This guide has been written for people who don’t want to hire an agency/freelancer to do the SEO competitor analysis for them. Be aware you need some kind of tool to pull SEO data from your competitor. In this guide, I’ll be using SE Ranking, but there are plenty of tools available for you.

When you want to start optimizing your website it’s great to start with an SEO competitor analysis. The analysis can tell you where profit opportunities lie. In this guide, we will check how competitors are doing and how you can profit from that.

Step 1: Current state of the website

The first thing we want is to collect the data of the current website. This data can be compared to the competitors and will in the end tell you what areas you could focus on. It will also tell you which keywords to leave alone since you might already be ranking on them.

  1. Log into SERanking and go to “Competitive Research.” (can be any SEO tool)
  2. Enter the URL of the new customer and make sure the language is set correctly.
  3. Click on Analyze.
  4. Scroll down until you see the “Organic Keywords” section. Click on “View detailed report”.
  5. Scroll down until you see the table of Keywords. At the top of that table, you will see three buttons on the right: Filter, Columns, and Export. Select all columns in Columns. Export the entire keyword set to an excel sheet using the export function.

Step 2: SEO Competitor analysis

Time to collect the competitor. Sometimes you can find them in the tool itself. From experience, I can say it is better to find your competitors yourself instead of using a tool for it. Only use the tool to discover competitors, but rate them by going to their website.

  1. Click back to the “home page” of the competition analysis, so where you see all the different sections.
  2. Scroll to the Organic Competitor section. Sometimes you’ll see real competitors there, sometimes that section doesn’t make any sense. For example, Amazon is not really a competitor to your project. But another website might be. If you don’t find anything relevant here, search Google for a few of the most important search terms for your customer. Write down the 5-7 URLs of the companies that look like real competitors.
  3. Follow the steps from above (Step 1: Current state of the website) and see which competitors are actively doing SEO. Some companies barely rank for relevant search terms. You can skip those. Choose the three competitors that seem to do best in the search results and export the search term summary of those companies.

Step 3: Merge all spreadsheets

Time to merge all the data! It’s getting more excited right?!

  1. Create a new spreadsheet. For example, call it project-search-merged
  2. Paste the contents of the competitors’ spreadsheets underneath. With the exception of the headings

Step 4: Analysis of the data

We can now easily filter information and find low-hanging fruit. Also, we can work on a content inventory.

  1. Low-hanging fruit.

    Sort all data by sorting the “keyword” column alphabetically and then sorting the “position” column “from low to high”. This will allow you to see for which search terms your competitors are doing better than you, if you have enough search traffic and if you are reasonably difficult. Or for which search terms you are not yet scoring at all. You could filter this on positions between 5 and 20 for example. You can then check to what extent the page with which you score can be further optimized for that search term. And you can focus your link-building efforts on those pages.

  2. Content inventory

    You can scroll through the search terms looking for long-tail search terms with an interesting search volume and an achievable “difficulty”. Highlight those search terms and then see if you discover any topics for which content does not yet exist. That’s where you could focus your content efforts first.

Wrap up SEO Competitor Analysis

Collecting, merging, and filtering data will lead to some great low-hanging fruit insights. You can prioritize the content inventory and start creating new pages/blogs with awesome content to start ranking on the keywords you found.

Are you ready to start creating content, but you don’t know how? Make sure to check this blog called How to Write Content That People are Looking For.