Keyword research does not end when you’ve already found the right combination of keyword difficulty and search volume. Keyword research is inextricably linked with the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) Analysis. These two hold the key in putting the competitor behind and placing your pages well above its competitors.

A complete SERP competitor research allows you to identify what works and what doesn’t. It can also identify the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. With the data you can extrapolate from your SERP analysis, you can also duplicate your competitors’ strategies, identify which tasks should be prioritized first, and determine the degree of difficulty or ease to outdo your competitors’ SEO efforts.

SERP analysis may sound daunting, but with us on board, we can assist you by providing you tips on how to maximize the SERPs for competitor analysis. If you are looking for ideas on how to research competitors or use competitor research tools, you have come to the right page.

Why Is Competitive Analysis Important to Your Business

In some cases, the keywords are not appropriate to the user’s search intent. Simply put, you may find your keywords easy to rank and can possibly bring a lot of traffic, but when you test it in the real world, how the keywords are being used is not what you aimed for. But if you compare how your competitors use those keywords to rank, you’d easily discover where you made the error, to begin with.

Analyzing your Search Engine Ranking Page can help you determine your weaknesses and strengths. Competitive analysis of the SERP results eliminates blind-guessing how your target audience queries the keywords.

How to Use the SERPs for Competitor Research

Your competitor research won’t be complete without analyzing how your competitors layout their content, the types of info they often utilize, the kinds of keywords they often use, and how links are managed. You should also consider how your strategy would fare against your competitors.

Look at Your Competitors’ Content Strategy

How do your competitors create content? Have you checked their blog posts? How often do they post their content? How long are the competitors’ blog posts? How do they target the audience?

You don’t eyeball topics to write. By getting ideas about the blog topics, your competitors’ post gives you tips on the kind of topic you should blog on your blog too. Also, you have to take note, too, that you can always enhance their content by adding some more ideas to yours on your posts. Check out also the types of content they post on their website. Are they focusing more on written copies? Or some other rich media ones? Look for content opportunities they haven’t tapped for, so beat your competitors to those.

Additionally, check the average length of posts created by your competitors. This would give you an idea of how long your posts should be. Also, consider that articles with more than 1,500 words often received more engagement on social media.

Look at Your Competitors’ Content Quality Strategy

Most likely, your competitors are going to showcase their most popular posts. Even if they don’t, you can always check their posts with the highest engagement, such as comments and shares.

Rewriting it may not be your best strategy. Instead, you can add more to what your competitors have written, or you can improve on it. Adding more to the topic means taking a spin and expanding a portion of the original content. Perhaps you can also contradict what has been written to create for that controversial approach.

You can also tweak the Skyscraper Technique, a term coined by Brian Dean, to have an idea about the competitor’s content. Now that you have identified the high-quality content of your competitors, you need to determine your buyer persona. Once you have done this, select a high-quality blog entry from competitors. Make sure that your copy is longer, contains more updated information, has a better outline, hence more readable, and covers all nooks and crannies of that topic.

Check Your Competitors’ Supplemental Content Strategy

Take a look at your competitors’ supplemental content or the type of content found in other pages of the site. Are they producing some ebooks? How about a white paper? If the frequency and number of published articles are robust, it means your competitors are producing content daily. You can use this as a hint as to what their lead generating strategies are.

When you look at the supplemental content, you don’t analyze everything. Just get a handful, but make sure that these articles define the kinds of topics your competitors are often creating and sharing with their audiences. Here are some factors you should take note of:

  • Content accuracy
  • Readability
  • Authorship
  • Content Structure
  • Grammar and spelling errors
  • Level of information the content provides

Use filter=0 to check for supplemental content loss

The “&filter=0” URL parameter that Google uses is all about putting back the search results that Google omitted as it improves user experience and relevancy on result pages. That being said, turning off this filter, or putting it to zero allows you to check the duplicate pages or any other unrelated pages that use the keyword.

