My background is 12 years running Search marketing and SEO companies as well as 20 years of Senior Finance roles including Group Finance Director and Group Financial Controllerships. I’ve learnt as much about SEO in that time as I had finance in the years before, so I am an unusual animal an Accountant who is also an expert on Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
When I get a new client, or look at how my websites are performing compared to competitors or even for a potential new employer ( I work these days as a Portfolio Finance Director), then I use an SEO tool call ahrefs.com to help me understand how a website gets traffic, how strong and how established it is. The tool is great but you do unfortunately need to pay a monthly fee to use other than for a trial few days, that however may be enough time for you to gain insights into a website.
What can you learn from ahrefs? Well a lot!
For example the above report shows how much organic traffic a site gets and how many keywords it performs for, which country it does best in. Plus over time if it’s results are improving or going backwards.
Ahrefs also lets you compare 5 websites side by side and see by key metrics which site is the strongest.
As backlinks (links to a website from another site) are the source of a domain names authority and therefore the amount of traffic it receives you can use the same tool to research the best links a competitor has and reverse engineer them to your own site, at least to some extent.
Hopefully this blog post gives you a little insight into how the internet works and how someone with a lot of experience goes about looking at websites with a different perspective.