How To Do A Competitor Analysis for Organic Search

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How To Do A Competitor Analysis

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complex process that involves many steps. It’s not a simple matter of just choosing a great title and adding in some links and keywords. There’s a lot of careful research that goes into the most successful SEO strategies. 

The right SEO strategy for your business ultimately depends heavily on your organization’s current situation, past content efforts, and future content goals. However, competitor analysis is a necessary step in the search engine optimization process in nearly every case.

In the field of search engine optimization, competitor analysis is the practice of carefully evaluating your competitors’ content and SEO strategies. By doing so, you can remain fully aware of where your strategy is in comparison and react quickly to the moves made by the competition. Without a thorough understanding of how the competition is doing, you would have no way of knowing what to aim for. Your goal is to beat their content to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). To do that, it’s a good idea to keep the racer in front of you in full view. 

In this article, we’ll go over how to do a competitor analysis and share some of the ways effective competitor analysis can positively impact your SEO efforts. We’ll also examine some of the different resources that are available to help you with competitor analysis, like a competitor analysis report template. Using a template is one way to organize your findings so you can create a polished SEO competitor analysis report PDF.

Competitor Analysis Framework

One of the first steps of competitor analysis is developing a competitor analysis framework. Without an underlying strategy to drive your competitor analysis, you’ll likely have a harder time getting consistent, meaningful results from your research. If you’re unsure how to begin, using a competitor analysis framework template can be helpful. A template can be a useful tool for getting ideas started or building off of a predefined model.

Demandwell’s Share of Search Audits can be a great service for developing an effective competitor analysis framework. Using the Share of Search Audit, your organization can gain clear, data-backed insights into how your content is currently performing against the competition.

The insights provided by Demandwell’s Share of Search Audits can help you find out the answers to questions like these:

  • How wide is the gap between how you are ranking and how your primary competitor is ranking for your primary keyword?
  • What keywords are your competitors currently ranking for that your organization is not?
  • How wide is the gap between the number of impressions your organization’s content is generating and the number of impressions your competitors’ content is generating for the keywords they’re ranking higher for?
  • How can you target your competitors’ weakest keywords and overtake them in those searches?
  • What kind of content should your organization be focused on to make upward progress on the search engine results pages?

Addressing questions like these can help you determine what kind of work needs to be done to overtake the competition in the SERPs and reach your search engine optimization goals. Using a tool like Demandwell’s Share of Search Audit can be a great way to develop your competitor analysis methods and gain the information about the competition you need in order to succeed.

Competitor Analysis Example

Effective competitor analysis is usually not an easy task. It can be challenging to build a successful strategy that provides you with the insights you need to outpace the competition in organic search. It can sometimes be helpful to take a look at a competitor analysis framework example or two to inspire you and to learn about the different methods that are possible. 

Content gap analysis is a great competitor analysis example that demonstrates one of the most effective kinds of analysis. Content gap analysis is a process that involves examining your existing online content to determine which topics or keywords you are not currently ranking for but should be. 

A content gap could occur because you have no (or very little) content on that particular topic or are not creating content that targets those particular keywords. However, one could also happen even if you have relevant content because one of your competitors has content on the same topic or targets the same keywords performing better than your content.

So, how exactly does this competitors analysis example work? The first step of finding your organization’s content gaps is determining which keywords you want to be ranking for. You need a goal in mind before you can determine how well you’re meeting it. Once you know what the most important keywords are for your organization, you can use keyword research tools (or a service that includes keyword research, like Demandwell) to find out if you currently have content that is ranking well for those keywords.

To find the content gaps that are being caused not by your own lack of content but by your competitors’ content outperforming your own, you should pay attention to what it is about the competitors’ content that is making it rank higher. Look at the content that lives above yours on the SERPs and ask yourself how you can take a lesson from it to improve your organization’s content.

Demandwell’s Keyword Lifecycle Maturity Model lays out Demadwell’s strategy for using keywords to close the gaps between your content and your competitors’ in more detail.

Importance Of Competitive Analysis

It’s hard to overstate the importance of competitive analysis. Prioritizing competitor analysis is almost always a good idea because otherwise, you’re just creating content in a vacuum. You need to know what kind of content your content is up against if you want to stand a good chance of creating content that ranks better. 

You can also learn a lot from competitor content that’s more successful than yours. If a competitor has a piece of content in the top spot on the search engine results page and you wish your content were in that spot, try to figure out what it is about that piece of competitor content that’s making it rank higher.

Here are a few of the primary benefits of understanding your competition from an SEO perspective that serve to remind us of the importance of competitor analysis:

Competitor analysis helps your organization keep up with the digital marketing landscape as it increasingly focuses on search engine optimization. A digital content strategy is no longer optional — it’s practically a necessity if you hope to keep up with the competition. Conducting a thorough competitor analysis can help you remain on the cutting edge of search engine optimization and digital marketing.

Competitor analysis helps you identify the areas in which your content is well-positioned to compete. One of the most common problems marketers face in building a digital content strategy is not knowing where to focus their efforts. If a competitor has a great piece of content ranking at the number one spot for a keyword you’re targeting, you might be tempted to pour all your time and resources into knocking that content off the top spot. 

However, if there’s another keyword you want to target for which your competitor is ranking much lower (or not at all), then it might actually make more sense to focus on creating content for that keyword. The payoff will likely be higher for much less effort. This is the kind of tactic that would be nearly impossible to utilize without conducting a thorough technical competitive analysis.

Competitor analysis helps your organization avoid sinking money into paid search to make up for lack of organic search traffic. A common mistake content marketers make is resorting to paid search to supplement a poorly performing content strategy instead of fixing the strategy itself. By analyzing your competition, you can gain the insights necessary to optimize your content and attract more organic site visits rather than funnel more money into your paid search budget.

Competitor Analysis Report

After you finish your competitor analysis research, you’ll need a way to organize your findings so you can understand and utilize the insights you’ve gathered. The usual way to do this is to create a competitor analysis report. The competitor analysis report is the final outcome of your competitor analysis that outlines all the information you’ve discovered about the competition’s SEO content.

There are many possible ways to format a competitor analysis report. The preferred method is often compiling all the findings into a competitor analysis PDF. This way, you have all the information contained within one convenient document that you can access and reference whenever you need to.

Your competitor analysis report PDF will likely become an invaluable tool for your organization’s content management. However, you will need to conduct an ongoing analysis of the competition to keep up with changes in their content strategies. Demandwell’s combination of software and consulting services can help you develop a plan for ongoing analysis that could potentially enable a competitive advantage for your content.

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