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What Is Competitor Keyword Analysis? 6 Best Tools To Find Them

competitor keyword analysis

Gain a competitive edge with competitor keyword analysis. Explore how dissecting rival strategies unveils valuable insights, helping refine your own SEO approach for higher search rankings and market dominance.

Home / Blogs / What Is Competitor Keyword Analysis? 6 Best Tools To Find Them
Raghav Tayal

Head Of Operations - Digital Web Solutions

March 15, 2024

Staying competitive in today’s fast-paced digital world can seem daunting and, sometimes, overwhelming. However, there’s a smart and impactful way to stay relevant and get ahead of your competitors — competitor keyword analysis.

Competitor keywords are the set of keywords your competitors use to meet user search intent and align themselves with customer needs. By targeting these competitor keywords, you can appear on the same search engine results page your competitors already rank on.

Additionally, the process will also help you discover potent keywords that your competitors are not using and gain an advantage over them. Here is everything you need to know about conducting competitive keyword research and upgrading your SEO strategy for better results, along with five competitor analysis tools you must use.

The Power of Competitor Keyword Analysis

Competitor analysis for keywords in SEO involves identifying your direct and indirect competitors and the keywords they are ranking for or are currently targeting. Competitive keyword analysis gives a brief insight into your competitor’s SEO strategy, priorities, and the effectiveness of their current strategies.

It also helps decode the measures your competitors are taking to satisfy their target customer’s needs. As the customer’s search intent is the core reason behind creating content, competitor analysis can help determine if there are any untapped formats or spectrum of topics that you should consider focusing on.

Additionally, with competitor keyword analysis, you will be able to identify areas that are not currently being covered by your competitors. Using these keywords in your strategy can help your website rank higher on search engines and attract more organic traffic.

Understanding Competitor Keyword Analysis in SEO

Competitor keyword analysis is incredibly beneficial if you are planning to rank higher for keywords that weren’t actively part of your SEO strategy. The methodology helps brands place themselves closer to their target customers while curating content pieces that match their search intent.

As big brands often occupy the top layer of paid advertising, competitor keyword research presents small businesses with a chance to attract organic traffic to their website while functioning on limited resources. Furthermore, competitive keyword research will help map your keywords into your buying cycle, creating more conversion opportunities.

Why Competitor Keyword Analysis Matters

Here are seven reasons why competitor keyword analysis is important for your business:

  1. It can help improve your SEO rankings and enhance your website’s potential to rank higher on search engines.
  2. It gives a clear picture of your website’s performance and potential to attract your target customers organically.
  3. It helps identify gaps in your current SEO strategy while giving practical insights on how you can improve.
  4. It can reveal potential opportunities you can take advantage of that your competitors are not yet utilizing.
  5. It will also help you identify the keywords your SEO strategy is not covering and the range of optimizations to make.
  6. It allows you to analyze what the top-performing pages are doing differently and the gaps they might not cover.
  7. It helps in understanding if a keyword is high-value by comparing the bids being made on it for PPC advertising placements. The higher the bid is, the more value the keyword has.

How to Perform Competitor Keyword Analysis

Using keyword research tools is a great way to save time and effort while conducting competitor keyword analysis. These tools have the ability to scan pages across the web and can generate insightful data within minutes. Additionally, these tools help to find competitor keywords, opportunities that your website is missing out on, and search intent your potential customers are searching with.

However, it is important to identify the right competitors to begin with the process of competitive keyword analysis. Choosing the wrong set of competitors can result in inconclusive results that will not help your website’s ranking in the long run. Your competitors are divided into two categories: direct competitors and indirect competitors.

Direct competitors are the ones that are in the same business as you are in and offer the same or similar range of services or products. On the other hand, indirect competitors are businesses that do not deal with the same range of products or services but are engaged in the same industry digitally.

Effective ways to identify direct competitors:

  • Conducting market research.
  • Identifying common recommendations from social media sites and apps or on community forums like Reddit, Quora, etc.
  • Ask your potential customers which other brands they are thinking about and what interests them the most about these brands.

