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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 keep a watchful eye on 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 that it has become an integral part of SEO strategies.
In today’s post, I walk you through how to do a competitor analysis using SEMrush SEO tools.
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 competitive research toolkit.
How to do Competitor Analysis in SEMrush
Competitive research or analysis can help you gain insight into marketing tactics that are 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.
To get started in a competitor’s analysis, the first step is identifying your closest current online competitors. 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 get an in-depth insight into what others in your niche are doing.
This is where an SEO tool like SEMrush competitive research toolkit can help you research, analyze, and identify your closet competitors.
So you can possibly gather marketing data that will help in developing comprehensive marketing strategies for your business.
Quick info: To make the most out of this article and the SEMrush competitive research toolkit to the fullest, 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…
#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 strength and weakness 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 the “search” as shown in the image below.
Note: For the purpose of this SEMrush competitors analysis tutorial, I use the website backlinko for our study. This is so we have can have more data insight to work with.
Next, you need to click on “competitors” from the top navigational menu. This will reveal a list of competitors’ websites that rank for the same organic keywords as yours.
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 top competitor’s websites that you can further explore for more SEO data. Depending on how established your website is and the 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.
One thing you need to note here is, the domains are ranked automatically by the level of competition.
This means the more keywords two domains shared in common, the higher the likelihood they’re to compete for search ranking position for the same organic keyword.
There are lots of SEO advantages to gain from these analysis steps. Depending on your SEO task, you could uncover:
- 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 each of these tasks by doing Competitor Analysis Using SEMrush.
#2. Uncover Competitor BackLinks Profile
Ask any SEO professional today what’s the most tedious, hardest, and 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 and do more, achieve more in less time.
SEMRush competitive research tool allows you to analyze up to five (5) competitors website at a go.
Enter five of your competitor’s domain names in the “Backlink Gap” tool. To do this, first, click on “Competitive Research” from the sidebar menu and click on “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 either by root domain, sub-domain, or by 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 of the competitor link partners, SEMrush gives you a detailed overview of their link data.
You get detail overview of their:
There’s an endless link building or SEO opportunities you can get from all these information.
#4. Competitor Keywords Comparison
You can do keywords 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 full keyword analysis of your domain and that of your competitors.
Go to Gap Analysis in SEMrush, then click on “Keyword Gap” from the drop-down menu options. Enter up to five (5) of your closet competitors’ websites domain name.
You can set the filter on this page to research for keywords base on a set of parameters. Like keyword positions, search volume, up to 10k keywords per a report, and export keyword list to an excel spreadsheet, and more.
But you can only achieve all these with the SEMrush Pro account. You’re limited on the free plan.
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 that ranked in the organic search engines. Keywords that drive traffic to the corresponding websites.
There are a couple of keyword opportunities, analysis, and discoveries you can do on this page. You can:
- 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 for than any other competitors.
- Find untapped keywords 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
These keywords 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 that your target audience is searching for.
This saves you from guesswork and gives you clear 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 Your Competitor 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. And 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 down the list. On the next page, click on “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 each social media accounts you’ll like to track. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google My Business.
If you have multiple social media profile in each account, you need to select which account SEMrush should track/manage.
On the next step, you need to enter the domain of the competitors you’ll like to track. You can add up to 20 competitor’s domains or company names to track.
Hit the “Start Social media Tracker” button when you’re done entering competitors to track.
Within a few seconds, SEMrush will return an overview of social media reports for the selected accounts. On this page, you can analyze and compare the engagement, audience, and activities of your competitors 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 what area to improve and things to focus more on your attention.
The data on this page lets you discover where your competitors have the highest number of audience. Where they post more often, their top-performing post, engagement level, etc.
In the ever-changing world of digital marketing, discovering the strength and weaknesses of your close competitors can be a great marketing tactic to discover proven working ideas.
You need to know what other marketers in your industry are doing that put them one step ahead of you. An SEO tool like the SEMrush competitive research and analysis tool can be of great help in this regard.
There are lots of SEO tactics you can do to research competitor analysis using SEMrush. And with the SEMrush Pro account, you can do more, achieve more in less time and with fewer efforts.
Sign up today for the SEMrush Pro account or take the 7-days free trial offer first.