Website Competitive Analysis: Identify Keywords Competitors Rank For

web competitor analysis

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Do you ever think about all of the businesses out there and wonder, how will I ever stick out?  How will I get my idea out there?  Or, how will I compete with the big businesses out there?

Those are viable questions.

In fact, one of the signs of a mature entrepreneur is how they verify a problem in the market before placing too much time or money into developing a product or service.  Despite how many people act like you can be successful simply by following your dreams, it’s more to business success than that.  There are systems that must be in place (regardless of the endeavor), there has to be a problem in the market that you’re trying to solve, and you have to find a gap where you can compete and stick out.

Why Should You Do Website Competitive Analysis?

While many new entrepreneurs believe they’re solving a new problem, often times, there’s a solution that’s working for the audience even if it does a lousy job.  Website competitive analysis can help entrepreneurs identify their competitive advantages, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the marketplace.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.  If you look at successful entrepreneurs, they don’t reinvent the wheel, they read, find mentors, and pick up an old problem and make the solution better.  That’s why you hear them say quotes like…

“Successful people have libraries. The rest have big screen TVs” – Jim Rohn

“I went to the same training 42 times. Some folks would say, ‘I’ve already learned that’, but I wanted to be able to finish their sentences. I wanted to walk like you, talk like you, and then I want to embed me in it.” – Lisa Nichols

“You can make positive deposits in your own economy every day by reading and listening to positive, life-changing content, and by associating with encouraging and hope-building people.” – Zig Ziglar

In other words, regardless of your endeavor, start with learning.  In the case of beginning an internet marketing strategy, a part of the learning process should be a website competitive analysis, so you can learn what’s working for others, and how you can stick out.

website competitive analysisA Recent Website Competitive Analysis Client

In my post called Spyfu Review, I told the story of a client I helped.  The client was creating a new niche website and was doing preliminary research before building the site.  He wanted to know:

  • Who his competitors would be
  • What keywords his competitors were ranking for
  • How difficult it would be to outrank his competitors

All of his questions are great questions that any business using the internet for marketing should answer, but not everyone knows how–that’s where this post comes in…

Important Finding of Website Competitive Analysis

Added onto answering questions like:

  • Who your competitors are
  • What keywords your competitors are ranking for
  • and, How difficult it would be to outrank your competitors

A good competitive analysis should give you:

  • an idea of how much competitors are spending to acquire traffic
  • how much you may have to spend to outrank them
  • an idea of the search volume for the prospective keywords
  • and, should help you create a calculated hypothesis for an internet marketing strategy

Top Mistakes in Website Competitive Analysis

Often times, people do website competitive analysis absolutely wrong!  They want to “follow their passions”, so they find websites that speak about topics they’re “passionate about” with good signs of income (or even income reports) and attempt to mimic them, but they don’t have a full perspective for what’s working.

The bread and butter of online business is search engine traffic, social media traffic, and creating tailored content that’s attractive to the social media and search engine audiences.  For most marketers, what determines whether or not they should use a piece of content is keyword research and website competitive analysis.

Rather than looking at an established site, taking topics from them, and simply writing on them, most marketers are:

1. Looking at established sites

2. Identifying topics

3. Doing keyword research to find gaps in the market

4. Identifying profitable keywords

5. Writing around profitable keywords to fill the current gaps

These 5 steps are key.  It’s important to look at what others are doing, but it’s even more important to add onto what’s available in the market by exploiting a gap where there’s high demand but low supply.

Profitable Keywords vs. Nonprofitable Keywords

If you’re doing business online, you want to attract prospects or people who will eventually buy from you.  When you’re creating your content, you have to consider which words or content topics would attract people who would want to buy your product or service.

For example, using Spyfu, I can type in a site like Home Depot, and look what you see…

web competitor analysis

You can see in the image above that Home Depot gets approximately $64.3 million in SEO clicks per month!  That’s steep!

To put it another way…If I wanted to outperform Home Depot in the search engines, I’d have to pay about $64.3 million dollars per month in paid traffic because of the organic listings they’ve acquired.  Said a thrid way…Google is giving Home Depot $64.3 million dollars in FREE TRAFFIC every month!

When you look at your website and add up the value of your keywords, how much free traffic are you getting that others would be willing to pay for?  Are you writing on keywords that others would bid on?

Many online entrepreneurs are not considering the value of the keywords they’re using online, and sometimes, they’re writing on topics as hobbyists.  The topics may never convert or may never attract buyers.  Instead, the topics may only attract other hobbyists who don’t want to spend money, then when they’re writing for years, they look back and wonder, “Why isn’t my website making money?”.

It’s best to start with a web competitive analysis so you can draw from the experience of established sites and consider things like, “How can I build a website over the next 12 years that can generate 64 million dollars in SEO clicks per month?”.

website competitive analysisThree Scenarios You May Find Thru Website Competitive Analysis

Thru a website competitive analysis, you will typically identify three different scenarios that your business may fall into.  These are the three scenarios…

1. Low Supply, High Demand Opportunities (Ideal Niche)

Many people are teaching about building niche websites where you can build a website and within a few short months begin to create an income.  The sites that typically work to generate an income quickly are in low supply and high demand niches.  This means there’s an audience whose searching for information, but there are very few results that populate in the topic they’re looking for.

As a result of identifying an audience who has an unsatisfied need, and creating solutions for them, you can generate an income quicker than other scenarios.

2. High Supply, Low Demand Opportunities

There are some niches that are extremely competitive, but have a very limited market size.  These are the niches you want to stay away from when possible.

