Data is power, especially in the digital world where you have nearly infinite amounts of computation power at your fingertips via remote servers. The more information that you can collect the better because that information gives you the ability to make more informed decisions.
One important source of data is your competitors, although it’s not always wise to follow their footsteps it can be useful in figuring out the right path to take. By examining what they have done in the past, you can influence your own decisions and avoid the same mistakes that they made.
Why Does it Matter?
Perhaps the most important reason for figuring out who you compete within the search engines is that you can keep an eye on their movements. By doing this, you will be able to see when they are attempting to compete with you on the same keywords and you can be defensive.
Losing rankings is costly because you will lose traffic. It’s far cheaper to continue to invest in your SEO defensively so that you can maintain your rankings once you have acquired them. This tactic will allow you to continue to bring in traffic and it will also prevent your competitors from taking that traffic for their good.
Identifying Your Keywords
Before you can identify who you compete with you, need to see which keywords you are ranking for. If you have already created content in the past or done SEO, then you probably have a good idea, but if you haven’t then you can find out in the Google Search Console.
This Google tool will show you where you’re getting the most search traffic from. By finding these keywords, you will be more readily able to see who you are competing with.
The easiest way to find your competitors is to search in Google for the keywords that you rank for and perhaps also for keywords that you don’t. Within those results, you will find a massive range of companies that are competing for the same keywords as you.
For a more significant list, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the suggest search terms as well to see who ranks for these queries.
Google Related Search Operator
If you didn’t know already, Google allows you to use search operators to filter and query their database in different ways. One such operator is the related search operator which will show you pages that are related to a specific page.
By using this on your pages, you can see which of your competitors are ranking for similar keywords with content that is contextually relevant.
Many SEO’s would argue that Ahrefs’ is the greatest search engine optimization tool on the market. One of their most popular tools is the Site Explorer which is frequently used to examine competitors, but if you use it on your site, you can figure out which keywords you rank for.
By looking at these keywords within the tool, you can easily see who your competition is. But an even quicker way is to look in the Organic Search tab and look at the bottom right where there will be a list of websites that rank for the same keywords as you.
Within SEMRush you can also search for your domain name and then look under the “Main Organic Competitors” tab to see who you rank against. This tool is very similar to the Ahrefs’ tool but Ahrefs’ is likely to have a much more extensive database and is, therefore, more useful.
If you run a local business that is only interested in acquiring customers in your local area, then the most critical search tool is Google Maps. By searching on Google Maps and within the primary Google search with town and city names you will be able to see other local businesses in your area.
Although relatively new when compared to Ahrefs’ and SEMRush, SERPWoo is the most innovative SEO tool by far. They have created many unique features including a keyword tool that not only finds keywords related to your seed keyword but also the keywords which the top results also rank for.
While this is a slightly ‘roundabout’ way to find your competitors, it gives you quick access to information that would be more time-consuming to find with other tools.
Finding New Content Ideas
The number one reason why many websites choose to find their search competitors is to see new content ideas. It’s not always easy to think of new ideas for content, especially once you’ve covered the basics.
By looking at your competitors, you can become inspired to write new content, either better versions of their content or something slightly different.
Discovering More About Your Audience
Many websites have sidebars on their blogs which show which of their posts are the most popular. By examining these lists, you can see which content types and topics are most popular for your competition. This information should help you to choose topics that will get more traffic, and that will, therefore, have a higher ROI.
Finding Opportunities, Your Competitors Missed
As we mentioned at the start of this article, it’s not always wise to follow your competitors blindly. Instead, by examining what they have done, you can often find sub-sections in your industry that they have failed to cover.
This failure represents an opportunity for you because you can help customers to become educated about topics that your competitors are not.
Looking for Content Marketing Ideas
Finally, figuring out who you are competing within the search engines is a great way to come up with new ideas for content marketing. By using tools, you can see which of their posts get the most attention on other websites and social media networks, helping you to improve your strategies.
Content marketing and SEO are two of the most challenging parts of owning a website, and that’s why so many businesses turn to us to help them achieve their goals.
Get the PDF of the book "Getting Found on Google" for free.
Only the best of SEO, Web Design & Marketing