Audit Your Competitors For Fast Results

Audit Your Competitors For Fast Results

Audit Your Competitors For Fast Results

Episode 016

This week we’re chatting about how to audit your competitors and take inspiration from their SEO efforts to apply to your own site.

Lots of quick wins, tools and actionable tactics covered off in the episode. Also some random chat about wheels for some reason.

Lockdown Update – Due to the Sydney COVID lockdowns we’re not recording in the studio this week (or for the next few weeks at least) – instead, we’re recording from our home set-ups. Apologies the sound quality isn’t what it usually is!

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Local Digital 0:04
It’s time for the SEO show where a couple of nerds talk search engine optimization, so you can learn to compete in Google and grow your business online. Now, here’s your host, Michael and Arthur.

Michael 0:23
Another week, another episode of the SEO Show. I’m your host, Michael, and I’m joined by Arthur Hey, guy, another,

Arthur 0:29
I’m doing really well. I’m doing really well. Looking forward to this episode.

Michael 0:33
Yeah, more than the last one. The last one is pretty fun.

Arthur 0:36
Yeah, this one’s a good topic,

Michael 0:38
very useful for I guess, people starting out in SEO? Yeah, this is real world actionable SEO advice we’re going to talk about today because we’re on the topic of auditing your competitors for fast results. They’ve got you’ve got your two cliches that you want to bust out. I do. Ready for these. They say they’re cliches, but I think they are extremely apt and relevant for this topic. So I’m going to say them see what you think, with SEO, success leaves clues. That’s the first one. That’s the first one. And the second one is with SEO. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Sorry, both very true. Yeah, very true. You You listeners at home, you can decide whether they’re too cliched or not. But in this case, the very true, right, you can look at other websites in your industry in your space, and take inspiration from them from what they’re up to, and apply them on your own site. We do a lot of it, don’t we in our in our own day to day

Arthur 1:36
SEO efforts? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s part of SEO, you know, checking up on the competition, making sure that you’re up to scratch, you know, you don’t want to fall behind. Hmm.

Michael 1:45
And coming back to success leaves clues. What do I mean by that world, Google have this thing called the search engine results page. When you type something in google it might have heard of it. You might have might have used it once or twice. And all that stuff that shows on the first page or the websites, there the clues the other successful sites? What are they up to? You know, what are they doing that you’re not? Where are the gaps in your site, if you can figure that stuff out and apply it to your own site, then chances are, you’re gonna see good results. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Now, a big caveat that I want to say at the start is, do not get too obsessed with copying your competition. You know, you might be in a small market where there’s any a few players, and they might not even be doing SEO, and you’re obsessing over what they’re up to. So who’s to say that what they’re doing is the best way, you know, first and second, even more, if they could be using dodgy tactics, you know, really dodgy link building or sort of suspect on site optimization tactics. So don’t copy word for word or strategy, or tactic for tactic. Instead, just look for inspiration for obviously good ideas, right?

Arthur 2:52
Definitely. And it’s also worthwhile looking overseas as well, because, like you said, we our country is quite small. So looking at countries like the US and the UK, where there might be one or two steps ahead to get inspiration definitely makes sense. I do that all the time, you know, because it’s just a great way to find new ideas that aren’t being done yet in our market.

Michael 3:13
Yeah, big players are much more sophisticated. Even even like, if you’re a Sydney based business, there might be a really gun operator in Perth, for example. So don’t just look in your own backyard. Say, alright, let’s start from the start, we always like to start from the start, good place to start, is a good place to start. And we like to start with figuring out who your competitors are, you know, who, who you’re going to look at, to figure out the SEO tactics that you should be using on your own site?

Arthur 3:44
Exactly. And, you know, there are two types of competitors. So the your perceived competitors, so they’re the competitors that you think you might be competing with offline. So bricks and mortar stores, you know, the perceived competitors that you’ve been, you’ve known for a while. But there’s also the competitors that rank on Google, so your online or keyword competitors. So a lot of the time when we talk to clients, they might not have come across a lot of the sites that outrank them. So it’s very important to kind of look at those competitors when you’re trying to, I guess, gain gain advantage online.

