition.
How To Easily Find Competitors
Once you have answered those questions, you can search for competitors using WebCEO’s Dangerous Competitors tool.
It is not much work. It is all in the Settings.
1. Enter your ranking keywords in the Keywords tab.
2. Enter your preferred search engines with targeted locations in the Search Engines tab.
3. Enter some of the competitors’ URLs you already know about in the Competitors. (If you don’t know any yet, skip this step.)
4. Press Save, and the tool will generate a list of potential competitors.
5. Visit their websites one by one and choose the ones that fit the criteria we’ve covered above – in other words, those that are your direct competitors.
6. Click on the flag icon next to the domain’s URL to start tracking their websites in the next steps of this analysis.
Step 3. Find Their Content’s Strong & Weak Points.
You must know who, what, and how to overthrow your competition successfully. By now, you should have an answer to whom. The next question is: what exactly are you going to outrank? Thanks to their good content, competitors rank higher than you, but no content is perfect. Research your competitors and discover the types of content they produce, their best-ranking pages, pages that don’t rank as well as they could, and pages that don’t rank well for obvious reasons. These weaknesses can be exploited to create your content and outrank them.
How To Get Full Information About Your Competitors’ Site Rankings
Create a separate project in WebCEO for their site. Then, check the My Site Rankings report under the By Page tab.
Pro Tip: Subscribe to your competitors’ emails and analyze them. While organic traffic is important, a well-executed email campaign can be as effective as SEO. Study your competitors’ emails to identify areas for improvement; there’s always room to enhance your strategy.
Step 4. Analyze Your Competitors’ Keywords.
Now, we are venturing into the realm of how.
In this stage, you will uncover the keywords used by your competitors and decide how to proceed with them.
It is not as straightforward as merely using the same keywords as your competitors. The right approach requires a more nuanced strategy, beginning with researching their keywords.
To do this, open WebCEO’s Competitor Keyword Spy tool.
Enter the URL of any website and analyze its keyword usage. Generate a list of keywords used by your competitors, and then:
1. Identify the keywords you are currently using on your site. This will help confirm whether you are competing for the same keywords and targeting the same audience. If there is a significant overlap between your keyword pools, it will be challenging to outperform that competitor. In such cases, you may want to prioritize competitors who have fewer keywords in common with you.
2. Identify the keywords you are not currently using on your site but may be beneficial. Look for mid- and long-tail keywords with high monthly searches (ideally a few thousand) and demonstrate user search intent.
3. Identify keywords that your competitors are not ranking high for. If these keywords are relevant to your site, incorporating them into your content will be the easiest way to outrank your competitors. Check their rankings for specific keywords in the Competitor Rankings by Keyword report.
Competitor keyword analysis can provide numerous new ideas, but you must be selective. This is true for competitor SEO in general.
Step 5. Use Their Link Profiles To Build Your Backlinks.
Link building is a challenging aspect of SEO, but it provides significant rewards. Backlinks from authoritative websites with relevant content offer the best boost in rankings. Your competitors can unintentionally guide you in the right direction. To start, examine their link profiles using WebCEO’s Competitor Backlink Spy.
Use this tool to identify the websites that are linking to your competitors. The tool sorts these pages based on their authority, allowing you to quickly choose the most valuable domains. However, it’s important to remember that for a backlink to be effective, it should be surrounded by relevant content and have a relevant anchor text. So, don’t just choose the first page you come across. Ensure it’s a suitable option for adding a link to your site.
Next, explore the overlap in backlinks between your competitors.
Dig into the table, and you’ll find that competitors often share backlinks from the same pages. Sometimes, there will be blank fields, indicating that no backlinks point to your competitor from that page. If that page hasn’t linked to your competitor yet, it’ll be easier to beat them to the punch and place your backlink there.
That’s how you find potential websites for link building. As for building links, there’s a wide range of techniques, from easy to almost impossible.
Here are a few of the most accessible ways:
– Offering websites to replace broken links.
– Offering to replace links to outdated content.
– Requesting to add a link to an unlinked mention of your site.
And some of the hardest ways are:
– Creating truly unique content that nobody else has.
– Demonstrating your expertise in an interview.
– Making your content go viral.
Regardless of your chosen approach, it comes down to preparing high-quality, up-to-date content first.