A competitive audit reviews competitors sites to learn from them. A competitive audit is most successful when it is done from the perspective of meeting specific goals: what are your specific goals, who is your target audience, and how do your competitors rank in terms of meeting those goals.
It’s important to note that competitors may not have the same goals as you. Therefore, we are not looking to see how successful they are at meeting their goals. We are only focused on what we can learn from how they approach our goals, and where we have opportunities to improve, comparatively. Here’s an example of a competitive audit for a healthcare provider.
In this example, the healthcare provider has identified 3 goals, and their own target audience. They have identified 2 competitors (ideally, a competitive audit would have between 5 and 10) and by noting the keywords they see, and ranking each site, they can then learn from others’ choices.