So, I grabbed your attention. Now let me explain why you actually need to analyze competitors in your target niche. For one, you’ll be able to see what made your competitor success (and do your best to replicate their success on your site). And you want to know how to make a website successful, right? Second, you’ll see which exactly methods they used (SEO, PPC, etc). That’ll help you to comprehend which exactly tactics they put into practice.That means that you’ll not have to dive in some guess work or something . And last but not least, you’ll be able estimate your budget to beat your competitors. With such info, you’ll be most definitely confident while discussing SEO budget either with your boss or a client.
As a matter of fact, you need to follow a specific order of action so that it works right for you. I’m not saying that it’s the only correct way to do that, but I can say that it works for me. At start, you need to find your competitors, figure own what brings them traffic, and then break those traffic sources into components to get a better understanding of what exactly is going on.
How to find your competitors
You can use a few tools to find your competitors. The most obvious one would be to just use Alexa for that purpose. You can search the sites in your target category. Apart from that, you can use Alexa alongside with the SEOQuake plugin (it’s available both for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome). Having installed the plugin, you need to disable instant search, make sure that your browser shows 100 results per page (you can change that in your Google search settings), and just filter by the Alexa option in your SEOQuake plugin. Thus you can see the most successful sites for your keyword in ascending or descending order. Also, you can find your competitors using SEMRush. It’ll show you who your potential or real competitors are. Plus you’ll see what sites might want to buy ads on your site, but that’s a whole different story.
Alexa internet traffic rankings of RxPGonline.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Where the traffic is coming from
Alexa is a cool tool for a good reason. You can also use it to see where certain site’s traffic is generated from. It just shows what sites your visitors were on before they came to your site. Plus you can use SEMRush for the same aim as well.
Break down into most trafficked queries
Now it’s a good idea to use the same SEMRush to see which exactly search queries (keywords or keyphrases) are generating most traffic for a site. And you might also want to use a pretty cool (and I discovered it for myself just the other day) tool at ahrefs.com That service (or tool) will show your (or your competitors’) biggest traffic providers. There’s more. One can even see what anchor texts your links have and so on. SEMRush and SpyFu can also be used to see what your competitors pay for PPC.
You have plenty of tools at your disposal to see how your competitors are getting traffic and replicate the same on your site. Sure thing, some services and tools require financial investments, but that’s worth it because you’ll be able to beat your competitors with the info you’ll obtain in that case.
I’m an SEO freelancer. Plus I’m crazy about web design and development.