Michael 4:15
Yeah. 100%. Like, well, we’ll have an onboarding, like an intake form when a client starts and we ask them, who are you competitive? And a lot of the time, the ones they say, don’t respond with who are the actual competitive in Google in Exactly, exactly. Yep. So um, yeah, the way you do that, like, from an SEO point of view, we only care about the keyword competitors, as we call them. Exactly. So how do you figure them out? Well, simply searching for him Really? Funny. Funny that Yeah, exactly. That’s the third page. Yeah, girl living there. Right. Yeah.

Arthur 4:47
So basically trying to figure out what keywords people would be searching for to get to your website. So a lot of the time it’s common sense. You might have to do some preliminary keyword research, but you’re not out of 10 times. You already know what people Searching for so it’s just as simple as searching for that keyword and seeing which competitors rank?

Michael 5:06
How many do you like to sort of go with when you do that? Are you looking? Are you going as deep as page to shock her page two?

Arthur 5:13
I think you know, top three is a good start. Yeah, you can look at page one at depends on where you’re at, really. But top three is always a good start. And there’s, you know, you can also use a href. So h refs has the companion domains section built into it, where you plug in your domain. And what it does is it shows you all the websites that rank in the top 10, for the same keywords as you, just to give you an idea. And that will spit out a list of 50 domains, which is a lot, obviously, you don’t want to be looking at all of those, or maybe you do but I think, you know, a good starting point is top three, at least, you know, top five, yeah,

Michael 5:48
coming back to the topic of hrs as well that you can plug that stuff into hrs in their dashboard, but the H refs browser extension for Chrome, if you install that, and login, yeah, and then it will put an overlay on the search results. So when you’re looking at all the top ranked sites, you can very quickly see, you know, what is their domain rating? The strength of the domain? And how much traffic? Are they getting? all that sort of stuff? So that can be a really quick way of filtering as well?

Arthur 6:12
Yeah, definitely. I use that on a day to day.

Michael 6:16
Yeah, 100%. And as we said, it’s not just your local market competitive, you know, if you want to get super tricky, you could go overseas, you could use a VPN, make yourself look like you’re in another country, you know, la London, something like that, and have a look at what those top rank sites are up to. But maybe, to start with just focus on your own backyard. And yeah,

Arthur 6:37
I do that for fun sometimes just to see what stuff ranks in like Finland or random countries. Nope, that’s a bit weird. But it’s just interesting to see what sort of search results they have. And this, I guess, the stuff that ranks over the Yeah,

Michael 6:51
it is no, I find that fun, too. I think we are probably a pair of weirdos in that we’re hosting an SEO podcast. So we really enjoy that stuff. Yeah, for most business owners, they’re not gonna enjoy researching finished ranking on a Friday evening as I have a whiskey. But look, it you know, if you’ve, if you get one or two hints from doing that stuff, and it makes a difference in your business, then it’s well worth doing. So, you know, we joke but in time, you might, you probably need to expand to other markets just to get more ideas. But anyway, that’s the starting point, you have a look, you figure out the top rank sites for the keywords that matter to you in your market and similar markets, record all of that. And then we need to start digging into what those sites are up to. Right.

Arthur 7:38
So I guess the first starting point would be looking at the content of the pages. So look, I like to start simple, it depends, I guess it depends very much on your website and your niche. But it could be as simple as just looking at the home pages and the category pages of the site. And then just doing like a, I guess a manual kind of spot to see where you’re at to see, I guess, if you’re hitting the right amounts, I guess it needs to be a bit more in depth in depth than that. But just to see, you know, this this page of content? If it doesn’t, I’m blabbering here. No, no, no, you’re

Michael 8:09
not like a visual, visual analysis of it. Like

Arthur 8:12
that’s Yeah, for lack of better words. That’s what I was trying to get a visual analysis.

Michael 8:16
What can we call it a quick look under the hood? Basically, yeah.

Arthur 8:19
Having having your site open against your competitors side by side and just having a visual analysis to see, you know, yeah, what what they’re doing and what you’re, what you’re not doing?

Michael 8:29
Yeah. So you might go on their page and see that they have a whole bunch of FA Q’s, and you don’t have that stuff. Exactly. Or they even have like all this written copy on the page, and you don’t, that’s the very obvious thing that probably needs to be done with your site right away. Yeah. The other thing, I would say, you know, you can look at things like word count, like there’s plugins for Chrome, I think it’s just called word count plugin or word counter. I think it’s Yeah, word count. Yeah, you can go on the page and like, highlight, copy and see what the word count on a page is. And you might see that, you know, your page has 750 words, and the top rank sites have 5000 or something like that. That’s a very obvious clue. Very quick. You need to add more copy to your page. So that’s where you start. Yeah, the visual.

