SEO is a huge topic, and it’s constantly changing. The best way to stay current on the latest techniques is to keep up with your SEO competitors. To do that, you need to know who they are and where they’re located. In this post, we’ll show you how to find both!
Know where you’re going
Before you start to look for your competitors, it’s essential to know where you’re going. The first step is defining the problem at hand. For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds by January 1st, then your goal should be:
- I want to lose 20 pounds by January 1st
That seems pretty simple enough — but what happens when we apply this same concept to our SEO efforts? How can we define our problems in terms of a specific outcome or target? Well, two things need addressing:
- What are my goals and objectives (i.e., what am I trying to accomplish)?
- How will I achieve those goals and objectives (i.e., how will I get there)?
Know what you’re looking for
Before you know what you’re looking for, you need to know what you want. In other words, how do you define success?
Maybe your goals are more tangible than a feeling of contentment. Perhaps they’re more like: “I want my website to rank on page one of Google.” Or maybe they’re more like: “I want my resume to get me an interview.”
If your goal is clear, then the next step in finding it is defining where exactly you’d like it. For example: “I’d like my website to appear at the top of page one when someone searches ‘marketing consultant’ in [city].” Or perhaps: “On average, I should see five new clients per month after six months with this company at this salary level.”
This helps narrow down where your efforts should be focused when looking for competitors and points of reference—the better defined your goals are, the easier it will be to find them!
Do a Google search
To find your SEO competitors, you can use the Google search bar to do it. Just type in keywords that describe your business and see what comes up!
You can also get more specific by searching for keywords that describe your competitors. For example, if you run an online clothing store (like me), you might want to look for other online clothing stores and see who they compete against. Maybe one of them has already beaten you to the punch when it comes to SEO—and now nothing is stopping them from ranking higher than you in Google search results. That’s why this technique is so important: It’s how I found out about my competition in the first place!
Once again, these queries are straightforward to perform using Google’s advanced search operators. We need a little knowledge of Boolean logic (which isn’t hard at all), and we’ll be set!
Check Google Analytics to see who’s been sniffing around your site
Google Analytics is a free tool that gives you a lot of insight into who is visiting your site and how they found it in the first place. After signing up for Google Analytics, you’ll need to add your website’s URL so that it can track all the traffic coming to your site.
Once this is done, check out the “Audience” tab on the left side of the dashboard and click on “Overview.” You’ll see a graph showing how many people visited your site over time (in this case, since January 2019), what countries those visitors came from, and which keywords brought them there. You can also see what pages visitors looked at most often, which will help inform any SEO strategies going forward or tell you if something needs fixing fast.
Visit your competitors’ websites and social media pages
Visit your competitors’ websites and social media pages. It’s important to look at how your competitors use SEO to see what they are doing well and what they are doing poorly.
If you find a competitor that is not using SEO correctly, you can use that information as an opportunity to improve your site and social media pages.
You can also get ideas for things you want to add or remove from your website by looking at competitors’ websites, but remember: if something works for them, it may not necessarily be right for you!
Find your SEO competitors using various tools and tricks
You can use SEMrush or Ahrefs to see the top keywords your competitors are ranking for or Google Search Console to see the exact search terms that bring traffic to their site. You can also use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to find out which hashtags they’re using in their posts, then research those hashtags on Google Trends to see what kind of content is getting shared among users in that group.
Finally, you can use Google Analytics to determine how much traffic your competitor’s website currently gets each month. This should give you an idea of what types of things people are searching for around your industry based on where they visit after landing on one site instead of another (which will help inform what types of content might be relevant).
There are many ways to find your SEO competitors; the key is to try them all. You never know what will work best until you try. You can also use tools like Google Keyword Planner to help get an idea of what people are searching for online and how much traffic each keyword receives. In addition, consider using a free tool like Ahrefs that provides information about what keywords competitors rank for and how much organic traffic they get from those keywords (and more).