Competitor SEO Analysis step by step. V. 1

Lorna Rose Gill Posted by Lorna Rose Gill

It gets real frustrating when you know you all your search efforts are being ignored by Google, while your most important competitor holds firm in its first SERPs spot. I have written a few steps below with which you can easily kick your competitors out of the game

Competitive SEO analysis is one of the most intensive and brain racking processes. You can easily spend hours in trying to out ranking your competitors and unearth their strategies and still not get anywhere near them.
There is only one reason for that, your competitor is smarter, tougher and better at whatever you are doing and to beat them you have to get better at their own game.

Before we start with our competitive analysis, bear in mind, this is an on-going process, you have to test, benchmark, test benchmark and repeat this process a thousand times over and over again. Fold your cuffs up and start with the following steps to get better at outsmarting their moves.

  1.  Keyword Research and Selection
  2. Site Structure
  3. Rival Mapping
  4. Content Optimisation.
  5. Link Building
  6. Social Media
  7. PPC
  8. Website Stats Analysis
  9. Conversion Calculation / Optimisation
  10. Cycle 1 to 9.

SEO competitive analysis starts with:

1. Keyword Research and Selection

Decide on which keywords you’re interested in targeting by using your favourite keyword tool (we know our’s is Adthena). Once you know some of the valuable keywords worth targeting, you can put those on your “hit list” and continue with the analysis. After you’ve identified those competitors that are the most relevant to your business and driving the most amount of organic traffic, it’s time to begin the process of prodding why their website may have a stronger presence in the search engines than yours.

2. Site Structure

Now we have the most relevant and important keywords in our hit list the very next step would be to identify your favourite competitor websites and set them as benchmark on how they have structured their website.

Look for the main topics their website have covered and how often the topics on those keywords have been produced? How well are the pages linking to each other and what do their header titles and subtitles say?
In a site structure, check for their image and video indexes, Headings, Titles of pages, meta description and meta keywords (which you easily pull using many free available solutions like Screaming Frog or Firefox  webmaster tools). In addition to all this a xml sitemap and a robot.txt for search engines to easily crawl your website for the content

3. Rival Mapping

One of the most important steps in competitive intelligence is to identify your most relevant competitors and scan through their websites noting down the most important features in their websites. Find the most relevant keywords for your business and search for our competitor websites using those keywords, look at their navigations, what sort of topics do they usually show in the site navigation and what are the similarities among these topics with other competitors?.


Look out for our V.2  blog post on Content Optimisation, Link Building and Social Media.

About the author

Lorna Rose Gill
Lorna Rose Gill
Lorna is responsible for acquisition marketing at Adthena, communicating their award-winning product and generating demand. She has developed her career in fast-paced, start-up environments, including two tech track 100 companies. She is curious and passionate and likes to find stories in data and technology.