Competition analysis

Competition analysis is a very important search engine optimization tactic that every website owner should do, yet many of them are either not doing it at all or doing it in a haphazard manner. A detailed competition analysis can certainly turn into a roadmap success of what needs to be done to improve the website to become as good as the ones owned by competitors.

Competition analysis at the same time can be used for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of both your website as well as your competitors’ websites regarding website placement, ranking, graphics, content, etc. Identifying who your competitor is and knowing what they do to keep their business on a right track is extremely crucial for your overall business. 

In this detailed article below, we will talk about the importance of competitive analysis and why it cannot be ignored from an SEO point of view.


competition analysis

Importance of Competition Analysis

With this detailed analysis, you will take a step back, and look at the overall market area where your website stands, who your competitors are, and how the SEO landscape looks for important keywords. Even if your website is already ranking high in the search engine results for all the crucial keywords, you must remember there is another competitor website that is trying to take over the rankings by capitalizing over your site weaknesses.

Roadmap to Success

Competition analysis can become very useful when you use it for improving search engine rankings and overall user experience of your own website. This analysis will always help you discover new things that your competitor is doing to achieve better search engine rankings. You may find out that the competitor website is doing well at specific aspects, such as: dominating featured snippets or being linked to a large number of other pages. 

Notwithstanding, if your website is ranking top for most of the important keywords, but if your competitor dominates in the featured snippets, they will certainly take away the majority of the potential traffic. 

roadmap to success

Page-by-Page Details

A detailed competition analysis would certainly provide details about what your competitor is doing on a page-by-page basis. You can then certainly find potential gaps in your website and learn about ways to fix them. It might be possible that you discover that your rival website has a blog that is doing extremely well and getting a lot of links and shares. If this is something which your site is devoid of, you should try concentrating on building a dedicated blog section. Or it could be possible that the competitor site gets a majority of traffic videos that are being created and shared, but that your website does nothing in that area. 

Who are Actual Competitors

While looking through the competition analysis, it is extremely important to find out who is your biggest competitor, and try to eliminate the smaller competitors. Finding your biggest competitor is the first most important thing while doing competition analysis. It might be possible that your competitor is ranking high on the “money keywords” but they don’t realize there is also competition for the long-tailed keywords. Thus, focusing on your true competition, in this segment, is a crucial thing to do.

Examine Organic Competitors for Specialisation 

For example, The Home Depot and Lowes are ranked as number 1 and number 2, respectively, for various keywords related to home repairs and building supplies. But for something far more specialized, we find there is an entirely different bunch of competitors, excluding The Home Depot and Lowes that are ranking on top of the search engine results for subsets of home repair products and building supplies. 

So, it is imperative to examine specific areas that are well dominated by the lesser known competitors. If you don’t do that, then you are certainly missing out on a large number of traffics and possible conversions. This said, while doing a detailed competition analysis, it is crucial that you not only find sites that are competing against your business model, but also find sites that are targeting a smaller section of the overall market. 

Deciding Whom Not to Compete With

You might come across certain websites that are ranking higher than yours in the search engine results, but actually they might not be your competitors. You will have to identify such websites that are easy for you to outrank. In other words, decide which websites are simply not worth your time, investment, and energy to compete against. Sites like Pinterest or Wikipedia that are ranking higher than yours for specific keywords, and which have different aims than what you imagined with your own website fall into this category. The best thing to do would be to identify other keywords with which actual competitors are outranking your site, and because of which you notice a fall in traffic. At the same time, you will have to make sure that your keyword analysis and research relate to who you consider your real competition.

Deciding about competition

Finding Keyword Gaps

Paying attention to the different keywords thanks to which your website is ranking higher can be regarded as useful, but you need to devote special attention to the keywords because of which your website is lagging behind the competitors. It is especially important when your website is only a couple of positions behind the competitor website. 

It is crucial to pay attention to all the important keywords that make your competitor website rank higher, but not yours. Try to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why is your website not ranking higher than your competitor?
  • Do the competitor sites offer better content than yours for the same keyword?
  • Does the competitor site have a good number of backlinks that are helping them to rank higher?

When you are able to identify and understand these keyword gaps, you can start working on fixing them. What do you need on your website so that the pages start ranking higher for those individual keywords? Perhaps, the best fix sometimes is to modify the current content, or rewrite it, and you will ultimately find that the ranking starts flowing better and more smoothly.

Discover Popular Pages

Now that you have found the important keywords that your competitor is ranking, the next thing is to identify the popular pages on your competitor’s website. You will have to perform a detailed competition analysis as follows:

  • Make a list of pages that are ranking for most of the keywords;
  • Look for pages that are having the majority of traffic;
  • Find pages which have the highest percentage of overall traffic.

Many times, competitors might have a large amount of traffic on a specific page or a certain number of pages. It is important that you never assume what the most popular pages of your competitors are, but to perform a comprehensive analysis with an aim of discovering what those pages are. Always perform a detailed competitor analysis and you are bound to receive some surprising findings in return.

Identify Strengths & Weakness

What is the difference between strengths and weaknesses of your website as compared to your competitor’s site? What are the areas where you are weak, within which your competitor excels? 

Many people have an opinion that their website is the best one on the entire planet, and it is the fault of Google or some other search engines that the site is not ranking any better. In those situations, it is better to take a step back and analyze one’s website, in order to find potential drawbacks or flaws which can be improved for the sake of better ranking.

Having this in mind, it need be said that every website has a weak point, or multiple weaknesses. If you are struggling to find the weakness in your website, ask your friend or relative to have a look. You can even create a consumer survey and find where you are lagging behind. At the same time, identify the weak points in your competitor website and use them to your own advantage of ranking ahead of the competitor in search engine results.


