5 Crucial Steps of Finding Competitor Keywords for SEO

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Generating the right keyword portfolio often needs a lot more than brand or product knowledge. You should have a complete understanding of your current digital ecosystem. It is necessary to understand the digital space you occupy along with the other businesses that exist in that space above and below you. 

Professional experts working at any SEO company follow certain steps to identify competitors for their clients to conduct better keyword research. We are going to talk about some of those steps that can help you find your potential competitors. They can help you find the right URLs and keywords that you can use for competitor keyword analysis.

Identify Your Online Competitors

You must have a long list of companies that you have identified as your competitors. Some of these companies might be your direct competitors because they offer similar products or services to a common target audience. Some of them might also be the manufacturers selling the same products directly that you buy from them to sell your customers. 

Even though you compete with these companies regularly, Google may not identify them as your direct competitors. There could be other companies trying to attract your target audience and using the same keywords as you. Some of these businesses might be selling products or services similar to yours and therefore targeting similar keywords.

You need to understand that your online competitors can take away organic traffic that could have landed on your website. So you can gather insights from their pages and turn the tables around. That is why you need to identify the companies you need to focus on to close the content gap and win the traffic race.

Learning about these online competitors can offer you insight into new keyword opportunities, even though you may not have to compete with them for market share directly. You can either do it manually or by using automated tools. We will suggest the latter as it is less time-consuming and more effective.

Find Competitor Keywords

Once you have identified your online competitors, you can start analyzing their domain strategies. We suggest that you begin by identifying the keywords that your competitors are already ranking for, but you are not. You can use any keyword research tool to find the terms and phrases your competitors are ranking for on search engines.

An ideal keyword research tool should identify the keywords as well as provide the following information about them:

  • Average search volume 
  • Current ranking on search engine result pages (SERP)
  • Cost per Click 
  • Estimated monthly traffic generated
  • Page URLs

Identify Content Gaps

In the next step, you should find out Which of those keywords your website does not rank for yet. You can also call this approach closing the content gap between your website and your competitor’s.

You can compare your domain with your competitor’s to find the keyword sets common between the two. You can also look for the phrases that they rank for on search engines.

You can be surprised by the number of potential keywords that you might be missing on your website. You may not need to target all of these keywords through your content. However, analyzing the content gap can help you discover valuable opportunities that you can use to optimize your online visibility.

We will recommend you review your keywords according to their relevance with the products or services you sell. It will enable you to prioritize them based on search intent so you can target the phrases that have better commercial intent.

Analyze Better Performing Content

Identifying the keyword gaps that drive organic traffic to your competitor’s websites is merely the first step of the process. You also need to find out the other factors that make their web pages rank higher than yours for those keywords.

For example, a comparison research tool might show that both you and your competitor rank for the same keywords. However, your competitor might outrank you significantly for some keywords.

Get a look at the ranking pages to understand the content that they use on that page. You can also review the on-page SEO factors, such as content structure, keyword optimization, anchor text placement, authoritative links, and others. For example, you may find that your competitor uses lengthy category descriptions that boost on-page SEO optimization.

If you want to rank your page higher on search engines, you need more than good quality content. All of the factors we mentioned before can play crucial roles in the SEO optimization process. They can help you level the playing field so that your content can rank higher for those particular keywords.

Analyze Gaps in Backlink Profiles

Analyzing gaps in backlink profiles is a similar process to finding content gaps. It allows you to discover the most powerful links used by your competitors that you can also use any content. Links are critical ranking factors that are often overlooked by business owners and digital marketers. 

However, you should know that all the links are not of the same quality. So instead of trying to replicate every link from your competitor’s content, try to find the ones that have higher domain authority. You can use link gap analysis to understand which of your competitors have a better backlink profile than yours.

Automated tools can help you evaluate the common links between you and your competitors to find out potential opportunities. However, you will have to put in some manual efforts to review those opportunities and identify the links that you can use.

There are many ways to use competitor analysis to boost your organic traffic. You can gather data to identify gaps in content and use those opportunities. Or you can identify and replicate the strategies that are already working in favor of your competitors.

But to do that, you will have two conduct in-depth research into your competitor’s keyword and content strategies. It is probably the fastest way to gain scalable results because you can do it without a lengthy trial and error method. We hope that this post has given you some ideas about where to start your competitor analysis process to boost your website SEO.