How to choose competitors
Aleksandra Wojcik avatar
Written by Aleksandra Wojcik
Updated over a week ago

Comparing your page to the wrong competitors may affect your analysis badly. Find out how to do it properly.

Search intent varies significantly from one SERP to the next.

Search intent means: what does Google believe the goal of the user making the search? Are they looking to buy something? Read a review about something? Or maybe they’re just looking for information.

That intent is so crucial to setting up your content editor or SERP Analysis. The rules for optimization and keyword density varies hugely, depending on the intent. For example, an e-commerce page may only have 300-400 words, it could be very dense in keywords, whereas a review page has 2500 words and not as dense.

Skipping this step is one of the most common errors some SEOs make.

Don't just blindly rely on the top five results. Take the time to pick your real competitors, don’t just select your top 5 organic competitors.

This is how to pick the right competitors from the top 10:

  • Define your content type. Even if you’re at the research stage, you’ll want to have in your mind what your intent is.

  • Exclude pages that serve a different purpose.

  • Exclude large authority pages that rank because of their authority and backlink profile (e.g., Amazon, eBay, Wikipedia, etc.)

Remember: we are trying to compare our page to those that are better optimized, Wikipedia doesn’t have to worry about on-page optimization, it’s huge and authoritative.

  • Pages that are left are the organic competitors you should include in your analysis in Surfer.

As a good rule of thumb, you should only compare your page to pages ranking above you because the assumption is, they have better on-page, which we want to analyze to improve ours.

Check out our blog article, it's highly recommended!

Quick Tip:

When you open a new Search Analysis, all competitors are selected so the first thing you’ll need to do is remove them all and start to select your competitors one-at-a-time.

Look for the "Exclude all pages" under the graph.

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