You can use the filter parameter so you can see the entire set of pages for a particular keyword. As a result, you can check who might be duplicating your metadata or hijacking some information from your pages. You can also use this parameter to analyze you have a lower rank compared to others.

Don’t Forget to Check Your Competitors’ Content Update Strategy

Whether your competitors are updating old copies or not is a clear indicator of how well they maintain their websites. Check out the updated version and expand on those sections that you think seem lacking.

Have You Checked the Kind of Pages Your Audience Searches?

You need to know how your competitors use the keywords in their articles. Most importantly, you should know the types of pages your competitors have. If they rank higher than you, consider both the page types and the keyword use so you can better address your own site’s weaknesses. Google emphasizes the importance of user intent; how your competitors address this by using keywords should not be taken for granted.

Have You Researched Common Domains in Your Niche Results

YOu might be losing the ranking game because many sites are ranking for the same keyword. One strategy that your competitors may be using is the multiple domain strategy. This strategy is all about dominating the SEO by spreading SEO power across several domains owned by a single competitor.

This strategy works well when you own several brands or have some microsites. This is also a great strategy when you want to dominate a single keyword.

What Types of Pages Being Ranked?

Not only should you be concerned with your competitor’s page but also with the first-page ranking pages. While these might not necessarily be your product competitors, these pages still vie for the top rank, as you do. As you have known by now, the higher the ranking, the more visible to the audiences.

When you are analyzing the pages being ranked, take note of the primary intent. How are the keywords being used? How is the topic presented?

Also, you have to check about the sub-topics included in the article. What are the questions being addressed by the article?

Additionally, know what features can you see in the rankings. What People Also Ask questions are being highlighted? Are there other rich snippets and knowledge graphs being featured? Don’t forget to analyze what is included in these things to know more about user intent.

The Need to Diversify Your Keywords

Check your competitors’ content, whether they have a diversified set of words being used. A poorly created content keeps on repeating the same words in an article. Strictly speaking, this is a big disadvantage since Google wants a more natural approach, and that is, using similar expressions and phrases that still hits home. A website with a diversified set of keywords means several keywords are optimized for ranking and some phrases used as anchor texts, which are then used to link back to your site.

When you analyze your competitors’ pages, never forget to check the structure and organization of the contents. You have to examine what they might be doing that produces high-performing articles.

Take Note of Your Competitors’ Link Building Strategy

By digging into their link-building strategy, you can easily create your backlinking strategy. When you realize that link building is not just creating high-quality links, sometimes, the quantity also matters. Don’t forget to link to relevant and authority pages. While the outcome depends on your goal, there are several ways that seasoned website owners use to effectively use links to increase rankings and drive traffic to their sites:

  • Guest blogging
  • Infographics Distribution
  • Social Media Networking
  • Using high-quality links
  • The Broken Links Strategy
  • Personal Brand Development

One way to tap into your competitors’ strategies is to look into how they utilize links in their articles. Aside from web performance, assess how many backlinks your competitors put on their content or where the links are coming from. Is it an author profile? Perhaps from corporate sites?

Your competitors’ link-building strategy allows you to see the quality of pages linked to your competitors’ pages. If such pages are ranking higher than you, what this means is your competitors are using more relevant, well-trusted links than of yours.

You Must Index Your Competitor’s Citations

You should begin by listing all your competitors. Once done, you should check the number of backlinks your competitors added to their pages. Manually doing it may be taxing, so use a tool to compare such as that of Alexa. Using the information you’ve received from your comparison tool, identify those competitors and their pages that garnered the largest number of links, Check the validity of those links and use these to create your link-building opportunities.

Identify the Number of Backlinks

You can also consider the number of backlinks you can get from low to medium domain authority sites and ensure that such sites are reliable. The bottom line for this kind of strategy is to generate reliable links rather than the quality of the page the links bring. Simply, if you want to increase traffic traction for your websites, target such domain authority sites. This strategy makes a speedy process for link building. You need to remind yourself, though, this strategy is all about increasing traffic in the hopes of having higher rankings and not much in focusing quality.

