One of the biggest challenges in SEO is trying to convince your client or boss that the competition they face online may not match their legacy competitors and personal grudges. Big Earl across the street at Big Earl’s Widgets may be irritating and, sure, maybe he does have a “stupid, smug face,” but that doesn’t change the fact that WidgetShack.com is eating your lunch (and let’s not even talk about Amazon).
To make matters worse, competitive analysis is time-consuming and tedious work, even if you do have access to the data. Today, after years of rethinking how competitive analysis should work (and, honestly, re-rethinking it on many occasions), I’m proud to announce the first step in expanding Moz’s competitive analysis toolkit — True Competitor.
What is True Competitor?
Before I dive into the details, let’s take it out for a spin. Just enter your domain or subdomain and your locale (the beta supports English-language markets in the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and Canada):
Then let the tool do its work. You’ll get back something like this:
True Competitor pulls ranking keywords (by highest-volume) for any domain in our Keyword Explorer database — even your competitors’ and prospects’ domains — and analyzes recent Google SERPs to find out who you’re truly competing against.
What are Overlap and Rivalry?
Hopefully, you’re already familiar with our proprietary Domain Authority (DA) metric, but Overlap and Rivalry are new to True Competitor. Overlap is simple — it’s the percentage of shared keywords where the target site and the competitor both ranked in the top 10 traditional organic results. This is essentially a Share of Voice (SoV) metric. It’s a good first stop, and you can sort by DA or Overlap for multiple views of the data — but what if the keywords you overlap on aren’t particularly relevant, or a competitor is just too far out of reach?
That’s where Rivalry comes in. Rivalry factors in the Click-Thru Rate (CTR) and volume of overlapping keywords, the target site’s ranking (keywords where the target ranks higher are more likely to be relevant), and the proximity of the two sites’ DA scores to help you sort which competitors are the most relevant and realistic.
What can you do with this data?
Hopefully, you can use True Competitor to validate your own assumptions, challenge bad assumptions, and learn about competitors you might not have considered. That’s not all, though — select up to two competitors for in-depth information:
Just click on [ + Analyze Competitors ] and your selections will be auto-filled in our Keyword Overlap tool in Keyword Explorer. Here, you can dive deeper into your keyword overlap and find specific keywords to target with your SEO efforts:
We’re currently working on new ways to analyze this data and help you surface the most relevant keyword and content overlaps. We hope to have more to announce in Q4.
This list doesn’t match my list!
GOOD. Sorry, that’s a little flippant. Ultimately, we hope there’s something new and unexpected in this data. Otherwise, what’s the point? The goal of True Competitor is to help you see who you’re really up against in Google rankings. How you use that information is up to you.
I’d like to challenge you, dear reader, on one point. We have a bad habit of thinking of the “competition” as a single, small set of sites or companies. In the example above, I chose to explore SEMrush and Ahrefs, because they’re our most relevant product competitors. Consider if I had taken a different route:
Looking at our SEO news competitors paints a different but also very useful picture, especially for our content team and writers. We also have multiple Google subdomains showing up in our Top 25 — some Google products (like Google Search Console) are competitors, and some (like Google Analytics) are simply of interest to our readership and topics that we cover.
My challenge to you is to really think about these different spheres of competition and move beyond a singular window of what “competitor” means. You may not target all of these competitors or even care about them all on any given day, and that’s fine, but each window is an area that might uniquely inform your SEO and content strategies.
As a Subject Matter Expert at Moz, I have the privilege of working on multiple parts of our product, but this project is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time and is near and dear to me. I’d like to personally thank our Product team — Igor, Hayley, and Darian — for all of their hard work, leadership, and pushback to make this product better. Many thanks also to our App Front-end Engineering team, and a special shout-out to Maura and Grant for helping port the original prototype into an actual product.
Get started with True Competitor
True Competitor is currently available in beta for all Moz Pro customers and community accounts.
We welcome your feedback — please click on the [Make a Suggestion] button in the upper-right of the True Competitor home-page if you have any specific comments or concerns.