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Keep Your Friends Close, but your enemy closer…Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) in the movie, Godfather, Part II.
This phrase could not be far from the truth in online marketing.
The more you watch your competitors, the easier you can steal their marketing strategies and outrank them in organic search ranking.
Competitive analysis is one of the most executed SEO strategies in today’s marketing space because it works.
Many businesses and professional SEOs leverage competitive research and analysis to discover already working search engine optimization tactics.
So much so that it has become an integral part of SEO strategies.
In today’s post, I will walk you through several ways to do competitor analysis with SEMrush.
Semrush is one of the most advanced, versatile, and complete all-in-one marketing tools. With 45 SEO tools for your everyday SEO and content marketing task. Trusted by over 6,000,000 users, there could never be a better SEO tool than Semrush.
But in today’s post, let’s explore the Semrush competitor analysis toolkit.
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How to do Competitor Analysis Using SEMrush Toolkit
SEMrush competitor analysis can help you gain insight into marketing tactics already working for other marketers in your niche.
So, you can tap into an existing winning formula and implement such into your content marketing campaign.
The first step to using SEMrush competitive data is identifying your closest online competitors and leading websites or businesses in the same niche or industry as you.
Unlike the offline business world, online competitor research needs an SEO tool to gain in-depth insight into what others in your niche are doing.
This is where an SEO tool like the SEMrush competitor analysis toolkit can help you research, analyze, and identify your closest competitors.
So, you can gather marketing data to help develop comprehensive marketing strategies for your business.
The competitor analysis Semrush toolkits help uncover many SEO and marketing data you never knew about your closest competitors.
Quick info: To make the most out of this article and the Semrush competitor research toolkit, you need an active Semrush Pro account to execute the strategies described here.
You can get the Semrush Pro account 7-day free trial from this link.
With that out of the way, let’s get started…5 ways to do competitor analysis with SEMrush.
1. Research Competitor Organic SEO Traffic
One of the SEO tactics you might want to uncover about your competitors is their organic search visibility.
You need to know the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors in SERP.
Log in to your Semrush Pro account, and enter your website address in the search bar. Then select organic research from the drop-down menu and hit “search,” as shown in the image below.
Note: For this Semrush competitor analysis tutorial, I used the website backlinko for our study to have more data insight to work with.
Next, click on “competitors” from the top navigational menu.
This will reveal a list of competitors’ websites that rank for your organic keywords.
Once you click on the “competitor” tab from the navigational menu, it will reveal a map of your competitor’s websites.
These are websites you’ll need to analyze their SEO and marketing strategies to see how you can outperform their SEO organic ranking.
If you scroll down the page, you’ll see a list of Google organic search top competitor’s websites that you can further explore for more SEO data.
Depending on your website’s establishment and industry, this list can be a HUGE one.
As you can see from the website backlinko in the image below, Semrush returned a list of 17,037 competitors’ websites.
You need to note here that the domains are ranked automatically by the level of competition.
This means the more keywords two domains share in common, the higher the likelihood they will compete for a search ranking position for the same organic keyword.
There are many SEO advantages to gain from this Semrush competitive data analysis tactics. Depending on your SEO task, you could uncover the following:
- Competitor backlink profile.
- Keyword ideas strategies.
- SERP Position tracking.
- Content strategies.
- Domain Comparison of up to 200 domains.
- Discover top pages on your competitor’s websites.
- Spy on your competitor’s social media strategies.
Let’s see how you can achieve these tasks by doing competitor analysis using Semrush SEO tools.
2. Uncover Competitor Backlinks Profile
Ask any SEO professional today about the most tedious, hardest, and most time-consuming SEO task.
Without thinking, link building will be his answer.
But with the Semrush Backlink Gap SEO tool, you can scale your link-building task, do more, and achieve more in less time.
Semrush competitive research tool allows you to analyze up to five (5) competitors’ websites simultaneously.
Enter five of your competitor’s domain names in the “Backlink Gap” tool. To do this, click on “Competitive Research” from the sidebar menu and “Backlink Gap.”
Your analyzed domain will be one of the five.
So you need to enter four from the dropdown menu on the page. After that, click on the “finds prospect” in the green button.
You can analyze the backlink profile by root domain, sub-domain, or exact URL.
When you scroll down the page, SEMrush gives you a detailed comparison chart where you can further analyze each competitor’s link profile.
There’s a lot of link analysis and research you can do here. If you click on any competitor link partners, Semrush gives you a detailed overview of their link data.
You get a detailed overview of the following:
- Backlink History – Lost and gained over time.
- Referring Domain.
- Industry Category Domain.
- Anchor Text distribution.
- Referring Domain by Authority Score.
- Backlink Types – Image, Link, Form, Frame.
