Checking your competitor’s SEO is an important part of improving your business, especially if you’re just starting off as a business owner. It is actually highly recommended and can give you valuable insight into what to do and how to do it.
Whether you’re uncertain about your next step or are just curious about how your competitors are doing, here’s how you can check your competitor’s SEO.
Let’s dive in.
1. Look at your competitor’s keywords
We’re starting off with this step because it is useful to businesses that are planning to get their own websites. Many people start a business without really thinking about keywords, which are crucial when it comes to people finding their website.
Aside from organic search, keywords also impact your ranking on the search pages, so the better you use them, the higher up your rank will be.
If you would like to see which keywords and related keywords your competitors are using, there’s a number of online tools that can help you.
Ubbersuggest is one of them, and it lets you see your competitor’s keywords in organic search, as well as in Google Ads. It will show you their top keywords, estimated monthly PPC clicks, and their competition and competitor’s keywords. However, it limits the number of features you can use and results you can see, so you will have to register for free to use all of them.
There’s also Ahrefs, a very powerful tool with numerous features, designed for competition SEO analysis and niche research. They offer 7-day trials for $7, and honestly, it pays off. This tool will let you see your competitor’s SEO as detailed as possible. They’ll show you their backlinks, the keywords they use, their best-ranked pages, top content, organic keywords, and many more. Money well spent, if you’re asking us.
Why is keyword research important?
By researching what your competitors are ranking for, you’re essentially learning what makes them successful and brings organic traffic. Keyword research is useful because it can give you ideas about your own keywords and help you outrank your competitors.
Utilize the term frequency–inverse document frequency, or tf-idf, to see how they use the keywords in their content. This tactic can help you get a better ranking for certain keywords and optimize your content.
2. Learn about their domain data and backlinks
Speaking of keywords, they aren’t the only important element of SEO. There are many others that affect the way both you and your competitors rank on search pages. We mentioned them in the previous paragraph, but let’s look at what they entail a bit more closely now.
There is domain authority, which assesses how relevant a website is for the area they’re specialized in. Two more similar elements are domain country and age, since different domains bring different SEO points, and older domains mean more points and authority.
There are free tools on the internet that will help you check all of the three mentioned elements, but this isn’t all of it.
Backlinking is one of the most important parts of SEO. It consists of having links that point to your website on other websites. These links tell the search engine that your website is quality and worth linking to, which gives you ranking points.
Using the tools we mentioned earlier, make sure to check your competitor’s backlinks to see how many links they have, what they’re about and which websites feature them. This can give you ideas about the topics you can write about and what kinds of websites you should seek out for your own backlinks.
3. Gather data about your competitors’ social media presence
Aside from keywords and backlinks, we recommend checking out their social media profiles.
The social media presence of a brand means everything nowadays. No matter if you already have profiles for your business or are in the process of creating them, looking at your competitors’ profiles will grant you immense insight.
You will be able to see how they interact with their followers and customers, what they post about, what the formats of their posts are, as well as how active they are. Be careful not to accidentally replicate their profile – this research is solely for inspiration, you don’t want to copy them and look like you have no ideas on your own.
But what does social media have to do with SEO?
You will find many articles saying that social signals have no effect on SEO, but that isn’t true. In the more recent ones, you will find evidence that social shares indeed do impact SEO. Check out this great article from Hootsuite, where they conducted an interesting experiment.
4. Analyze the top websites
If you want to know how to get to the top, analyzing the best-ranked websites is the way to do it.
Online tools such as aforementioned Ahrefs, SEMRush, and UberSuggest can analyze and tell you a lot about them and how they obtained that rank.
SEMRush will provide you with not only SEO information but will also tell you about their ad campaigns, social media efforts, web traffic, and visitor engagement. This way, you will learn how to build your social media presence and how to get people to stay on your website for longer amounts of time.
UberSuggest is another great tool for analyzing your competitor’s SEO.
Using this tool, you can find out the number of their backlinks, what there are and where they’re located.
Even though SEO is the priority, do keep in mind that content is just as important, because backlinks do wonders for website rankings. As previously mentioned, their importance lies in the fact that they convince search engines that your website is legitimate and credible.
5. Check their on-page SEO
Analyzing on-page SEO is an important part of checking your competitor’s SEO. On-page SEO is the practice of website optimization using elements such as meta descriptions, meta titles, image alt tags, internal and external, and others.
For learning more about your competitor’s on-page SEO, you can use Screaming Frog, one of the best SEO tools out there. It will allow you to learn more about your competitor’s page titles and metadata, so you can know which length and format to use. When it comes to image alt tags, it will give you insight into how to properly use image descriptions, so bots have an easier time crawling through your website.
6. Look at your competitor’s website speed
Here’s another thing that you can do to check your competitor’s SEO.
Website speed is one of the most important ranking factors. Google isn’t shy about voicing their dislike of slow websites. They place their users in the first place, so they want only the best experience for them. As such, Google gives fast and relevant websites a good ranking on their search pages, as opposed to the slow ones, which may not even appear on page 10.
You can get ahead of your competition if your website speed is bigger than theirs. There’s a number of factors that search engines consider before ranking you on their pages, and if you succeed in being better than your competitor in all of them, you will outrank them.
There are free speed tools that you can use, the most popular ones being GTmetrix, PageSpeed Insights, and Web Page Test. They’ll show you valuable data on the speed of various elements, such as the code of the website and image optimization. It is recommended that you analyze the speed of your own website, too, preferably every few weeks. The internet is ever-changing, after all.
7. More useful tools for checking your competitor’s SEO
Aside from Ubersuggest, Ahrefs and SEMrush, there are more tools you can use to check your competitor’s SEO.
Moz has a tool for checking domain SEO metrics that you can find here. It is free to use, but if you want to see more advanced features, they offer a free trial of Moz Pro for 30 days. The trial will let you see more keyword data, as well as link data.
Woorank is another free tool that will show you information about your competitor’s website domain, backlinks, traffic, social media profiles, content, indexing, and so on. As always, the premium version of it will grant you access to additional data.
SEO Tester Online has advanced SEO tools – SEO Checker, SEO Spider, Keyword Explorer, and SEO Editor. They’ll show you how optimized your competitor’s website is, give you an analysis of the entire website, and show you the keywords they use.
There is also Sitechecker, a tool that will analyze your competitor’s website and show you their website score, errors, and warnings for free. If you decide to upgrade, you’ll gain access to a rank tracker, backlink tracker, as well as site monitoring.
Checking your competitor’s SEO can be of significant help. It can help you improve your own website and get ahead of your competition. Luckily for us, there’s a number of ways and tools that allow us to check our competitor’s SEO.
To see how they’re doing, you can check which keywords they’re using via keyword-related tools such as SpyFu and Ahrefs. You can also analyze the top websites for a certain search and run them through tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, and UberSuggest, and they will tell you more about your competitor’s ad campaigns, social media efforts, backlinks and web traffic.
On-page SEO is another thing that you will want to check and learn more about, both in general and when it comes to your competitors, as well as website speed and how to make sure it’s the highest it can be.
Hopefully, this article has helped you learn something about checking your competitor’s SEO.
If you want professionals to do your SEO, don’t hesitate to contact our team!
Thank you for reading!