Competitor Keyword Analysis – Find Competitor Keywords

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    Use competitor keyword analysis to find your competitors keywords with these fairly advanced keyword research strategies.

    What is a competitor keyword analysis ?

    Doing a competitor keyword analysis is one strategy to earn more organic traffic.

    Essentially you are reverse engineering their traffic, pages, keywords and links.

    Why You Need To Do an SEO Competitor Analysis

    If you’re open to organic growth, a competitor analysis is a great strategy in addition to other strategies such as analysing the buyer’s journey.

    Let’s spy on competitors organic keywords with these tools

    In this guide I’ll use 2 tools you can use to look at websites you compete against.

    • Ahrefs
    • Ubersuggest

    Find Content Gaps with content gap tool

    The first way to do a competitor analysis is by using the content gap tool from Ahrefs.

    If you’ve never used Ahrefs before, it’s an seo marketing tool that experts and agencies use for keyword research. seo audits, backlink analysis, rank tracking and analysing competitor activity.

    There’s a one time only $7 for a 7 day trial; you can try it follow these instructions then cancel.

    Thereafter you won’t get another trial, you’ll need to pay $99 a month or $178 a month.

    The content gap tool will show you competitor terms that rank for in Google that you don’t rank for.

    Really fast.

    Very cool competitor content gap tool.

    The competitive landscape

    There are 3 types of competitors you need to consider.

    Direct competitors

    These could be the companies in the same town as you or the local companies that appear in local search or map results.

    Secondary competitors

    Keyword and competitor analysis tools can inform you who these secondary competitors are.

    The company in position 1 in Google to your position 5 is your online competitor.

    If you are ranking for hundreds of different topics you could have hundreds and thousands of secondary competitors.

    And they all want your traffic !

    Lastly, global competitors

    The internet has made trade mainly global.

    90% of my online seo training clients are based in the USA and Canada.

    I compete with people doing seo work, seo training and keyword research on Udemy, Fiverr, elance or getting trained by SEMrush and Ahrefs from all over the world.

    Sites around the globe are your competitors.

    Download : Find Competitor Keywords Guide

    Competitor Analysis with site explorer tool

    The next tool to do a competitor keyword analysis is called the Ahrefs Site Explorer.

    Enter url into Ahrefs site explorer tool to find thousands of keyword ideas

    Select competing domains and click on a competitor

    Select organic keywords and country

    Filter by position 1 to 10

    Sort by search volume

    Enter these keywords into the Include box and select Any

    • How,Issue,For,With,Fix,Improve
    • Increase,Reduce,Remove,Lower,Grow
    • Service,Product,Custom,Bespoke
    • Example,Guide,Learn,Tutorial
    • Video,Calculator,Best,Top
    • Review,Comparison,vs,Versus,Alternative
    • Buy,Discount,Nearest,Offer
    • Cheap,Sale,Price,Package,Deal,Cost,Hire

    Enter keywords you wish to exclude in the Exclude box

    Filter by seo difficulty

    In your competitive analysis you want to identify competitor keywords that have a low competition or keyword difficulty score

    Low competition or difficulty keywords are the ones which are easier to rank for and are the keywords you should target initially.

    Analyse the SERPs

    Click the SERP button to look at traffic to the top pages, the links to these pages and the number of keywords these top pages rank for.

    It’s at this stage where you have to decide if you want to pursue outranking a competitor.

    The ideal criteria for choosing to outrank a competitor’s page is :

    • Pick keywords with high search volume
    • Pick keywords with low competition or difficulty
    • Pick keywords where the top pages rank for 100s of other keywords
    • Pick a search intent aligned keyword; ie: at one stage in the consumer buying process
    Download : Find Competitor Keywords Guide

    Competitive analysis with keyword explorer tool

    Next we’ll use Ahrefs keyword explorer tool to do a competitive analysis.

    Enter your url into site explorer

    Select competing domains

    Check competitors with a similar DR

    Click that competitor and look at their competitors

    Check competitors with a similar DR.

    If you have to, visit their website to check that they are in a similar business or have similar content to you.

    Write down a list of 10 competitor names in a text file or document.

    Now we’re ready to examine your competitor activity and best keywords with Ahrefs.

    • Click content gap on the left menu
    • Put each competitor url into “Show keywords that the below targets rank for”
    • Make sure your url is in the “But the following target doesn’t rank for” box
    • Then click show keywords

    Depending on the Ahrefs plan you have, a different number of competitor keywords will be shown.

    I chose the $99 basic plan this month but normally use the $178 a month plan.

    • Filter KD keyword difficulty to 0
    • Check to see if any topic are relevant
    • Now filter 1 to 1
    • eg: local seo packages is interesting for me

    Or you can set broader filter criteria such as 0 – 5 or 5 – 20.

    You can also use the include keyword filter and the volume filter to find other opportunities.

    ps: ignore your competitors branded terms or branded queries such as their name.

    Now don’t worry if the search volume is very small; we can identify later on if the top competing pages also rank for lots of similar keywords.

    Now Check the SERPS

    • Check traffic by looking at the traffic column
    • Look at the KW (keywords) column to see how many other keywords the top pages also rank for
    • Look at the domains column; lots of pages with zero or a low number indicate they could be outranked.
    • Look at the DR (domain authority) column; competitors with really high DR scores can be impossible to outrank if if the keyword difficulty is low.

    In the example shown, I’m not sure there’s enough traffic to the top pages for me to justify investing my time in creating this type of content.

    But let’s say I did decide to pursue ranking for this keyword and creating an article about this topic.