- Top-Level Domain Distribution data.
- Referring Domain by Country.
- Link Profile Distribution – Ratio of Referring domain to Referring IP Address.
- Similar Domain to the Analyzed Website in terms of the backlink profile.
- Top Pages on the websites.
You can get ongoing link-building or SEO opportunities from all this information.
4. Competitor Keywords Comparison
You can do keyword comparison research within your Semrush Keyword Gap tool. This tool lets you compare up to five domains and different types of keywords (organic, PPC, or PLA keywords).
It is a powerful keyword tool that lets you do a complete keyword analysis of your domain and your competitors.
Go to Gap Analysis in Semrush, and click on “Keyword Gap” from the drop-down menu options. Enter up to five (5) of your closest competitors’ website domain names.
You can set the filter on this page to research keywords based on a set of parameters. Like keyword positions, search volume, up to 10k keywords per report, export keyword lists to an excel spreadsheet, and more.
But you can only achieve all these with the Semrush Pro account; the free plan gives you limited tools and features.
So, if you want to make the best out of your marketing effort, subscribe to a Semrush paid plan today.
Once you’re done with your selection, hit the “compare” green button on the page.
Semrush will give you a keyword data page like a map. It will reveal the number of keywords for your analyzed domains.
These are keywords ranked in the organic search engine listings and drive traffic to the corresponding websites.
You can make a couple of keyword opportunities, analyses, and discoveries on this page.
- Discover keywords that you’re not ranking for, but all other domains are getting ranking for these keywords.
- Keywords that your domain ranked lower for, but all other competitors are ranking higher for.
- Get a list of keywords that your website ranks better than competitors.
- Find untapped keyword opportunities. Keywords you’re not ranking for, but your competitors do.
- The keyword you’re ranking for, but other competitors have no ranking.
- Keyword position or keyword ranking for your analyzed domains.
- And more
This keyword information can be of better use in your overall content marketing strategies. You can start by creating more relevant keyword-rich content that will rank better in SEPR.
Or modify existing articles to include relevant search queries your target audience is searching for.
This saves you from guesswork and gives precise data on the best keyword that drives traffic to your competitor’s websites.
You now have a blueprint to follow—a formula to replicate and make your own.
5. Steal Competitor’s Social Media Strategies
As a complete all-in-one marketing tool, the Semrush social media tracker is a tool that lets you spy on your competitor’s social media activities.
You can use this tool to compare your social media presence with your competitor on three social media metrics:
To get started, click on “Project” from the sidebar menu. It’s located below the list. Next, click “Set up” under the “Social Media Tracker” tab.
This action will open up a new window where you’ll connect your various social media accounts.
Connect to each social media account you’d like to track. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Linked In, and Google My Business.
If you have multiple social media profiles in each account, you must select which account Semrush should track/manage.
In the next step, you need to enter the domain of the competitors you’d like to track. You can add up to 20 competitor domains or company names to track.
Hit the “Start Social media Tracker” button when you finish entering competitors to track.
Semrush will return an overview of social media reports for the selected accounts within a few seconds.
You can analyze and compare your competitors’ engagement, audience, and activities on this page vs. your own.
This lets you measure how you stack against your competitors in the social media landscape.
With this information, you can learn more about areas to improve and focus more on your attention.
The data on this page lets you discover where your competitors have the highest audience, where they post more often, their top-performing posts, engagement level, etc.
In the ever-changing world of digital marketing, discovering the strengths and weaknesses of your close competitors can be a great marketing tactic.
You need to know what other marketers in your industry are doing so that you can be one step ahead.
An SEO tool like the Semrush competitor analysis and research toolkit can significantly help.
You can use many SEO tactics to research competitor analysis using Semrush.
With the Semrush Pro account, you can achieve more in less time and with less effort.
Sign up for the Semrush Pro account today, or take the 7-day free trial offer first.
8 thoughts on “How to do Competitor Analysis Using Semrush”
Hi Shamsudeen, This is really very useful information. Thank you.
wow thank you, I used to use MOZ, and some time ago I moved to semrush, semrush made me a little confused, this article really helped me thank you..:)
For beginner, SEMrush can be confusing, but as you played around with it more often, you get used to it.
Great post. Semrush is very helpful for analysis. Interesting information you are sharing and thanks for sharing.
Glad you find the content helpful.
A very well-written post. I read and liked the post and have also bookmarked you.
A useful read. I do use a lot of SEO tools, and I love using SEMrush for critical SEO tasks. I do concentrate on competitor analysis to attract potential customers to our client’s websites. Happy to know about the significant features of the SEMrush competitive research toolkit. Link building seems to be simple with the use of this tool. Do share some of the recent strategies of competitor analysis in future posts.
Thanks for your valuable input, glad you like the content.