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How to Analyze Your Competitors Sites for SEO (Secret "Quick Wins" Checklist Included)

   By: Hayden Jarman

Ever feel like your competitors are beating you at a game you didn't even know you were playing? You're not alone.

It's frustrating seeing lesser businesses top the search results while you put in the hard work.

You're probably wondering, "What do they have that I don't?" And hey, I get it. It's confusing, irritating, and demoralizing.

But guess what? There's a way to turn the tables.

Think of SEO as a chess game. It might feel like you're playing blindfolded while your competitors have all the moves figured out. It's easy to assume they're lucky, but that's not true. They've got strategies, and it's time for you to learn them. Trust me, they're not doing anything you can't do. They just know where to look and what to look for.

Now, let's dive into the nitty-gritty of analyzing your competitors' sites for SEO. This isn't just about evening the playing field; it's about taking the lead.

Ready to uncover their secrets and outrank them? Let's begin.


WAIT: Before diving into the article, grab our Quick-Win SEO Tactics document. In just one week, see immediate improvements in your rankings with actionable steps. Get your copy and start boosting your SEO today!


Table of Contents:

Step 1: Identify Competitors

To start your competitor analysis for SEO, first, you need to identify who your main competitors are.

This involves finding websites that rank for the same keywords you are targeting.


  1. Make a list of the primary keywords you are targeting for your website.
  2. Perform a Google search for each of these keywords.
  3. Note down the websites that consistently appear in the top positions for these keywords.

Once you've completed this step, we'll move on to the next one.

Step 2: Analyze Competitors' Schema Markup

Now that you have a list of competitors, let's look at their schema markup.

Schema markup helps search engines understand the content on the web pages, and it can enhance how your page appears in search results.


  1. Choose one of your competitors from the list.
  2. Use a schema markup checker tool like Google's Rich Results Test or Schema Markup Validator.
  3. Enter the URL of your competitor's webpage into the tool and analyze the schema markup used.
  4. Note down the types of schema they are using, such as:
    • BlogPosting
    • Product
    • FAQPage
    • BreadcrumbList
  5. Identify any errors or warnings in their schema implementation.

Once you have analyzed one competitor, repeat the process for the other competitors on your list.

Step 3: Evaluate Competitors' Content

Next, let's evaluate the content on your competitors' websites.

This involves looking at the type, structure, and quality of the content they are publishing.


  1. Choose a competitor and visit their website.
  2. Select a few key pages (e.g., homepage, blog posts, product pages) to analyze.
  3. For each page, note the following:
    • Content Type: What kind of content is it (blog post, product description, FAQ, etc.)?
    • Length and Depth: How long is the content? Does it provide in-depth information on the topic?
    • Headers and Subheaders: How is the content structured? Are there clear headers and subheaders (H1, H2, H3)?
    • Visuals: Are there images, videos, infographics, or other visual elements?
    • User Engagement Elements: Are there elements like comments, reviews, or social sharing buttons?
    • Internal Links: How is the internal linking structure? Are there links to other relevant pages within the website?
  4. Identify areas where you think you can provide better or more expansive content.

Repeat this process for each competitor on your list.

Step 4: Examine Competitors' Backlinks

Now that you've evaluated the content, let's look at the backlinks your competitors have.

Backlinks are important for SEO because they signal to search engines that your content is valuable and authoritative.


  1. Choose a competitor to start with.
  2. Use an SEO tool like Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMrush to analyze their backlink profile.
  3. In the tool, enter the competitor's domain to see their backlink report.
  4. Note the following details:
    • Number of Backlinks: Total number of backlinks pointing to their site.
    • Quality of Backlinks: Are the backlinks from high-authority domains? (Look for high Domain Authority (DA) or Domain Rating (DR) scores)
    • Anchor Text: What anchor texts are used for the backlinks? Are they relevant and varied?
    • Types of Links: Are the links do-follow or no-follow?
    • Source Pages: Identify the types of pages linking to your competitor (blogs, news sites, forums, etc.).
  5. Identify any high-quality backlinks that you could potentially acquire as well.

Repeat this process for each competitor on your list.

Step 5: Review Competitors' Website Structure and Technical Setup

Let's get into the technical aspects of your competitors' websites, including their robots.txt file, meta robots tags, sitemaps, and breadcrumbs.

This helps understand their site architecture and how they manage SEO directives.


