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Reverse Engineer Your Competition! Engagement, Authority, Ranking

It's an underappreciated art, but reverse engineering the competition is an incredible SEO skill. In today's interconnected world, online businesses are more competitive and dynamic than ever.

You must know how your competitors perform to stay ahead of the game. To do this, you must learn how they are achieving their success and apply those principles to our business model.

Strategic Dependence

The ability to rank, be authoritative or engage more people online depends on the moves of your competitors vis-à-vis the game theory. Ranking is a zero-sum game, so you cannot ignore your rivals. It is best to  track and plan for every scenario to predict their next steps.

The first step is to understand your competitors' actions and where they rank for keywords and topics important to you. How often are they publishing content, and what content do they cover?

Think Like Your Competitor's SEO Strategist

A critical step to understanding your competition is to identify them. The AJ Center digital marketing agency Kenya can help you identify and design messaging after your competitor's blueprints. You should know the following things about your competitors:

  • How similar or different are they from you in terms of product offerings and services
  • Their strengths and weaknesses
  • What their target audience looks like (this information can be found in social media accounts and blog posts)
  • The marketing strategy they use to acquire customers (e.g., paid ads on Facebook or Instagram, SEO, email marketing campaigns)

You can use tools such as Google Search Console (Google's web admin tool) to check on your competitor's rank strategy.

Target Competitor Keywords

Do you know those keywords that your competitors are ranking for? Which keywords bring in the most traffic, make the most sales, or boost authority in a given industry?

They're essential to them for a reason—and if you can find out what they are and figure out how to rank for them too (or even use them to help with your organic optimization), you'll be able to improve your site's performance dramatically.

The first step is figuring out what those keywords are. This can be done through competitor keyword research—but it requires more than just brainstorming a list of possible terms; there are several steps you need to take before diving into the actual keyword research process.

Perform Competitor Backlink Analysis

Backlink analysis is a powerful tool that can help you learn more about what's working for your competition and what isn't. Backlinks are links from other sites that point to a particular page on your site. They are one of the most critical factors in Google ranking, so it's essential to know who is linking to you and why.


A backlink can be broken down into two categories: dofollow or nofollow. Dofollow links pass PageRank, which means they help boost rankings. Nofollow links do not pass PageRank and won't directly affect rankings—but they can still be valuable because they'll tell you where people are talking about your brand or product online (and if there's an opportunity for further outreach).

Benchmark Engagement And Authority

You can do this using SimilarWeb, or any other competitive analysis tool that lets you compare websites.

You want to compare similar metrics like traffic, bounce rate and pages per visit to see what the top 10 results in Google are doing better than you.

Once you've found a competitor, check out their engagement (how many active users they have), authority (where are they ranking for keywords), and finally, their ranking for different types of searches on Google, such as local searches or product-based searches.

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