In any kind of business – whether it`s physical or online, we need to be aware of our competitors. This allows us to learn from other people`s mistakes and success to become successful in our own business. Watching competitors can sometimes bring even more advantages than you think!
A thorough analysis of your competitors and using it to your advantage can bring you a better ranking, draw your competitors` traffic to your website, give ideas on efficient keywords and even increase your sales!
There is only ONE tool you will need for all that – it`s SEMrush.
And in this article, I am going to present you an easy, step-by-step guide to show you how to outsmart your competitors and get their rankings and sales!
Before we start. If you are not using SEMrush yet, I am giving you an exclusive chance to use this super useful SEO tool totally for free for a whole week.
Step 1. List Your Competitors
Before we start. If you are a newbie blogger and you don`t know your competitors yet, here is a quick way to find them. Just Google your main keyword and type ‘top blogs’. Choose up to 5 websites that are the most similar to yours and make a list. You are ready to go now!
The first thing you need to do is open SEMrush and log in. If you haven`t signed up for SEMrush yet, it`s high time to do that.
Type one of your competitor websites into SEMrush. Choose ‘Domain Overview’ to get an overview of the whole information on the website. You`ll see a great bunch of various facts but don`t worry, I won`t let you get lost in it.
SEMrush gives you a whole profile on your competitors in seconds. You can find all kinds of information on them – from top-ranking keywords and traffic amount to their competitors. All the information that is not visible for ordinary users is right here at your fingertips. The key thing here is to know how to use it to your advantage!
In the overview, SEMrush shows only 5 top results for each parameter. However, you can easily see a more complete report if you choose ‘View Full Report’. Now you can use this full report to analyze your competitors` website including its keywords, backlinks, and competitors and draw some of its traffic to your website. Let me explain how you do it!
How to Get SEMrush Pro Account for FREE (Worth $99.95)?
Let me remind you that you need to have at least a SEMrush Pro account to be able to use all the features I am going to talk about here. And I am giving you an opportunity to use all the features a Pro account offers completely out of charge for a whole week. Here is what you need to do.
- Go to the SEMrush website. First, you need to sign up using your email address and creating a password.
- Choose your plan (pro in this case) and click on “Get free trial”.
- Next, type in your bank account information and click on “Place the order”. In case you like SEMrush and decide to continue using your Pro account, it will allow you to pay the fee.
- When you are done with entering your payment information, you can start using your SEMrush Pro account for free for 7 days which is worth $99.95 by the way!
Why Do You Need a SEMrush Pro Account?
If you are still hesitating about creating a SEMrush Pro account, let me tell you just a few features you will get access to if you sign up.
- You will get the key SEO details about your own website as well as your competitors` websites.
- The information on websites has been gathered since January 2012. So it will allow you to track your competitors` success.
- You will get access to 40+ professional SEO tools.
Step 2. Find Top-Ranking Keywords of Your Competitors
At this point, we need to find those keywords our competitors are using that draw the most organic traffic to their websites. When we find them, we can then use them on our website and draw more traffic to our own website.
There are 2 ways to find them using SEMrush:
- In ‘Domain Overview’, find ‘Top Organic Keywords’ and choose ‘View Full Report’. It will show you the complete report on the best organic keywords your competitor`s using.
- After you enter your competitor`s website, go to ‘Keyword Overview’ to get the whole information on the performance of the keywords they are using.
Here is what it looks like (we used Problogger.net as an example):
Try to choose a competitor with a way higher traffic amount than yours because this way you will have a wider range of top-ranking keywords to choose from, and it will give you more ideas to work on.
Here is what we get when we click on “View Full Report”:
With the help of SEMrush, you can identify the keywords that work the best and draw a lot of organic traffic to your competitor`s website. But the information SEMrush is offering is not limited to it.
Here are just a few parameters that you can easily access in ‘Keyword Overview’.
- Keyword rankings
- Search volume every keyword is getting
- Keyword density (the number of times it`s used in the post)
- Cost per click (CPC) data
The information SEMrush is providing on keywords is enormous. Using all these parameters you can easily find the top-ranking keywords, predict the amount of traffic they will be getting you and choose the most appropriate and efficient keywords for your own website.
Pro Tip: You need to go through the keywords your competitors are using and list 50-100 top-ranking keywords for every competitor. After you are done, you will have a list of over 250 efficient keywords on your hands which you can then use to plan your content for a whole year!
That`s why it`s very important to choose the right and the best keywords at this point. The more accurately you choose your new keywords, the higher will be the organic traffic growth on your website.
Step 3. Analyze Your Competitors` Backlinks
Although creating content for the top-ranking keywords of your competitors is a great strategy itself, but it`s not enough if you want to not only grow your audience but also rank high in Google searches.
