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

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Written by Robb Fahrion

Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. Robb has helped over 350+ companies build their businesses online and is responsible for building Flying V Group into one of the premier marketing agencies in the United States. Robb and his team have managed over $10M in marketing budget and continue to accelerate the growth of clients' businesses. A love for business and competition is what fuels Robb to create dynamic marketing plans to help his clients grow exponentially.

August 3, 2021

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

Reading Time: 9 minutes

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.

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(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.

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(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.

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(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.

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