9 Best Practices to Conduct a Comprehensive SEO Competitive Analysis

9 Best Practices to Conduct a Comprehensive SEO Competitive Analysis

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The battle to get online visibility is fought by new and old businesses alike. While many burn cash to get in front of the right audience, the winners are those who can beat their competition in organic search. That is why several companies conduct a competitive analysis for SEO.

If you’ve launched a new venture or are tired of losing to competitors in organic search, then read this blog to learn how SEO competitive analysis can help you skyrocket your organic traffic.

Before we begin, let’s understand the key benefits of performing an SEO competitor analysis. When you look at what your competition is doing, you:

  1. Understand what works and what doesn’t work in your industry.
  2. Discover your competitors’ weaknesses and use them to your advantage.
  3. Identify your competitors’ strengths and emulate them.
  4. Learn to prioritize SEO tasks in the future.
  5. Uncover the probability of outperforming competitors in the SERPs.

Now that you know the various advantages of conducting a competitive analysis for SEO, it is time to one-up your competitors in organic search with these nine tips. Use these best practices to identify your competitors, understand the reason why they are outranking you and explore how you can overcome these challenges.

While we’ll mention these nine tips, we’ll also give specify certain tools or products without which competitive analysis can be deemed incomplete!

1. Know Your Competitors

You probably know the key players in your industry, but are they really your SEO rivals? You cannot be sure about the answer unless you have done a competitive analysis. Chances are, there might be multiple SEO competitors that are not even in your niche. Your main competitors are those who rank on the first page of the keywords you’re targeting, irrespective of their business and industry.

To identify your top competitors, enter your focused keywords in Google or use competitor analysis tools like SpyFu to do the heavy lifting.

2. Keyword difficulty

Before you build on your on-page and off-page SEO strategy, review the strength of keywords targeted by your competitors. With competitor analysis tools like Searchmetrics, you can know your domain strength and other specific attributes such as domain authority, indexing in search engines, backlink data, traffic volumes, and social signals.

Keyword searching on google (SEO)

You can get all this information about your SEO competitors, identify any weaknesses and capitalize on them. Remember, the stronger the SEO, the higher the difficulty of the competitor keywords. Therefore, your focus should be on websites with lower scores ranking well for specific keywords.

3. On-Page Optimization

Using competitive analysis tools like SEMrush to study the on-site SEO of your competitors can open a goldmine of information such as the frequency of publishing content, the type of content being published, word length, the depth of the content published, and the keywords your competitors are targeting. Focus on Metadata and headline strategies and try to discover your competitors’ internal link-building strategies. Keep this information as a benchmark to measure your on-site SEO performance.

4. Off-page SEO and backlinks

Looking at where your competitors are earning their backlinks is important to build upon your own off-page SEO strategy. Tools such as Ahrefs can help you fetch high-quality backlink data from your competitors. When you have the list of backlinks used by your competitors, you can find new link-building opportunities to increase both your page and domain authority.

5. Keep An Eye On Social Media

Use a good social media listening tool like Meltwater or Talkwalker to analyze the social media strategy of your competitors. IT can help you understand how your competitors are using social media platforms, what kind of content they are publishing, how often they are publishing, how are they engaging with their followers, etc.

All this can indirectly boost your SEO since social media tools inevitably increase website traffic, track brand mentions and monitor user sentiment.

6. Analyze Site UX

Google has put a laser focus on improving user experience and most of its major algorithm updates have revolved around better mobile experiences, improved page results, and faster page downloads. To stay ahead of the pack, optimize your sitemap and page download speed as well as ensure your website content is created keeping in mind the user’s intentions. Look at your competitor’s landing pages to understand their click depth and check their PageRank distribution. In case you don’t have someone on the team to manage it, take help from a web agency.

Creating Site

7. Track Ad Spend

If you are still being outranked by your competitors despite following all these tips, then chances are your competitors are spending a lot more on ads and using paid traffic campaigns to drive conversions. While it may not be wise to match your competitors blindly, it is recommended that you oversee their Google Ads campaigns, promoted content, paid posts, and banner ads to understand what type of content is being promoted through advertising.

8. Most linked Content

You should try to identify the most linked content of your competitor. This will help you create your own such page that can potentially create more referrals and buzz on the internet. Use the ‘skyscraper’ technique to create such content. The method involves creating even better content around a similar topic, making it visible to everyone who links to your competitor’s page, and requesting people to link to your web page since it has superior content.

9. Discover new keyword opportunities

If you are wondering how to enrich your existing content and discover new keyword opportunities, then there is a simple method called Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF) analysis. This process is a bit complicated but, once understood, should become a key component of conducting competitive analysis and overall content strategy. TF-IDF is a formula to measure the frequency of a keyword on a page into the number of times the keyword is expected to appear.

With TF-IDF, you may find that the top-ranking pages for a keyword have similar terms and phrases, which you might have missed targeting. Once you’ve identified such phrases, you should enrich your existing content with them or create new pages to increase relevance in semantic search.


Competitive Analysis is a critical piece of your SEO strategy.

There you have it, our nine best practices to conduct a comprehensive competitive SEO analysis. Use them to keep improving your SEO performance, keep a tab on your competitors and continuously monitor your rankings. Sooner or later, your hard work will pay off and you will see a remarkable improvement in your position.


SeeResponse is a full-service B2B marketing agency and a HubSpot Solutions Partner offering a range of marketing services through its team of marketing and demand generation experts. Our focus is on helping startups and larger companies grow through a combination of strategy, email marketing, demand generation, and marketing automation.