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How-to 11 min read August 28, 2019

How to identify the main competitors of the project

Analysis of the competitors of the website allows you to see the situation on the market and borrow successful solutions for your project. Resource promotion without knowing your competitors leads to the omission of additional options for optimization and development directions.

Why do you need to find competitors

Analysis of the competitors' promotion allows you to know their strategy and improve the optimization of your own project. The investigation of the competitor's websites allows you to:

  • add additional key phrases to the semantic core for promotion;
  • determine the most popular products, services or materials of competitors, learn what is highly demanded among users, and use the information on your own resource;
  • evaluate the quality of the website and analyze the competitors' reference profile in order to understand how they are doing promotion, whether they use external links and how many;
  • examine the website structure: the presence of sections and subsections, a specific functionality that can be used in your own project;
  • find out how your competitor is successful in social networks, whether he uses contextual advertising and how much budget he spends on it.

When making a list of competitors, we classify them into three categories:
1
Main competitors are websites with similar topic or selling the same products that work in the same territory as the analyzed resource.
2
Indirect competitors are resources with partially overlapping topics. They can have additional promotion directions that are not used by the analyzed website. For instance, when you search for competitor's website that sells refrigerators, these will be online hardware stores.
3
Leaders are the most popular and widely promoted resources that can be guided as a benchmark, but you should not rely on their promotion strategy. These are massive websites known worldwide like YouTube, Wikipedia, AliExpress that leave no chance to surpass them.
Let's see step by step the process of determining the list of main competitors on the example of the online store citrus.ua using different resources. We will be examining two regions: Kyiv and Moscow. We will not include indirect competitors and leaders in the list, and will only be concentrated on the websites similar by level and content as much as possible.

How to find website competitors

Manual identification of competitors

To make the list of competitors manually, you need to use the main semantic key phrases and enter them into the search engines. You should also take into account that the default results will be personalized according to the location and preferences of the user.

For example, let's enter the query "buy smartphone" in Google search:
Buy Smartphone - Google Request
The search engine results are presented, taking into account the user's location (city and region).

If the target audience is in a different region, go to the search settings:
Google Search Settings
Turn off the use of private results and select the desired region. You can select only the country without specifying the city:
Google Personalized Search
Google Search Region
Select "Russia" and save the settings, after which the new region settings will take effect:
Change Google Search Region
Now, when entering the query "buy smartphone", you will see other search results:
New search results for “buy a smartphone” on Google
You can also use Google Chrome plugins, for example, GeoClever, to change the location. This tool allows you to reduce the range of locations to the desired city when using Google search:
Google Chrome Location Change Plugin
Having finished searching competitors by keywords, we will save the list in a table in the following format:
Table with a list of competitors - 1
We will input the TOP-5 competitors into the table from Google results for "Russia" and "Ukraine" tabs:
Table with a list of competitors - 2

Google refine searches

Refine web searches allows you to search for resources with similar content:
Clarification operator related in Google
We received a list of five competitors for the Citrus online store. Please note that for correct operation you need to enter the operator and the domain name without spaces. Add domain names to the list of competitors created earlier:

Identifying competitors with Serpstat

You can quickly identify website competitors automatically by using Serpstat. The list of competitors is based on identifying websites promoted by similar search queries.

Go to the "Competitors" subsection of the "SEO-analysis" module. Enter the URL of the website for which we search the competitors and choose a search engine:
Competitor Analysis in Serpstat
After filling in the fields, click "Search", and you will get a list of the main competitors of the resource:
Competitors Report at Serpstat
The report includes data that can be immediately used for SEO analysis of competitors:

  • the number of common key phrases used during resource promotion;
  • missing phrases used in promotion only by a competitor;
  • the relevance of the competitor's website to the analyzed website in a percentage difference. The maximum value is 100%. It calculates the percentage of common phrases with the desired project to the number of all phrases of the competitor's website;
  • the total number of the promoted resource phrases with an indication of their dynamics;
  • visibility is a parameter that depends on the number and popularity of key phrases thanks to which the domain is in the TOP-20 in the search results.

