How to do an SEO Competitive Analysis - Step-by-step instructions

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Carrying out an SEO competitor analysis has many advantages. It offers significant opportunities. Among others, it generates new ideas that you can implement in your SEO strategy. It also enables you to anticipate competitors' actions and adapt strategies to your sector of activity. In short, conducting a competitive analysis is extremely beneficial to a company's future. This article will provide you with the best methods for carrying out an SEO competitive analysis.

Understanding competitive analysis in SEO

SEO competitor analysis is an essential process for assess your competitors' strengths and weaknesses. The aim is to gain a better understanding of their communication approaches, so that you can position your own strategy optimally.

By carrying out an in-depth analysis of the competition, you can obtain more in-depth knowledge of your business sectortivity. The same goes for your main competitors. This will enable you to put forward a unique value proposition to your customers. But it will also enable you to identify opportunities and evaluate your own strategy. You'll also be able to maintain your competitive edge. This SEO competitor analysis is a 9-step process.

1: Identify competitors

The two main objectives of competitor analysis in SEO are to defining a sustainable marketing content strategy. It also makes it possible to maintain a presence on the first page of SERP results.

To identify your competitors, you need to segment them into two categories: direct competitors and indirect competitors. Direct competitors are those who offer the same products, values and research as your company. Indirect competitors are those who target the same areas of research, but offer different products or services. Take the example of a bookshop and a library. Both offer books, but one sells them and the other lends them out.

Since the arrival of Hummingbird and BERT, Google has been paying particular attention to users' search intentions. And this, in order to best meet their needs.

You can also use the Organic Research to identify your competitors. This solution is based on keywords. To do this, there are numerous tools available to help you identify your competitors on the web.



Semrush is an interesting solution for SEO competition analysis. It allows you toaudit a site independently. This solution also helps to track the best referenced platforms according to keywords. This highlights your competitors. In addition, it aims to identify other competitive sites by means of a in-depth study of the semantic field.



Ahrefs is similar to Semrush, and is easy to use. It allows you tostudy search volumes from a keyword. It also helps to evaluate website quality thanks to itsSEO analysis. It also makes it easier to identify competitors within the same semantic framework.


Google Web Dev

Google is an SEO competitor analysis solution. It's a tool offered by Google itself. It allows you toget an SEO score for each site in seconds. This application also provides precise results related to Core Web Vitals. This considers the user experience and overall performance of a site.

2: Analyze competitors' keywords 

SEO competitor analysis can be launched based on the keywords used by competitors. This analysis includes :

  • Identify keywords that generate organic traffic;
  • The positioning of these keywords on the site and their frequency of appearance;
  • Referencing of each page according to a target keyword.

To carry out this analysis, it is necessary to sort keywords positioned by competitors and distribute them strategically on your own site. By studying the keywords used by your competitors, you can improve the content of every page on your site. You can do this by using a semantic and lexical field relevant.

3: Study competitors' content strategies

In-depth analysis of competitors' on-page optimization

It's essential to understand and identify the strengths and weaknesses of each competitor site. When analyzing competitors' SEO, there are several key aspects to consider. First of all, it's important toevaluate tree structure and content distribution on competing sites. To do this, you need to consider page structure and organization.

You must also check how competitors use meta title tags to optimize the referencing of their pages. Optimizing images and videos is another aspect to consider. To do this, consider the appropriate weight, naming and Alt tags.

Identify strengths and correct errors to strengthen your SEO strategy

By analyzing internal links, you can understand how links are created between pages of the competing site. The same applies to the URL construction. Also consider the use of structured data to help search engines understand page content. You'll learn about faceted navigation optimization for e-commerce sites.

Next, examine the handling of 404 error pages and 301 or 302 redirects to maintain a smooth user experience. Last but not least, evaluate your multilingual strategy competing sites. This includes the use of hreflang tags and other practices related to managing multilingual versions of the site.

By analyzing these different aspects of competitors' on-page optimization, you'll be able to understand best practices. You'll also be able to identify opportunities for improvement to strengthen your own SEO strategy and improve your competitive position.

4: Analyze competitor backlinks

Backlinks are an important element in identifying potential competitors based on the quality of their SEO. Competitive analysis is therefore based on evaluation of competitors' off-page strategies.

