3 Ways to Monitor (and Outdo) Your Competitors With SEMRush

Search engine optimization and search engine marketing do not exist in a vacuum. Understanding what they’re doing and where they’re focusing their efforts is key if you’re to outfox and outperform them. SEMRush is arguably one of the most powerful tools available to you in that regard. 

No matter your industry, you need to keep track of your competition. You need to be aware of what competing organizations are doing, how they’re marketing themselves, and how they engage with their audience. Tracking their search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO)results is a cornerstone of this awareness. 

Neither SEO nor SEM exists in a vacuum. While it’s certainly possible to rank and succeed without knowing what your core competitors are doing, it’s far easier to excel if you’re familiar with them. Because at the end of the day, the more you know, the better-equipped you are to outfox everyone. 

Here are a few ways SEMRush can promote that level of awareness, and how you can use it to improve your own marketing efforts. 

Find Keyword Gaps in Your Organic Competitors

SEMRush’s Organic Research tool serves two core purposes. First, it lets you see what keywords your website is organically ranking for.  Armed with that information, you can either continue trying to rank for those keywords, or mix your strategy up a bit.

We’re here to talk about your competition, though. While in the Organic Research section of your SEMRush dashboard, click on Competitors. This will show you a list of sites that rank for the same organic keywords as you do, including details on the strength of each competitor as well as which keywords you should target if you want to outrank them. 

You can then take these sites and feed them into SEMRush’s Keyword Gap tool along with your own domain. This will allow you to compare not just organic keywords, but also paid and product listing/advertising keywords.  You can further narrow things down through SEMRush’s filters, which allow you to figure out specific topics you can potentially target. 

Build Better Backlinks

Through SEMRush’s Backlink Gap tool, you can identify link building opportunities that your competitors may have missed. This not only displays a backlink profile for every website you enter but also allows you to directly compare multiple sites against one another. This obviously helps you identify backlink opportunities yet to be tapped by your competition.

However, it also serves a secondary purpose. If a lot of your competitors seem to be receiving backlinks from one particular domain, then that domain could be worth targeting with your own link building efforts. 

Keep An Ear To The Ground

Beyond identifying strategic gaps in your competitor’s SEM and SEO strategy, SEMRush also allows you to passively monitor their activities across the web. Through SEMRush’s Social Media Tracker, for instance, you can keep track of each competitor’s activity, engagement, and audience across all social channels on which they are active. This can provide a clue as to where you should focus your own social media efforts, while also giving you an idea of how to target your social content.

SEMRush’s site tracking tool, meanwhile, provides you with a comprehensive overview of any website you add to it. This goes beyond keywords to include virtually every crawlable aspect of an opponent’s site, including the sitemap, HTTPS ranking, and any subdomains your competitor uses. 

The More You Know, The Better You’ll Do

These are just a few of the ways SEMRush can help you monitor and outdo your competitors. There’s a lot more to the platform than I’ve outlined above, and a great many more ways it can enhance your marketing efforts beyond competitor analysis. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the tool, and I’m certain you won’t be disappointed. 

About the Author:
Terry Cane is the COO at SEOHost.net, a reliable and supportive SEO hosting partner.