The next important step you need to take is to find out what bloggers and websites share your competitors` content. And to do that, you will need to analyze your competitors` backlinks.
You may be wondering why it is so important. Let me explain. When Google sees that your content is shared on other websites, it decides that your content offers complete information on the topic and has value to it. That will help you get better ranking in Google searches which is vital for organic traffic growth.
Now let`s get back to SEMrush and see how to find backlinks over there.
Find ‘Domain Analytics’ and choose ‘Backlinks’. It will give you’re the list of all backlinks your competitors have.
Here’s how it looks like.
SEMrush shows both nofollow and dofollow links. We don`t need nofollow links because they are not used by search engines, so we`ll need to focus on dofollow links and see where they take us. Fortunately, only about 20% of all backlinks are dofollow links.
Using SEMrush, you can easily analyze backlink sources your competitors are getting. Also, you need to pay attention to the anchor text which is linked to the source. That will allow you to find out what content and what keywords (they are commonly used in anchor texts) create more backlinks.
Now that you have found sources that you can ask to share your content, you need to make a plan for where you are going to promote your content to get backlinks.
What to do once you find your competitor’s back-link sources?
What you are going to do next is called the Skyscraper technique. First things first, you need to create a way better content on a certain keyword than your competitors. Make sure that what you offer is more complete and detailed than whatever everybody else is writing on this topic.
After that, you need to choose the websites that gave backlinks to a similar material to your competitors, contact them and let them know that you have a more valuable and thorough article on the topic. If they like it, they will choose your content over your competitors, you will get the backlink and a new traffic source!
Step 4. Prepare High-Quality Content!
By now, you have learned how to find high-ranking keywords that can draw more organic traffic to your website. Also, you’ve found out what websites are interested in sharing this content, which will help you to get more backlinks and achieve a better ranking in search engines.
However, the most significant step is still ahead of you. All the information you’ve learned by now won`t help you unless you do one last thing. Let me explain more about it.
To make this technique work for you, you need to prepare and publish high-quality content. There are a few things that will help you.
1. Get the ideas for your future posts from the keyword research you have done in SEMrush (Step 2).
2. Put all your effort into writing a fine article that will cover all aspects of the topic. Do some research before you start. Try to gather all the information you can find in one place. And don`t forget that you need to write more than 2000 words to help your post rank on Google.
3. Publish your post. Contact the websites you`ve found in Step 3 and let them know that you have a better post on the topic they are interested in and ask them to share the link to it.
4. The chances are they won`t share the link to your content. But you shouldn’t worry about that. You have published a longer and more complete post than your competitors and organic traffic is guaranteed for it.
This is the most important, but also the most time-consuming and hard step in this strategy. However, if you manage to do it right, your success is guaranteed. Here are a few details you need to take into consideration while preparing content that will earn you good rankings on Google.
- Start with reading carefully 10 top-ranking websites on these keywords. Try to understand how they managed to rank so high, but also look for their drawbacks. What information did they miss in their posts? What else is there to say on the topic? Use it in your own post to make it more complete.
- Use the keywords throughout your post – not only in the heading, but also in the text, subheadings, etc.
- Use images, screenshots, and photos – all kinds of visual aid that will make your content easier to follow.
- Finally, give internal links to related content on your website.
Stop learning on your own mistakes and start using the tools that are there to help you out.
Now, sit back and watch your website start ranking!
The hardest part of your work is over, however, it doesn’t mean that you can relax, move on to the next keyword and forget about your content.
You need to continue monitoring your website`s stats to make final changes to the content, SEO data you have used, and fixing the problems your website may have. All this is called website audit and will help you improve your ranking.
SEMrush is there to help you out on each step – from keyword research to website audit when your post is already published. Here is what tools SEMrush offers to help you monitor your website.
- Monitor your website`s health
- See your website`s rankings
- See how the keywords you`ve used are ranking
- Solve SEO problems
What I love about SEMrush is that it offers all possible tools that you may need from the very beginning of creating your content up until the moment your content is already published. It helps you fix problems and improve your post`s position even when everything is done.
Moreover, using SEMrush you can keep an eye on the content you published earlier and help it bring you more traffic and a better ranking.
Success can be possible only if you have professional insight in the niche and can analyze what`s trending in your niche. Not all of us have the needed knowledge and experience to predict what content will rank the best. That`s why we need a tool that will do that instead of us.
SEMrush gives us all the SEO information on keywords and our competitors in the niche and makes it easy to analyze and choose those keywords that will help us draw more traffic to our websites.
If you want to take a huge step forward in affiliate marketing, I strongly recommend you take advantage of such tools as SEMrush.
Do you agree that a successful affiliate marketer can`t make it without his pro tools? Share your thought below!