How to Analyze Your SEO Competition

SEO | Strategy

True story, I once went into an office supply store to buy a new office chair. I asked if they priced matched Amazon prices and they told me “No, we only price match our competitors, like Wal-Mart or Office Depot.” 👀  Ummm…what? Now, just a few years later, that same location is out of business. It’s scary to think about how they didn’t consider all aspects of their competition. They only looked at businesses that were nearly identical to them. Today, we’re diving into an aspect of competition that can often be forgotten about, your SEO competition. Spoiler alert, your SEO competitors are not always the competitors you’re expecting.

What is Competition in SEO?

If you’re a bit unfamiliar with SEO, this may seem counterproductive. You may think “I already know who my competitors are, why do I have to do more research?” My answer to that is, sure you know who your competitors are in the marketplace – other large-scale manufacturers, distributors, or smaller companies. However, within the search engine, you’re not only competing with those businesses, but you may be competing against industry publications, competitors you have never heard of,  or even B2C businesses for the same keywords. Sure, these businesses don’t sell what you do, but whoever is showing up for your target keywords, you should consider them as your SEO competition.

Take my example from earlier – what if you ONLY considered your competition in the marketplace, and not online? You are then completely blind to those other websites shown by the search engineers.  See where I’m going with this? 

How to find SEO Competitors

The quick answer to finding your SEO competition is… google your target keywords and start a list of who is showing up on the first page. I would recommend separating out your competitors by keyword category. This is helpful for a few reasons:

  • If all the search results are B2C, but you are a B2B company, this is a red flag that your target keywords need to be adjusted.
  • By the end, you’ll have a list of competitors for each line of business.
  • If there is a line of business you need to focus on, you have a list of competitors to look at when building your strategy.

As you’re making this list, also write down what types of results are showing up: Images, videos, People Also Ask, knowledge panel, snippets, maps, etc. Later, when you’re determining your strategy, you’ll know what type of content you should try and optimize for. If you need a refresher on the various features of a search engine results page (SERP), we discuss them in the first section of this webinar

Protip: There are tools available such as Semrush to help you do all of this less manually if your budget allows.

Building a Strategy Based on SEO Competition

So now what? You have the list of your SEO competition by category, that was step 1. Here are a few ideas of what you can do with that data.

  1. What competitor showed up over and over again? Spend some time on their website to recognize gaps on your own website.
  2. What types of content showed up? Is there a content type that you could take advantage of?
  3. More importantly – what was missing? Oftentimes, there are gaps in information in the online space. Recognizing them and capitalizing on them can really put you ahead.

If this sounds way over your head, or you honestly just need someone else to handle it for you (let’s be real, you’ve got plenty of other things to do). Take advantage of our Free Digital Marketing Audit to get you started.

Best of luck! I hope this helps you crush the competition.

PS – Yes, I bought the chair on Amazon.