If we are to speak about the field of authority, these questions should be asked for the start:

  • How authoritative is your site in comparison to your competitors’?
  • Does your competitor site have important links coming into it?
  • Are the links from a well-known brand or authority?

If your competitor website has backlinks from a more authoritative site than the ones you use, you might have a hard time outranking the competitor for the highly competitive keywords. In this situation, you will have to go back and look at keyword gaps as discussed above.

Search for the less popular terms that have a decent amount of search volumes or look for long-tailed keywords that your competitor is not targeting; perhaps you can start from that. Once you start building authority, you become more successful at targeting the popular, as well as competitive keywords.


One should ask oneself these questions, if one wants to compare the content of one’s website with what competing website or websites can offer:

  • Does your competitor site have excellent content?
  • Is the content precise and to the point?
  • Is the content focused on product pages, and does it have supporting pages?

Try to look for the areas where your competitor site is not as advanced, and once you find them out, try to make those areas better on your own website, so that you can gain advantage. 

Technical Issues

It might be possible that your website is suffering from a technical SEO issue or a coding issue, which in turn is making it harder for Google and other search engines to crawl your pages effectively. Try to recognize those issues, resolve them, and it will surely result in better visibility in due course of time. Make sure that you check the speed at which your site loads. As the website gets larger, the speed can be bogged down due to large scripts or legacy codes. 

Technical Issues

Mobile view

Visit your competitor website through a smartphone or check whether they have a dedicated mobile app or not. Try to navigate the competitor pages and you might see some shortcomings that you can certainly take advantage of, once you establish a quick, stable, and reliable mobile access to your site. When your website is technically sound and important pages are easily accessible through smartphone, it becomes quite easy to focus on other issues.

Internal Linking Issues

Internal linking and hierarchy of the website helps Google to crawl, index, and rank the website in the search engine results. Site architecture is a pivotal SEO aspect, and just like technical issues, if your competitor site suffers from a lack of proper internal linking, you can certainly use that to boost the ranking of your website. Try examining how your competitor site is structured, including anchor texts, breadcrumbs, and urls. If the competitor site is strong and yours is lacking, this is one area that you must give a priority. 

Lost & Declined Keyword Ranking

You will also have to research for keywords whose ranking dropped, but which used to rank higher, especially those which were used by your competitor. Also, try looking for pages that used to rank earlier for certain keywords but are not ranking anymore – which could have happened due to various reasons, like technical crawl issues or spamming. Try to focus on such lost keyword rankings with a highest priority. It presents a good opportunity for your website, especially when your competitor has not noticed their losses, and is not working to fix the issue. 

New Keyword Ranking

One of the important aspects of competition analysis is to look for new keyword rankings. It is something that you must do at regular intervals of time for general SEO purposes. You might want to learn about new rankings or new pages that are helping your competitor, and this is quite an easy way to discover something new to focus on. 

Analyzing Page-by-page Basis

After you have identified the particular keywords and the search results, it is now time to start analyzing the competitor site on a page-to-page basis, and comparing that with your site. When you start comparing pages, you will be able to identify particular elements that are in need of improvement, which is something that will surely help you rank higher.


While Google rewrites the title tags for search engine results based on a certain query, most of the time, it is simply adding the website name to the title tag. So, you must look for the title from the title tag, as well as the title that Google adjusts for certain keyword search results.

Meta Description

Google might not use the description set in the meta description tag, but it is crucial to look at what is available in the description tag for analysis purposes. This is something which is always overlooked. The description should be well written and it must reflect the objective of the website in not more than 160 characters.

Meta Keywords

It is worth mentioning, not because Google uses it for ranking purposes, but because it can give you insights about the keywords targeted by your competitor for a certain page. Sometimes it might be useless because the competitor might use the same set of keywords for all the pages on the entire site but, other times, it becomes insightful when someone puts time into composing a good keyword tag for non-Google or non-SEO purposes.

Meta Keywords

Researching Featured Snippets

The featured snippets are sometimes quite easier to take over from a competitor site in comparison to number 1 ranking on Google search results. Google always makes sure that the snippet featured is concise, accurate and offers the exact information a user is looking for. 

So, when you look and analyze the featured snippet of your competitor site, you will have to see how you can manage adjusting the page content that is ranking for the same SERP. When you do that, it might be possible that your site can take over your competitor’s for featured snippets on Google results.

Final Thoughts

The competition analysis is something that must be done slowly and steadily and not in a hurry. Take your time to analyze and inspect all the criteria mentioned above to gain search engine ranking.This is a continuous process, as things do change with every Google algorithm update. New pages, site migration and new features being introduced, it is imperative that you keep visiting your competitor sites from time to time to see what has changed since your last visit.

Oftentimes, it is not a sudden change on your competitor’s website that has made it rank higher on Google. It might be possible that their website was always doing better, but Google tweaked certain things to reward them. It is advised that you run a competitor analysis once every six months to remain competitive. Always keep an eye on the changes your competitor is making, so that you are quick to react and implement those changes on your site.

Whether it is watching for new keywords, new pages, or rise in the search features like featured snippets, competition analysis is something that would never get completed technically. As search engine results evolve and new sites are developed, you will always have to keep an eye on your competitors with a detailed competition analysis. Ultimately, you will know what your competitor is doing better, and you might use that to try to stay one step ahead of them at all times. 

On a lighter note, just hope that your competitors themselves aren’t doing the detailed competitor analysis on you too!

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