Assess the Competitors’ Quality Backlinks

Part of your competitor research is to assess your competitors’ quality backlinks. These backlinks are those links that come from highly reliable and well-trusted websites. What makes quality backlinks one of the great competitive research tools is that these links indicate that actual people trust the site from which the backlinks come from. A backlink becomes high quality when the website from which it comes has a high domain authority. When your competitors create more high-quality links, there is a great chance that their rankings become higher. If you want to find out all the links for a particular competitive page, you can use this search string:

link:[Page URL or Domain]

Assess Competitors’ Email List Building Strategy

Ever wonder how your competitors increase their email lists? What can you learn from their email campaigns? Begin by signing up to your competitors’ email or

  • What are they offering?

Are they giving out special offers? Sales? With better deals, your competitors are surely gaining more on your common customers.

  • What makes them more appealing to customers?

Examine their value proposition. What makes customers tick to their side instead of yours?

  • What elements in the email are being presented?

Are the email campaigns time-limited? What do you think your email campaign lacks in comparison to theirs?

  • Who is the target audience?

How do they go about personalizing their campaigns? How do they cope with segmentation or tracking the unique demographics of their audience? By looking at how your competitors can target and personalize their email campaigns can lead to helping you customize your own email campaigns.

  • How do they design their emails?

Part of what is competitive research is dissecting how competitor email looks like. Taking note of how you can tweak, include, and improve these elements in your email campaigns.

  • Check the organization
  • Check the length of the copy
  • Check the use of images
  • Check how the CTA is utilized

Look into Your Competitors’ Customer Communication Strategy

Your competitor analysis won’t be complete without considering how they communicate with their customers. When your competitors release any kind of content, you can actually benchmark it to reveal several competitor communication channels, which you can also tap. What channels of distribution have they been undertaking? Take note of what social media platforms they are using to reach out to their customers and the time they post on these social media platforms.

Check for service and customer feedbacks on their social media platforms. Also, take a look at their website, whether they have customer service tools such as a help desk, an FAQ page, live chat, and some more.

Know More about Your Competitors’ Internal Linking Strategy

You might want to use a website crawler to check for your competitors’ on-site information. Once you already have the information on the internal links, review whether your competitors are using the best on-page SEO practices. Here are important questions to help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of competitor web pages:

  • Can you find the keywords in the title, headings, URL, and anchor text?
  • Is there a link in the first 100 words of the article?
  • Has the article been updated to include newer information?
  • How long is the article?

These questions gauge how strong your competitors’ content is, provides you supplemental ideas on topics to write or determines which of your content you should make as the pillar content.

Covertly Spy on Your Competitors’ External Linking Strategy

Your competitor analysis is incomplete if you don’t check their backlinking strategies. If your competitors are already ranking well on the first page of the SERP, it means they must be doing something right. They surely have reached and met Google’s requirements. If they have done it, so can you. Your competitors have already laid out what works and what doesn’t. Copying what they have done right increases your chances of being on the first page of the SERP, too!

Identify who among your competitors you want to emulate. Start small. Websites contain lots of backlinks, and you might overwhelm yourself if you start big. Using a backlink analysis tool, pick the backlinks with the highest domain authority. Just to be sure, check that such a site is Google-indexed. You have to audit that site for links using a backlink tool and pick the best links in the lot. Such is an important key to this strategy. Follow the great links and avoid the bad ones, unless you want Google to penalize you.

Know Your Competitors’ Social Media Strategy

After you’ve identified who your competitors are, look at their social media profiles. Analyze it to know more about them. Look at the About section. Since they only have limited characters to describe themselves and their business, your competitors would use relevant words that would easily capture their intent. Take note of the keywords being used in that section. If you can, insert the URL of your website in this section to d