If you have been around our blog, we do our best to write about every SEO topic possible. We do get a lot of questions in the comments of our blog post. Our FB and Instagram pages receive quite a good amount of questions too.
This one question where the user asked me “how to SEO competitors ranking?” got me thinking for a bit. I had to ask him what is this SEO competitors ranking he is talking about. Doubting my fluency in English.
This is when he replied that he wants to beat his competitor's ranking using SEO. The proper question would have been “how to beat competitor's ranking using SEO?”
This was the moment I realize the importance of using proper sentencing in languages. Another point to be noted here is that SEO is a worldwide skill and not everyone is fluent in English. A good keyword research tip.
Another point to be noted here is the search intent. When I search for SEO competitors ranking, I found that most of the results talked about competitive analysis.
As you can see in the above image the first 100 results from Google about the term SEO competitors ranking. All of them talk about competitor's research and tools.
But none of them talk about how to perform a better SEO than what your competitor is doing. All of them had written how to go spying on your competitors.
This is a clear example of bad search intent writing by some of the major and biggest SEO companies in the world. Also a failure from Google to show the right results based on the search intent of the user.
Also not the fault of Google as it is only an algorithm followed by their bots to show the best search results for the user. Search intent is difficult to be understood by a bot. Hope their new AI system has a place for this.
I recently wrote about search intent and its importance in this blog post: https://underwp.com/why-did-my-google-ranking-dropped-dramatically/
One of the reasons Google rankings drop is when you write a post without understanding the search intent of the keyword. Search intent is the reason behind the search performed by a user to put in simple terms.
How to SEO competitors ranking?
Or to put it in the right framing, how to make an SEO strategy to beat competitor's ranking? If your intention behind the SEO competitors ranking is this question, then let's dive into this.
Search engine optimization is all about the right SEO strategy. If you have the best SEO strategy in place, you can beat even the most authority websites in your niche.
I have previously worked on strategies where I tried to beat my own strategy with the strategy which already got the top results for the client. But this is a topic for some other day.
When you want to SEO competitors ranking, it means that you have already got the list of the competitors you want to beat at search engine rankings.
Once you have the list of the competitors for your website, let's use some SEO tools that you can use for free and analyze different ranking factors.
The first thing you should do when you have the list is to rank them based on toughest to easiest just by visiting their websites and going with your gut. Once we start using any of the tools below, you will get a clear picture of who is your toughest competitor. Until then just rank them to research on them one after the other.
One of our favorite tools is to perform most of the SEO tasks. We use and recommend it to a lot of our clients.
This new module of Semrush called Competitive Research is a wonderful tool to record everything about your competitors. It has got many sub-features that can help you know everything about your competitor.
If you don't have a proper list of your competitors, then the Market Explorer feature of Semrush can help you do that. Just input your domain and your country of target and it will show you all the competitors related to your website.
Make sure you select the Find Competitors tab in the above screen.
Once you have the list of your competitors, you can move on to analyzing the traffic of each of the competitors. This will also give you an insight into the audience of their website.
The Traffic Analytics tab under the Competitive Research section will help you do that. You also get to see the sources of their traffic. Find the social network performing better for them by seeing the traffic referrals.
Traffic analytics is an important part of competitor research. It clearly shows what you want to get for yourself. This is why Semrush has made it a pro feature and is not available in the free trial accounts.
The next important feature is the Keyword Gap where you can see where your website is dropping off. It analyzes keywords of your website and then compares it with other competitors and finds gaps.
Enter your competitors at least 2 of them and press the Compare button. The results you see will definitely amaze you.
The Top Opportunities section is the most important one. It shows you clearly where you can improve your content.
The last important feature is the Backlink Gap feature. If you have already input the competitors in the Keyword Gap feature, you do not need to input them again.
This Backlink Gap feature showcases all the top links driving traffic to your competitors. With this, you can outreach the websites where there is a possibility to get links for your website.
If you have better content or something helpful for the users of your niche, you can reach these backlinking websites and place your links. Very helpful in performing SEO backlink building for your website.
We do not want you to limit to just one SEO tool. Even if it is our favorite. So here is the next best option for competitor analysis for free.
SE ranking tool is a good competitor analysis tool that offers 10 free reports in a day. Good enough for analyzing up to 10 competitors.
When you input your domain and target country, with just one click you can find all the details of that website. The results are all shown on just one page.
Top pages in organic search is a good feature that will be helpful. This list of top pages is important for you to check its ranking factors. Check the page content, images, and links, and then decide how you can provide better than this.
Another useful feature in the SE ranking tool is the Ranking Changes. This shows how the competitor had been performing over from 6 months to 3 years.
The free version here just shows the top 10 keywords and their rankings. Also, the search volume of these keywords is shown along with their difficulty.
This is helpful for you to get a brief idea of your competitor. Plan your SEO strategy accordingly.
Make a note of the lost keywords in the above graph, it is shown by the red line. This is important to note and shows the keywords for which your competitor lost the ranking.
If these keywords match the niche and search intent of your expected visitors, then you should seriously plan on these. This is a very valuable tip and information you should always keep a note of.
