Do You Really Know Who Are Your Online Competitors?

Orlando Web Design

Part of the process of building a successful website is to identify, research and analyze the online competitors. When we ask our clients who are their competitors, they usually can name pretty fast at least three. The surprise for our client comes when we take a look at them and realize they might be “industry competitors” but they are not necessarily “online” competitors.

By “industry competitors”, we mean that everybody in the industry knows them and are “the place to go”, for a specific service or product. So, how to explain to the clients that there are other competitors out there, that are interfering with their online success? Sometimes this is an easy task, other times it takes some extra research to prove the point.

One of our new clients provides professional video cameras & equipment rentals in Central Florida. We were approached by him to create an SEO strategy to help his site improve Google rankings and increase website traffic.

When he provided us with the competitors, he was astonished when we reported that none of them were ranking on the 1st or 2nd page of google for the keywords we wanted to target. These companies were his competitors (they are in the same industry and provide the same products & services he does) however, they were not his “online competitors”.

Online Competitors are any websites that rank on page one of Google for the keywords you are targeting. It doesn’t matter if they are directories, blog sites, social media sites, or regular business websites. If they are on the first page of Google, they are occupying the space you want therefore, they are real online competitors.

Organic and Paid Competitors

It’s important to notice that there are 3 main categories for online competitors. From top to bottom on the 1st page of google are:
1. Paid competitors
2. Local pack / Google Maps competitors (Ads can also show here)
3. Organic competitors

Let’s look at an example using the search phrase “Camera Rental”

orlando SEO company

For our client’s surprise, his main “industry competitor” was not on the 1st page of Google in Orlando, Florida.

Also, he claimed that one of the companies ranking on the first three spots on organic results did not offer cameras and that he actually had full field an order earlier that week for them, because they do not carry cameras in stock.

So what do we say? Your competition is not anymore just your “industry rivals”. Obviously, these companies are getting contacted for “cameras rentals” in fact, you had to full fill an order for them this week. So whatever they are doing is working and we need to fix your site so that your rankings improve and they call you directly.

I’m not going to lie, it took some extra research to convince our client that these were his online competitors. We pulled data locally & nationally for paid organic results. And not surprisingly, these competitors ranked well in both.

How they did it? Let’s take a look at this example, using the keyword “Alexa Mini Rental”.

ARRI Alexa mini is a very popular, compact but high-quality video camera. On the image below we can see that good old-fashion SEO still very relevant:

a. Perform keyword research to understand what people are looking for and how they are looking for it
b. Optimize your SEO title, meta description, URL, and image alt tags.

orlando web optimization

One competitor was on displayed on ads as well as the organic results. Advertising the keywords you want to rank organically is a very effective way to speed up the process. Google likes consistency and the extra traffic from the ads will increase the signals your site needs to improve its google ranking.

google ads orlando

SEO Websites to Find Online Competitors

SpyFu & SEMrush are two great websites to find online competitors.


SpyFu allows you to see organic & PPC data from your competitors in the last 13 years. Once you search for a site, you can view your competitors’ most profitable keywords, ads, and organic search. Below you can see an example for organic and paid competitors.


Among other features, SEMrush allows you to run Technical SEO Audits, follow Position tracking, and view organic and paid competitors. Below you can see an example for organic and paid competitors.

SEMrush orlando SEO company


In the online world, your competitors are not just your known industry rivals. Online competitors are all the companies, directories, social media sites, etc., that occupy the 1st page of Google for the keywords that you are targeting. Sometimes these competitors are local companies that you recognize, but often times they can be companies that you never thought were your competitors.

In order to outrank your competitors, you need to start by recognizing them. So, head up and start doing some online research!

Orlando Web Design Company

Do you live in Orlando or the Central Florida area and need with help with SEO or recognizing your true online competitors ? We can help!  Contact our Orlando Web Design Company for a free quote.

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M5 Design Studio

We are a small, but creative and passionate team of designers and developers specializing in web design, graphic design, branding & digital marketing.

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