Arthur 9:17
got there in the end?

Michael 9:18
There. We did. We did. So the other thing, I guess, you know, that’s why my view it’s a very manual way, I guess, you know, clicking copy on a page and counting the words with a plugin is manual. You can use tools like our trusty old favorite hrs to speed up this process a bit. So, we’ve got a couple of things we like to do an href. The first one would be, you know, you just plug in one of these competing sites that you found, you plug the domain into the file explorer in H refs, then you can go to the top pages report, and make sure that that’s sorted by traffic. And that’s going to list all of the pages on your competitors site. And you know, referring domains that those pages have how much traffic it can expect to have how many keywords it ranks for. So it’s a really quick way to see what pages are driving traffic from Google to those competitive sites. So then, it’s a matter of saying, Well, look, they have all of these service pages, all of these sub pages, and we don’t have them on our site. So we need to go out and create them. We also like to use content explorer in href. Now, this is a pretty cool little technique for finding keywords or notifications pages on other websites that rank well, I get traffic, and the page might, it might not necessarily be that competitive from an SEO point of view. So I’ll explain how it works first, and then why we like it. So basically, content Explorer, it’s one of the features within a address. If you go into that section, you can type in a keyword. So generally like to get a pretty broad with the keyword we might put in marketing, or digital marketing something like that of the keyword and then generate all the results. And you can then apply filters to those results. So I always like to put the filters are that the site is a WordPress site. So that stops other things like forums and you know, Question and Answer type sites being found just WordPress sites, then I like to set the page traffic to be 250 to 500. So that’s how many visits the page is getting a month, then I’ll put the DR the domain rating between zero to 30. Because that’s saying that the site’s not that strong from an SEO point of view from a link point of view. So what we’re seeing here is these pages are getting between 250 to 500 visitors a month, pretty weak domain, and they’re on WordPress, so it’s going to be very similar to what most business websites are. That’s going to spit out a whole bunch of results of pages around the world that are related to that keyword you typed into marketing or digital marketing. So then you can just look through those results and try and find ones that ideally are in Australia. And you can then go and create essentially exactly the same content for your site. And you have a chance to get similar levels of traffic, if your domain is, you know, anywhere near as strong as that which it should be because it’s not that strong, you know, zero to 30. Yeah, that’s a really cool way of generating new content ideas for a site.

Arthur 12:18
Yeah, it sounds similar to the skyscraper technique a little bit, basically, replicating or finding content and just making it better and improving on it.

Michael 12:26
Yeah, so Well, I guess the skyscraper, you’re using it to try and acquire links. In this case, it’s just natural traffic. So look, you probably couldn’t take this content out and try and get links to it. But from, from the perspective, I’m coming out, it’s more about, you know, get links. It’s more about getting content on the site that is already ranking in Google relatively easily on other sites that aren’t that strong. So

Arthur 12:50
it’s like a Bizarro, Bizarro skyscraper technique them?

Michael 12:54
Yeah, well, it’s just I guess, yeah, you probably don’t need like with the skyscraper technique, you, you are going all in on that content, making it amazing, and so good that it like, blows the competition away, and you can get links to it. This one, you’re just looking at what ranks and you know, doing something similar, and writing now, make it make it a bit better. But the fact that these pages rank already and get traffic and they’re not that strong, suggests that you don’t need to put as much effort into it as you might with the skyscraper technique. But yeah, that’s a little hack there on the content. I guess, competitive analysis side of things with that one as well. You’re not you it doesn’t matter who you think your competition Ah, you know, you’re just putting a keyword in and H refs is finding that all out. So you’re not sort of that research you did at the start doesn’t play a part in this, this little technique?

Arthur 13:47
That’s a really cool technique. Look, I can’t say that I’ve personally used it, but it’s Yeah, sounds really handy. Definitely going to

Michael 13:54
give it a go this week, have a bit of fun, you can go look at what we’re currently working on at the moment, but I’m do it for some 3d printing.

Arthur 14:04
I will for sure. It’s hard to find topics in 3d print. Actually, no, it’s not. It’s hard to find relevant topic for our client for 3d printing.

