Analyze opponents with Ahrefs

If you are planning a new online venture, or simply feeling tired of losing to your competitors in organic search, then you need to perform SEO competitor analysis.

Your competitor is an information warehouse that informs every aspect of your SEO strategy and helps skyrocket the organic traffic of your website.

In particular, performing SEO competitor analysis allows you to:

Find out what works and what does not in your industry.

Find your competitors’ weak points and take advantage of them.

Find your competitors’ strengths and replicate them.

Understand what SEO tasks to prioritize in the future.

Understand how difficult it is to outperform the competitors in the SERPs.

Let’s get started!

You can make this process simple and effective with only 2 tools:

Ahrefs (30-day free trial, if after you have finished the trial and want to continue using Ahrefs, you can buy Ahrefs together to save costs)

Google Sheets template (it’s important to make a copy)


  • What is Ahrefs?
  • 13 ways to analyze opponents with Ahrefs

o Identify competitors

o Analysis of the competitive landscape

o Research backlink growth

o Find “super” Superfans

o Find broken pages

o Researching traffic incidents by country

o Spying on organic keywords of competitors

o Spying on competitor featured snippets

o Find content gaps

o Find the most popular content of competitors

o Find the competitor’s most linked content

o Find PPC keywords of competitors

o Learn from competitors’ PPC ads

What is Ahrefs?

Ahrefs is a 3rd party tool used to analyze the status of your backlink, traffic profile as well as content of your website and competitors. Ahrefs is currently considered one of the best tools for doing these Audit jobs.

13 How to analyze opponents with Ahrefs

  1. Determining competitors

If you are trying to find competitors for a blog or e-commerce website, then finding websites that rank for a keyword may not be the best way to solve the problem.

That is because you can target hundreds or thousands of keywords and topics across multiple pages.

So better to see who competes with you across the board. Therefore, you can use the competing domain name report in Ahrefs Site Explorer.

The process is as follows:

Site Explorer> enter your domain name> Organic Search> Competitive Domains

  1. Analysis of the competitive landscape

Think of using Ahrefs’s bulk analytics tool to do this for all your competitor sites at once.

The process is as follows:

Batch analysis> Enter competitor’s domain> Analyze

Bulk analysis will return tons of useful statistics for each site, but for now, I am interested in:

Domain rating (DR)

Ah Ahrefs Ranking (AR)

Number of referring domains

Organic search traffic

Estimated number of keyword rankings

Add them to the spreadsheet:

Let me explain these SEO metrics a little further:

Domain Rank (DR): A high DR score indicates that a site has a solid backlink profile. You should evaluate the DR in relation to your website rather than in absolute terms.

Ahrefs Ranking (AR): A low Ahrefs rank is indicative of a strong YouTube site. AR tells you the same thing as DR but with more detail.

Referring domains: A large number of referring domains can also indicate a strong web page provided that the links are not of low quality. Note: This is why it is also useful to get DR, as this takes into account both the quality and the number of links per site.

Organic traffic and keywords: This is a pretty obvious number, the higher these numbers are, the better the site works in organic search.

Put simply, the more distance you have between your statistics and your competitors, the more you have to catch up.

However, these figures do not tell us everything about the competitor’s SEO process.

  1. Research backlink growth

We need to learn more about our competitors’ link building efforts. Let’s start by testing how quickly they get new referral domains (affiliate sites), as that will give us a difficult goal to build links. To do this, you should not ignore the support of Ahrefs Site Explorer.

The process is as follows:

Site Explorer> Enter a domain name> Overview> Referral domain chart> Set to ‘One year’

For each competitor, we will subtract the number of referring domains they have today minus the same number from a year ago, then divide by twelve to get a monthly average.

  1. Find “super” Superfans

Superfans are the ones who have bonded with our rivals many times.

These are people who make sense to us when building relationships because they tend to link to the websites they like often.

To find these people, we can check out the referral domain report in Ahrefs Site Explorer.

The process is carried out as follows:

Website Explorer> Referring Domain> add user dofollow filter> sort by network links to target / dofollow only.

  1. Find the broken page

Have you ever heard the saying that one’s waste is someone else’s treasure?

The same is true on the web.

So now we will see whether competitor sites for a specific type of garbage: broken pages.

To do that we have to use the best link in Ahrefs Site Explorer

The process is carried out as follows:

Site Explorer> enter competitor’s domain> Best by link> add “404 not found” “Filter> sort by Referral Domain column (high to low).

