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Compare Yourself Against Top Competitors
Compare Yourself Against Top Competitors

Watch for strong competitors in your space

Sidra Condron avatar
Written by Sidra Condron
Updated over a week ago

The SpyFu Competitors tab helps you find top competitors in your space. Many business owners recognize their direct competition upfront, but in online marketing, ANYONE can be a competitor.

It's those "hidden" competitors we want to make sure that you know how to spot. Any business offering the same services or selling similar products in your market should be considered competition.

Since we look for other domains that rank for the same keywords or those that buy the same ads, we can help you find emerging competitors and compare their performance alongside your own.

Here's How to Use the SpyFu Competitors Tool for SEO and PPC

Start by entering your domain (or a domain in the industry you're targeting) into the main search bar.

Choose SEO Research or PPC Research. Both have a tab for Competitors.

We load every likely competitor onto the page. However, we put the 5 closest-matching competitors into the chart at the top of the page.

That lets you compare their SEO performance against yours, over time, in 3 different ways:

  • Number of keywords each domain ranks for

  • Monthly clicks each domain gets from those rankings (estimated)

  • Monthly value from those clicks (estimated)

For PPC competitors, you can compare their performance in these metrics:

  • Number of keywords each domain advertises on

  • Monthly clicks each domain gets from those ads (estimated)

  • Monthly ad budget (estimated)

Let's look at what you can do with this information.

The key is to track competitors and spot their trajectory. A rising trend (like in this yellow line) could tie to a domain that has gotten more success from their SEO efforts than ever before. Maybe they recently ramped up their content efforts or ran a technical SEO audit.

If they hadn't had much presence before, it's likely that they never made it onto your radar as a credible threat. This tool is made to expose emerging competitors and to help you see how their work is paying off.

In the PPC side, you might see far more dramatic changes when a new advertiser appears on the scene.

By adjusting the metrics on the chart, you might spot even more nuanced efforts.

For example, this red line tracks the number of PPC keywords (paid ads) for over a 6 month stretch. That peak and drop combination happen before the count plateaus in January to what it was in September. In short, they have the same number of ads...

Now look at what happened with paid clicks (to their ads) during that same time span. It is a large and steady increase in clicks -- from the same number of ads. manages an equal number of keywords--with ad copy and bids--but still gets a dramatically bigger amount of clicks from them.

When you research your competitors, these are the patterns that you'll want to watch for. In this case, did update its ad copy so well that they increased their click-through-rate across the board? Did they switch out keywords for better, more competitive ones? Did they pay more to boost their ad position into more visible ad spots?

Those are questions you can answer by tracking competitors and then clicking through to view ad copy updates and keyword changes (Ad History tool) , and viewing its ad budget changes--something you can do on this chart by switching to the "View Ad Budget" setting.

Can I Compare Different Metrics?

If you want to see how keyword growth looks different than click growth, you can compare two charts on the same page.

In the Competitors feature, the "clone" widget lets you duplicate the chart so that you can compare different details of your competitor trends side by side.

Go into the upper right corner of the chart to find the settings icon. Click it and look for the "clone chart" option.

It duplicates the same competitors you had in the chart so that you can view one metric in the top chart and a second metric in the bottom chart. This shows you trends in keyword count against a possibly different trend in clicks for the same set of domains during the same time frame.

What about Comparing Different Competitor Groups?

You can always add more competitors to the chart, but it's likely the chart will get crowded. Plus, there's a benefit to keeping competitors grouped. If you'd like to see the performance (and trendline) from one group vs. another, use the "new chart" option from the same settings section.

The “new chart” will include only the first domain. The rest will be a clean slate so that you can add any competitors that you’d like.

Details in the Chart

You can also use settings to mark events on the chart's timeline. These are Google algorithm updates and small freshness improvements that can affect rankings. It is primarily an SEO concern, but it stretches into PPC, too. Rank changes can trickle into how things are arranged in the SERP, and that means "ads" too.

How We Choose These Competitors

We look at the keywords a domain ranks for (or buys) and then find the competitors whose own paid keywords or organic rankings closely match the same keywords.

However, there more to it to give you more relevant results.

While Amazon is going to have the same keywords that a specialty shop like does, we consider domains like and to be closer competitors because a larger portion of their keywords match what has.

Adding and Removing Competitors

Remove: Click the "x" next to the domain's name in the chart.

Add: Scroll to the list of competitors below the chart. Check the box next to any domain that you'd like to add to the chart above.

Add a domain that is not in the list: If we haven't included a domain that you want to see in the chart, use the "compare custom domain" option over the chart. This will add the domain's performance trendline to the chart. It also loads any metrics that we see for that domain into the master list at the bottom of the page.

Metrics in the Full Domain List

This list shows you which metrics we used to determine the target domain's closest competitors. We mentioned "Overlap" as a percentage in the "How We Choose These Competitors" section. Common Keywords is the raw count of shared terms, and if you click through on that number, you can get the full list of shared keywords between the two domains.

Including the Number of Keywords, Monthly Clicks, and Monthly Value of Clicks lets you keep your data intact if you decide to export it. The export options above the chart give you flexibility to work with these competitor details offline.

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