Unless you have the budget size and diligence to maintain a pace without getting weary, you shouldn’t attempt to pursue a niche that has alot of businesses, but few consumers.

3. High Supply, High Demand Opportunities

Alternatively, there are niches where there are lots of businesses and lots of consumers.  In these niches, it’s not as easy as a low supply, high demand niche, but with persistence, it’s possible to acquire a market share.

When there are high supply and high demand, you’ll need to use your website competitive analysis to build your reputation and create strategic positioning in the market that enables you to maximize your strengths and opportunities.

Recommended Website Competitive Analysis Tools

In my Spyfu Review, I shared a tutorial that shows you how you can use Spyfu to answer all of the questions you might have in a website competitive analysis.  Spyfu is a tool that enables you to spy on your competitors, reverse engineer their strategies and identify gaps where you can compete. You can check out my Spyfu Review here.

Alternatively, some people use SEMRush or Jaaxy for website competitive analysis.  I’ve personally used SEMrush and Jaaxy for various projects, and they both work great; just for different purposes.  In my Spyfu Review, I provide a brief comparison and reasons why I chose Spyfu over SEMRush or Jaaxy for my recent projects, check it out.

Final Words on Website Competitive Analysis

The goal of this article was to show you the importance of website competitive analysis. Successful people don’t try to reinvent the wheel, instead, they take an old problem, and make a better solution.  If you have questions or concerns about this, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section.  I’d love to help you out!

Now, it’s Your Turn…

Have you done a website competitive analysis for your business?  Why or why not? What factors do you think are the most important when identifying a viable online business opportunity?

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10 thoughts on “Website Competitive Analysis: Identify Keywords Competitors Rank For”

  1. Hi Tiffany,

    I have not done the competitive analysis yet! I still have to do it. However, I quickly ran a scan when I ran your post, and indeed, the ones listed on spyfu are the ones that I have always found when researching my keyword ranks.

    On some keywords, I am ranking just one under the competitor. That means, that once my Google sandbox is working, I will outrank them.

    Thanks for sharing valuable tips on how to beat my competitors.


    1. Very cool Oscar! It sounds like you’re on the right path with your SEO. Kudos for doing the necessary work to rank in Google. The sky is the limit once the sandbox period is over! Thanks for stopping by. Best of wishes to your in your business.

  2. This is something I should definitely start doing, but I always postpone it. I start writing articles with some basic keyword research and hope that I’ll be able to rank for. I know that’s not the right approach, and I should use a more thorough approach, but I get lazy sometimes…

    I’m gonna make it a point to follow through on this and check out your other review about Spyfu. Thanks for putting me back on the right track Tiffany!

    1. Hi Jurgen! Basic keyword research is fine to get started. The main things you want to know is that you’re writing on a topic that people are searching for.  If your site doesn’t have authority yet, it’s also important to make sure the term you use doesn’t have much competition.

      The competitive analysis is helpful if you’re researching your niche and trying to see what’s working. You can take a tool like Spyfu and see which terms they’re ranking for, how much traffic that’s bringing them, and how much money people are paying for the keywords.  

      It’s good helpful info to add onto keyword research.

  3. I love your statement, ‘You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.  If you look at successful entrepreneurs, they don’t reinvent the wheel, they read, find mentors, and pick up an old problem and make the solution better.’ This is an ideology that many fail to realize. Also, I love how you talked about Spyfu, as I have been sticking with Jaaxy for all my searches. It seems like Spyfu has picked up issues that Jaaxy may have had, and created a better platform for search engine optimization. I am going to dive into website competitive analysis using the tools you mentioned and hope to boost my website’s rankings through proper analysis!

    1. Hi Craven! I still use Jaaxy as my go-to. It solves different problems. Jaaxy is great for finding terms to rank for in search engines. I’d even venture to say it’s better for keyword research, but if you need to do competitive analysis, you may need additional tools. Spyfu is great for competitive research.

  4. Fantastic article. This article is all fact and many should read this. When I started my website I didn’t even think of this I just thought you put it up and magically the traffic would come, not by a long shot. I started seeing what others in my niche were writing about and as you stated made it better without having to reinvent the wheel. Adding keywords that others were not using has helped with many of my articles ranking page 1 position 1 in google. One thing I did not know about was spyfu and thank you for sharing that as I will now be using it. I know many will read this and If they follow your guidance they will find huge success. Thank you for this great article,


    1. Hi David! I was like you when I just started out. There are so many fake “gurus” out there that make it seem like you slap a website up and the traffic will roll in on autopilot, then when you follow their advice, you find it’s a big lie. Spyfu has been a very insightful piece of software I hadn’t heard of many people using, but when I had a client who wanted this information, it worked great! I think you should check it out! You’d probably be pleasantly surprised.

  5. Sukumar Thingom

    In the beginning, I was somewhat skeptical with the keyword research idea. I mean, if you really feel about a topic and pour your heart out into creating it with a suitable title, I thought it ought to click. It ought to rank well in searches for specific keywords if other on-page SEO efforts were correctly employed. Google, they say was about giving the most relevant articles to a person searching for a topic. I do not know how its algorithm works but I have heard that it throws up different searches for different people for the same same search terms. A person’s search history factors in bring up results, they say. However, after I started using Jaaxy (I haven’t used other tools), I realised why a keyword tool is such an important component in an Internet marketer’s content efforts. It really makes sense to do a thorough website competitive analysis. Great article!

    1. Hi Sukumar!

      When I first learned about keyword research, I wasn’t sure of it either.  Like you, after trying it for myself, it clicked. Competitive analysis is just another step up. You should try it out.

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