Table of contents

    seo competitive analysis

    Conducting SEO activities is largely, first and foremost, a strong focus on your own website and working to bring it in line with Google’s search engine requirements. However, one must not forget that search results are a kind of ecosystem, so we are never alone in it. In our plans for organic growth, we must always take into account what our competitors are currently doing.

    When should we conduct an SEO competitive analysis?

    A competitive analysis should be conducted whenever you plan to start SEO efforts. This should take place even before you launch any investment in organic efforts. However, the competitive analysis conducted is not once and for all. On the Internet, the competitive environment can change literally overnight, new players appear, sometimes old ones disappear, someone started additional activities, someone stopped them – it should be remembered that each such action causes a reaction for the entire ecosystem mentioned earlier. If someone appeared in a higher position – someone else must have fallen from it. So competitive analysis should be a cyclical activity, so that we are able to keep up with our own industry.

    Why is SEO competitive analysis an essential part of building an SEO strategy?

    Competitor analysis is an essential part of building an SEO strategy for several important reasons:

    1. Verification of the difficulty of a given industry – the more players are operating in parallel, the more difficult it will be to achieve satisfactory results in a given industry, this is an important element to include in the planned timeline of activities and in estimations.
    2. Budget – the bigger the competition we have and the more intensive the activities they carry out, the bigger the budget we will have to allocate to catch up with them and ultimately overtake them.
    3. Avoiding mistakes that someone else has already made – in the case of positioning we have a chance to learn from other people’s mistakes, by conducting a competitive analysis we can verify whether the actions carried out by our competitor are having an effect, this will of course only be very general data, but it will give us an idea of whether it is worth taking similar steps or the opposite.
    4. Additional action ideas – thanks to competitive analysis we can avoid repeating mistakes after someone, but we can also learn from the best. In reviewing the actions of competitors, we can be inspired by additional things that we ourselves did not originally think of.
    5. Choosing keywords/topics discussed in the content – by analyzing what the competition is talking about on their website, we can decide if this is the direction we want to go, or if we think our product or service is different, however, and it is worth basing our strategy on other differentiators, because organic and business competition are not necessarily the same.

    What is the difference between competition in organic search results and business competition?

    When it comes to SEO, it is important to remember that for our website, competition can be twofold. We can have strictly business competition and competition in organic search results. In most cases, these will be exactly the same companies, but remember, we should not take this for granted.

    Business competitors are companies that target exactly the same audience with their products and services, and their existence in the market affects the daily operations of our company. However, not all of these companies necessarily constitute our competition in organic search results. Some of them may, for example, have no website or no search engine activities.

    It may also happen that our competitors in the organic search results are not our business competitors, but simply appear high on the keywords we are interested in for some reason. An example of this might be when our brand name may refer to more than just us.

    For example, the owner of an agritourism farm called “Cichy dom” wanting to appear first in search results for his brand would have to compete with sites such as Filmweb (there is a movie with such a name), Empik (there is a book with such a name), LubimyCzytać (where this book is rated by users), Rodzinny Dom Seniora (because the institution in Ilowa also bears such a name). None of these sites are in business competition with this farmhouse or with each other, they are a number of different businesses with a completely different target audience, but organically for the phrase “quiet house” they are competitors.

    How to select competitors for SEO analysis?

    So, as we can see from the example above, in order to select competitors well for SEO analysis, we need to check whether our organic and business competitors are the same and create the list we want to analyze.

    When selecting competitors for SEO analysis, we should consider companies that:

    • Are at least partially operating in exactly the same geographic area as us
    • They target the same or partially overlapping group of potential customers with their services or products
    • Offer the same or partially the same products/services
    • Perform high in organic results for the same or similar keywords to those we are interested in

    What tools are useful in SEO competitive analysis?

    When operating in a particular industry for some time, we are probably aware of who our business competitors are. However, what about when we want to start organic efforts, are just planning to start a business in a particular industry, or already have a list of competitors ready and want to check what exactly they are doing in terms of SEO? Here a number of different SEO tools come to our aid, these include:

    • Senuto – which, after entering our website address, will show us a graph on which our competitors will appear, along with the number of phrases they are visible for and the number of phrases we currently share with them. For each competitor we will also be able to check definitely more detailed information, such as estimated organic traffic, Google Ads equivalent, or a list of specific keywords they are visible on.
    • Semrush – in the case when we do not know our organic competition Semrush will also point it out to us, by the way, with its help we will be able, as in the case of Senuto, to find out on which keywords a given competitor is visible or what estimated organic traffic he has per month, but additionally from which countries his traffic comes, where he has been acquiring links from so far, we will be able to check our keywords gap, i.e. what words our competitor has and we do not have and vice versa, and many other more detailed elements.
    • SimilarWeb – with this tool we can check data on the total traffic on the site we have indicated, among other things, such as the number of visits and their sources, the rejection rate, the duration of visits, the division of traffic into mobile and desktop, etc.
    • Ahrefs – a tool with which we can verify the quality of a competitor’s link profile and where it obtains these links from, we can also verify the overall technical condition of a given site
    • MajesticSEO – with its help we can check where our competitors are getting links from

    Why is it useful to verify from which domains our competitors are doing link building?

    Verifying from where our competitor has inbound links is important for two reasons:

    1. First, to determine whether a given competitor has a strong link profile – the stronger it is, the more of a threat it will pose to us organically and the longer it will take us to overtake it.
    2. Secondly, to check from which sites links lead to it – in order to get inspired and try to acquire links from the same places or, on the contrary, to know which places to avoid, depending on their quality.

    Why is it necessary to analyze content created by competitor sites?

    Analyzing the content of competitor sites will allow us to verify what they have a focused strategy on and in what context they place keywords on the site. This will be especially important when planning content for our site.

    As we know, Google places great emphasis on the originality of content, so we must try to avoid duplicating patterns that appear in content on competing sites.  Another important aspect, is that currently the most rewarded in search results is content that for brings something new to the user. So by conducting an SEO audit, part of which is an analysis of the content that your competitors publish, we will be able to address topics that have been overlooked by them, and therefore occupy a niche that has not yet been developed.


    As we can see above, the benefits of a thorough analysis of our competitors’ SEO activities are truly numerous. Therefore, this aspect should not be overlooked when planning our SEO activities, and on the contrary, we should take advantage of the vast knowledge we can gain through a variety of tools.

    Planning a strategy that will embed us in the ecosystem of our industry’s organic results is key to the success of our website on Google and will be one of the most essential elements of the process of acquiring new customers.

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    Adrianna Napiórkowska
    Adrianna Napiórkowska

    She has 11 years of professional experience, she started her career at the Emarketing Experts agency as a junior SEO specialist. In addition to website positioning, she was responsible for conducting 360° marketing projects as an Account Manager at She worked for companies from the financial sector (Bank Millennium, Bank Meritum, Finai S.A.) and e-commerce (e.g. Black Red White, Autoland, Mumla). At Up&More, he is responsible for, among others, SEO projects for Panek Car Sharing, Amerigas, Interparking, H+H and Autoplaza.