Intro to SEO Competitive Analysis 101 – Whiteboard Friday


A very good, stable aggressive evaluation can give you priceless insights into what’s working for other people in your business, but it surely’s not at all times straightforward to do proper. In this week’s version of Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus walks you thru how to carry out a full aggressive evaluation, together with:

  • How to determine your true rivals
  • Keyword hole evaluation
  • Link hole evaluation
  • Top content material evaluation

Plus, do not miss the useful recommendations on which instruments may help with this course of and our model-new information (with free template) on SEO aggressive evaluation. Give it a watch and tell us your individual favourite suggestions for performing a aggressive evaluation within the feedback!


Click on the whiteboard picture above to open a excessive-decision model in a brand new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz followers. Welcome to one other version of Whiteboard Friday. I am Cyrus Shepard. Today we’re speaking a couple of actually cool matter — aggressive evaluation. This is an introduction to aggressive evaluation.

What is aggressive evaluation for SEO?

It’s principally stealing your rivals’ site visitors. If you are new to SEO otherwise you’ve been round awhile, it is a very worthwhile tactic to earn extra site visitors and rankings on your web site.

Instead of researching blindly what to go after, aggressive evaluation can let you know sure issues with a excessive diploma of accuracy that you simply will not discover different methods, similar to:

  • what key phrases to goal, 
  • what content material to create, 
  • how to optimize that content material, and 
  • the place to get hyperlinks.

How to do an SEO aggressive evaluation

How does it do that?

Well, as a substitute of researching simply in a key phrase instrument or a hyperlink instrument, with aggressive evaluation you have a look at what’s truly working on your rivals and use these techniques for your self.

This usually works so significantly better than the previous-type methods of analysis, as a result of you’ll be able to truly enhance upon what different persons are truly doing and make these techniques give you the results you want.

1. Identify your prime rivals

So to get began with aggressive evaluation, the primary problem is to truly determine your prime rivals.

This sounds straightforward. You most likely suppose you understand who your rivals are since you kind a key phrase into Google and also you see who’s rating on your desired key phrase. This does work, to sure diploma.

Another means to do it’s to have a look at the key phrases you rank for, as a result of the problem is you most likely rank for much extra key phrases than you consider you do.

Moz, as an example, ranks for a whole lot of hundreds or probably even tens of millions of key phrases, and we wish to know at scale who’re all of the rivals rating for all these completely different queries. This is very exhausting to do manually.

Fortunately there are a number of SEO instruments on the market — Ahrefs, SEMrush — many instruments that may let you know have a look at all of the key phrases that you simply rank for throughout hundreds of SERPs after which calculate, utilizing superior metrics, precisely who your true rivals are.

I am comfortable to announce that Moz simply launched a instrument that does precisely this. We’re going to hyperlink to it within the transcript under.

It’s referred to as Domain Analysis. It’s a free instrument. Anybody can use it.

You merely kind in your area, and we glance by all of the key phrases that your web site ranks for in our database, we have a look at all of the rivals, and we use some superior heuristics and we match these up and we let you know who your true rivals are. Once you understand your true rivals, you’ll be able to proceed with the remainder of the evaluation.

2. Perform a key phrase hole evaluation

The first step that most individuals soak up doing an SEO aggressive evaluation is figuring out the key phrase hole. Now for a very long time, once I was new to SEO, I heard this time period “keyword gap” and I did not actually know what it meant. But it is truly actually easy.

It’s merely what key phrases do my rivals rank for that I do not rank for, and that is the hole. The concept is that we wish to shut that hole if the key phrase is efficacious or excessive quantity. The trick is you are able to do this by yourself manually. You can see all of the key phrases you rank for utilizing a complicated key phrase instrument after which listing all of the key phrases your rivals rank for after which mix these lists in Excel. It’s a protracted, tedious course of.

Fortunately, once more, main SEO instruments, similar to Moz, can do that at scale for you inside seconds. If you go to Moz Keyword Explorer, you merely enter your area, enter your prime competitor’s area that we discovered on this first step, and it’ll listing all of the key phrases that your rivals rank for that you do not rank for. 

You can then pull this right into a spreadsheet and discover key phrases with excessive quantity or key phrases which are worthwhile and related to your online business.

This is a crucial level. You do not simply need to go willy-nilly after any key phrase your competitor ranks for. You need to truly discover the key phrases which are related to your online business.

three. Perform a hyperlink hole evaluation

So after you try this, we even have the cousin of a key phrase hole evaluation — hyperlink hole evaluation.

This is a really related idea, since you want hyperlinks to rank. But the place do you discover the hyperlinks? So you need to ask, “Who links to my competitors but does not link to me?”

The principle right here is that if somebody is linking to your competitor on an identical matter, they’re extra probably to hyperlink to you as a result of they’re in that enterprise of linking out to that kind of content material.

An superior tip is you usually need to have a look at two or extra rivals. The concept is that if somebody is linking to a number of sources however not to you, it is extra probably they will hyperlink to you when you have superior content material.

Again, SEO instruments can present one thing like this. You can listing all of the backlinks to your self or your rivals and mix them in a spreadsheet. But the instruments make it a lot simpler.

In Moz’s Link Explorer, you merely enter your competitor, you enter one other competitor and yours, and you’ll find all of the people who find themselves linking to these rivals however not to you.

An superior tip that I like to use is do it on the web page stage. Don’t search for domains which are linking to your rivals. Look for particular pages and you are able to do this in Link Explorer. We’re going to present you in somewhat extra element in a information I am going to hyperlink to on the backside of this submit.

four. Perform a prime content material evaluation

So we perceive hyperlinks, we perceive the key phrases. But what content material do we wish to create?

Top content material evaluation, that is very straightforward to do lately. You’re principally searching for content material that earns your rivals a number of site visitors or a number of hyperlinks.

The concept is that if different persons are linking to these items, then it is extremely possible that you may earn hyperlinks with related however higher content material. So the thought is you go to a instrument like Link Explorer. You can type by prime pages, and also you select the content material that has probably the most hyperlinks on your competitor. Then do not simply re-create the content material, however make it higher. This is known as the skyscraper approach, the thought of discovering content material that does rather well after which making it higher.

Then after you have this, you return to your hyperlink hole evaluation and also you attain out to these people who find themselves linking to that content material and also you ask them for hyperlinks, displaying them the higher content material.


So that is it in a nutshell. When we put all of it collectively, we’ve got a really worthwhile course of. We can return to our particular person pages, have a look at these pages which are rating for our rivals. When you are all carried out, you’ll be able to truly take your web page, plug it into your key phrase hole, and see all of the key phrases the web page is rating for.

Our authentic key phrase hole evaluation regarded on the area, however now we simply need to know what the web page is rating for. We can add that into our personal web page and make the web page even higher. We can once more attain out to the identical people who find themselves linking to this web page, present them our higher content material, and that’s the course of.

New Guide & Free Template

Whew, I am exhausted. This is a big course of. I went over it actually rapidly. Fortunately, if it glided by somewhat quick for you, we simply launched a information, “An Introduction to SEO Competitive Analysis.” We’re going to hyperlink to it.

Get the Guide + Free Template

Guide to SEO Competitive Analysis

It explains all these processes in way more element. It’s free to use. I hope you get pleasure from it.

Hey, I actually loved making this video. If you discovered worth in it, give it a thumbs up. Please share on social media and we’ll speak to you subsequent time. Thanks, everyone.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com



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