Leverage Your Competitors’ SEO Strategy With This SEO Competitor Analysis Checklist for 2022

In Business Strategy, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Search Engine Optimization by Robb FahrionLeave a Comment

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How do you analyze SEO competitors and gain an edge over others in your business niche?

A HubSpot survey reports that 61% of marketers aim to improve their SEO and online presence as their top priority.

(Source: HubSpot)

The goal of every business’ SEO and digital marketing strategy is to get to the top of search results.

But when nothing you do seems to get you to your desired ranking, you can try SEO competitor analysis.

Every site owner needs to conduct a thorough competitive analysis of their SEO strategies. Doing this will help to determine your strengths and weaknesses and those of your competitors. You get to learn from your competitor’s strengths and capitalize on their weaknesses.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll show you:

  • How to monitor your competitors for SEO
  • Why competitor analysis is so critical in SEO
  • The perfect time to carry out an SEO competitor analysis
  • SEO competitor analysis tools that work
  • Our 6-step SEO competitor analysis checklist for 2022

Read on to learn more.

How Do I Monitor My Competitors for SEO?

Are you tired of guessing what SEO strategies your competitors are leveraging to outperform you?

An SEO competitor analysis will take away the need to guess by showing you the keywords, content, links, and other parameters working in your competitor’s favor. When you get these parameters, you can compare them to yours and improve your SEO strategy.

(Source: Suncity Advising)

Gaining insight into your competitor’s successful SEO strategy will let you know what works for your niche, which will save you a lot of time and money.

Can your SEO strategies compete successfully without a competitor analysis?

We’ll find out in the next section.

Why Is Competitor Analysis So Important in SEO?

Competitor analysis does not have anything to do with duplicating content you see on your competitor’s website. Apart from being morally wrong, it could get you on Google’s bad side.

On the contrary, an SEO competitor analysis will give you access to what your competitors are doing on their website so that you can fully understand them and hopefully beat them.

Why is competitor analysis important in SEO?

  • The process of competitor analysis gives you all the essential details about your competitors at your fingertips.

  • You’ll get the data you need on your rival’s SEO tactics so that you can see if the same tactics will work for you.

  • There are possibly many SEO-related things you may not be aware of in your niche that a competitor analysis will unravel.

  • A comprehensive competitor analysis will give you the competitive intelligence you need to identify loopholes in your SEO strategy that may provide your rivals room to outperform you. 

  • You may not always be sure of the effectiveness of your backlink strategy. You’ll need a good competitor analysis to get more clarity on your backlink strategy and spy on useful links that your competitors use to rank high.

  • You’ll also get access to relevant keywords in your niche. You can further assess the competitiveness of each keyword.

These are some of the significant reasons you need to conduct a regular SEO competitor analysis. You can see that it is crucial to the success of your overall SEO strategy.

But is there a particular time to carry out the SEO competitor analysis?

What’s the Perfect Time to Carry Out an SEO Competitor Analysis?

When it comes to SEO, your work is never absolutely done! You have many new competitors coming up with fresh ideas every other day, constantly changing search engine algorithms, and digital marketers from all over the world trying to outperform you. So when you decide to take an extended vacation from SEO, you may find yourself at the bottom of search results.

What can you do to prevent this from becoming your fate?

Regular analysis of your competitors to ascertain your SEO performance will go a long way in preventing you from getting outranked.

(Source: Ahrefs)

Do you know the perfect time to conduct an SEO competitor analysis?

These three events should alert you to the need for an SEO competitor analysis:

a. When Writing a New Content

Are you creating new content?

You need to conduct an SEO competitor analysis to make sure it ranks high in search engine result pages and competes favorably with your competitors. In addition, content analysis will help you to produce high-quality content that will attract your target audience.

b. When You Have Stagnated Web Page

SERPs can be very competitive but, sometimes, you may find yourself ranking low for a long time. If you want your page to move up SERPs, you should conduct a competitive analysis to find ways to optimize your pages.

c. When Your Ranking Drops Suddenly

If you notice a sudden drop in your ranking, it means your competitors have outranked you. To surpass them, you need to analyze them and find out what they are doing right.

SEO Competitor Analysis Tools That Work

Spying on your competitors’ every digital marketing move is the best way to beat them. However, before we delve into our comprehensive SEO competitor analysis checklist, it is vital to know the tools you’ll need for the analysis.

SEO competitor analysis tools are essential for monitoring your website performance and that of your competitors.

Let’s look at some of the best SEO tools you should consider adding to your arsenal:

  • Ahrefs
  • SEMrush
  • SE Ranking
  • Alexa
  • Monitor backlinks
  • SpyFu
  • Open Site Explorer
  • Simply Measured
  • Complete PRO
  • Ontolo
  • Moz’s Free Domain SEO Analysis Tool
  • WooRank
  • Cognitive SEO’s Site Explorer tool

Let’s see how you can apply some of these tools for conducting SEO competitor analysis.

Our 6-Step SEO Competitor Analysis Checklist

What is included in SEO competitor analysis?

Despite knowing the importance of competitive intelligence in your digital marketing, you may still wonder how to do competitor analysis SEO.

In this comprehensive SEO competitor analysis checklist, we’ll cover five significant analyses you need to conduct on your journey towards gaining competitive intelligence.

Without further ado, let’s delve in.

1. Know Your Competitors

It is pretty evident that before you start analyzing your competitor’s SEO strategy, you should know who your main SEO competitors are. So, instead of guessing, you need the data from an SEO competitor analysis report.

One easy way to identify your competitors is by entering your primary keywords in Google search; then, you’ll see the ranking domains. Then, you can track the competing sites in a spreadsheet and their ranking in SERPs.