Michael 14:11
That’s the thing. And a lot of people, you know, this sort of deals with things where clients might say, you know, I want to rank for some extremely broad keyword where it’s super competitive, and it’s not going to drive traffic, but they also want traffic, you can sort of run this technique and find quick wins, you know, during this sort of stuff is going to get traffic to your site quicker. Like, is it going to be the best traffic depends on the theme of the article and whether it’s got a commercial intent or it’s just informational. And there’s all sorts of strategic stuff you got to think about, but it can lead to quick results. So that’s my humdinger. Do you have any humdingers you want to add on the content?

Arthur 14:48
hunting? I haven’t heard that before.

Michael 14:51
You never heard humdinger. No, never met anyone like Abe Simpson on the sense that the old guy living like a nanny

Arthur 15:01
I have Yeah, one thing I kind of wanted to touch on was a tool that I like to use, or we like to use called page optimizer per. Now page optimizer, pro pop is a, it’s a really good tool, which helps you identify the top competitors for any given search term. So basically, in a nutshell, what you do is you get the tool, and you plug in a keyword that you want to rank for, and the page you want to rank for that keyword. Now what this tool does is it’ll have a look at which pages are ranking for that keyword. So in your in your local market, and basically audit your page and all the pages that rank for that keyword, and spit out recommendations on how you can improve the content on your page. So it’s more in line with the competitors, which are ranking for that keyword. So I guess the theory behind this is, like you mentioned before, these pages already rank well on Google. So there’s a reason for it. Google obviously lacks the content, among other things, about those pages. So in theory leaves clues. That’s it. Yes. So in theory, if you replicate, you’d have to copy it exactly, but replicate the structure of the page. So I guess going back to page optimizer Pro, it will tell you which keywords the pages are using. So whether it’s an exact match keyword, whether it’s an LSI, or variation keyword, it tells you the frequency, it tells you where to insert the keywords. So whether or not the keyword needs to be added into the URL, or the heading tag. So the h1 or all the way down to h5, whether the key word needs to be added to the paragraph, or you might find that your pages over optimize for a keyword. So you might have to D optimize that page. So basically what it does is it gives you a roadmap. I don’t

Michael 16:46
know Yeah, it does. And we use this a lot. And the results, the results can be amazing, or they can be nothing. So it’s not to say that what this tool is saying is 100% right all the time, because it is just a good way of speeding the process up. And particularly if you’ve done nothing with your site, you know, you run it through a tool like this, and most of the time it’s going to improve things.

Arthur 17:10
Absolutely. Look, it’s a really good starting point as well. If you’re looking to you know, briefing a copywriter, you can give them you know, instructions on how to write the content. So make sure you include this keyword. This many times, we’ll make sure that these headings include this keyword. So constructions like Lego basically like for content. But

Michael 17:29
yeah, that it’s not like those IKEA instructions without that board man like putting them together.

Arthur 17:35
Depends on how good your braces

Michael 17:38
content is. If, if you use this to brief is a level above the IQ blood man? Yeah,

Arthur 17:45
I remember your soul was saying the content you get is always as good as a brief you give them so.

Michael 17:49
Hmm, very true. Very true. So what else on the content side of things? I guess we’re a little bit of an opportunity to plug match here. Yeah, sure. I’ll let us go with the nuts plugging.

Arthur 18:02
So nach is a tool that we created, which basically basically utilizes Google’s Natural Language API. And what what it does is that basically, you run the content through this API, and it gives us a window or insight as to how Google interprets the content. And I guess how it reads the content on the page. So what we’ll do is we’ll speak up there, sorry, pick up specific entities. So we’ll look through the content and find specific keywords and entities and then assign a score a sentiment and magnitude score. And by doing that, you can, I guess, at a glance, see how it reads and interprets the content on the page and how it values specific keywords and sentences. And I guess the idea is, I guess simplified, the idea is just to push up the entities or keywords that you want to rank for, by tweaking the copy. And I guess that’s a very simplified way of explaining it. It’s a lot more complex than that. But basically, what we can see is how Google interprets the content, how it sees the keywords on the page, and it allows us to make hundreds and hundreds of tweaks to push those keywords up, improve the sentiment and magnitude schools. And in theory, we found that by doing that, we see those keywords start to rank better, sir. Yeah.

Michael 19:18
So again, it’s similar to like, page optimizer Pro, not similar, but you run your site there, you should also be running the top sites in your space through it, just to see what Google thinks they’re relevant for, let’s say relevant. And then what, what your site’s relevant for and try and get them in the same ballpark. Really?