  1. Robots.txt File:
    • Navigate to (replace "" with the actual domain).
    • Review the file to see which parts of the site are blocked from search engine crawlers and which parts are allowed. Pay attention to disallow rules that could affect crawling.
  2. Meta Robots Tags:
    • Check the HTML source of a competitor's page. Look for meta robots tags in the <head> section, such as <meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow">.
    • Identify pages that are set to noindex or nofollow and consider why they might be doing this.
  3. Sitemap:
    • Look for the sitemap by visiting
    • Check the sitemap structure and see which pages are included. Note the frequency of updates and priority settings.
  4. Breadcrumbs:
    • Analyze the breadcrumb structure on a few key pages. Look for how they are implemented and the keywords they use in the breadcrumbs.

Document these findings and consider how you can optimize your own website's structure based on this information.

Step 6: Evaluate Competitors' On-Page SEO Elements

Next, we'll look at the on-page SEO elements of your competitors' websites.

This includes title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and URL structures.


  1. Title Tags:
    • Visit a few key pages of a competitor's website.
    • Right-click on the page and select "View Page Source" to find the title tag (<title>).
    • Note the structure, length, and keywords used in the title tags. Identify any patterns or strategies they employ.
  2. Meta Descriptions:
    • In the page source, find the meta description tag (<meta name="description" content="...">).
    • Analyze the length, keywords, and call-to-action elements in the meta descriptions.
  3. Headers:
    • On the competitor's pages, examine the headers (H1, H2, H3, etc.).
    • Note the hierarchy and the keywords used in these headers. Check if the headers are descriptive and relevant to the content.
  4. URL Structure:
    • Look at the URLs of key pages. Note the structure, length, and keywords used.
    • Identify if they use clean URLs (e.g., and if there are any patterns in their URL formatting.

Document your observations and compare them with your own website's on-page SEO elements.

Step 7: Analyze Competitors' User Engagement Metrics

Understanding how users interact with your competitors' websites can provide insights into what works well and what doesn't.


  1. Page Speed:
    • Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to analyze the page speed of your competitors' key pages.
    • Note the load times and any recommendations for improvement.
  2. Bounce Rate and Time on Site:
    • While you can't directly see these metrics for your competitors, tools like SimilarWeb or Alexa can give you estimated engagement metrics.
    • Note their estimated bounce rates, average time on site, and number of pages per visit.
  3. Mobile Friendliness:
    • Use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to check how well your competitors' websites perform on mobile devices.
    • Note any issues or areas for improvement that you observe.
  4. User Interaction Elements:
    • Observe elements that encourage user interaction, such as CTAs (Call-to-Actions), comment sections, live chat, or interactive features.
    • Note the placement and effectiveness of these elements.
  5. Content Engagement:
    • Check for social sharing buttons and see how often their content is shared on social media platforms.
    • Look at the number and quality of comments on their blog posts or articles.

Document your findings and consider how you can enhance user engagement on your own website.

Step 8: Monitor Competitors' SEO Performance Over Time

The final step is to continuously monitor your competitors' SEO performance to track changes and identify new opportunities.


  1. Set Up Competitor Tracking:
    • Use tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz to set up competitor tracking. These tools can monitor your competitors' keyword rankings, backlinks, and overall SEO performance.
    • Set up alerts for significant changes in their rankings or backlink profiles.
  2. Create a Tracking Spreadsheet:
    • Develop a spreadsheet to log important data points from your analysis. Include columns for:
      • Keyword rankings
      • Backlink acquisition
      • Content updates (e.g., new blog posts or pages)
      • Technical SEO changes (e.g., changes in site structure or schema markup)
    • Update this spreadsheet regularly (e.g., monthly) to keep track of trends and patterns.
  3. Analyze Changes:
    • Periodically review the collected data to identify what changes your competitors are making and how these changes affect their SEO performance.
    • Look for patterns or strategies that seem to be working well for them and consider how you can adapt or improve upon these strategies for your own site.
  4. Adjust Your SEO Strategy:
    • Based on the data and insights you've gathered, make informed adjustments to your SEO strategy.
    • Focus on areas where your competitors are excelling and find ways to differentiate your site by providing better content, user experience, or technical optimizations.

By regularly monitoring your competitors and making strategic adjustments, you can stay competitive and continuously improve your own website's SEO performance.

Additional Resources

To dive deeper into competitor analysis and SEO strategies, check out these valuable resources:

Feeling overwhelmed or need expert guidance? Reach out to BlueTone Media for personalized assistance in boosting your website's SEO performance.

Visit our SEO services page to learn more about how we can help you rank higher on Google.

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