If necessary, you can change the list of competitors by adding new ones or deleting those that are found automatically. It is advisable to remove the massive and most promoted resources from the list, such as YouTube, Wikipedia, Amazon and other websites that are not the main competitors of the analyzed project.

We also remove the resources that are promoted in other regions. You can add projects-competitors, found using other methods, or initially known to project owners. For example, online stores that sell similar products, if their offices/pickups are located nearby.

After changing the list, click "Apply":
Adding Project Competitors to Serpstat
We then export the updated report to a convenient format; there are seven options to choose from, among which are Excel, Google Docs and PDF.

There is another option for defining competitors through Serpstat. To do this, enter the high-frequency key phrase "Buy smartphone", select a search engine and click "Search":
Search for competitors by phrase in Serpstat
As a result, we get the analysis of competitor's websites for this query:
list of competitors for the phrase in Serpstat
In this particular case, the list of main competitors obtained in Serpstat by two methods coincided.

Add six resources obtained through Serpstat to the list of competitors:
Table with a list of competitors - 5

Attendance measuring services

In order to find more competitors, use the service SimilarWeb.

Enter the domain address, after which you will get the statistics for the required URL:
SimilarWeb Statistics Service
You will find the information about competitors in the "Also visited websites" section:
Similar sites in SimilarWeb
Two out of five mentioned resources are not the main competitors of the analyzed project, they are price comparison services. Therefore, we add only three websites to the list:
Table with a list of competitors - 7

Brand Mentions

You can find mentions about the competitors using the Google Alerts tool. The service allows you to set up alerts for selected key phrases or brands, specifying the frequency of sending, sources, language, country and number of results. Results will be sent to email or RSS feed.

Set up alerts by the key phrase "Buy smartphone" Customize the results to be sent as soon as they appear, we set the language to English and Region to "Any Region". All results will be sent to the email. Click "Create alert":
Create an alert to the Google Alerts
After setting up notifications, emails will receive alerts with hyperlinks to new websites where the specified key phrase is placed:
alert example in google alert
Add two more resources found using Google alerts:
Table with a list of competitors - 6

Competitors that run Adwords campaigns

Another source of information about competitors is the data on contextual advertising. You can use Serpstat in order to find out which competitors run ads in Adwords. Enter the URL of the online store and move on to the "Analysis of the subdomain" subsection of the "Site Analysis" section:
Search for competitors by price aggregator
Go to the end of the summary report on the domain and see the list of competitors in the context:
Compare prices of competitors through aggregators
This list includes price aggregators, online stores, previously obtained by other search methods, as well as a new competitor. Add all domains except price aggregators to the competitor analysis table. Considering that the new competitor works in both Russia and Ukraine, we will enter its domain in both columns of the table:
Table with the list of competitors - 7
Then move on to the comparison of competing sites. Edit the list of 33 positions to get a visual display of matching results:
Table with the list of competitors - 8
The most reliable will be the options obtained by different methods.

Remove the duplicate results and stores identified by a single method, and get a consolidated list of competitors:
Table with the list of competitors - 9
In case with Russia, the main competitors are Svyaznoy, Mvideo and Eldorado online stores.

For Ukraine, the explicit main competitors of the Citrus online store are:

  • allo.ua;
  • comfy.ua;
  • eldorado.ua;
  • rozetka.com.ua;
  • stylus.ua;
  • foxtrot.com.ua;
  • moyo.ua.

All these resources appeared in the Serpstat report, which can be used as the fastest and most convenient option for search and analysis of competitors.

Conclusion

1
The identification and subsequent analysis of the main competitors is an important marketing task, which provides you with relevant information necessary to develop your own project properly.
2
You can identify competitors manually, using automated tools, or combine these two options together.
3
Using Serpstat will significantly save your time and instantly get a report with a detailed analysis of competitors.

This article is a part of Serpstat's Checklist tool
Checklist at Serpstat
Checklist is a ready-to-do list that helps to keep reporting of the work progress on a specific project. The tool contains templates with an extensive list of project development parameters where you can also add your own items and plans.
Try Checklist now

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