Discussing SEO Competitive Intelligence at #DigitalOlympusChat

Discussing SEO Competitive Intelligence at #DigitalOlympusChat

SEO Competitive Intelligence

Analyzing your competitors can become extremely excruciating. And when you’re faced with choosing the right SEO competitive intelligence for your company, questions can begin piling up, pressuring you to splash your hands and give up. Laura Hogan, the Head of Search at Ricemedia, joined our Digital Olympus Chat on Twitter and shared her knowledge on this subject. Keep reading to learn what Laura and our chat participants had to say about the topic, and find out how you can beat your competitors with a better SEO strategy.

Q1. Could you tell us 5 reasons why SEO competitive intelligence is so important?

First of all, Competitive analysis is important because it gives a lot of insights into ways you can attract your audience’s attention. You can also manage your links and find gaps in you link building strategy. Besides, competitive research can show you which potentially effective keywords you are missing out on, and understand which topics resonates best with your audience.

Craig Campbell also shared his expert opinion. He believes that competitive research requires you to improve your SEO by constantly monitoring your competitor’s best practices and gathering data. All of these tactics can inspire you for a better website strategy.

Alex Tachalova mentioned that competitive analysis will help you get inspired to uncover less competitive niches and find new keyword ideas. When you know who is who in your industry, it will be easier for you to learn from your rivals' mistakes and map your future potential organic growth.

To sum up some of the answers we received, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on constantly emerging opportunities through competitive analysis. Especially, when it comes to backlinks and keywords, according to Laura Logan.

Q2. How can I identify my potential competitor?

Based on her experience, Laura recognizes three typical core competitor sets:

  • Your direct competitors
  • Your audience/persona competitors
  • Your SERPs competitors

To make your research process a little easier, use different marketing tools. But don’t be too lazy to manually check for your keywords in SERPs. Keep an eye on for those search queries in Google that your site is not being listed for. These keywords should be completely relevant to your business, but you aren’t ranking for these keywords well just et. Also, analyze the second page of SERPs. Sometimes, it can give you unique insights to improve your future projects.

Q3. How to promptly spot new competitors in SERPs for your keyword queries?

Monitoring your basic terms daily will help you spot newly emerging competitors. Accomplishing this tricky task isn’t a piece a cake. According to Laura Hogan, there are several tools that will assist you with that.

Alex acknowledged the importance of your competitors' referring domains along with their authority. Another crucial detail you have to pay attention to is the overall trend of their organic traffic. Monitor if it’s growing or decreasing, and don’t forget to research the keywords your competitors are currently ranking for in Google.

Laura shared a great tip that will help you discover another opportunity. She recommends to look at what new rankings they’ve gained in your toolset, and analyze how you can take advantage of that. Another advice came from Craig Campbell. He suggests finding the top performers in Google and analyzing them through one of the tolls you’re using. It appears that if you really want to quickly identify your new competitors, you have to stay alert to all possible changes in SERPs, always pay close attention to who’s moving up well in the search results, and never underestimate the power of manual check.

Q4. Is there a kind of template I can use for SEO competitive analysis? If yes, what sections should it have?

For Laura, the typical template for SEO competitive analysis will include SEO visibility, Trust flow (or Domain Authority), number of links (and their best backlinks), and rankings comparison. To visualize the data, Laura uses good old Excel.

For Alex, her most favourite metrics are organic and referral traffic trends, the number of keywords, referring domains and backlinks, and the historical trend of backlinks' profile growth.

Craig Campbell believes that once you figure out what matters the most in your own process of SEO competitive analysis, you’ll be able to repeat or even improve it as you go.

While conducting competitor analysis, don’t forget about the content. You can analyze their content by grading various sites against each other to see who’s doing a better job.

Besides, it’s always good to find out what the client’s pain points are and build your report around it. For some people it’s number of links, whereas others are focused on specific keywords.

The easiest way to evaluate your competitor report use simply SWOT. It helps you to find your kinda bad sides and your opportunities.

To summarize everything we talked about during this Twitter Chat,

  • To speed things up, use different tools for competitor analysis.
  • Don’t forget about Excel and use it to keep track of various metrics that are integral to your project.

Q5. What metrics should you look at when you analyze competitors?

When it comes to analyzing your competitors, Alex checks for how many backlinks competitors have. This is the indicator of how competitive the industry is. Laura find SEMrush Gap analysis extremely helpful, but also looks at competitors' top links and how they obtained them, keywords they’re targeting which the client isn’t. She also mentioned to take their optimisation for top pages as your starting point.

Q6. What tools do you recommend to use and why?

As for the tools, Craig Campbell likes using SEMrush for competitor analysis, keyword research and site audit. Craig also named AccuRanker, ahrefs and NinjaOutreach. Geoff Kennedy uses a lot of tools when he’s working on his projects. However, he also shared his opinion about the accuracy and meaning of some metrics:

Alex uses SEMrush to find domains that are currently appearing in Google for the same keywords you show up in the SERPs. Laura isn’t afraid to take advantage of as many tools as possible:

But even though she uses quite a stack of tools, she acknowledges the importance of the human eye:

To conclude the conversation about the subject, Alex reminded us about how much useful data you can find in Ahrefs.

Q7. Do I need to do what my competitor does? For example, create AMP-pages or start running a blog.

Laura answered our seventh question with a very blunt answer:

Your competitor could be ranking super well, and this is a legit reason to be upset. But Laura finds it to be a great business case:

Alex recommended to check out the latest presentation by Aleyda Solis about the do’s and don’t of AMP.

Craig Campbell believes that you can’t excel without trial and error. He suggests to try and match what you possibly can, but add your own thought and ideas to the process:


A combination of all of these factors will help you be at least one step ahead of your competitors. Make sure to always keep an eye on them, research keywords you are missing, increase your organic growth, analyze your other gaps and don’t forget to straighten up backlinks.

We hope that competitive analysis isn’t giving you a headache now. If you find any of the tips helpful, we’d really like to hear your feedback. Feel free to share it in the comment section.

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