When you’re starting your online business it’s very important to be able to do research on what you need to focus on as otherwise, you can jump from idea to idea and not have a clear strategy. One of the best ways to focus your SEO and overall advertising plan is to look at what the successful competition is doing, they’ve done the hard work of research and testing for you. Now there are a lot of tools on the market for competitor analysis and for SEO overall but the one we use constantly because it’s has everything in one place and is incredibly powerful is…have you guessed it yet? SemRush.
So I want to run you through a few key things that you need to be doing with your SEO strategy as well as some competitive advantages you can create for yourself by using this tool and the beauty is, everything I’m about to show you can be done on their completely free trial, so head over to this link, sign up for and enable the free trial and follow along so I can show you some tips and tricks.
Advantage 1: Traffic Analysis
Now let’s say that you write content online and you’re looking to find out how the big guys of the industry get so much traffic because you assume they use a tone of paid ads. Well just head over to the Dashboard after you’ve signed up and entered the domain name for your main competitor. We’ve selected Vox as an example and this now gives us a full overview of their monthly traffic and next we can see every source of this traffic to find out exactly what their marketing strategy is.
As you can see here you get a quick overview of the organic traffic and organic keywords within seconds for each of the website’s key markets which I currently have defaulting to the US. Now it does actually show where the paid traffic comes from and depending on the strategy it gets more and more detailed, but that comes later in the article.
If you then click on the domain name of the competitor’s website it will bring you to a full breakdown page where you can get some key information. In the case of the example Vox I’m using here, the key things that I would look into to form my strategy are their top-performing locations, keywords, and content pages. This will allow me to go ahead and write content around those topics but then use SemRush to ensure that mine have a better SEO strategy than theirs, a topic we will get onto later.
Another tip I would give from this page is to have a look at who is seen as your competitor’s main competitors and on that list look at the smallest one, if you’re new, and try to compete with them first while every few weeks slowly moving further and further up that competitive ladder.
Advantage 2: Learn Where To Go To Getting Backlinks
On the same page on the SemRush dashboard or in the sidebar, you will see Backlink analysis, this will show you all of the places that traffic is being driven to their site. In terms of organic traffic, this is hugely important to Google, not as much as before but still important. This will help because you can browse through the different competitors’ backlinks and where they are getting traffic and then approach these websites with your offers, content, and so on to slowly but surely try to get the backlink numbers up.
If you’re not sure what a backlink is it is simply a link that goes to your website from another website, the more authority the other website has the more influence that Google will view this as giving to you.
Advantage 3: See Your Competitors Adverts
Now when it comes to paid advertising this is an area in that SemRush will give you a massive advantage in the WAR against your competition. Simply head over to the left-hand side and you will see the Advertising options. Here you can view their advertising keywords but also see their display ads on Google’s advertising network. This is key as it allows you to see which of their text/image ads are driving the most traffic, essentially giving you their full ad research for free!
The next thing that this section contains which is very important if you use Google Shopping to list your products is that you can get a full analysis of the competitions shopping listings and the performance of each which will allow you to target product by product. This is under PLA (Product Listing Ads) Research.