Sizing up the competition

Sizing up the competition
SparkOptimus TeamBenedikt Lahninger
Written by
Benedikt Lahninger
The SparkOptimus Team
September 21, 2023

<div class="insights_cta-component">This is the second article in our series covering the basics of digital due diligence. See the full series below.</div>

Understanding the competitive landscape is an essential part of any commercial due diligence. Luckily it’s no longer a daunting task if you know the right tools, and how to use them. These tools not only pinpoint who you're competing against, but also provide clues into their strengths and potential vulnerabilities.

Organic search competition

In our previous article, we introduced Ahrefs as an essential tool for organic search analysis. If you're already familiar with Ahrefs, now's a perfect time to delve deeper and identify who else occupies your market. One of the underappreciated features of Ahrefs is its ‘competing domains’ functionality. This offers an immediate list of all domains targeting the same keywords. These are then ranked based on the number of shared keywords - from highest to lowest. This categorization lets you see who's closely aligned with your strategy and whom you should keep an eye out for.

Figure 1: Competing domains' output using Ahrefs (simplified)
Similar players along a broader set of traffic proxies

Remember SimilarWeb which we mentioned in our previous article? Its name is a clue to its original purpose. Launched to help businesses find comparable websites within their niche, SimilarWeb remains true to its roots. Enter your domain or a competitor's, and it furnishes a list of sites with mirroring traffic patterns, user demographics, and content angles.  

Figure 2: An example of SimilarWeb's results for alike websites.
Advanced Competition Analysis via GPT

At SparkOptimus, we always tend to go a level deeper. To truly understand a competitor, we analyze their entire traffic profile. Using the GPT API, we categorize the vast array of search traffic, sorting the multitude of keywords into pertinent categories - from product types to service models and areas of expertise. We'll keep the nitty-gritty of this method under wraps for now, but to give you a taste, see the figure below.

Figure 3: An outside-in assessment of search traffic profiles, made possibleby GPT API's keyword categorizations

As we can see, sizing up your competition is a critical aspect of conducting effective commercial due diligence in the digital realm. By leveraging the right tools and strategies, you can gain valuable insights into your competitors. Remember, understanding your competition is not just about knowing who they are; it's about uncovering the nuances that can give you that competitive edge.


In the other articles, we are covering assessing market size, sizing up competition, and analyzing website traffic. All topics:

Analyzing Website Traffic – Evaluate traffic volume and organic vs. paid sources

Sizing Up the Competition – Identify who else is targeting the same keywords & audiences

Estimating Market Size – Approximate market size and growth using keyword data

Auditing Online Reviews – Validate a company’s customer proposition

Stay tuned!

We hope you're as excited as we are and of course, do let us know if you have specific topics or questions you would like us to share with you.


At SparkOptimus, we perform these types of analyses every day, and we've been doing so for years. We also make sure to put these analyses into context and share our strategic insights about the results— you can find more information in our M&A service line.

For over ten years, SparkOptimus has been helping its clients achieve concrete results in areas that are more important now than ever before. This has led us to secure the top spot in digital consultancy in the Netherlands for the 6th time. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out — we’re here to help.