    So you’ve decided to choose a competitors keyword to outrank, what now ?

    Now you need to understand what the user wants after they’ve entered that search query into Google before you can create your content.

    Download : Find Competitor Keywords Guide

    Find popular content with Ahrefs content explorer tool

    Next we’ll use Ahrefs Content Explorer tool to do find popular and relevant keywords in our industry.

    This tool analyses a database of over 1.1 billion web pages on the internet and discovers over 1.8 million new pages every day.

    That’s insane access to competitor keyword data.

    So let’s analyse our global competitors best pages, keywords and search traffic.

    Select Ahrefs content explorer

    Enter a seed keyword about your business or industry. For me eg: “seo” or “marketing”

    Choose title from the drop down menu and hit return

    Under the all languages select English

    Sort by relevance – choose organic traffic

    Select + add filter and enter a domain rating range eg: 0-60

    0 to 10 points above your domain rating ps: mine is 50 so I entered 60.

    Select + add filter and enter 0 to 10 referring domains

    The content explorer tool will now return all competing pages that match the criteria you chose.

    There could be millions of competing sites and pages.

    Scroll through the list of pages and look at the page titles.

    Ask yourself if you could write about a subject like that or if you haven’t covered such as topic on your website.

    Ask yourself if you could write about a subject like that or if you haven’t covered such as topic on your website.

    Now you know how I researched this article !

    Now you need to check there is traffic in your country for these competing pages.

    Click the arrow next to the url and then right click the overview text

    Click the organic search tab

    Look at each country and check the traffic levels.

    If you believe there’s enough traffic that’s worth your while investing in content creation then …

    Click the number under organic keywords

    Select the number next to your country flag

    Click SERPS to see traffic to top pages

    Now it’s time to create content to outrank your competitor.

    Use the exact same process I’ve outlined above to study link intent and create your content

    And now the 4th tool to do a competitor keyword analysis is Ubersuggest.

    Download : Find Competitor Keywords Guide

    Competitor Analysis with Ubersuggest

    Ubersuggest is a useful tool to identify the top pages and keywords of competitors who rank for the same keywords as you.

    However I believe Ahrefs, a paid for tool, will provide you with a competitive advantage when researching the competitive landscape.

    I’ve outlined the strengths and weaknesses of both Ahrefs and Ubersuggest here.

    Google Ubersuggest, Enter your domain, select your country and hit search

    Click keywords

    Click arrow next to a keyword

    Look at the top urls in the Google SERP column

    Right click the arrow next to the url of one of the top pages and select Copy Link Address

    Open up Ubersuggest in another browser tab, paste url and hit search

    Click on top pages

    Look at seo title of the first page that has a number next to Est Visits ie: the page earns traffic from Google.

    Do you currently have a page about this topic ?

    Select Yes or No

    If yes

    Ignore the topic and look at the next seo title

    Do you currently have a page about this topic ?

    Select Yes or No If no ignore and move down the list.

    If yes ask yourself, Do you want to write about this topic ?

    Select Yes or No If no, ignore this topic and move down the list of pages.

    If yes, then follow the process outlined above.

    If you can’t find any topics on this competitors website that you haven’t written about, don’t want to write about or the pages don’t earn any traffic, then you need to find another competitor.

    Go back to your browser tab where you analyse your top keywords.

    Select another competitor that ranks above you.

    Follow the steps above.

    Once you’ve chosen the competitor topic to target then you can start the process of outlining and creating content.

    Follow the content outline guide mentioned earlier.

    So that’s the 4th way to do an seo keyword analysis of your competitors using Ubersuggest 

    Download : Find Competitor Keywords Guide

    Keyword Cluster or Topic Hub

    Topic clusters are a group of pages created around a theme or topic and use a main page to link to and from. 

    For example; look at my content hub based around the topic of “keywords”

    I’ll use furniture as a topic.

    • Go to Ahrefs
    • Enter seed keyword
    • Select country
    • Hit search

    Select phrase match

    Look at the “by terms” or “by parent” topic options to reveal ideas for a topic clutter or topic hub.

    Look at the “by parent” topic options to reveal other ideas for a topic clutter or topic hub.

    Then you would choose from the list of keywords or parent topic tab the other pages that should be included in your cluster or hub.

    A furniture store’s cluster or hub might include

    • Paint
    • Room
    • Wood
    • Living
    • White
    • Bathroom
    • Wooden
    • Covers
    • Modern
    Download : Find Competitor Keywords Guide

    Analyse your competitors paid keywords

    Put a competitor url into Ahrefs site explorer tool to see their key metrics.

    Clicked the number next to the PPC link.

    You can see all the keywords that they are bidding on and the cost per click they are being charged.

    You can even see their ad copy.

    Backlink Gap Analysis

    You can use a tool like Ahrefs to analysis the link profile and link growth of competitors.

    • Who links to them ?
    • Why do websites link to them?

    Links are a major factor in your competitors higher rankings and traffic

    Look at this diagram showing the relationship between referring domains (unique links) and organic traffic.

    Other tools you could use

    There are of course other keyword research and competitor analysis tools in the market.

    • SpyFu
    • LongTailPro
    • KeywordSpy
    • SEMRush
    • Wordstream’s Free Keyword Tool
    • Moz
    • Alexa.com
    • Similarweb.com

    I’m not an expert with these tools but your competitor keywords can be analysed with these tools.

    Summary

    These are my best competitor keyword analysis strategies.

    If the idea of stealing your competitors keywords unsettles you; reframe that thought with this.

    “My goal is to provide the user with the best, most useful content for the search they made if that means I outrank someone else so be it.”