Today I’m talking about the reality of what you’re up against if you want to compete against competitors for search engine real estate.
I’m not going to lie, I speak to my clients about ideal situations a lot.
Ideals for what SEO is capable of are great. They can be motivating. But the ideal shouldn’t become the plan without a healthy dose of reality.
Let’s Get Real
If you want to rank for a high-volume, juicy keyword that you think would be incredibly valuable for your business, it helps to know who is ranking today and why.
Very often, it’s because that website has topic dominance – I’m talking about many URLs (pages) of content that support their authority on a given topic.
Here’s how to use Semrush to see just how dominant your competition is:
(Click the Semrush link and start a free trial)
- Go to the “Organic Research” tool.
- Enter your competitor’s domain.
- Filter by the topic you care about (or don’t if you want to look at an entire domain).
- Select Top 10 Positions from the dropdown (only those on page 1 of Google)
- Export the list to a CSV file.
Now, take your CSV and upload it to Google Sheets.
- Select the URL Column.
- Then go Data > Data Cleanup > Remove duplicates.
That’s it. Now you’ve got a list of every URL of your competitor’s site that owns search engine real estate on page 1 of Google.
- Scroll to the bottom of the sheet to see how many rows there are (total number of pages).
- Compare this number to yours and other competitors.
- Audit the pages and see if you could and should compete.
What we often find is that the competitor with the most URLs typically has the most search engine visibility and is getting the most value out of SEO. But it’s not simply about quantity, it’s about quality and great context.