In the free version, it shows only the top 10 keywords lost by your competitors. When you select the Lost tab in the ranking pages section, you can see these keywords.
SEO Strategy To Beat Your Competitors Ranking
Now that we have learned how to use the two free SEO tools for the best of our use. Let us learn how can we make a strategy out of the information we gained.
1. Find The Keyword Gaps
The first step in beating your competitor's SEO ranking is to get the keywords with which you can write better content. This is the most important tip that can help you outrank your competitors.
Long-tail keywords for any niche can bring you a good amount of traffic over time. To learn more about long-tail keywords, check our another blog post here: https://underwp.com/what-is-seo-in-digital-marketing-in-2021/
The Keyword Gap feature in Semrush is a very useful tool. It will give you a list of keywords where your content is lacking. Note these keywords and make content on these.
Also, you can use the SE ranking tool we discussed above for its feature of Ranking Changes. This page has an important tab called Lost which shows the lost keywords of your competitor.
The keywords you get from the Semrush's Keyword Gap if match with the Lost Keywords of SE ranking tool then congrats, you have hit the bull's eye.
It means the keywords you need to build content about have been lost by your competitors. Build the best content around these keywords and you have taken the first step towards SEO competitors ranking.
2. On-page analysis
The next step will be to get the list of top-ranking pages on your competitor's website. Let's analyze where they are doing right and wrong.
Analyzing the ranking pages will help you see the differences between your competitor's content and your website's content. Factors that made your competitor rank higher and parts where your content needs improvement.
Page titles are an important part of On-page SEO. Check how your competitor has written and made it clickable for the visitors.
If you can build a similar title for your content for the same keywords, then you have a good chance of SEO competitors ranking.
Inspect the meta description tag of the ranking page of your competitor. Google has a choice to use the meta tag of the page, but keeping it optimized always is a good practice.
We have written a more detailed guide about On-page SEO in this article here: https://underwp.com/a-handy-seo-guide-for-beginners/
Check 3: SEO optimized content will help you create perfect on-page optimized content in the above link.
3. Analyze The Featured Snippets
One of the best things about the featured snippets is that you do not need to rank on top to be featured here. Google AI analyzes your page and selects the best part of your content that can be shown in the featured snippets.
This opens up an opportunity to SEO competitors ranking with your website. You can still get good traffic from Google search with fewer rankings if your content gets shown in the featured snippets.
Semrush has a very good feature for its pro users. Go to the Competitive Research > Organic Research section and you will see the Featured Snippets in the SERP Features section of the page.
You can opt for the pro version of the Semrush account or do the research yourself by going to Google. Search for the top keywords your competitor is ranking and see if there are any featured snippets too.
4. Analyzing The Backlinks Of Your Competitors
Last but very important step you should be doing in your strategy to SEO competitors ranking. Building backlinks is an important part of any SEO strategy.
You can easily check any website's backlinks using various free tools. Our favorite is Ahref's Backlink Checker. A simple and direct tool to get a brief overview of your competitors' website backlinks.
But Ahrefs tool cannot give you the lost backlinks. This can be found using Semrush. Much better, it shows directly the backlink gap between your website and the competitors.
When you go to the Competitive Research > Backlink Gap section, it shows all the backlinks built by your competitors. Now you can start planning your link building strategy and build your backlinks.
A much better option is to hire a good SEO team for your digital marketing work like ours. At UnderWP, we build quality and affordable link building for our clients. We have handled all kinds of niches and clients in our 10 years of experience.
Another important step in building backlinks to SEO competitors ranking is to build links from websites where your competitor has lost the backlinks.
Go to the Backlink Analytics > Backlinks tab and select the Lost tab. This showcases all the backlinks lost by your competitor.
As you can see in the above image, it clearly shows the list of all backlinks lost by Semrush. We have used their domain as a sample for this post.
They give you all the lost backlinks without any restrictions in their free trial accounts. You can export these lost backlink domains and start your outreach campaign for link building.
Based on the niche and size of your competitors, the strategy and work outlined above can be gauged. This will determine the amount of time to input and the expected results outcome time.
As the site evolves and the Google algorithm evolves, SEO competitors ranking can become a huge task. It is always suggested to keep an eye on your competitors.
We have used only the free SEO tools available for all. So that this post can be applicable for everyone from beginners to advanced SEO experts.
Using paid tools from Semrush and Ahrefs can help you shorten your time for doing competitor research. As they have some very good options that are difficult to be found in free SEO tools. This is why they charge for pro versions. Worth the penny if you are seriously into SEO.
Still, a lot can be acquired by just using the free SEO tools we discussed in this post.
A perfect SEO strategy designing is the most important tool here. No SEO tool can help you do that but only a good SEO expert team.
We have outlined one of the SEO strategies in this post. You can add your own twists to it and see how you can beat your competitor's ranking by SEO.
Hiring a good SEO team is also a good investment for your business. We at UnderWP put a lot of effort into bringing our client's websites on top by custom designing the digital marketing strategy.
If you liked this post, kindly do comment and share it. We have put a lot of effort into writing and designing this strategy for you all.