How to Find Pages That Send Your Competitors Organic Search Traffic

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In this video.
00:00
In this video, I’m going to show you how to get more organic traffic by analyzing and replicating the pages that are sending your competitors the most traffic from Google. Stay tuned. [Music] What’s up guys? Sam Oh here with Ahrefs. I’ve got a super actionable SEO tutorial for you today that approaches competitor analysis for SEO from a very important angle. And that's traffic. So this research method is super helpful because basically, what we’re going to do is, is we're going to find the exact pages that are driving the most search traffic to your competitors’ websites, and then use that data to increase organic traffic to your own website. Let me show you how it's done. The tool that I’ll be using is Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, which gives you a ton of data on any website or page like backlink reports, keyword metrics, organic search traffic and more. So first, you would need to enter in the domain of one of your competitors here in Site Explorer. And by competitors, I’m referring to people who are actually getting organic search traffic from Google. Now, there are two ways that you can actually find a list of competitors. And the first is pretty straightforward. You just throw in some search queries related to your business into Google and then you look for the websites that are ranking for the keyword phrases that you want to rank for. So for our example, let’s pretend that I have a golf blog, since the sport is very dear to my heart. I might search for something like “best golf clubs” or “how to hit a driver.” With the first search query, you can see that golfdigest.com owns a couple of the top rankings, followed by pga.com, and then you’ll see something interesting. You'll see businessinsider.com. Now, Golf Digest seems like a pretty relevant competitor just by looking at their domain name and pga.com is the official site for the Professional Golfers’ Association. Business insider on the other hand is more of a general website that covers nearly every topic under the sun. So they wouldn’t be a good fit for our competitor analysis. There’s also another cool way to find competitors that you might not even know exist, but I’ll show you that in a bit since it comes later in the workflow if you want to scale this technique.
Alright, so back to Site Explorer. I’ll enter in our competitor’s domain here and hit search.
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Alright, so back to Site Explorer. I’ll enter in our competitor’s domain here and hit search. So once Site Explorer loads, you can click on the “Top Pages” report in the sidebar. And boom! You are now looking at the pages that send your competitor the most organic search traffic. Okay? So take a look right here. You’ll likely see a bunch of flags here which are actually filters. By default, the top pages report will choose the country that sends them the most search traffic for the website that you’re researching. So in this case, it has defaulted to the US of A. Now, if you want to get a more accurate representation of the total SEO traffic to the pages, you can switch this filter to "all countries", and you’ll see that the numbers here get bigger. With the top pages report, there’s a lot of cool stuff we can do here. So first, I’m going to break down these important metrics and then I’ll show you a couple simple workflows that will actually help you put this into action. Since we’re looking at the “top pages” of this domain, this report will sort the table by the pages that receive the most search traffic. And beside each traffic figure, you can see the percentage of search traffic each page generates for a website in the selected country. So in this case, this story on Bill Clinton would account for around 3% of the total search traffic across our domain search. Sometimes, you might find that certain pages bring your competitors over 30% of their overall search traffic. 30 percent! When you find a site where the traffic is not diluted across all of their pages, it's usually a good indication that the website you’re analyzing is the perfect target to find some great topics that you can just piggyback off of. Next, we have the “Value” column which shows the equivalent amount it would cost to generate this many search visitors with pay-per-click advertising. This is based on clicks from all of the keywords this page ranks for, multiplied by the cost per click. The next metric is one of my favorites and that's the keywords column, which shows you how many keywords that the page is ranking for.
And if you click it.
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And if you click it, then you can actually see all of the different search queries a page ranks for in the top 100 Google search results. This goes to show that keyword research isn’t just about targeting a single keyword. But it’s proof that a single page can actually rank for tens, hundreds, and even thousands of different keyword phrases. We have a more detailed study on our blog where we analyzed 3 million random search queries. Our data shows that the average #1 ranking page will also rank for around 1,000 other relevant keywords. This is definitely worth a read, so I’ll leave a link to it in the description below. Alright, so next we have RD, which is short for Referring Domains. So this column shows the total number of unique websites linking to the target URL. And then we have the page URL, which is pretty straightforward. The next couple of metrics are also interesting. The top keyword column shows the keyword that brings the most organic search traffic to its corresponding URL. And then the column beside it is the estimated search volume for that top keyword. Finally is position, and that’s where Ahrefs last saw this page ranking in Google’s SERPs. Okay great. Now that you can see the top pages of your competitor’s website, what’s next? So the beauty of the Top Pages, and actually almost all of Ahrefs’ reports is that there are some super helpful filters that you can use to narrow down the results and actually see the metrics that you care about. The first thing you can do is to set up some filters similar to this. So first, we’ll set the positions to 0 to 5, which is gonna show us only the pages that rank in the top 5 results of Google. Then we’ll set the traffic filter to have a minimum of 500 search visitors. You might have to play around with the minimum search visitors number a bit depending on the site that you’re analyzing. So I do want to mention a quick side note here. You might notice that the total reported traffic, value, and the keywords numbers, they decreased. And the reason why is because the keyword rankings below the top 5 were filtered out when we set this filter and the same goes for the minimum search traffic filter that we set. From here, you can export the list to CSV.
