No matter what business you work in, staying competitive is critical.
How can you properly scope out the competition in today's digital industry and uncover how they employ SEO to drive traffic? The answer is; with competitive keyword analysis.
You can adapt your entire approach to target the audience using a specialist tool to see what words and phrases your competitors use.
Competitive intelligence is one approach to tap into your competitor’s winning strategy. Your goal is to get insight into the techniques working for others in your market so that you can adapt, improve, and achieve a competitive advantage.
For years, various strategies have been used under SEO to boost site visibility. This has never been more crucial when it comes to search engines.
To begin with the competitive analysis, it is important to first understand why you should look into your top competitors. The answer is to simply provide the better and user experience to your audience and answer queries that they might have missed.
Even if you have read tons of keyword research guides, there is something that most of us fail to find:
- What keywords would bring ROI?
- The keyword competition or keyword difficulty.
- What are the resources that we will need to win?
In this blog, we have shared a detailed analysis of competitor keyword analysis and how to perform it.
What is Competitive Keyword Analysis?
A competitive keyword analysis is the process of analysing your competitor's website to see what keywords or long-tail phrases they rank for. You can use this information to determine which keywords will most likely bring you high traffic and conversions.
You can also use this information to determine which keywords are most important to your industry, so you can focus your time and resources on improving those terms.
A competitive keyword study is basically "reverse engineering" your competitor's website to see what keywords or long-tail phrases they rank for.
In other words, competitor keyword analysis is the process of determining which keywords your competitors are ranking high for in order to develop content that outranks them in search results.
It may also include a list of keywords for which they are ranking, but you are not, or if the content they are publishing fulfils user intent.
With this information, you may make decisions to try to outrank them or just identify gaps in your own content strategy that need to be corrected.
Why is Competitive Keyword Analysis Important?
A competitive analysis would give you a way to compare your campaigns to those of other companies in the same industry so that you can change or make improvements.
For example, you weren't aware that your closest competitor's website has a significant education area that isn't linked from the main page but provides loads of access to content for your target audience.
Or you've had problems with your own SEO and can't figure out why the same local rival consistently ranks sites higher than you on Google.
It also allows you to identify gaps in their overall plan. This information is critical if you want to outrank them. It is a method of reversing your strategy by learning from people already ahead of you.
However, you will most likely be shooting in the dark with this strategy. For example, you may have to make a few failed tries before you locate the keywords that are genuinely worth ranking for.
This is when SEO competitor research comes in helpful. Knowing what works for your competition lets you figure out what you need to do to enhance your rankings. It removes the necessity to make your own mistakes and learn from them.
In a nutshell, a competitor analysis can assist you in the following ways:
- Learn about your industry and the competitive landscape.
- Define unique value proposition.
- Showcase actionable milestones for measuring your success.
- Determine your competitors' success strategies.
- To keep a competitive advantage, fine-tune your marketing plan.
How to do Competitor Keyword Analysis?
Here is a step-by-step guide to competitive keyword analysis:
#1 Know Your Audience
The first thing you need to do is figure out who your audience is. You can't optimize for a keyword unless someone searches for it, right?
This will help determine what kind of content they're looking at - long-form or short-form, articles versus videos.
Create well-rounded buyer personas that describe your audience’s preferences or objectives at all stages of the buyer's journey, from awareness through the decision.
Once you have identified your buyer personas, the next step is to dig into what they're searching for. This will help figure out what keywords are worth ranking or targeting in order to beat them.
This will also assist you in coming up with a diverse set of keywords related to your organisation and extra opportunities to outrank your competition.
Overall, this first step will help you stay focused and guarantee that you're striving to outperform your competition for business development rather than merely outranking for the sake of outranking.
#2 Identify Your Competitors
Knowing your primary competitors will help you be more targeted with your plan.
A simple Google search for the phrases you want to rank for will identify the most powerful players in your niche. These websites will almost certainly dominate both organic and paid rankings.
Going after them may not be advisable if you have a fresh website with low domain authority. Instead, search for competitors who are a softer target.
Or use a Scalenut Assistant tool to identify your competitors.
You can also use the SEO tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs and look for your competitors. To find the best competitors, you can use metrics like domain authority, organic traffic, the monthly search volume of keywords, and their backlink profile.
#3 Find Your Competitor's Keywords
Once you've discovered your top competitors, research the terms for which they rank and outrank you, and determine how easy or hard it will be for you to outperform them.
Keywords serve as the foundation of your overall SEO strategy. They are the search terms that your target audience is likely to type in when looking for information about the product or service you offer.
Even the best content will fail to drive traffic unless relevant keywords are targeted. This is why keyword research is such a crucial aspect of SEO.
There are mainly two ways to find competition keywords; the first is using keyword research tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, and the second approach is the competitor keyword analysis.
The most notable advantage of this method remains that it reveals the keywords that are profitable for your competition.
You will gain access to a plethora of high ROI keyword prospects as a result of this method.
We have shared some amazing competitor keyword analysis tools in the later section.
#4 Identify Low Hanging Keywords
After you have narrowed down your list to incorporate the relatively low competition keywords, it is now time to drive harder.
Start by removing the keywords not relevant to your product or service. This leaves you with a list of easier to rank for keywords.
Go back to SEMRush or Ahrefs and check for the metrics for the top-ranking pages. Determine the total domain authority and the number of inbound links for each page.
Skip the keywords with the majority of high domain authority pages or the ones with more backlinks.
Read the content from these pages as if you were a user. If it does not answer your question, then you should think about what else they need. Also, make sure to keep a check on design, mobile responsiveness, and page speed.
#5 Use Keyword Clusters
You may also have to pay for some of the tools, but it is worth spending on a solid keyword research tool. The only way you can know if your keyword strategy is working or not will be based on monitoring and analysing the data that's generated from these tools.
