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5 Features Of Competitive SEO Research For Beginners to Outrank Their Competitors

Image source: Pexels

Image source: Pexels

The beginning of a good SEO analysis starts by analyzing the top 10 pages of google query. You can find the domains ranking for that particular keyword and make a note of them. But why are they ranking well, when you can’t? This is the big butterfly question every SEO consultant likes to answer.

According to my experience, based on niche, the SEO metrics change. For example, the health niche will have branded websites ranking for all high competitive keywords. This is because they have good links and well-written content by experts.

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But if you are in a different niche like selling ceramic tiles, not everyone is in this business. But if your online search has to do well, you need to spy on your competitors. You have to find which other business owner is also trying to sell the same kind of item to its customers through Google. But how?

Well, SEMRush (a search engine marketing analysis tool) has a feature known as competitive research. Using this tool, you can analyze upto 5 competitor websites to find all their information. It includes links, keywords, authorit score and many others.

Read below, to find out what SEMRush offers as part of this package to learn about your business enemies and copy their strategy.

Domain Overview

One way to find out the site strength. Just like Moz gives DA score, this is useful to know the all-round performance of the domain.

The advantage with this feature is that the overall portfolio of the domain can be seen in one snap.

The full list of data that is shown on this page:

  1. Oraganic search
  2. Paid search
  3. Backlinks
  4. Display advertising
  5. Organic keywrods
  6. Paid keywords
  7. Traffic graph
  8. Top organic keywords
  9. Organic position distribution
  10. Main organic competitors
  11. Competitive positioning map
  12. Branded search
  13. Branded vs non-branded
  14. Branded traffic trend
  15. Top paid keywords
  16. Paid position distribution
  17. Main paid competitors
  18. Competitive positioning map
  19. Sample ads
  20. Backlinks
  21. Do-Follow vs No-Follow Link
  22. Backlink type
  23. Top anchors
  24. Referring domains
  25. Indexed pages
  26. Latest advertisers
  27. Landing pages
  28. Sample text ads
  29. Sample media ads

You can find the SEMRush Rank, a number of keywords you are ranking for and the traffic cost of these keywords. This also gives an estimate of how much is your website worth.

Related: A Guide To Keyword Research

If you have subscribed to Adwords or any other paid advertising agency, you can see the paid search details also. These include the paid keywords and the traffic cost estimate from them.

The backlinks view will show the number of referring domains and referring IPs. This SEO metric is very useful to know whether your link building campaign is successful or not. You can cross-check the truth with the number of links pointing to your domain in your search console.

A nice pie-chart showing the traffic from different countries for organic and paid keywords is shown. The diagram is useful to know whether you are getting traffic from the targeted country or not.

For further details of other options, you can visit my website, which I keep updating with more SEMRush features.

Traffic Analytics

This is a very limited facility in the SEMRush Pro account. You can only see the Traffic overview here. You can get data of only 1 option.

  1. Historical data : Last month
  2. Location : All regions
  3. Devices : Desktop

You can get competitor traffic data from this overview. If you know who your competitors are, you can just add them and their traffic data is presented here. You can also get the list of competitors from SEMRush itself.

You can get the number of visitors data for the last month. These include unique visitors, pages/visit, avg. visit duration, bounce rate and traffic rank.

A nice graph showing the traffic sources is also listed here. You can find the source of your competitor traffic here.

  1. How much organic traffic your competitor gets?
  2. What is the amount of traffic by countries?
  3. Is there any high paid traffic?

From this you can get an estimate of what organic keywords you need to target and whether you can reach your goals or not.

Organic Research

This lists the following competitor metrics

  1. Positions
  2. Position changes
  3. Competitors
  4. Pages
  5. Subdomains
  6. URL

You can see the different SERP features for the analyzed domain. You can know how many featured snippets, videos, reviews, knowledge panel, local pack, carousel your competitor is ranking in the search results.

This can affect your content writing strategy. If you find that good answers and featured snippets are available for your competitor, you know that it is difficult to rank for that keyword.

On the contrary, if there are no related serp features, you can target that keyword and write SEO optimized content with user focus to rank high.

Keyword Gap

This is most useful tool in this category according to my experience. Here you can find organic keyword data that your competitors are ranking. You can enter 5 competitors in this tool, to compare the common keywords your website and competitor site are ranking.

This tool provides 4 options to find semantically related keywords to your content.

  1. Find all keywords you and your competitors are ranking for.
  2. Unique to the first domain’s keywords. (The first domain can be yours or the competitor. Using this feature you find keywords only your competitor is ranking. That way, you can write content based on those keywords to further optimize your site).
  3. Common keywords. (These are keywords that you and your competitor are ranking. You can find relevant metrics also for a common keyword. You can find the position which you and your competitors are ranking. Also KD score, volume, CPC, competitive index, results, and trend are also displayed).
  4. Unique keywords. (These are phrases that you and your competitors only have. For example, the two below competitors are having 1,371,624 million keywords which are unique to their domain. The usefulness of this tool is that this data cannot be acquired using Keyword Planner. )

Backlink Gap

Experts already have confirmed the importance of links in SEO rankings. You have more links to your domain than your domain score will increase and in-turn better branding and ranking.

In this tool, you can enter up to 5 competitors at the same time. SEMRush will find the links to these domains from its database and displays in a nice graph.

You can find which domain is having highest links and also its history for 3months, 1 year and all time. This period graph can be useful to know whether your competitor is a genuine domain or has become expired.

SEO consultants can make an assessment of the domain based on the link history. There can be the sudden drop of backlinks or an increase. If there is unnatural findings in your link history, you can say that your competitor domain is doing some black hat business.

SEMRush also gives an authority score to the domain linking to your competitor site. It is a compounded metric that measures the strength and popularity of the domain. It is calculated based on page score, domain score and trust score and other data.

You can export all these domains which are giving backlinks to your competitors. Then you can write guest posts, request the owner to link to your site, do broken link building analysis, comment on these blogs and improve your positional ranking.


One can spy on their competitors to find relevant links, keywords, traffic insights, seo signals and many other things. You can find LSI keywords and related phrases using the competitive research tool.

The more you know about your “enemy”, the more informed decision you can take about your content and keyword strategy. This is one of the tools which gives accurate data about your competitors. Also, it takes less time in spitting the search metrics.

It is your hands to make wise decisions based upon this research and improve your SERP positions and revenue.

Author Bio

This is a guest post by Palla Sridhar . He is the owner of a blog network which consists of 17 blogs. He is a father of twin daughters and likes to help people in their daily problems. I write articles on Microsoft, Health, SEO and WordPress niches. He can be found on Twitter @palla2009.