Understand Your Competitive Landscape

Competitive and market intelligence is all about deriving insights from an array of sources to build the best strategy for your business. When it comes to SEO and content strategy, understanding your competitive landscape is key to making data-driven decisions.

In this guide, we’ll show you the fastest way to identify new competitors and evaluate their traffic conduct using the SimilarWeb platform. You’ll learn how to identify competitors and gauge insights on their traffic, engagement, marketing channels, and more.

We’ll cover the following key questions:

  • Who are your key competitors?
  • How much of your competitors’ quality traffic comes from organic search?  
  • Which search engines send traffic to your competitors?
  • What is your market share from the overall organic search?

 

Who are your key competitors?

You might already know your competitors. But if you’re new at your job, entering a new market or the line of business you’re in is very competitive- it’s always good to stay on top of the latest movements and new players in your field.

What makes a competitor a competitor? One way to single out your competition is to look at the websites that are striving to gain traffic from the same organic search terms you are also pursuing. If you’re head to head in search results with a website, they qualify as a search competitor.

By identifying your competitors in the context of organic keywords, you can understand the websites you’ll want to shift traffic from to your own websites.

To identify search competitors:  

  1. Go to the Research module and enter your website in the search bar.
  2. Next, navigate to Search Traffic → Competitors.

  1. Once you’ve found your competitors, navigate to your Workspace and create an Arena based on your competitors.

    This will help you easily monitor what’s happening within your playing field and track your own traffic growth versus your competitors’ traffic over time.

 

To learn more about the capabilities and insights of the Arenas in your Workspace, click here.

How much of your competitor’s quality traffic comes from organic search?

If you’re looking to increase your traffic, analyze the traffic channels your competitors use to effectively gain quality traffic. You can also compare their marketing efforts to their engagement to see if their acquisition strategy is actually paying off.  

To view the marketing channels driving traffic to your competitors:

  1. Within your any selected Arena, you’ll see a high-level overview of the visits to the players within this arena over time, the marketing channels driving traffic to you and your competitors as well as the traffic share between all the players within the arena.
  2. To further deep dive into the details of each competitor, click on “Learn More.” This will take you to the Marketing Channels page, in comparison to your competitors.

You can view the traffic share as a percentage relative to other channels or the estimated volume of visitors that came to the domain through each channel over the selected time period. Just click on % or # to view traffic in percentage share of all channels analyzed or absolute numbers.

This gives you a peek into your competitors’ digital strategy and pinpoints what is working for them.

In the absolute number view, you can easily identify which of your competitors performs best across each channel. If a specific competitor dominates one marketing channel, you might choose to focus on the other channels for which you can realistically compete. However, you could also choose to mimic its strategy and see if you can get some of the market shares for yourself.

 

Next, let’s see how much of their organic traffic is actually engaged:

  1. In the graph on the Marketing Channel page,  click on Organic Search. This will take you directly to the Search Traffic Overview page.
  2. On this page, note how much traffic is branded versus non-branded search.
    This is an important indicator of how strong a brand is, and hints at the size of your available market, which we’ll cover later in this article.
  3. Scroll down to the Search Traffic & Engagement graph. Here, you can see how organic search traffic performs for you and your competitors by looking at average visit duration, pages per visit and bounce rate.  

INSIGHT

Discover a competitors’ weakness
If a competitor dominates a certain marketing channel in the US, try looking at other geos. There might be a market that this company is currently not addressing and will be easy to penetrate.

 

What search engines send traffic to your competition?

While Google is by far the most popular search engine in most of the world, depending on the market you are targeting, it still is worth looking at the other search engines driving traffic to your competitors. For example, perhaps Yandex, Russia’s most popular search engine, could bring in additional traffic you’re not currently pursuing but your competitors are.

To view the search engines sending traffic to your competition:

  1. Navigate to the Keywords page under Search Traffic.
  2. Make sure to enter all your competitors alongside yourself in the top bar.
     
  3. Click on the “All Search Engines” filter. Here you can already see how many keywords drive traffic from these sites.
  4. Select one of the search engines with a high number of keywords- that’s not Google. Click “Apply”.
  5. You’ll see the total number of Search Visits to these websites from this search engine through the keywords in the table. The higher the total search visits, the larger the demand is in this market.  
  6. If you want to see how many search visits you’re entirely missing out on, click on the “Competitive Traffic” filter and select “Keyword Opportunities”. This will show you all the keywords your competition is receiving traffic from, for which your website isn’t even competing for. In addition, this will also give you the total search visits from this keyword segment- which signifies the opportunity of traffic from this search engine.


If one of your competitors clearly dominates one of the less common search engines indicates that they are investing in that market. You could be optimizing your content for this search engine and compete for all these visits.

 

What is your market share from the overall organic search?

It’s important to distinguish between your addressable and available market share. Your addressable market represents the full extent of your potential market. However, when it comes to acquiring new users via organic search, you should be looking at your available market. The available market is the portion of the addressable market for which you can realistically compete. In the context of organic search traffic, it hinges on how strong your competitors’ brand awareness is.

Uncover how much of your competitors’ traffic comes in through organic and non-brand search queries:

  1. Go to the Search Traffic → Keywords with your competitors in compare mode.
  2. Filter by Organic and Non-Branded search and select “Apply”.
  3. When you look at the filtered results, note the number of total search visits, and desktop visits. That number equals your available market on Desktop.
  4. Now, switch to the Mobile view. You will then see the number of organic, non-branded search visits for Mobile. Pay attention to the number of total search visits, and % mobile visits.


The combined desktop and mobile search visits represent your addressable market and is the actual market available to you to penetrate. These are non-branded, organic visits, i.e. consumers who are not tied to any brand and you could successfully compete for these keywords.

INSIGHT

Mobile versus Desktop Potential
Comparing organic, non-branded search visits on desktop versus mobile actually offers insight on the device you should be optimizing for in order to gain maximum market share. If mobile search visits are significantly larger, make sure you’re investing in the optimal mobile experience.

 

INSIGHT

Target branded searches
In the table, you can see the average CPC bid for this keyword. If these are low, and the search volume is high, you could bid on branded searches in the attempt to divert this traffic from your competitor to your site.
 

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