For the main keywords, you can find the keyword clusters to use them in content or create a whole new piece of content.
Using the single target keywords is not going to help you. It is a really bad strategy.
These are terms that define niches or categories. They are especially important during the awareness stage of the consumer journey. They often have a low-medium volume and a high level of competition. The search volume may be higher in highly crowded niches.
Users will add modifiers to their categorised searches when they are at the solution awareness stage and are going to evaluate their possibilities. One of the best examples of modifiers is the keyword geography.
Categorical keywords might not be enough to tell you what an actual product is going to look like without the use of modifiers.
For example, the keyword 'Salon Services' maybe have tons of keyword clusters like:
- “Salon services in India”
- “Salon services in Delhi India”
- “Salon or Grooming services in Delhi India"
- “Women's salon services in Delhi India”
These customised search phrases can become rather specific. As a result, if these are your only target keywords, they will have very little search traffic and have minimal impact on your business.
That is why keyword clusters are so crucial. They will have a higher search volume, more commercial purpose, and a greater overall influence on SEO.
Here are some quick ideas of how to create keyword clusters:
- Keywords based on common themes and relevance.
- Paid keywords based on profitability.
- Keywords based on the customer journey and search intent.
#6 Find Paid Keywords
Examining paid keywords is a critical step that many website owners overlook when conducting keyword research. Some of your competitors may be spending a lot of money on paid search ads by bidding on pricey keywords.
If you are using an SEO strategy, it is best to target these keywords organically. Organic search results are frequently seen as more credible than paid results. And, they may even get more searcher's trust as well as attention.
This may provide you with a little advantage over your competitors.
Best Competitor Keyword Analysis Tools
Competitor keyword analysis aims to find out the keywords being searched for by competitors. These are the words that potential customers search for when they look at your site.
SEO competitor analysis involves a number of steps such as analysing keywords, identifying linking opportunities, etc.
By knowing which words your competitors use, you can figure out what people will be looking for on your website. Here are the best tools for competitor keyword analysis:
SpyFu is an excellent tool when it comes to researching competitors. It looks at what your competitors are doing and how well it is working for them so you can see if there are any weaknesses in their marketing. The dashboard also shows how well they do things like keywords and inbound clicks.
It is also great for finding out what customers are saying about your competitors on social media. SpyFu will show you the most popular posts and how much engagement they have received. This can help you see if there are any areas of your marketing that need improvement.
You may also uncover related keywords, making it simple to create your own campaigns to improve your results.
SpyFu also gives information on competition ad spend, clicks, and monthly search traffic.
This can be critical information when aiming to outperform another firm for the same keywords.
SEMrush is a great keyword tool for evaluating your competitors' keyword strategies. It shows you the keywords they are targeting, their traffic levels, and how much money they are spending on advertising. This gives you an idea of where to focus your own marketing efforts.
SEMrush also gives you information on your competitors' backlinks, which can be an important indicator of their online presence.
This can help you see if they are ranking well for the keywords that matter to you.
SEMrush also provides a report on where your competitors are spending their ad dollars and how effective it is. This can give you ideas for improving your own marketing strategy.
You may also look at paid keywords for PPC to check whether one is too competitive to be worth your ad spend budget.
This tool gives valuable keywords data based on search intent, keyword competition, monthly search volume and other metrics.
While SEMRush can be overwhelming for inexperienced digital marketers at times, there are several reasons why it is regarded as an industry-standard must-have product, and competitive research is unquestionably one of them.
#3 Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
Ahrefs is another very useful tool for keyword research. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer has the ability to analyse competitor keywords, which is very useful for a business to determine its position in the market. It is also a great tool for businesses to discover how much competition they are facing.
You can add keywords to see information for the best pages that rank in Google for that keyword.
It also helps break down the topic of a keyword, which will show you what your competitors are trying and how they're trying to rank in Google.
However, you must create an account to examine your competitors' backlinks and referring websites, organic traffic, and the number of organic keywords they rank for.
You can analyse each of the keywords using metrics like monthly search volume, keyword difficulty and CPC (Cost-per-click).
Use the site explorer to analyse the competitor's domain and find the best performing keywords for your competitors.
Scalenut is more of a competitive keyword analysis tool and SEO assistant rather than a keyword research tool. This tool uses competitive intelligence to find all relevant and closely related terms to use in the content.
Without switching to another tool, you can analyse the competitors' content and use the key terms required in the content. Furthermore, there are common keywords or terms to be included in the content.
You can use their sidebar tab to get a better idea of how these terms are used by the competing domains. Scalenut can help you boost your content marketing efforts and drive more relevant traffic to your content.
Moz competitor keyword analysis helps you find out the best keywords to rank your website in the search engines. You can also use Moz's competitor keyword tool to find out the top keywords your competitors are using.
It might be a good idea to prioritise keywords that your competitors are not ranking for. Or you could see which keywords your competitors are already ranking for and then focus on those.
BuzzSumo is a tool that helps you see the most popular content on the web. You can use this information to find relevant keywords for your website.
You can also use BuzzSumo's competitor keyword research tool to see which keywords your competitors are targeting and then focus on those.
It generates extremely detailed information on what your competitors are ranking for and the different aspects that influence this.
They provide a domain comparison tool that makes it simple to check how two domains compare.
This means you may include your own website as one and your competitor's website as another for a more in-depth comparison of where you are vs where they are.
One of the most important things you can do to help improve your SEO strategy is to use other websites as a resource. This way, you can learn how they rank for similar keywords and see what kind of content performs best on their sites.
It's also a great way to find out if you're doing something wrong so that you can fix it before your competitors do!
Using the above tools and the strategies we have laid out, you can improve your content and bring in more valuable traffic.