Arthur 19:37
Yeah. And if you find content that has, as has the entities that you want to rank for quite high, you can kind of replicate what they’ve done in the way they’ve structured the sentences, because it works a lot on it’s weird, you know, works in natural language. So little, little, I guess, minute changes, like punctuation, you know, without adding commas before and keywords makes a big difference in how Google interprets that keyword. So picking up your AV, isn’t it? Yeah. It’s insane. Like I will Yeah. Before this, he would never have thought that adding a dash or adding a comma somewhere in the copy will have that sort of, like impact.

Michael 20:17
But it’s very manual process, isn’t it, though, that’s the thing, like, you will make changes, run it through the tool and make another change, run it through the tool. So it requires a lot of time.

Arthur 20:27
Well, we’ve got a tool, you know, imagine if we didn’t have match, it was even more tedious, basically having to rerun everything over and over again. So we have the luxury of having our own tool, which makes it easier for us to you know, test and test and test.

Michael 20:42
Yep. So I guess that one in when it comes to content in order of priority, that’s probably going to be the most advanced thing like most business owners, obviously, they don’t have the tool, they’re not going to be using that to get this done. But things that pop things like looking at your competitors and running, running things through trips or stuff you can do and see pretty quick results from if you spend the time. But um, but the content pillar that was the first one there, we’re going to focus on three pillars content backlinks, off site and technical. So let’s move on to the next one, which is backlinks, you know, the big daddy of SEO or Big Daddy aspect of SEO? You know, you speak to any SEO people, they’re obsessed with backlinks, where’d you get those links from? Who’s got a good source of links? What’s a good backlink building technique? You know, every article to do with links is the most popular ones. You know, SEO people are obsessed with links. So it stands to reason if you’re auditing your competitors, and trying to figure out what they’re up to, for, you know, fast results for your site, you spend a fair bit of time looking at links. So how do we go about that? Well, what do we use, we use a dress, we like a dress, and love h refs, not just for content, but it’s also for links. So what’s, you know, if you tomorrow had to audit a top competitor of a client, and figure out what they’re up to link building wise, what would you you know, what would be your go to move?

Arthur 22:07
You say, if I had to, I will be doing it. It’s my job.

Michael 22:12
In the wild hypothetical, what would you

Arthur 22:14
do? So basically, what I would do is I would use a tricks or majestic two very similar tools. They allow us to see what backlinks are pointing to any specific domain. So we’ll plug in the competitors domain, to both of those tools and look at the referring domains to see which sites are linking back. And what I’d like to do is I probably create a Excel spreadsheet, or just any spreadsheet, export all those domains and just start going through them one by one, to see which ones I think would be beneficial to us. And then I guess, make a short list of sites that I’d want to reach out to, to get a link back from.

Michael 22:52
And so when when we’re saying beneficial, you know, you can put filters in your spreadsheet and look at things like, like the the domain name itself, you know, let’s say we’re in, that I use are going to be good Russian websites probably want to get rid of them. Things like Dr. links from Dr. 30 plus site is going to be better than links from a zero to 10. So you might get rid of them. You can look at things like anchor text, potentially, and see if there’s really spammy ones, get rid of them, you know, other sites directory scraper type sites, probably get rid of them. And yeah, really start to clean up that list.

Arthur 23:30
Yeah, you could, I guess a good starting point would be to build some web 2.0 profile social profiles. You mentioned scrapping directories. But they could be you know, a quick, quick way to get links, if you don’t have any links already, if you’re starting from scratch, they don’t cost anything except your time. It can be a bit tedious. But you know, if you have some, you know, spare time, on a Saturday afternoon, grab a beer and start building some well known directory links. Obviously applied for kind of mentioned a better way to spend the weekend, but they do you know, they do serve a purpose. And if you don’t have any, if you don’t have any domain history, if you don’t have any links, you need to build those profiles out. So as tedious as it is that they play a part in this year.

Michael 24:19
The other thing with address is the link intersectoral. So rather than LinkedIn if I noticed your favorite one of your favorites. What do you what why is that a good tool to use?

