Staying on top of factors like social trends, Google algorithm changes, and content production are only part of what it takes to truly master search engine optimization for your website.
There’s a competitive aspect to SEO, as well, so keeping an eye on what your competitors are up to is just as important.
Because if you’re not ranking at the top of the SERPs for your target keywords, that means someone else is.
A good SEO competitor’s rank tracker can help you keep track of how the competition is doing at any given time.
But which of your many options is the best fit for you, and what can you do to soar ahead of your competitors? Here’s a look at everything you need to know.
Download this post by entering your email below
How Do I Monitor My Competitors for SEO?
If you’re like many business-savvy website owners, you might think you already know who your SEO competitors are.
You may even be right in a few cases, but it’s important not to guess or assume. There could well be sites outranking you for key search terms that you’ve never noticed or considered before.
That said, it’s important to figure out the true lay of the land before you start brainstorming a strategy.
Here’s a brief rundown on how to see who your SEO competitors really are using a basic manual method.
- Type the keyword you’re trying to rank for into Google.
- See which sites are ranking for that keyword, and – if applicable – where they’re ranking compared to your own site.
- Compile your findings into an organized spreadsheet to refer back to.
- Repeat the process with other keywords from the same keyword cluster.
Make a note of which businesses and domains consistently rank well for your target keywords.
Those are your true SERP competitors, so you’ll naturally want to figure out what they’re doing that you’re not.
You also want to keep a close eye on their ongoing ranks, so you can measure the impact of any strategies you decide to implement.
Of course, you can simply keep checking in with your competitors manually to do this. But an SEO competitor’s rank tracker or two can make things easier and more intuitive.
Here are some terrific options to try.
If you run a medium-sized to large company and need a truly no-nonsense SEO competitor rank tracker in your corner, it doesn’t get much better and more reliable than SEMRush. SEMRush comes complete with a full suite of tools to help you streamline your digital marketing efforts.
One of them just so happens to be a terrific toolkit for monitoring and analyzing your competitors’ SEO efforts.
Find out what keywords and search terms each competitor is ranking for, check out their traffic sources, and more.
If you’re looking for a simple way to check in with a particular competitor’s current rankings or see at a glance what’s happening with a specific keyword, BuzzSumo is definitely a tool to keep in your arsenal.
Enter a domain into BuzzSumo, and you’re presented with a selection of its most popular content pieces, as well as info regarding each piece’s backlinks, social media shares, and other engagements. Enter a keyword to see a similar group of top content pieces related to it.
However, while BuzzSumo is super handy for checking out your competition at a glance, you may need to eventually acquire a more comprehensive tool if you’re looking for deeper insights.
SEO SpyGlass is a handy SEO competitors rank tracker tool that you may already have access to if you’re a Link Assistant SEO PowerSuite user. This tool is especially helpful if you want a peek into your competitors’ backlink catalog, in particular.
Knowing which sites are linking back to your competitors can grant you powerful insights into their likely SEO strategies. SEO SpyGlass also treats you to useful tidbits of information, like InLink Rank (similar to PageRank) data, penalty risks, and specific sources of various links.
Moz is pretty much a household name among digital marketers when it comes to concepts like SEO, so it probably goes without saying that Moz Pro is one of the more popular analysis options out there on the market.
Yes, you can use it to keep track of how your competitors are ranking, but that’s not all.
Moz Pro also helps you keep track of things via such widely trusted factors as page authority and domain authority. This is also one of the better tools out there for checking out a competitor’s backlink profile and using your findings to up your own backlink game.
If you’re looking for a solid SEO solution that pretty much does it all, including helping you monitor and analyze your competitors’ SERP rankings and SEO efforts, take a closer look at Ahrefs.
It’s comprehensive and reliable enough that some of the world’s most distinguished brands use it, and it’s considered the gold standard by many digital marketing pros.
You get a full toolset complete with a wide variety of features, as well as access to positively massive databases that are kept perpetually up to date.
This is a user-friendly platform, as well. However, it’s a bit pricier than some of the alternatives, so it may not be a viable solution for businesses on a tight budget.
How Do We Check the Ranking Keywords of Competitors?
You may also simply want to quickly check in as far as which keywords another site or business is ranking for at a given time, and the right tools can help you there, as well.
BuzzSumo (listed in the above section) is one solid solution to turn to, but here are some others to also check out.
If you’re looking for a useful tool that’s not only simple but free, then check out this keyword helper from WordStream. Just enter any competitor’s URL and hit “search” to see an entire list of keyword-centric data related to that URL.
You can also filter your results by factors like search volume on Google, opportunity score, and more.
This is a terrific tool for checking out the standings of your own domains, as well.