And with this CSV export.
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And with this CSV export, you can do some pretty cool stuff in Excel to find high traffic topics without much competition. Here's how: I’ve already set this up in a Google sheet since most of us should have access to this tool. So first, I’m going to freeze the first row, so you can see the columns as I scroll down. And then we can actually sort the table by the referring domains in ascending order. What this is going to do is it's going to reveal pages that are getting a ton of traffic without any or many backlinks. Now, with this particular site, you’ll notice that there are a lot of ‘top stories’, since a lot of their content is news based, but there are also some low hanging content ideas you can dissect from this report. Check this one out. This page ranks in the second position for the top keyword “Ping G Irons” which is a branded type of golf club. And this table also shows that this page receives about 677 search visitors with zero referring domains, which is pretty surprising to me. Now this might be a topic that you want to create content around because you know that the competition is low, and that the traffic is actually at a pretty decent amount considering that they’re not even ranking in the number one position. One more cool thing you can do in the top pages report is to find individual pages that get a ton of traffic and basically create an entire outline for your content using the keywords that they rank for. So I’ve cleared the filters already, and the only thing you really need to do is sort the table by traffic in descending order, which is already done by default. So, if we skip through some of the branded search queries like these ones as well as the ones that don’t have much context or commercial value, you’ll see this cool one here. You can see that the top keyword is “best golf drivers” and this page ranks for over 2,600 relevant search queries with over 12,000 monthly search visitors, which is actually a conservative estimation, not the actual traffic value. Now, I’m sure these pages also get traffic from other sources like social, referral traffic, email, etc. In fact, the actual SEO traffic will almost always be higher than what Ahrefs reports.
So let’s say that I wanted to create my own post on the best golf drivers.
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So let’s say that I wanted to create my own post on the best golf drivers. What I can do is click here under the keywords column to open up a pool of relevant keywords that this page is ranking for. And by analyzing these, I can basically create an entire outline of what I should be covering in my blog post. For example, it's 2018, but people are still searching for a “best list” from 2017. And they also want drivers that are known for distance. You can click on the “Next 100” link here to see more of the keywords that they’re ranking for. Then you’ll probably want to talk about game improvement drivers. Maybe create this post in a review-like style. And then talk about different handicaps and to make sure to include something about mid handicappers. And you can see that all of these rank in the top or near the top of Google, which shows high relevance from the content to the searcher’s intent. So rather than spending your time creating multiple pages targeting a single or just a few keyword phrases, you can confidently focus on creating just one, just one, epic post on drivers. Now that you’ve seen the top pages report in action, it doesn’t mean that it’s time to stop your research. You can obviously search for more competitors in Google... Or... you can go to the “Competing Domains” report inside Site Explorer. If you look in the sidebar, you’ll see the competing domains report here. This page will show you a list of websites that rank in the top 10 for the same keywords as this as this competing website. Now, when you’re looking at this report, you’ll see that there are some irrelevant sites like Wikipedia and Twitter. So a quick way to look for relevant competitors is to scan for lots of “green” in the visual bar here. The blue color represents the amount of unique keywords for the website we’re analyzing, the green represents the number of shared common keywords, and the yellow portion shows the corresponding site’s unique keyword rankings. In this example, you can instantly see that golf.com, pga.com, golfchannel.com and golfweek.com are all highly relevant sites to this domain.
You can just rinse and repeat this entire process that we just went through and find an endless...
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You can just rinse and repeat this entire process that we just went through and find an endless number of topics that you can use as inspiration and then create new content for your site. I hope you enjoyed this SEO tutorial and that you’ll start using the top pages report to increase organic traffic to your website. Make sure to hit the thumbs up button and subscribe for more actionable tutorials in our Marketing with Ahrefs series. I've got to get going because I have an important place to be, so I’ll see you soon, my fellow marketing compadres. [Music]

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