When we, as SEO experts, intend to present our SEO proposal or SEO plan to the employer or accept a new project, we must have a relatively comprehensive view of the business and brands that compete with us.

For you to be able to reach the top of Google, in addition to the activities that you do on the page or off the page, you must also keep a close eye on your competitors, especially in competitive areas and words where the cost of work is usually higher and Time to reach page one and top rankings are harder.

Although the guidelines and general principles of SEO have not changed significantly in these years, the algorithms are updated more than 500 times a year by Google, with the constant presence and evolution of algorithms such as knowledge graph, hummingbird, rank brain, BERT, etc. They have made it harder, more technical, and more elegant than in the past. That being said, checking out the sites that are competing with you in a specific area can also give you a better understanding of Google’s algorithms.

At the most basic level, checking a site on the web should be done in three ways:

  • Technology
  • content
  • link building

In this article, I intend to fully explain each of these criteria that you should consider in reviewing your site with competitors and provide you with tricks for each one.

Competitors’ website technology

The goal of every website designer is that the website he designs has a correct structure, the codes are optimized, and also ready for the crawling of Google robots. For you to be able to design a standard site, you either have to undertake the site design yourself or outsource it.

Since it is quite difficult to find a professional website designer who can fully implement your idea at a reasonable price, I recommend you undertake this step of the process yourself “if you are interested” or by taking a website design course. Or keep up-to-date by reading your website design articles to understand the details and hidden parts of the work and bring the project implementation process closer to what you have in mind with constructive suggestions.

And as for the technical analysis of the site, I recommend you consider the following:

  • Analytics and tracking
  • Widgets
  • E-commerce
  • Frameworks
  • CDN
  • Mapping
  • Mobile
  • Payment
  • A/V Media
  • CMS
  • JS libraries & functions
  • Advertising
  • Verified links
  • SSL Certificates
  • Web hosting providers
  • Name servers
  • Email hosting providers
  • Web servers
  • Operating systems & servers
  • Syndication techniques
  • Webmaster registration

Website architecture

Examining the architecture of your site and competitors is one of the most important parts of site analysis. With this, you can prioritize and identify main pages, subpages, content chats, product pages, etc. in order of importance. This is exactly what a sitemap does for you and of course the search engine.

There are several useful tools for checking and doing this, but my recommendation is to use the free software Xenu Link Sleuth.

Core web vitals

Core web vital was introduced by Google on May 5, 2020, and according to it, relatively new criteria were presented by Google to developers and SEO experts.

But why relatively new? Because these criteria have attracted Google’s attention for a long time and almost all developers were aware of their importance. But with the official announcement of Google and also the update of technical SEO review websites such as Google Light House, this issue became fully public.

But what is the framework of this update of the vital core of Google? What criteria have become more important? As an SEO expert, how can we improve our site according to these criteria and what tools should we use to measure it?

To ask these questions and learn some SEO tricks to improve core web vitals and improve site speed, be sure to read the “core web vitals” article.

Content review

Making a list of all the keywords you want to grow in is still an important task. Because the cornerstone of your content strategy in the entire project process completely depends on this issue.

Before you start analyzing the keywords of your site, start analyzing 5 of your competitors in detail.

All main, secondary, and secondary keywords. Extract their long tail and store common keywords with a certain coefficient in another list. (These words will probably make up a significant part of your site’s keywords.) For this, I recommend you to use the ahrefs site.

Ahrefs, having a strong database (of almost all businesses), tells you what the site is ranked for, which words have brought them the most traffic, what is the monthly search volume of the words, in which words are the competitors ranked. They have and you don’t! And it provides you with other very valuable information.

Note: the ahrefs account only has a premium version and you must have a monthly or annual subscription to use it.

One page SEO

Although with the evolution of the Knowledge graph algorithm, some criteria have moved away from the high importance they had in the past, but still many of these criteria and important items will have a very influential role on your site’s ranking. To be able to compare your site with competitors in these cases, I recommend you to use SEO book’s free webpage similarity comparison tool.

This tool will compare your site with competitors in the following cases:

  • page title
  • Meta description
  • key words
  • Number of contents
  • Long tail key phrases

Backlink analysis

Checking competitors’ backlinks is a right and dangerous thing at the same time!

In what aspect?

Most people with experience in the field of SEO know that they should not follow external SEO and external links of competitors. This will most likely cause your site to face problems. Because the rival site also has a webmaster and an SEO expert, they are not waiting for you to copy their efforts and probably succeed!

Therefore, do not copy your competitors’ links. But by carefully analyzing the links, find the sites where you can build connections. Be sure to check every destination site with your backlink checklist and after that by making a comprehensive list, select the sites that are suitable for link building and start linking with a long-term plan.

In terms of foreign SEO competitors, the only tool that I think is very good and perfectly provides you with valuable information is ahrefs.


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