If you’re running a business or organization with a digital presence you’re hopefully aware of how SEO fits into your strategy and can help you succeed. A successful website often gets 75% or more of it’s traffic from search engines, so SEO matters. However, you might not be paying attention to your competitors in the space. Here are some tips on how to find your competitors and what to do with that information once you have it.
Finding SEO Competitors
There are a few ways to compile a short list of competitors. They first is the simplest: jot down a list from the top of your head. You may know your top competitors—at least in your area—so start there.
Second, you should turn to an SEO tracking tool like Moz, SEMRush or ahrefs. They will allow you to see reports like Suggested Competitors. Keep in mind that just because the software suggests a competitor that doesn’t mean they are a competitor, so review the results first.
Tracking and Reporting
Once you have your competitor short list what should you do? First use your SEO tracking platform to evaluate them. Do they rank better for important keywords? Are you at the top of the group? If you have some SEO improvement you’d like to see, having data on your own website and the sites of your competitors give you concrete, actionable data to evaluate your present and future SEO efforts.
Secondly, if you are consistently tracking your competitors over time you’ll be able to see when they gain or lose Organic traffic. It can be helpful to know when a competitor starts making SEO gains that might threaten your traffic stream.
Play Your Own Game
Let’s insert a word of caution at this point. While you can influence your own results (online and offline) you can’t ‘take down’ a competitor so it’s important to stay focused on your own goals and cost / benefit calculation. If catching up with a competitor is starting to bring you more sales and leads, great! If catching up with a competitor in Organic rankings is costing a fortune and you’re not seeing business growth it might be time to get back to playing your game, not copying what a competitor is doing.