Again, it doesn’t offer the comprehensive suite of capabilities other tools might, but it’s a terrific starting point for further analysis – especially for free.
SpyFu is a great fit for digital marketers interested in user-friendly tools that focus entirely on competitor-based research, and it can definitely take the guesswork out of checking competitor keywords for you.
In fact, it’s really one of the better options for scoring lots of information on pretty much any search.
But what exactly can SpyFu help you uncover about your competitors’ keyword usage?
Some notable examples include clickthrough rate, average ad spend, monthly search volume (both global and local), associated backlinks, and long-term rank history.
- Google Ads Auction Insights
If you use Google Ads to help your site rank for various search terms (or plan to in the near future), you don’t want to overlook its value as a way to gain some insight into your competitors’ ranking keywords. Just navigate to the Auction Insights tab the next time you’re on the platform.
Under Google Ads Auction Insights, you’ll find a wealth of helpful data about other sites and URLs that are in direct competition with you for certain keywords.
In fact, this is an especially great way to find out things like how often your ads show up next to a competitor’s, your average ad position, and lots more.
What Is the Best Rank Tracker?
Which of the SEO competitor’s rank tracker options on the market are the best fit for you, your company, and your website depends largely on what you need the tool to be able to do.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when evaluating the viability of options like the above.
- Are you looking for a simple way to glean basic data, or do you need your tool to be able to help you act on that data, as well?
- What’s your budget like? Are you willing and able to invest in an SEO competitor’s rank tracker right now, or do you need a free option?
- What size is your business, and how well-established is it?
- Is this tool just for you, or are you looking for something your entire team can use?
How Can I Outrank My SEO Competitors?
If you’re currently looking into your options as far as SEO competitor’s rank tracker tools, then you already understand the importance of knowing what your competitors are doing.
Once you know, you can improve on it and soar to the top of the SERPs. Here are some tips for doing that.
Perform regular competitor keyword analyses
Keywords, search trends, and SERP rankings aren’t static in the least. They’re constantly changing, so your own approach to SEO needs to keep changing, too.
That said, an SEO analysis of your competitors’ ranks and keyword usage isn’t the kind of thing you can do once before forgetting all about it.
If you’re not already performing an SEO analysis on your own site on a regular basis, start there. (Once every 2-6 months is a good frequency to shoot for, with larger businesses performing analysis more often.)
Then add an SEO competitor analysis to the mix at the same frequency.
Maintain spreadsheets filled with current data as to which sites are your biggest competition and what keywords they’re ranking for. Then start digging into what they’re doing to obtain and maintain top SERP rankings.
- What type of content do they post on their site and how often?
- How do they approach details like title tags, metadata, and content headings?
- What’s their social media presence like, and how do they use it to promote their content, products, and brand?
Fill your site with informative, high-quality content
Content is far and away one of the biggest factors to focus on when you’re looking to outrank your competitors and get your own URLs to the top of the SERPs.
Master the fine art of producing the kind of content people are looking for, and optimize it properly, then it’s only a matter of time before Google starts recommending it to its users.
These days, Google is interested in helpful content – content that does a good job of answering searchers’ questions and addressing their concerns thoroughly but concisely.
Put yourself into your visitors’ shoes, and consider what you’d be hoping to see if you were searching for a specific term.
Then provide top-tier content that addresses those concerns in an engaging way.
- Cover the topic thoroughly, but avoid fluff or filler for the sake of adding length.
- Use headings, images, and graphics to break your content up into easy-to-digest sections that let your audience scan for what they’re looking for.
- Share your content across your social media channels, and make it easy for your audience to do the same.
And always keep an eye on what your competitors are doing.
Are they covering any topics that would also be a good fit for your audience? What are they doing differently to engage their audiences while also continuing to please Google?
Pay attention to on-page SEO
And, of course, you want to pay close attention to your going approach to on-page SEO – the part of SEO that is less about your actual content and more about how you’re presenting it to audiences and search engines.
Content formatting concerns like paragraph length and the use of headings or subheadings are part of this.
But so are the structure of your URLs, your alt tags, your metadata, and your inclusion of both internal and external links.
Page load times, mobile responsiveness, and the overall navigability of your site are super important, as well.
So check up on all of these details when it’s time for your next SEO analysis, and make decisions accordingly.
SEO competitor’s rank tracker tools that are user-friendly, convenient, and informative can help you kick off the type of SEO revamp that really delivers results by giving you the information you need to get ahead.
But it’s up to you to take the next step in the right direction.
Producing a steady stream of top-quality web content, social media posts, graphics, and more to keep your campaign moving forward is no easy feat, but you don’t have to go it alone.
Get all the help you need by hiring expert freelancers to help you with content writing, social media marketing, and more at WriterAccess by Rock Content!