The legal industry is one of the most competitive industries there is, which makes it incredibly difficult to gain online visibility. This is especially true if you’re a small law firm “swimming with the sharks” and trying to compete against much larger firms with massive brand equity.
But one way to level the playing field is to perform routine competitive analysis on your direct competitors. This can provide you with valuable insights to guide your marketing approach. One of the best tools for performing competitive analysis is SEMrush. Let’s now discuss the fundamentals of this tool and how you can use it to “spy on the competition.”
What is SEMrush?
This is a software platform that allows marketers learn more about their competitors. According to the SEMrush website, “It’s united by one mission — to make online competition fair and transparent, with equal opportunities for everyone. After seven years of trailblazing experiments and constant progress, we’ve grown into the world’s leading competitive research service for online marketing.” Some specific areas you can research are your competitors’ SEO, paid traffic, social media, content and PR.
Click here to use the free, basic version. It doesn’t contain all of the bells and whistles of the paid version and limits your number of daily searches, but should still be sufficient for most of your needs. Simply enter the domain name or URL of the competitor you want to analyze.
In seconds, SEMrush will populate your screen with a wealth of data.
Here are some features you’ll get by using the free version. Scroll down just a bit from the top and you’ll see “Top Organic Keywords.” This shows you which keywords are bringing a competitor their traffic. More specifically, it displays the search engine position, traffic volume, cost-per-click (CPC) and percentage of overall traffic.
Scroll down a bit more and you’ll see the “Backlinks” section. This shows you the referring page title/referring page and the anchor text/link URL. As you probably know by now, backlinks are the lifeblood of SEO and the primary “currency” Google uses to determine the popularity of a website. This information will let you know where a competitor is getting their backlinks from and could give you ideas for link-building opportunities.
Scroll down even further and you’ll see “Referring Domains.” This tells you the domains that are linking to a competitor along with the number of backlinks coming from each domain. Directly to the left of this section is “Indexed Pages,” which shows you which specific pages are receiving the most backlinks. This too can help you identify trends that you may be able to implement in order to optimize your own legal marketing campaign.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Some other helpful features include:
- Organic vs. paid search
- Branded search
- Follow vs nofollow links
- Top anchors
- Latest publishers
- Landing pages
- Sample ads
SEMrush is without a doubt one of the best tools for performing competitive analysis. You can generate most of the data you need from the free, basic version that will tell you what’s working for your competitors. That way you’ll be in a better position to improve your legal marketing campaign and make any necessary adjustments.