How to Find Keywords That Your Competitors are Ranking For?

We cannot stress enough how important keywords are for your SEO ranking. Organic traffic & keywords are like the base of any SEO campaign. But does that overwhelm you? I would be surprised if you reply with a ‘No’.

But how would you feel if I say you don’t have to go looking for these high-quality keywords? In fact, you can simply start this process by spying on your competitors and reverse engineering their process. No more guessing or trial and error methods. Get a full-proved blueprint of what works for your audience and industry.

So, let’s get going and walk through a step-by-step guide to do competitor keyword research.

But before we go any further, what do you mean by ‘Competitor Keyword Research’?

You are well-aware of the traditional keyword research process, right? You use some guesswork, a lot of legwork, and then try to map them in your posts and pages. And then, wait for the magic to work. This is a lengthy and time-consuming process with no guarantee of positive or high-quality results. But that doesn’t make it any less worthy.

However, if you look at the ‘competitor keyword research’, you simply have to reverse engineer the keywords that are already working and driving traffic for your competitors. This is a perfect opportunity for you to utilise and fill the content gaps if any in your SEO strategy.

Why Carry Out Competitor Analysis?

I have always heard people complaining about how difficult it is to find keywords that actually work and attract traffic. This is exactly why you should consider competitor analysis.

After all, there is no need to reinvent the keyword research wheel. Just search what has been working for your competitors, and do the same. Just a tad bit better.

Here are some ways to use the competitor keyword analysis for your content strategy.

  • To find new keywords that are working for your competitors and you haven’t thought of yet.
  • To find keywords that drive traffic you are missing. Then create content or update your existing to find and fill the content gaps.
  • To find where the competitors are outranking you.
  • To find which commercial terms your competitors are bidding on for attracting potential customers.
  • To find long-tail keywords with lower competition. You can utilise this opportunity.
  • To find secondary keywords for your topic and expand the organic footprint.
  • To find and pinpoint the topics and keywords that trigger snippets and optimise for that placement.

How to Identify Your Competitors?

Before you go ahead and look for competitor keywords, you need to identify competitors you are against. There are two types of competitors – domain and page competitors. Domain-level competitors are the ones that compete with you as a whole website or a brand, whereas page-level competitors are the ones that compete against you for a specific keyword or a topic.

How do you identify domain vs page competitors?

There are two basic ways to find your competitors. You can use Ahrefs tools or simply do a Google search.

For domain-level competitors, visit the site explorer tool , enter your domain, and you will find a list of competitors.

For domain-level competitors, use the Ahrefs keyword explorer tool , enter your main keyword, and you will find a list of competitors that rank for the same keyword or similar topic.

Doing Google search is a very easy and everyday task. Just search for your keyword, and all the websites that rank above you are your competitors.

Tools to Identify Competitors Keywords

Now, you have a list of competitors, the next step is to find competitors keywords to take benefit from them. You can either do this manually or use SEO tools for your rescue.

1. Google Keyword Planner Tool

You might have used this tool before to find keyword ideas for your website. And if you haven’t used it yet, then you just need a Google account to login and start using.

But do you know, you can also use this tool to spy on your competitors’ links and keywords?

  • Log in to your AdWords account and go to the keyword planner tool to find new keywords.
  • Select “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”.
  • Now enter your competitor’s URL in the space provided and click on ‘get ideas’.
  • Choose ‘keyword ideas’, and Google will offer you ideas from your competitor’s link.

2. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer 

Keyword Explorer is an amazing tool for keyword ideas (although not free). You already have a list of your competitors, so just enter the URL of your competitor’s website in the tool, and the tool will show you the keywords they rank for.

The tool also shows the volume of traffic they get because of each keyword, which is a bonus. And now, you have a set of new potential keywords and ideas for your next content strategy planning.

3. SpyFu 

As the name suggests, this tool specially is designed to spy on competitors and do competitive research. When you enter the link of your competitor, you will receive a report that suggests the keyword that your competitor ranks for but you haven’t utilised yet. This means SpyFu makes the task even easier for you.

You can sort the report with reference to search volume, keyword difficulty, and exact CPC. You can also see the referring domains to that keyword, which is a plus while looking for the competitors keywords.

4. SEM Rush 

This tool is useful to find competitor keywords by geographical area and country filter. In short, it is an impressive tool if you are looking to market in a certain location. How can you do it? It’s simple.

  • Select the ‘Competitors’ menu from the dashboard.
  • Select the geographical location that you want the results for.
  • Choose between mobile or desktop traffic data.
  • And you will get the report in hand.

5. BuzzSumo 

This is yet another tool that can help with your content strategy and finding a competitor’s keywords. You can use the Domain Comparison tool for comparing your website to the competitors and get a detailed report about everything right from the content type, shares, to keywords. Dig a little bit deeper, and you will find where you are lagging in the content department to rectify it.

Final Thoughts: A Process to Level-Up to Your Competitors

A competitor keyword research helps you in finding the terms and keywords that are already working for your niche (just you are unaware of them). Whether you are looking to target for informational keywords or commercial ones, quick research on your competitors will help you get a kick start in your strategy without sweating much. So, use these tools and get a proven blueprint to boost your organic traffic and conversions.

About The Author

Shankar Sen

Shankar has years of experience as a content writer and is obsessed with analytics and marketing. He usually writes about online marketing and how it can help companies grow their ROI. An avid mountaineer, his dreams of living in Ladakh

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