In order to find your competitors, you first need to develop a list of keywords for which you want to rank. Once you know what keywords you want rank for, Google is the best place to conduct research. There are also some specialized tools that provide better functionality and deeper insight for competitive analysis such as SEMrush. I recommend using both free and premium tools to conduct your competitive research.

I would also recommend checking out the links below for more information on how to identify and analyze your competitors.




What is the Difference Between Organic and Paid Search?

Typically, "organic" refers to unpaid search results. Google defines organic search as:  "A free and independent web that allows users across the globe to find what they are looking for online." It is important to note that not all organic search results are created equal. Google uses a variety of signals to determine which results appear above other results. While there are hundreds of ranking factors, I would like to highlight a few key ones.


Title Tags: Your title tag is the most important on-page optimization factor and can be used as a ranking signal. The title tag should include your target keyword (2 times) and should sum up what the user will expect to see on your page. Think of it as the chapter heading for your content.

Title tags are unique to each page so you will need to use the URL slug in order to find all title tags across the site. Again, I recommend SEMrush to conduct proper competitive analysis on this area.

Meta Descriptions: One of the main on-page optimization factors, meta descriptions allow you to provide a brief summary of your page. Think of them as the "book synopsis" for your website.

Internal Links:  Internal linking is one area that I spend a considerable amount of time analyzing as it holds great potential to increase organic search performance. It's important to strike a balance between the number of internal links and their respective anchor text as too many or too few can harm performance.

Visibility:  When it comes to organic search, there are three types of keywords that you want to prioritize for your site: core, context and head. Core keywords are those that describe the product, service or company and are generally broad. Context keywords describe the reason behind a search (i.e. how to) and tend to be mid-tail in nature. Head keywords are those that aim to provide answers for common questions and provide readers with specific information that they are looking for (i.e. benefits of). These tend to be long-tail in nature.

Analyze Your Site Using Open Site Explorer:

If you have been doing any type of digital marketing for the past few years, then you are familiar with Google's own Keyword Planner Tool. The Keyword Planner is a free tool from Google that provides users with an estimate of the number of searches per month conducted for a given keyword.

While this is a great tool, it has its limitations. The first limitation is the number of results that are returned.