How To Reverse Engineer Your Competitor’s SEO Strategy?

Reverse Engineer SEO Strategy

Today, the Internet is full of new websites, information, news, images, and many more. The digital world is cluttered with content and is getting cacophonous every passing minute. In this scenario of heavy competition and constant race, standing out can seem quite a task for businesses in the virtual world.

However, one should understand that trying to compete with your rivals by creating content similar to them is barely a solution. In fact, it’s the opposite of it. Difference and uniqueness are the vital elements to being successful in gaining more viewers. Due to the exponentially competitive nature of this platform, one of the best methods to endure this competition is by reverse engineering of your strategy.

This can be done by carefully analyzing and studying the strategies used by your competitors and incorporating those insights into your strategy – while keeping it relevant to your unique proposition and target audience.

The following blog discusses in-depth about the concept of Reverse Engineering SEO and how it can be implemented to get desired results.

What is Reverse Engineer SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization strategy is a technique of attracting more traffic from potential buyers or customers by personalizing content using specific relevant keywords. It propels the traffic on a website and hence acts as a catalyst to gaining more audience. Whereas, Reverse Engineering is the technique of decrypting a closed-source system with the intention of learning more about how it works. The source of the code is not revealed in such closed-source systems which makes it further difficult to understand.

In short, Reverse Engineering is the process of comprehensively studying and analyzing an existing structure, process, or system, which is a website in this case and then putting the information and knowledge obtained from that analysis to recreate or duplicate a similar system.

5 Ways to Implement Reverse Engineer SEO Strategy

Following are 5 reverse engineering strategies that will help you to put your competitor’s success for your own beneficial use.

1. Identify your competitors

Identifying your competitors is the primary and one of the most crucial steps in getting the whole reverse engineering right. Having a clear idea of who your direct competitors are, makes the further procedure easier for you. There can be two types of competitors. One is the direct competition and the other is perceived competition. The former usually consist of the ones who deal with similar products as you or provide the same service.

Whereas, the latter include the ones who may not provide similar services or products in an obvious way. However, they compete for the same time and energy a customer might reserve to enjoy or know about your product. Finding out perceived competitors is slightly more difficult than direct competitors but can benefit your research in a lot of ways.

One must narrow down to four to five competitors and then begin with a detailed analysis of the same.

2. Study & Analyse their link building strategy

Checking from where your competitors are building backlinks can help you get a better idea about various factors. This can help you to understand the type of content that your competitors are associating with those backlinks. Moreover, this also further helps you to discover relevant and quality sites that you can link to.

Tools such as SEOpen help you with seeing exactly the name of websites that your competitors are building backlinks from and also allows you to see the links they are indexed by Google, Yahoo, and by MSN.

3. Study their audience

This step is like a guide to your potential customers. Studying the audience of your competitor will help you to get an idea of who your customers are and hence get you to access to the information that will prove to be of untold importance to you. The more informed you are about your potential customers, the better you get at speaking their language.

Hence, this will further help you to create content and data around this language. Being aware of the information such as sex, age, educational level, geographical location, etc of the audience will help you strengthen your research game.

4. Study the content strategy of your competitors

By carefully analyzing the content put on the website by your competitor and observing different variations of it, will give you a clear idea of what works and what doesn’t. Studying their content, the keywords used by them, popular themes around which the articles and content are being developed will help you notice a pattern. Understanding this pattern and how it works will save you a lot of time and trial-error rounds. This step will truly aid you to benefit in the long run.

5. Scrutinize their technical SEO

Analyzing your competitor’s SEO can do wonders for you. Look for answers for the questions such as is the title being tagged correctly, keywords usage, engagement of the content, usage of multimedia to increase the effectiveness of the content. Etc.

These questions will help you to delve deeper into their SEO techniques and give you an insight into where you may be lacking. This step can truly help you to outsmart your customers and locate opportunities that could do better for your business.


What are the 3 types of competitors?

The three type of competitors:

1. Direct Competitors: The most common type – your direct competitors are the brands that offer the same products / services to the same target audience as you do. They generate revenue the same way that you do.

2. Indirect Competitors: The indirect competitors also offer the same products / services to the same target audience as you do. But, they generate revenue in a different way and have different business goals as compared to yours.

3. Replacement Competitors: These are the brands that provide an alternative to the services that you offer, addressing the same pain points.

How do I find competitors for my website?

Here are the top techniques to find competitors for your website:
-Get insights from your client
-Use SEMRush / Ahrefs / SpyFu.
-Search Google using your top keywords
-Use the “Related:” search operator in Google

What is the best SEO tool for competitor site analysis?

Here are the 10 most popular SEO tools for competitor site analysis:
1. SEMrush
2. Ahrefs
3. Google
4. Alexa Traffic Rank
5. Searchmetrics
6. SpyFu
7. Majestic SEO
8. Page Optimizer Pro
9. Surfer
10. Moz Link Explorer

How do I beat a SEO competitor?

Here are the tips and tricks to help you beat an SEO competitor:
-Create quality content optimised with high-volume keywords.
-Plan your keyword targeting strategies carefully.
-Keep an eye out for the latest SEO trends and techniques.
-Monitor your competitors’ backlink profiles and on-site SEO activities.

How do I spy on competitors keywords?

Here are some of the online tools to help you spy on your competitors’ keywords:
-Google Keyword Planner
-Monitor Backlinks
-The Search Monitor

Sandeep Israni - Partner at BrightBrain Tech

Sandeep Israni is the co-founder of BrightBrain Marketing Technologies LLP – a firm that has now grown into a full-fledged digital marketing agency with 55+ employees and clients from 7+ countries – all under his supervision. He mastered the art of Executive Management at SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, followed by extensive industry experience. His unquestionable expertise allows him to help clients achieve the extraordinary in the digital realm.

Sandeep Israni