When performing search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your site’s ranking, it is important to identify the competitors of your site. These competitors are the ones who are coming up higher than you in the search results.
To find who your competitors are, type in Google some keywords that are related to your site. See which sites come out on top in the search results page. These are your competitor sites that we want to analyze to see why they are come up so high.
You need to analyze them one at a time. This gives you insights on the site metrics that tend to provide good rankings. With this insight, you can try to improve those metrics of your site and perhaps beat your competitors. Using SEOQuake to Start
A tool to get you started to Analyze a Competitors Website is SeoQuake.com. It is a plug-in toolbar for Firefox that you can download and install on your Firefox browser. It is also available for the Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera browsers.
When installed, the toolbar will give you important SEO metrics on the site that you are currently looking at.
So to analyze a particular competitor’s website, just point your Firefox browser to your competitor’s site and make sure that that SEOQuake toolbar is enabled. There is an icon on the lower right of your browser status bar that can turn SEOQuake on and off.
With SEOQuake, you will now be able to see metrics such as Google Page Rank, number of site pages in Google Index, Alexa traffic rank, domain age, the number of delicious links, SemRush Rank, and more.
If you are new to SEO analysis, then this is a good learning tool to start off with. If you are not familiar with the metrics mention, you can click on the metrics links in the toolbar and it will provide you with more information. There is also an info link which will give you a full page of metrics in greater detail.
Many people are familiar with Google’s Page Rank metric from 0 to 10 (with ten being the best). That is a nice simple ballpark number to get a general idea as to the rank of a competitor’s site. However, it can happen that a site with a lower page rank can do better in certain keywords than another site with a higher page rank. Using Alexa for Competitor Analysis
What is more important than Page Rank is traffic? Although in general a higher page rank does mean greater traffic, there are always many exceptions. Since you are not able to view the server logs and install client-side site monitoring software on your competitor’s site, the easiest way to get a sense of your competitor’s traffic is to use Alexa.com. Alexa will give you the Alexa traffic rank. In this case, the lower the rank number, the better.
Alexa will also tell you the number of sites linking to your competitor’s site. This is known as backlinks or referring links. Similarly, you can see the number of your competitor’s backlinks in the SEOQuake info page of your competitor. Alternatively, you can simply type into Google…
By knowing where your competitor is getting their backlinks, you can try to get some backlinks from those same places. Using SEMRush to Analyze Competitor’s Keywords.
Besides SEOQuake and Alexa, another great tool to analyze competitors Site is SEMRush.com (where SEM stands for search engine marketing).
SEMRush will give you the SEMRush rank which based on the traffic coming in through Google search results. Furthermore, it will tell you the “organic keywords” of your competitor’s site. This tells you what keywords are driving visitors to your competitor’s site. So perhaps you may want to include some of those keywords on your site. Other Metrics
Other metrics that might be noteworthy to know about your competitor is the domain age. Google tends to give greater weight to sites with an older domain age. Could this be the reason why your competitor is doing better?
Perhaps you’re curious as to who is the owner of the competing site. Just click on the “whois” link in SEOQuake or use http://who.is. These may give you some domain name registration history as well as who their web hosts might be and where they are located in the world. Note that some domain name registrations are kept private. So this type of information is not always available.