Skip to content

The Importance of Competitor Research for Your Business

If making your website stand out on Google is a struggle, don’t fret — it’s not as uncommon as you think.

As thousands of businesses vie for visibility each day, creating outstanding content is often no longer enough to help you secure the top SEO rankings.

Don’t take this the wrong way, though: SEO remains the gold standard for getting noticed. But simply putting words on a page will no longer cut it. 

The X-factor to help you gain an edge? Competitor research for SEO

With competitor research, you can reverse-engineer your competitors’ content strategies — letting you replicate their success while avoiding their missteps.

Ready to outrank your competition in your race to the top of Google SERPs? Read the rest of this post to know how to do that.


Why It’s Important to Do Competitor Research

The premise is an age-old battle tactic: if you want to beat your enemies, you have to know their strengths and weaknesses.

And that’s exactly what you do in competitor research for SEO. 

By knowing what works and what doesn’t in their strategies, you can double down on what’s working and tweak the areas they need to improve. 

Doing so helps you create a more effective SEO strategy for your business, one that leads to:

  • Higher rankings
  • More traffic
  • Increased conversions
  • More loyal customers


5 Steps in Conducting a Competitor Analysis

There are plenty of ways to go about your competitor research, but here’s a quick guide on the process:


Step 1: Identify Your True Competitors

You might think you know your toughest competition, but remember that they’re not exactly your direct brick-and-mortar business competitors selling the same product and services.

Instead, your SEO competitors are the ones ranking high on Google for the keywords you’re targeting.

You can do this manually by typing the keyword on Google and checking the top results…

Or you can skip the guessing game and use SEO tools to find the sites you’re directly competing with.


Step 2: Find Keyword Gaps

Now that you know your competitors and their keywords, it’s time to look at your own rankings.

According to Semrush, a keyword gap means the keywords your competitors are ranking for, but you aren’t. Targeting those keyword gaps is a chance to add more traffic to your site.

However, not all keywords are with the effort. You should look for keywords that have high search volume but low difficulty in ranking, and, of course, are relevant to your business. 

It’s also best to focus on user intent rather than search volume. If the user’s main objective is to get information, create content around that keyword that fits that intent. 

No one will read your info-packed blog about “buy maroon dresses” if the intent is clearly transactional.


Step 3: Analyse Their Content

You don’t actually have to go through each piece of content your competitor has.

The easiest way to go about this is to analyse your rival’s best-performing pages, as these are the ones that bring in the most traffic.

Check out what makes it successful. Does it use different types of media? How long is it? How clear is the title?

Replicate the ones that are working for them — and improve the areas where they fall short. 


Step 4: Assess Their Backlinks 

Backlinks are Google’s way of judging how authoritative your site is. The more respected the site that’s linking to you, the more domain authority Google gives you.

That’s why backlinks should be one of the things you should analyse in your competitors. Doing so can help you create a game plan to get better backlinks that outshine those of your competitors.

Again, you can use SEO tools to track these backlinks.


Step 5: Audit the Technical/UX Side

Finally, check out the technical aspects of your website to see how they stack up against the competition.

Some of the things you need to pay attention to include:

  • Site speed
  • URL structure
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Scheme markup (aka rich snippets that appear in the SERPs)


Turning Insights Into Your Competitive Advantage

At the end of the day, the intel you gather from your competitor research is powerful, but it’s only half the battle. 

The true value lies in applying those insights to optimise your own SEO strategy. 

Focus on areas where your competitors might be excelling, and remember, SEO is a living organism. Search algorithms constantly adapt, and your rivals won’t stand still, either.  

Think of competitor research as a recurring checkup – a way to stay on top of industry trends and identify opportunities to improve your website. When you consistently monitor your competition, you gain a strategic edge. This allows you to refine your approach and boost your search visibility and organic traffic over time. 

It’s a continuous process, but with this ongoing analysis, you’ll position your website for long-term success in the ever-evolving SEO landscape.

Scroll To Top