When it comes to website optimisation it’s great to be able to have an insight into what competitors are doing. That’s why tools which allow you to compare different domains to get under the skin of their SEO are incredibly useful.
All of the major SEO platforms have their own version of a domain comparison tool. At Motive we have been using Ahrefs platform for the past couple of years to carry out website audits for our clients and to compare their SEO with their competitors efforts. It's useful for any client who uses their website as a marketing tool but it's particularly important for e-commerce brands who want to keep up with the competition online.
The Ahrefs tool lets you compare up to five domains at a time. By pasting in their urls into a box you can see immediately how they compare across a range of important ranking factors.
The tool highlights each site’s DR (Domain Rating) which is their top level measure of the health of the domain. It then breaks it down to all of the factors which feed into that metric. This includes the number of referring domains, referring pages as well as the number of backlinks.
It breaks down the backlinks into do follow and no follow and also tells you how many links the site has feeding in from high ranking top level domains such as .gov and .edu. It also gives useful information on the number of crawled pages each website has and the breakdown of text and image links.
By comparing our client’s website with their competitors it’s easy to see where they should concentrate their SEO efforts. Motive’s digital PR campaigns typically create a lot of high quality backlinks with a very organic mix of follow and no follow links. We can also target a wide spread of targets to increase the number of referring domains. Sometimes though it can be another factor such as the number of crawled pages which is holding the client back. In which case it might be most useful to embark on an on-site content creation strategy, typically creating lots of new pages often in the form of blog posts.
The example above shows a domain comparison of five leading e-cigarette retailers including Motive clients ecigarettedirect.co.uk. By comparing the domains in this way you can see that ecigarettedirect are well ahead of the other sites across most ranking factors. They have almost half a million backlinks in total – a huge number. They are also well ahead in the number of referring domains with close to 3,000 different sites linking to them.
Domain comparison tools are an essential part of the SEO toolkit and make it easy to compare your website with others within your industry. Comparing your site with those ahead of you in Google search results will allow you to put together a strategy for your SEO which will help you improve your rankings.