A Comprehensive Guide From Semalt On How To Find Your Competitors
Before you can beat the competition, you have to know who they are. In the online realm, that's a lot easier said than done. You might find out that you share a lot of keywords with a website you've never heard of, but not with the one you actually think is your competitor.
Businesses have been keeping track of their competitors for a long time as part of their marketing strategies, but online organic competitors can sometimes be different. So here at Semalt, we have decided to make this article to show you how to find your competitors.
Like earlier mentioned, it's easier said than done, but for years now, we have been able to help our clients find their competitors and outrank them on the search engine result page.
At Semalt, we help our clients map their competitors accurately and then we help them with SEO that outranks those identified competitors and actually drives more sales. Get in touch with us so we can show you how to knock your competitor out of the first position for your keyword.
But if you are the type to do things yourself, this article will guide you on what and how to find your real competitors.
Who Are Your Competitors?
Your website's competitors are other sites vying for the same search visibility as you. Search visibility refers to how noticeable your website is on search engine result pages (SERP).
To determine where your SEO efforts should be targeted, you need to first identify your competitors in the battlefield of search results and their strategies.
Ways To Identify Your Competitors
There are various ways to identify your site's competitors. But if you need an expert eye at any point, we at Semalt are the go-to people. That being said, here we go:
1. Look At Your Keywords
This phase is crucial. The importance of keywords in search engine optimization cannot be overemphasized. When you look at your keywords, you can then find websites that are also ranking for the same keywords.
There are several internet tools to use to see your competitors' keywords. These tools include Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, etc. Let's take a look at their uses.
Ubersuggest allows you to view your keywords and also shows you other sites that rank for those same keywords. You can view top keywords, estimated monthly pay-per-click (PPC), and keywords used by your competitors.
You are expected to register to enjoy all of the features that come with it. Registration is free, but limited to 3 searches a day. You can pay for the pro version without restriction.
Ahref on the other hand is a very potent tool used in researching niches and analyzing SEO competition.
You will get this paid tool for $7 for a 7-day trial. And it is worth every dollar. This tool lets you view as much detail about your competitors' SEO. It'll show backlinks, keywords, top content, organic keywords, and many others.
2. Google the goods and services you offer
Do a quick Google search for the things you sell and the services you offer. Any business that ranks on the first page is your biggest rival, but don't forget about those on page two, either. When you Google your products and services, you find out two important things:
Who your biggest competitors are (companies that rank for the same keywords you want to target). You also find out how far you have to go to catch up.
For example, if you don't show up at all on the first page, you know you need to do some work.
Remember that just because you're at the top of search results doesn't mean your competitors aren't dangerous. Search engine results are always changing, and there's no way to know when a competitor is about to take your spot. You should make a note of the businesses on pages one and two.
3. Use Google's "Related:" search operator
You can also use Google's related: search operator to find high-quality sites that Google thinks are similar to yours and are therefore your competitors. It's a simple operator to use, too. Just type related: and then the domain you want to look at. For example, if you have a florist site, type this into the search bar: related:www.floristtommy.com
That will return pages that Google thinks are related to your site - such as sites about flower shops or other flower sites related to yours. The results might not be direct competitors, but you can use them for ideas on how to improve your own website.
4. Look at the directory for your niche
Listings directories can help you find people who are competing with you in your niche or in your area. If you have listed your business in the niche or local directories, look who else in your niche or area offers similar services. The Yahoo Directory is a great place to find out about the people in the niches you're interested in.
5. Use SEM Rush to get a quick view of your online competitors
SEMrush is a tool for researching competitors that gives information about keywords, rankings, and traffic. It is a paid service, but the free version has some useful information, even if it is limited.
Enter your domain and scroll down the page to "Main Organic Competitors" to see the five sites that SEMrush thinks are your competitors. Be sure to also look at your competitors' paid ads, which can give you a lot of information about them.
What to do when you find your competitors
Once you've found your competitors, here is what to do:
1. Run their domains on an SEO tool
There are now a lot of tools that can help you find out about your competitors. Serpstat is one of these. You can also use a tool like SimilarWeb. Similar Web gives you free information about the competition for almost any site on the web.
To do this, the company collects data from a worldwide panel of web users, millions of robots called "crawlers" that scan the internet, and many different app stores, algorithms, and other sources. Even though the service is free, it only lets you do a few things. You'll have to switch to a paid plan if you want to make a more detailed report.
2. Set Up Alerts
Since you know them, you want to set up an alert so that you can follow their activities and be in the loop. Google Alerts is a simple tool that lets you set up "alerts" and get reports sent straight to your inbox.
With this system, you'll know when a competitor is talked about online or when someone links to their site. You can also use it to keep an eye on keywords and find out which ones your competitors are using and how they are using them. Google Alerts is free and a great way to keep an eye on backlinks, social media, and keyword mentions from competitors.
3. Give their marketing a grade
Use a tool like a Website Grader to keep an eye on mentions, social media activity, SEO, the success of their blog, the number of leads it generates, and more. This helpful tool, made by HubSpot, lets you give any website a grade in less than a minute.
The tool looks at more than 30 things about a site and gives it a score between 1 and 100. Use it to look over your site, check out others, and see how they stack up.
4. Check their SEO
SEO is one of the most important ways to get people to find your site online. If your website doesn't have good SEO, it will be hard for people to find it when they search. You can check your SEO score and those of your competitors, which is a good thing.
It's made to help you figure out where any site, on mobile or desktop, ranks for free and paid searches. You only need to type in the URL. You can also use Serpstat to find out how a competitor's website ranks for SEO.
If your site doesn't have SEO, look for a tool that can help you improve your SEO rankings right out of the box.
Advantages Of Knowing Your Competitors
Many benefits accrue from knowing your competitor. Let's look at a number of them.
I. You Can Learn From Someone Else's Mistakes
You can learn what works and doesn't in your niche by seeing how your competitors operate. You will save money, time, and effort if you already know what works.
II. You'll Realize How Unique You Are
When you know your competitors and what makes them stand out, you will understand your unique selling points. This will make you leverage them to outsmart your competitors.
III. It Keeps You Vigilant And Creative
One thing knowing your competitors does is that it keeps you on your toes constantly.
Not knowing what you are up against can make you feel relaxed. But when you know your competitor, it will make you aim for more and avoid becoming complacent.
The presence of competitors drives home a point that encourages you to bring out your A-game.
Knowing your competitor is vital if you must devise strategies to outrank them. The digital marketing and SEO battlefield is no child's play. If you cannot efficiently do all this, you definitely need a professional.
At Semalt, we are professionals in this industry. We will put in the experience we have gathered over the years to make your site rank high in search engines and, of course, outrank your competitors.