How to find your competitor’s keywords

competitor's keywords

A guest post by Sajid Hussain. 

Researching your competitor’s keywords helps you gain a competitive edge in your SEO marketing and organic search rankings.

You can use your competitor’s keywords to direct your own SEO marketing, which in turn can help you build your SEO marketing strategy.

This post will show you how you can search for your competitor’s keywords, find out what they rank for, with the associated search volume, and use that information effectively.

Competitor keyword research: what is it?

If your competitor ranks well in search results for both the keywords you target and the ones that your competitor is not ranking for, then your SEO keyword strategy can be influenced by both.

The four ways to use competitor keyword research

  1. Compete for top rankings by stealing your competitor’s keywords.
  2. Locate keywords that have not yet been targeted by competitors.
  3. Your target market will use long-tail keywords you had not considered.
  4. Look at why the competitor’s website is ranking higher than your website on broad search terms.

How to find your competitor’s keywords

How about a convenient tool which generates a list of your competitor’s keywords with just a few clicks? STOP. Competition keyword research isn’t as easy as it seems. Making a comprehensive list of competitor keywords isn’t as easy as using a keyword tool.

However, don’t let the lengthy process discourage you. There are several different strategies that you can use to smooth out and speed up your competitor analysis.

Top 5 tools for figuring out your competitor’s keywords

1. Your competitor’s HTML page source

Choose a page from your competitor’s website and search for keywords there. Open the “page source” by right-clicking on the page.

Look for the keywords in the title tag, the meta description, the optional keywords tag, and any image title tags or alt tags in the source code. (Not all web sites use the keywords tag, but it is worth checking.)

2. The Screaming Frog Spider

Download the Screaming Frog Spider software to your computer and then use it to crawl your competitor’s website like a search engine does. You’ll find lots of information, including metadata, image alt text, anchor text, headings and much more.

3. Google Keyword Planner

All you need is a Google account to use the Google Keyword Planner Tool in the Google AdWords interface.

Navigate to the AdWords Keyword Planner and locate the “Find new keywords” option. Then choose “Find new keywords with a phrase, website or category”.

After you open the form, enter your competitor’s URL into the text field and hit “Get ideas”. Google will then generate a list of keywords associated with both the page and the website as a whole.

You’ll find your competitor’s keywords in the “Keyword Ideas” section below the graph when Google finishes and displays your results.

4. SEMRush

You can use SEMRush’s organic keyword tool to see the ranking terms for just about any domain. It’s as easy as inputting your competitor’s web address and looking at that list.

However, the SEMRush tracker also shows the URL which ranks for each term, so you can find out which pieces of your competitor’s content marketing are working especially well.

5. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo adds another dimension to competitive keyword research by looking at the thing from a social aspect, and in so doing it reverses the competitive keyword research process. Here’s how it works:

With BuzzSumo, instead of thinking about your competitor’s keywords first, you can start by looking up keywords that matter to you to see who you rank for those terms. BuzzSumo will show you some of the most shared, liked, and socialised content for any given keyword.

6. Ahref Keyword Explorer

First of all, you have to find out what people are typing in the Search Engine to reach out to the niche or service you are providing. Then type the keywords in the Keyword Explorer and choose phrase match.

You can add filters like Traffic, Volume, and Keyword difficulty.

Keywords explorer

If you think you are not familiar with all this and can’t do good keyword research by yourself, you can hire an SEO agency to do it all for you. Here is a guide about how to hire Affordable SEO Services.

How to take advantage of competitor keyword research

Let’s say that you have analysed the competitor’s site, used a keyword research tool, examined social media, and now you have a great list of the your competitor’s keywords. What next?

The competitor analysis and Google search data you’ve compiled can be put to many different uses. Here are some good next steps:

  • To see how you compare to the competition and how you’re growing against them over time, check backlink data for your organic competitors.
  • Find gaps in your content and keyword portfolio. This can also help with your social media strategy.
  • Your competitor’s keywords might inspire you to target new terms and to create content related to those terms. This is probably the best thing you can do for your website.
  • Learn what your audience really cares about when online for your marketing campaigns by reviewing the terms.
  • Find new competitors that you may not have considered. Search engine results pages (SERPS) rank against you.

About the author

Sajid HussainSajid Hussain  is a senior content specialist at TechNerds with proven digital marketing experience under his belt. He harbours a passion for writing on a diverse range of topics related to futuristic technologies, innovation, and digital marketing to educate and inspire his readers.

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