Arthur 24:33
How do you know what’s one of my friends? Because I just I’ve seen I’ve seen it on your screen like you have three screens in the office and you have the link into tech tool up pretty much. It’s my home page. Yeah, pretty much 24 seven. So someone else can look at the link like intersect tool is simple. Basically what you do is you can pick up to five different domains, you plug them in, and H refs will do the hard work for you, or find all the common websites which are pointing to those domains. So I guess in this scenario you could find, or you’d pick three competitors, insert into the link intersect tool. And it will tell you which links are common to all those three sites. And that way, you’ll know that these links are really strong. These types of sites linking back to my competitors, there’s a higher chance of them linking back to me. So yeah, yeah, it’ll

Michael 25:21
Sorry to interrupt, but also, it shows you like ones that link to them, but don’t link to you. So that’s right, yeah. I’ll tell you what else I like to do with that dress. I like to just jump straight into the new. So you run the client, the client, the competitors domain through the Site Explorer, on the left hand side, you can jump into referring domains new. And then you can sort them by the fact the last seven days, 30 days, 60 days, if you have a competitor that is actively engaging in SEO, like you might know, for a fact they are, you can jump in here, if you just set it to 60 days, it’s going to show you every link they’ve picked up over the last 60 days. And you might see that there’s some really juicy ones in there that you can immediately go and reach out to and try and get those links yourself. So definitely, that’s pretty, you know, that’s just good practice. Even you know, if you have a few agency working on it, they should be doing that every month anyway, looking at other sites in your space to inform their link building. But if you don’t have an SEO agency, then that’s just something you can do as a business owner, to try and keep on top of, you know, what your competitors are up to and and make sure that you’re, you know, keeping up with them or closing the gap.

Arthur 26:36
So yeah, for sure. And I guess On the flip side, you can also look at loss domains and see which domains they’ve lost over the last 60 days and reach out to the sites that have dropped link and save the link back to you.

Michael 26:47
Yeah, that’s double. That is a double win right there, you get the link they’ve lost on? Yeah, beautiful. That’s pretty, you know, like, although, link building and backlinks are a huge aspect of SEO, really, everything we’ve covered, there is just good competitor analysis practice. And that’s where the bulk of your results are going to come from in terms of, you know, monitoring the competition and using it to improve your own SEO. So we won’t dwell on links, we’ll move into the exciting world of technical SEO and what you can do there to improve your site with a bit of competitive research. So what do you like to do you know, if, again, in this hypothetical scenario, let’s say tomorrow, you had to go suss out a competitor of one of our clients, and figure out technically what they’re up to and little ideas we could glean from what they’re up to, what would you do? What is your starting point?

Arthur 27:44
That’s a good question. So I’ll do some what I like to call preliminary research. So first thing I like to do is have a look at what CMS they’re using. So there’s a few ways you can go about it. I guess the more difficult way is going through the source code and trying to find hints to see whether they’re using WordPress or Shopify or whatever. But I like to use a tool called but with. So built with is a handy site, I’m pretty sure they’re actually Australian based. Yeah. And it’s just a little tool that you can use to basically plug in a domain. And it scans the code on the page. And it lets you know what sort of technology and tools they’re using on their website. So it looks at things like analytics, tracking, hosting the CMS. So it’s a good way to see what what tech they’re using and comparing it to what you’re using. So you might find that majority of your competition are using WordPress, but you’re using Wix. So that could be you know, something you can look at and say, Alright, maybe I need to upgrade to something a bit more comprehensive than Wix. You can see where often you can see where the site’s hosted, what sort of hosting they’re using, whether they’re using cloud ways, or Google Cloud. If your use if you’re using cheap shared hosting, then you might set you might say I want to up my hosting game. So get getting hints like that,

Michael 29:03
basically, on the topic of hosting as well, if you’re looking for another way to suss out, where a competitor host your site, when I like to use is called MX tool box. They have a feature on there, maybe DNS lookup, a super lookup, something like that, where you plug in the domain of your competitor, and then it will tell you the IP address and where it’s hosted. So you can quickly suss out, you know, where they’re hosting their site. And then there’s also another one hosting checker comm where you can just plug in the domain and it will attempt to tell you where their sites hosted. So looking at that sort of stuff is pretty cool because you’ll probably find the top sites are using a nice fast hosts. We’ve we bang on a lot about fast hosting. And it’s because we do stuff like this and we see that fast sites preferred most of the time. What else we like do another one is you know, let’s say you identify that they are on WordPress. You can use tools like scan WP dotnet. Or if you just Google, you know, plug in WordPress plugin checker, or what plugin is a website using, there’s all different websites where you can just go and plug in a site. And this crawler will walk through the site and try and figure out what plugins are using, then that can give you a little ideas around things that you can use to extend the functionality on your site. So they might have a cool opt in form or you know, a pop up or some sort of conversion element on their site that’s been run through a plugin, using these types of tools will very quickly help you figure that out. So that’s just something to help you improve maybe the UX of your site. It’s not even necessarily always a technical thing.