5: Evaluate competitors' social networking presence 

Social networks offer an excellent means of communication for companies, due to the sheer number of users who frequent them. When analyzing the SEO competition, you'll need to investigate four specific aspects:

  • the platforms they use,
  • the frequency of their publications,
  • their audience
  • and the commitment they inspire.

To make this task easier, the BuzzSumo solution is an interesting resource.

BuzzSumo focuses on your competitors' presence on social networks. It provides details of their publications and the resulting interactions. This software enables you to assess their popularity by analyzing their engagement score.

6: Analyze competitors' performance

To study your competitors' performance, you can rely on Majestic SEO. Highly appreciated by SEOs, this software assigns each site a natural search engine optimization score. It is based on the number and quality of backlinks. You can install the Majestic Backlink Analyzer extension on Google Chrome to facilitate your analyses.

Visit Moz software is also an interesting tool for you to use. It focuses on your competitors' reputation and provides detailed information on targeted pages and referring domains. As with Majestic SEO, you can get the Mozbar extension to facilitate your searches.

It's important to know the apparent details of your competitors in order to fine-tune your strategy. You also need to have a complete picture of their future evolution. That's why it's essential to set up a SEO watch using the Ranxplorer solution. It enables you to identify their positioning on the most important keywords and keep up to date with their evolution.

If you want to create better optimized content than your competitors, SERPmantics is THE solution for you.

7: Analysis of competitors' market share and creation of competitor profiles

Creating competitor profiles gives you a clear view of your industry. In addition to studying the competition in terms of SEO, you can study their market share and audience. In the world of digital marketing, this share is defined by number of active users.

To do this, you can use Market Explorer which offers a wide range of features. To take advantage of its options, simply add competing platforms manually in the "Search for competitors" section. The solution will then proceed to analyze them. By exploring the "Overview" option, it provides information on your notoriety and that of your competitors. It will consider your niche and highlight industry trends.

What's more, you can see the influence rates attributed to your competitors in your space. All you need to do is look at the figures. When your competitors get a high traffic rate, it means they have an established authority in the sector.

Competitors' target audience

Understanding the audience means knowing it inside out. To do this, you have two choices, involving either manual surveying or the use of an appropriate solution. The first choice is to conduct customer surveys using a questionnaire.

For Market Explorer demographicsIt will provide you with their demographic characteristics, such as age range and gender. It will also analyze and provide results on the social networks they use. You can also discover your audience's interests. This information will enable you to create and refine your persona and perfect your content strategy.

Establish a typical competitor profile

Once you have identified your competitors' audience and market shareYou can create their profile. You'll need to highlight elements such as the company's creation date and site architecture. You'll also want to consider their differentiating features and modus operandi.

8: Analysis of competitors' marketing strategies

This study involves exploring your competitors' products, prices, communication channels and promotional strategies. To quickly and efficiently identify the best products offered by your competitors, you can use tools such as Traffic Analytics or Main Pages by entering your competitor's domain name. These tools will display the pages of their site that generate the most traffic. Once you've identified the products, you can compare their key features.

9: Competitors' distribution channels and promotional offers

Your competitors' product placement plays an essential role in the world of digital communication. By analyzing the distribution channels they use, you can gain an edge over their audience.. In addition, this analysis will enable you to determine :

  • the budget required for your advertising ;
  • the number of advertising campaigns to manage ;
  • actionable strategies ;
  • the real potential of your brand in relation to your audience;

This information will help you make informed decisions to optimize your presence in your industry.

Promotional materials

By analyzing the promotional channels your competitors use, you can understand how they reach their audience. You'll also know which types of channel your audience prefers. After conducting your investigation, you can list each channel according to the following five traffic generation strategies:

  • Direct Your competitor uses traditional methods to reach an audience familiar with their brand and site.
  • Referent Your competitor has numerous relationships with other platforms. This translates into a strong backlink profile and traffic generation from these sources.
  • Search Your competitor focuses on SEO and content creation strategies to attract organic traffic. This strategy offers an interesting opportunity to study their marketing approach.
  • Social Your competitor has a strong presence and influence on social networks, with many subscribers. It's important to find out which social platforms they prefer.
  • Paying Your competitor invests in paid advertising campaigns to generate traffic. In this case, it may be beneficial to exploit the keywords used in their banner ads to adjust your own strategy.

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