Search engine optimisation (SEO) often leaves people feeling overwhelmed by its unpredictability. Not to mention the high competition to rank for certain keywords that adds the hassle to win the search result.
Some people may duplicate their competitors’ strategies by using the same keywords. However, doing so may result in missed opportunities to fill in the gaps or use potential keywords that your competitors are overlooking.
As a digital marketing agency, we are adept at this issue. That’s why it’s essential that we go beyond keyword research and assess search competitiveness through competitor keyword analysis.
Does winning the competition sound good to you? Find out how you can achieve it as we’ll delve into this topic deeper.
What is Competitor Keyword Analysis?
A competitor keyword analysis is a process of mapping the keywords strategies of other businesses operating within your niche. You do it to better understand your position and to see if there are any keyword opportunities you might be missing that have enabled your competitors to rank highly in search results.
This strategy also reveals your competitors’ missing keywords or potential keywords they’re yet to implement. You can consider filling in those gaps to increase your chances of ranking higher in search results, as those keywords typically have low difficulty and ultimately drive more traffic to your site.
Why is It Important To Analyse Keyword Competition?
Keywords are significant for your SEO efforts; hence keyword research has always been involved in the process. However, identifying potential keywords with high search volume and low difficulty levels with this method is inadequate.
Instead, you should consider your position within the landscape through a competitor keyword analysis. This method can give you insights to plan out how you can win the competition with the resources you have.
The analysis itself focuses on examining how your target keywords are performing on your competitors’ sites. It will inform you how much traffic the keywords drive on the page and domain levels.
You can then incorporate some of the relatively high-traffic keywords into your site. As a result, not only will you be able to get the same huge visit, but you will also be able to enrich your pages by creating comprehensive content that covers specific topics broadly.
Aside from disclosing the successful keywords, competitor keyword analysis will also show your competitors’ missing keywords or keywords they’re overlooking. Since the keywords are unpopular, you can use this as an opportunity to gain higher content authority, which will attract more visitors to your site and a larger ROI in the long run.
How To Do Competitor Keyword Analysis?
Now that you’ve grasped what a competitor keyword analysis is and the benefits it brings to your SEO efforts, you might want to start implementing it.
It’s fine if you’re unsure of what to do, especially if you’re new to this strategy. Nonetheless, you might want to consider the following steps to run a smooth and effective keyword competition analysis:
Make a list of your top search competitors
The first thing you need to do is to list down your search competitors. It’s important to note that search competitors are different from your business competitors; the first consist of sites covering the same topic, and they’re not necessarily related to the latter.
Start examining your search competitors by running a Google search for a keyword that you target. From there, you’ll see websites that appear on the first page of search results.
The fact that they’re on top of the search results indicates that the keyword is performing well on their sites. These should be your benchmark, and the simplest way to conduct an analysis on them is by making a list so you can easily assess the URLs later.
The best way to document the information is with an excel sheet. It saves you time from the hurdles as you’ll have access to all the necessary data in one place.
Analyse your competitors’ keywords
The next step is to observe the keywords that your competitors use for the pages that rank high in search results. The simplest method is to use a keyword research tool, which will display the number of keywords as well as how much traffic each keyword generates.
For a starting point, you can pick one site as your main competitor. It should be the same size and running for the same business niche as yours.
Copy and paste the URL of the page into your keyword research tool to see the relevant keywords used. Some of the keywords attract higher traffic than others, and you might want to use those keywords as a way to enrich the quality of your content.
Find out the keyword gaps
Aside from identifying the successful keywords for your competitors, you’ll also need to look out for keyword gaps. Keyword gaps consist of potential phrases that your competitors are missing or yet to implement.
You can identify keyword gaps by comparing similar and related keywords found on your research tool with the keywords used by your competitors. If they’re overlooking some of the potential keywords, then it’s a good idea to implement them on your site.
Furthermore, with less competition, leveraging missing keywords gives you a better chance to outperform your competitors organically. It ultimately reduces your need for a paid search strategy and saves you costs on achieving a higher ROI.
Break down keywords for the different customer journey
You might have heard of the customer journey or buying process consisting of awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty steps. Your customer has various demands at each of these stages and will use different keywords to get what they’re looking for.
Your task now is to find keywords that are relevant for each stage of the customer journey. Implementing this will provide your audience while looking through your site with the right information they desire. But how will you do it? Which keywords are suitable for a certain customer journey?
Let’s take a look at how you can break down keywords for different customer journeys below:
Awareness is the first stage of the customer journey. It involves describing a brand or product to a target audience in order to make it familiar and memorable.
If your site is new in the given field, then building strong brand awareness is what brings you success, as more people will recognise your business. One of the effective ways to increase your visibility is by providing quality content with informational keywords.
Informational keywords should answer search queries such as ‘What, Why, Who, Where, When, and How.‘ You can effectively address the queries by explaining a problem and how your brand can solve it in various content formats, including:
- Thought leadership
- Ultimate guides
- Expert interviews
- Edutainment articles
Consideration is a stage in which your audience is aware of their problems and is looking for solutions. They typically visit your website for two main reasons; they are considering purchasing your product, or they are comparing your product to your competitors.
