know your competitors

Finding Who Your True Competitors Are

Finding Who Your True Competitors Are

  • March 23, 2017
  • SEO
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In order to have a clear understanding about the effort it will take get your website to rank you will need to know who your competitors are.

Understanding your competition will reveal the level of commitment that will be required of you and your company to rank higher.

Search Engine Optimization is like a never ending race. Once you get a birds eye view of what your competition is doing it’s not enough to just outrank them and be done. A runner in a never ending race is not just their to speed ahead for a bit and then stand aside and hope that no one passes him or her up. They must keep going or risk just that.

In this article we will be discussing the ways to find your true online competitors so you can mount a good or even better marketing strategy. So when they are doing the same and looking for their competitors they will see you and you will be in a much harder to reach spot.

hard to reach man

What Are You Even Competing About?

So to answer your questions, who are my competitors? You need to understand what it is you’re competing about. That’s where keyword come in. Essentially each of you is competing to see who can rank higher for any given keyword.

For that you will need to make a list of keywords. You need to figure out a list of words that are relevant to what your company offers.

If you already have a list of keywords, wonderful. If not then you should make that a priority to create a comprehensive list as they will serve as the foundation or core of every thing we do thus forth for SEO.

Anatomy of My Competitors

Your competitors are not just any company in the world that does what you do. You are a hardscaper, landscaper, arborist or pool contractor. Those are extremely local types of service and installation companies that are bound by a limited mile radius from their shop or office. So anybody that makes your list must be in your service area.


Since we are focusing on the internet and not on print or off line ads we can focus on competition that is found on google or local online service directories or lead generation sites. Or goal is to eventually generate enough leads that all other channels will just serve to complement this one. We will not be considering any competition we don’t find online.

Service Areas

We will need to know what service areas you prefer to target. For this exercise we will not need to make a complete list if the service areas. So simply make a short list and pick the top 3 locations that you prefer to work in.

Using Special Tools to Find Competitors

Sure you can use tools like SemRush or Ahrefs to find competition, but those do not reveal a true competitor that is within your local area. They more or less aggregate competitors from around your country which is not as useful for this. We need a more localized approach.

Using Google Search

This is by far the best tool for this exercise. It keeps things simple and reveals a few other alternatives that you will also need to along the way such as looking into lead generating sites or directories.

search bar

Take your list of keywords and pick the top 3 to 6 that are most important to your business.

Punch each of those keyword into google along with the service area modifier (i.e. lawn care Madison)

I would either jot down the top 15 competitors that you reveal for each or at the very least start to make a mental note.

Once you run through you list of keywords and their modifiers you will start to see a list of companies repeatedly appear high in the search for these particular keywords. Its those companies that are your true competition.

The reason that I classify those as your true competition is because they are repeatedly ranking high for the services you provide (thus the keywords) in the towns that you prefer to work at. They are the ones that will be knocking on the same door you will be and providing the same customer with a price for services.

What to Do With This Information

Now that you have this information you can do a plethora of things with it.

  1. You can observe the type of website each of them have to see if you can make any better improvements on yours.
  2. You can use paid tools such as to do some reverse engineering on their website and find out their backlink structure so you can try and get the same one for your site
  3. Find their top pages so you can see what is already working and create even better content.
  4. See their list of keywords and grab them for yourself to use as well.
  5. You can use them as your basis to rate yourself against in the search engine results.


Now that you have your list of 10 competitors you should have it saved in safe place. From time to time you will need to access it for various reasons. You will also need to update it every year as new players come into the picture. Hopefully by then you will have not given up running and be far ahead of everyone else. Just remember if you stop, they will eventually catch up to you and…





Has been in the landscape and hardscape industry for over 24 years. Growing his small business from a meager $30,000 the first year to under $2 million annually (8 months/year). The opportunity to make more is there, but chooses to forgo that for more family time (i.e. building forts).

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Has been in the landscape and hardscape industry for over 24 years. Growing his small business from a meager $30,000 the first year to under $2 million annually (8 months/year). The opportunity to make more is there, but chooses to forgo that for more family time (i.e. building forts).

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