Arthur 30:42
You could find out what I guess site speed plugin they’re using if they’re using METRO pack or something different.

Michael 30:48
Yep. You can look at that. You can use the site speed plug in a plugin but tool like gt metrics tool. Yeah, for sure. Yep. What else? cawwed? vitals.

Arthur 31:00
Yeah, super important. So there’s a plugin or a Chrome extension? You can use all Yeah, there was a Chrome extension where overlay is similar to h refs, you can see all the core web vital metrics and see where your site compares to the competition. Yeah, that’s really handy. I use that every day, basically.

Michael 31:19
Yeah. And Google’s? Well, they’ve been headed that way for a long time. And they’re definitely down that path now. So you want that to be as strong as possible. And you’ll probably find the top rank sites are doing better than sites that aren’t ranked as well,

Arthur 31:33
except Google Sites, which often score poorly on the call of vitals.

Michael 31:36
Yeah, yeah. And the other thing I’d like to do in technical is use a tool like Screaming Frog, which is a web crawler, you basically can plug in a website into it, and the tool will go and crawl their website and pull out all of the pages or all sorts of information on the pages. So with that, you know, you could put in a competitive site, and it will pull out every page. So sometimes your site’s right, you might see in the main menu, or the links to main categories and the like. But really, that site has an SEO tactic at play, where they have all sorts of other pages, but they’re, they’re linked to via internal links and copy that you might miss, you might not see it when you’re looking at the site. If you use Screaming Frog, it’s going to pull that stuff out. And you might very quickly see that, wow, they have tons of service pages, or they have location pages, or they have all sorts of different things going on that you can’t necessarily see when you look at the site. So then that can feed your research, you might go new their trips to look at what traffic those types of pages are getting, or do a, you know, visual analysis yourself and say, Yep, this is stuff we need to create for our site. So that’s a little hack to to get the true picture of what’s going on with some of these competitors sites. So look, I think that’s a pretty, you know, there’s all sorts of stuff that you could be doing. But like everything we like to talk about, we try to focus on the juicy stuff that’s going to get you results quickest and the biggest impact right? at 20. If you have we like,

Arthur 33:09
Look, we hit all three pillars, and this is what we do on a day to day. So yeah, yeah, it’s a good way to boost your SEO. And like you like to say what looks like cliche success leaves clues.

Michael 33:22
Yeah, no need to reinvent the wheel. That’s it. That’s true. And

Arthur 33:25
it makes sense. And you know, if you replicate your competitors, which are doing well, in theory, you should do well as well.

Michael 33:32
Out of interest if you were to reinvent a wheel. What would you do?

Arthur 33:37
reinventing wheel?

Michael 33:39
Yeah, like there’s just no way to reinvent it is it’s just perfect the way it is.

Arthur 33:43
Well, I guess it has evolved over time, like the wheel would have been just a big stone wheel. Right. So now we have we’ve got tires, we’ve got amazing like we have nice wheels in our cars. You wouldn’t put a wagon wheel on a Formula One car? Absolutely not.

Michael 33:58
I don’t know why I threw that in there. At the end. I was just just sayin to see what you’d come up with it but never

Arthur 34:02
thought about it. I like it hasn’t it hasn’t been reinvented. Every time

Michael 34:07
it’s been iterated on an improved. It’s a false premise. Yeah. You know, I think the whole point of that saying is that it’s already perfect to begin with, so you can’t reinvent it. You shouldn’t reinvent it. Until they make things hard for yourself. Then we’ll have a square wheel and be bouncing all over the place. No. It’s a very weak ending to the episode, but we’ll do better next week. So as always, thanks for listening. If you did like that, we’ll chat aside. we’d love it if you leave us a review or some sort of feedback or do something on your end to show us a bit of love. ask us a question. We’ll do more SEO questions and answers in the future. Otherwise, in the meantime, happy SEO and we’ll see you next time.

Arthur 34:49
Bye bye.


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Arthur Fabik


Michael Costin


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