This process can be long and tedious, especially if you have more keywords to check.

Best SEO Competitive Analysis Tool for Domain Analysis

You can use an SEO tool like Moz Free Domain SEO Analysis Tool to track your keywords and see your actual competitors automatically.

Once you enter your domain, this SEO tool will show you the domains competing for the exact keywords you are using and even rank them by visibility. Using a tool like this will help you to build a comprehensive list of your rivals.

After identifying your main competitors, you can now go ahead and analyze the weaknesses and strengths of their SEO strategy.

2. Conduct a Competitor Keyword Analysis

Competitor keyword analysis comprises three significant elements, which are:

  • An analysis of the difficulty of challenging your rivals to rank for particular keywords;

  • Identification of relevant keywords that you and your rivals might have overlooked;

  • Identification of keywords that your competitors rank for but you don’t;

After identifying the pages ranking high for a particular keyword, you need to focus on these pages and analyze critical factors (such as domain authority and web traffic) associated with them. 

Best SEO Competitive Analysis Tool for Competitor Keyword Analysis

Competitor keyword analysis comprises three significant elements, which are:

  • An analysis of the difficulty of challenging your rivals to rank for particular keywords;
  • Identification of relevant keywords that you and your rivals might have overlooked;
  • Identification of keywords that your competitors rank for but you don’t;

After identifying the pages ranking high for a particular keyword, you need to focus on these pages and analyze critical factors (such as domain authority and web traffic) associated with them. 

(Source: Ahrefs Keyword Explorer)

3. Content Analysis

Monitoring your competition’s on-page SEO factors is another SEO competitor analysis you should not neglect.

Content and blogs play a crucial role in SEO competitor analysis as there are many things you can learn from your competitor’s content.

One major factor you should pay attention to when conducting a content analysis is content length.

(Source: Arielsheen)

Although Google doesn’t rank websites based only on their keyword length, longer content has proven to rank higher. So if your rivals are ranking higher with 2000-word blogs, you can’t easily beat them with a 500-words blog. 

Hence, you’ll need to expand your content by including valuable information that answers users’ queries and contains more keywords.

Best SEO Competitive Analysis Tool for Competitor Content Analysis

Ahrefs content explorer tool is excellent for performing content gap analysis, which helps to reveal on-site content deficiencies. In addition, Ahrefs is an invaluable tool for identifying the particular content that generates the most income.

Ahrefs site explorer function allows you to get any information on your competitor’s site links. For example, you will get access to the links coming into their site, outbound links, most linked-to pages, and lots more.

4. Competitor Backlink Analysis

Another step in our SEO competitive analysis checklist involves checking the backlink statistics of a website. 

Why are backlinks important in SEO competitive analysis?

(Source: Multiverse Media Group)

Conducting a competitor backlink analysis reveals which websites are linking back to your rival’s content. You will also get some insight into your rivals’ SEO backlinks services, how these backlinks affect their domain authority and their overall ranking in SERPs.

Here are some things to take note of:

  • First, how many backlinks do they have?
  • How relevant is the linked content?
  • What is the domain authority of the linked sites? 

Monitoring your competitors’ backlinks will help you know the quality of backlinks your rivals are getting so you can work on attracting the same or better backlinks to your site.

The data you collect from a competitor backlink analysis will help you understand your rival’s link-building strategy so that you can apply the same technique and get favorable results.

Best SEO Competitive Analysis Tool for Competitor Backlink Analysis

Monitor Backlinks is a new but reputable tool for tracking your competitors’ backlinks, revealing harmful backlinks, and discovering quality backlinks.

With Monitor Backlinks, you can analyze your rival’s backlinks, compare the results, and use the data to improve your link-building strategy. The data can also help to build quality links, improve your content, and boost your traffic.

5. User Experience Analysis

User experience is another component to tick off your SEO competitor analysis checklist.

User experience has to do with the following:

  • Ease of navigation
  • Mobile-friendliness

Google will rate your site higher if it is easier to navigate than others. Also, a site that is accessible to as many users as possible will rank higher. Recently, Google added mobile page experience signals to its search ranking criteria. 

You should assess the performance of rival sites in these areas. You will have an advantage over your competitors if your competitor analysis reveals gaps in their user experience.

Best SEO Competitive Analysis Tool for User Experience Analysis

WooRank provides a quick analysis of data you’ll need during a competitor website analysis, including mobile-friendliness.

To see if your competitor’s site is mobile-friendly, simply enter their URL, and you’ll get a full-page optimization report.

6. Social Media Analysis

Do not fail to include how your competitors use social media in your SEO competitor analysis. You must find out which social media platforms they use, how often they share content, customer interaction on their posts, and the type of content they share.

That will give you insights into how best to tweak your social media marketing strategy, improve your social engagement, and get more traffic to your site.

Best SEO Competitive Analysis Tool for Social Media Analysis

Simply Measured is a perfect tool for finding out how your rivals are doing on social media so you can get a more detailed competitive analysis for each social network.

The detailed report this tool gives will allow you to see the strategies your rivals are using on social media, discover gaps in vital statistics like engagement and response rates, and then try to beat them.

Improve Your SEO and Digital Marketing with Our SEO Competitor Analysis Checklist

Our six-step SEO competitor analysis checklist should make it easier for you to spy on your competitors, improve your SEO and digital marketing strategy, and optimize your website for better rankings in SERPs.

If you cannot find the time to perform a thorough SEO competitor analysis or find the SEO tools too advanced, you can contact FlyingVGroup to help you. We can provide you with a comprehensive SEO competitor analysis report and help you meet your digital marketing goals. Contact us.


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Robb Fahrion
Robb Fahrion, Partner
Flying V Group