Why Competitive Analysis is so important.
Analysing your competition is an essential part of optimising your brand for a better search engine presence.
Using the best free competitor analysis tools will enable you to view all pages on a website, check keywords for individual pages, view backlinks and social media interaction.
Without comparing yourself against your competitors it is very easy to keep on making the same mistakes over and over.
Work out who your direct competitors are.
While it may be tempting to perform competitive analysis on the leading players in your niche this will skew your results and possibly overwhelm you.
A simple search on Google is probably the easiest way to find competitor websites.
Try to find a direct and indirect competitor.
- Direct Competition
Try to find the competitor that offers a direct replacement for whatever product or information you are supplying.
- Indirect Competition
If you are supplying a product, an indirect competitor would be a supplier of a different product that still satisfies the customer’s need.
If you are a blog then an indirect competitor could be a forum or simply a website that takes a differing approach to present the information.
Explore your competitors pages and website structure.
Tool 1: SEO Checker
This free set of analysis tools can also be accessed directly from the webpage with no signup or email necessary.
From the home page of websiteseochecker.com enter the URL and any keyword to get a report on your competitor’s on-page and off-page SEO.
This report will give you a sitemap address for your competitor if there is one.
With this sitemap, you will have a list of pages on your competitor’s site.
If a sitemap could be found it will look something like https://*******.com/sitemap.xml. Copy and paste this into your browser and click the links to view page URL titles.
A backlink is simply a link from another website to one of your web pages.
Google uses an estimate of the linking page’s domain authority and the text used to link to your site (anchor text) as a factor in your page ranking.
What can you learn from a competitor’s Sitemap?
Sitemap URLs will give an insight into your competitor’s page title style.
It can also show how the other website is structured, giving you ideas for creating a content silo.
Explore Ranking Keywords
Tool 2: Rank Tracker
1. View your competitors ranking keywords
2. Keyword difficulty to rank
3. Search volume estimates
Finding which keywords your competition ranks for will give a good indication of which search terms bring them traffic and where you should focus your content.
SEO Powersuite is a great tool and it is remarkable what you are able to do even with the free version.
Open the Rank tracker tool and select ranking keywords, enter your competitor’s URL.
Rank Tracker will return estimated search volume, Google rank, and also keyword difficulty.
If you are still deciding where your heading try: Choose a Niche, 4 simple steps
Who is linking to your rivals?
What is a Backlink Checker tool?
Tool 3: Backlink checker tool
Although the backlink checker tool hosted on www.thehoth.com uses the Semrush application, it returns over a hundred backlinks compared with Semrushes 8.
Do not neglect a backlink checker when compiling your list of competitor analysis tools.
If a website has many quality sites linking to webpages then search engines will tend to believe that the content has value.
ALTERNATIVE: SEO Powersuite Backlinkchecker, this is a more in depth backlink spy which returns up to 1100 results in the free edition and an unlimited number of backlinks in the paid versions.
You can analyze your linking anchor text and decide whether to diversify your backlink anchor text.
If you choose to connect backlink checker to your Google account, you will quickly see which links refer the most traffic to your site.
The domain comparison module allows you to compare backlinks between your competitors. You will then have a list of common competitors’ backlinks to use as prospective link opportunities.
Backlink Competitive Analysis
1. View your backlinks and anchor text
2. Compare your competitors backlinks
3. Inspect the quality of backlinks
4. Form a list of quality backlink opportunities
Tool 4: Social Media Analysis
Buzzsumo will allow you to view the most popular shared media by your competition.
The information curated by buzzsumo will show the spread of the social media platforms.
Social Media Competitive Analysis
1. Understand which social media platform are popular with your competitors
2. See which type of content gets the most engagement
3. Identify weaknesses in your social media strategy
Tool 5: SpyFu – All in one
The free version will allow you to view the top 5 organic and paid competitor sites.
Ranking keyword research is rudimental in the free version of spyfu. It still provides enough information to get started.
With SpyFu, you can learn the most popular backlink of your competitor’s website.
SpyFu will also provide the most popular five pages for any website.