You can entice your audience and persuade them to buy your product by creating guidance content that uses navigational keywords. Typically, navigational keywords and search queries involve the following phrases:
- [Brand name] benefits
- [Brand name] vs. [another brand name]
- [Brand name] reviews
- [Brand name] experience
- [Brand name] features
Conversion occurs when your target audience decides to purchase your product. They require information such as product prices, payment processes, shipping options, and so on at this stage.
As a result, you must use transactional and commercial keywords. Several phrases that frequently appear in the keywords and search queries include:
Loyalty is an important stage that is often overlooked. Don’t make the same mistake, as your customers’ trust is precious.
Suppose you sell electronics, and one of your customers is puzzled about updating the operating software. In that case, you can create a page with instructions on how to install the software appropriately.
That makes the loyalty stage require navigational keywords. You can provide guidance comparable to after-sales care based on these keywords. In the end, this will increase customer trust and your customer retention rate.
Develop SEO-optimised content that focuses on your audience
After determining which keywords to use to increase traffic, the next step is to create SEO-optimised and high-quality content. Focusing solely on keywords is no longer effective as Google now prioritises content excellence that provides a pleasant user experience.
You can create high-quality content by focusing on your content’s comprehensiveness. By being comprehensive, you’ll be able to answer the search queries and bring value to both your audience and your SEO efforts.
If you do this consistently, Google may grant you higher authority. With a high authority, it will be easier to rank higher in search results in the future.
Keep an eye on your competitors’ performance
Keeping an eye on your competitors’ performance will provide you with information about their traffic, backlinks, and domain authority. You should incorporate these factors into your strategy and use them to determine whether targeting specific keywords is worth the effort to outrank them in search results.
If you want to rank at the top of the search results, but your competitors have high traffic, backlinks, and domain authority, you should use less difficult keywords. Using keywords with a lower difficulty may be just as effective in attracting more visitors, but from a different angle than your competitors.
On the other hand, if you still want to use your target keywords, regardless of how well-known your competitors are, there is no problem at all. In the end, your content can provide valuable information to your audience.
Run An Easier Competitor Keyword Analysis With These Tools
Imagine running a competitor keyword analysis manually without any help from an SEO tool. It will waste a lot of time as you’ll have to guess the keywords that each of your competitors uses manually. Not to mention the agony of repeating the same method for multiple sites, adding more pain on your end.
Let’s take a look at the following SEO tools that you can use to maximise your keyword competition analysis!
SE Ranking has a competitor analysis feature that can compare keyword usage between your site and the other two competitors. With the paid plan, you can run keyword competition analysis by performing the following steps:
- Go to online.seranking.com
- Click on the ‘Competitive Analysis’ feature
- Enter your domain’s URL
- Click on the ‘Organic Traffic Research’ feature
- Choose the ‘Competitor Comparison’ option
- Type the two competitors you want to analyse and click ‘Show Results’
- It will showcase the keywords your competitors use, along with the common, missing, and unique keywords
Ahrefs has a content gap tool that lets you assess the keywords other websites rank for but not for your website. However, you’ll need to subscribe to their plan to be able to use the feature. Once you’ve paid for it, you can do the following actions to peek at your competitors’ strategies:
- Plug your domain’s URL into the ‘Site Explorer’ feature
- Go to the ‘Content Gap’ tool
- Type your competitors’ URL below the ‘Show keywords that below targets rank for’
- Press on the ‘Show keywords’ to see the results
- The tool will show potential keywords you can consider using
Semrush is an SEO tool that enables you to assess up to four competitors’ keywords that successfully drive them high traffic. It’s fairly simple to perform the analysis as explained below:
- Go for the ‘Keyword Gap’ feature under the ‘Competitive Research’ category
- Enter your domain’s URL, and ensure that you choose the ‘Organic Keyword’ option
- Add your competitors’ URL
- Select the country
- Hit on ‘Compare’ to see the results
- The tool will show you the keywords that attract high visitors to your competitors’ sites
Performing a competitor keyword analysis surely boosts your chances of ranking higher in search results as you implement the keywords that drive traffic to your competitors’ sites. Not only that but doing this strategy will give you the opportunity to seize the missing keywords your competitors are yet to implement.
After reading this article, you should have an understanding of how to do a keyword competition analysis that boosts your SEO efforts. Optimal SEO implementation that includes a thorough competitor keyword analysis ultimately attracts more visitors to your site and reduces your need for a paid search strategy.
However, it’s also OK if you’re still unsure of where to start. Our SEO agency, which consists of experienced and knowledgeable experts, will always be ready to help you out in tackling keyword competition analysis.
Just book a call with us, and we’ll be right there to help you in executing the plan for you!
How to measure competitors’ keywords?
Measuring competitors’ keywords requires you to use an SEO tool that gives you insights regarding the keywords that drive traffic to other websites but yours.
What are competitor keywords?
Competitor keywords consist of the keywords other websites have covered and give traffic to them. Examining the list will give you an idea of which keywords you can implement, increasing your chance of being on top of the search results as well.
How to spy on competitors’ keywords?
Spying competitors’ keywords is possible with the help of keyword gap or competitive research feature that your SEO tool provide. The feature will show you both of the keywords they have implemented, along with the missing keywords you can leverage to enrich your content.