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Ignoring your SEO competition: the biggest SMB mistake

seo competitors analysis selection and mistakes

Over the years of content strategy research and planning we’ve come across a very common mistake that small businesses make.

Nearly half of all business owners ignore their SEO competition when they start websites.

In fact, most of new business owners and entrepreneurs fail to properly acknowledge their SEO competitors.

Here’s how it happens and how to fix it.

SEO competition vs business competition


When business owners reach out to us to buy a content plan, all of them talk about competitors.

However, they mean business competitors – i.e. businesses having similar model, similar USP, nearby physical locations, and so on.

Very few of this matters for blogging, SEO, and all that organic traffic you are after.

SEO competitors are the sites that rank on search engines for the keywords you are after, period.

This is the reality that most business owners fail to face.


How to find SEO competition


The sites you see in the SERPs (search engine results pages) when googling your products or services are the ones you are competing with.

For example, if you want to sell weight lifting straps, no matter how unique or sustainable or magical you straps are – you have to compete against all the results on Google’s page 1 to get organic traffic:

seo competition selection seo competitor analysis example

As a result, you can immediately say that you will need YouTube presence, optimize the images on your site to get into Google images, and consider listing your products on Amazon too.

The Men’s Health magazine is your competitor, even though they don’t manufacture lifting straps.

Further competitor research will give you more promotion ideas and targets for outreach.


SEO competitors research mistakes


Here’s a list of most frequent small business owners misconceptions answered:

Q: This mom & pop store in our town is the main competitor, we need to do what they do

A: False, the firs page of Google’s results for your major keywords contains several nation-wide e-commerce stores, a lifestyle magazine and several youtube channels. These sites will shape your content strategy and SEO.

Q: We don’t have any competitors

A: You have not done your research right. Once you re-phrase your potential customers’ queries in a more

Q: We take a non-competing approach and our product is vegan/vedic/astral

A: That just means you are about to lose. Every business has “competitors”, which does not mean they have enemies. Competitors help understand what works and validate ideas without making mistakes.


SEO competitors analysis tools to use is the best free SEO competition research tool.

Before you switch to advanced paid tools like Ahrefs, make sure you have thoroughly googled you “dream” searchphrases and know the answer to the following questions:

  • Is your product or service covering a real customer need?
  • Are there e-commerce giants and established major media in results for your SERPs (= bad, more work)
  • Are there social media sites in SERPs for your commercial queries (= good, more opportunity)
  • Are there a lot of search suggestions on the bottom of the SERP (= good, more options & larger market)

Browse the competing sites and pages, see what they blog about. All of that will help you create a detailed customer persona to shape an effective content strategy.

If you need professional support and validation of your ideas – buy a custom researched content plan from us!


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