  1. Research traffic incidents by country

Knowing the countries in which our competitors get the majority of organic traffic can help us understand where the opportunity lies in this market. For this, will have to use Ahrefs Site Explorer.

Site Explorer> enter competitor’s domain> Overview> Organic search tab

Add the top five countries along with their traffic rates to your spreadsheet.

You will then do the same for the opponents.

  1. Spying on organic keywords of competitors

Next, you want to find out which keywords are currently driving natural traffic to competitors’ sites.

You can do that by running an Organic keyword report for each domain.

The process is carried out as follows:

Site Explorer> enter competitor’s domain> Organic search> Organic keywords

By default, the Organic Keywords report displays keyword rankings for the country that generates the most search traffic. That is fine for us, but if you want to see keyword data for another country, click more and choose from any of more than 150 countries in the database.

To find some “sweet” targeted keywords, first exclude all branded keywords with the online exclusion function. You will only filter the keywords that your competitors rank in the top 10 so you can see the most relevant keywords.

  1. Spying on featured excerpts of competitors

There is one more important thing that you should keep in mind while analyzing your organic traffic:

So, you should keep things simple and just focus on those. Do you want to know the excerpts that competitors possess will have to use Ahrefs Site Explorer?

The process is carried out as follows:

Site Explorer> enter competitor domain> Organic search> Organic keyword> SERP feature filter> Featured snippets> Only link to target.

In general, if your opponent ranks many outstanding snippets, there may be opportunities for you to do the same thing. This can even easily get traffic because it is not always the # 1 ranking page that has snippets.

  1. Find content gaps

Content gap is the keyword your competitors rank for, but you are not.

Needless to say, it is a space that you will want to fill.

To find content gaps, we can use the Ahrefs Content Gap tool

The process is carried out as follows:

Site Explorer> enter your domain name> Content spacing

You can see that this will fill the domain name. But the following target is not ranked for the rocket field with our domain name.

  1. Find the most popular content from competitors

Keyword research is still an important part of SEO, but today, Google’s understanding of the intention behind searches is arguably better than ever.

For that reason, a page can easily rank for hundreds or even thousands of long tail keywords

By finding our competitors’ top pages, we can find out which of their posts are:

Ranking for a ton of keywords

Drag along the flow

We can then write about these overarching topics and earn some sweet long tail traffic.

For this we can use the report in Ahrefs Site Explorer Note that we are interested in finding blog posts here so if possible, we really need to look up the URL / domain name. The sub-directory of the blog directory is the opposite of the entire domain.

The process is carried out as follows:

Site Explorer> enter competitor’s domain name

  1. Find your competitors’ most linked content

The best links report Ahrefs Site Explorer displays content that links most competitors. If it worked for them, then something similar would probably work for us.

The process is carried out as follows:

Site Explorer> enter subdirectory / subdomain of competitor> Organic search> Best by link

From here, you will add the URLs of the top five most relevant pages from each competitor, the number of referring domains for each page, and the type of content on your site. To understand competitor analysis in more detail, you can join our SEO training course.

  1. Find competitors’ PPC keywords

Analyzing competitors’ PPC activity can be unbelievably insightful when planning an SEO strategy for a simple reason:

If they are paying for traffic from a keyword, then that keyword is most likely to be profitable.

To find your opponent’s PPC keywords, use the PPC keyword report in Ahrefs Site Explorer

The process is carried out as follows:

Site Explorer> enter competitor domain> Paid Search> Keyword PPC

  1. Learn from competitors’ PPC ads

Looking at competitors’ copy of PPC ads can help write title and description tags that increase the CTR.

That is because competitors are paying cold cash to attract customers from specific keywords and Google rewards ads that are more relevant to lower CPCs.

So, it is in their interest to make sure their ads win clicks!

Use the PPC keyword report again to see a copy of a competitor’s ad for a keyword we want to rank for, an infographic producer:

The process is carried out as follows:

Site Explorer> enter competitor domain> Paid Search> Keyword PPC

It seems they are using speed, cost (or lack thereof) and simple to entice clicks.

These are all things we can incorporate into our titles and meta descriptions to generate more traffic from organic search.

If you are familiar with Ahrefs, then you will know there is a treasure trove of additional reports where we can dig deeper into the entire competitor’s marketing, content and link building strategy.

To share Ahrefs with a cheap price and high speed, you can refer to Bizzvn’s Ahrefs shared service.


Analyze opponents with Ahrefs

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