Imagine for a moment that you’re at work, and you decide to Google a key aspect of your company’s service just for fun.

As you glance through the Google search results, you see something that catches your eye. It’s one of your competitors, and somehow they’re the number one search result.

It probably stings a little bit. How did they get there? You obviously know which keywords they targeted (you just searched for it), so what gives?

Understanding your competitors’ SEO strategy can be crucial to tweaking your own and finding success.

Below are 3 reasons why you should be spying on the competition.

Know Which Keywords Are worth Competing Over

The most important benefit of SEO spying is finding out which specific keywords your competitors are targeting. Once you know this, then you can determine which are worth competing over.

Chances are, you probably both have similar keywords and phrases in your strategy. It’s going to be important to decide which ones are worth going after the number one spot for and which you should probably yield.

An on page SEO checker is a great place to start. You simply plug in your competitor’s URL and pull up a list of their highest ranked keywords.

By doing this, you save yourself wasted time going after a highly competitive keyword, when you could have been pulling more customers from a different one.

You Can Learn Where Their Backlinks Are Coming from

The second big reason to spy on your competitors is to find out exactly where they’re getting their backlinks from.

This actually does a couple of things for you. For one, it lets you know which websites your competitors have formed partnerships with. If those websites were interested in them, there’s a good chance they’ll also be interested in what you have to offer.

And two, by pulling up a list of your competitors backlinks, you can find patterns of what they’re doing to acquire them.

This can save you a ton of time as you continue to improve your own SEO strategy.

Learn What Kinds of Content Performs Best

When it comes to SEO, content is hands down the most important aspect. You’ve got to make sure you’re not only publishing high quality material, but it also has to be something your readers give a darn about.

Using similar tools to above, you can find out which content performs best for your competitors. By default, you also get to learn what they’re writing about.

The trick to making the most of this strategy is to brainstorm and execute ways to make your content even better than theirs. How can you improve upon their best performing articles? Is it even possible? If not, certainly there are ways to make their lesser performing articles note-worthy.

The last thing you’ll want to take note of is what type of content they’re producing. If you notice your competitors publishing a ton of videos, and they’re killing it, guess what? You should probably start doing the same.


Spying on the competition always feels a little dirty to some extent. You can usually gain a ton of very useful insight if you do it, though. Plus, they’re doing it, so why wouldn’t you?

The reasons above should be plenty to convince you to get started.