Effective ways to identify indirect competitors:

  • Conduct keyword research for the keywords you want to target.
  • Identify who is producing content around your value proposition and ranking on the search engine results page.
  • Check if your competitors are running paid ad campaigns to compete for an ad placement space for the keywords that you are planning to target.

Top 6 Tools for Competitor Keyword Analysis

Now that we know what type of competitors to look for and how to identify them, it’s time to learn about tools that can help with competitive keyword research. These tools are essential for every business looking to capture their potential customers’ attention, increase organic traffic, and convert more leads into paying customers. Here are the top six tools (we handpicked them for you) to try:

1. SEMrush:

SEMrush is popular for its user-friendly interface and the wide range of information it can provide about competitive keywords alongside trending keyword ideas that you can use in your content marketing strategy. It offers limited trial free and paid versions.

The tool has a vast filter option that allows users to filter the results they are looking for. SEMrush also helps analyze backlinks and other aspects of your competitor’s website. Its smooth interface makes it easy to quickly identify competitor keywords while comparing up to five competitors simultaneously.

2. Ahrefs:

The tool is known for its wide range of SEO-oriented features that come in handy for competitor keyword analysis and identifying potential keyword marketing opportunities. You can instantly get a list of keywords your competitors are ranking for while also comparing the keywords you are using.

The tool requires a membership to use its critical features such as complete keyword profile, traffic on competitor’s website, rich snippet wins, and also factors like ranking losses and gains. Ahrefs’ filtering capabilities help businesses scan comprehensive data to find competitive keywords that carry ranking potential.

3. RankWatch:

It is an incredibly easy-to-use tool that can help businesses find useful insights about the keywords being used by competitors. The tool offers a free version and paid plans. These plans unlock many features that can be used for actions like keyword research, comprehensive site audit, competitor analysis, and SERP archive.

RankWatch is an effective and powerful SEO management tool that helps marketers keep track of the keywords their competitors are using and the opportunities that await them. The tool’s keyword tracking feature makes it possible to keep an eye on the keywords you are currently trying to rank high for. It’s a budget-friendly tool that offers an expansive range of features.

4. SpyFu:

This is a keyword research and competitive intelligence tool that offers the convenience of conducting keyword research on your competitors while analyzing both organic and paid keywords. The tool can provide data that helps develop a better understanding of your competitors’ efforts to market their brands with SEO.

The range of features offered by SpyFu includes SEO research, keyword research, keyword rank tracking, backlink research, and PPC research. The competitive analysis feature includes identifying top organic competitors and top ad competitors that can support your paid advertising efforts.

5. Moz Pro:

This tool is known for its dedicated expertise and range of features aimed at simplifying competitive research. The tool’s domain SEO analysis feature helps identify keywords your competitors are targeting. Additionally, the Keyword Explorer features enable you to compare keyword rankings between multiple websites, giving a clear view of how your keyword strategy is performing.

Aside from these, the tool helps in determining the ranking position and search volume for keywords. Moz’s proprietary Keyword Difficulty score precisely shows how easy or challenging it can be to rank for a particular keyword on SERP.

6. Serpstat:

Whether you are looking for keywords in a particular niche or want to analyze your competitors’ paid keywords, Serpstat can help. The tool can be used for conducting long-tail keyword research that allows users to capture more market potential and diversify the cluster of keywords being used to increase the website’s ranking and the overall organic traffic coming to the website.

It digs deep and finds keywords that you might not have seen in other tools, making it a tool that’s worth adding as a support to your existing tool setup. Additionally, Serpstat saves time by preventing businesses from creating content using keywords that have low search volume and near zero likelihood of attracting traffic. Instead, the tool focuses on pushing for creating content on keywords that are currently trending and have a high potential to rank.

How to Leverage Competitor Keywords for SEO

Leveraging competitor keywords for your SEO strategy is an effective way to gain data-backed insights into how you can improve the quality of your content and overall website with the aim of outranking your competitors. Here are some effective ways to achieve this:

1. Identifying the new opportunities that you have discovered

These arise from keywords that have a high potential to rank on search engines but aren’t being used by your competitors yet. These missing keywords can be used to produce targeted and created content, keeping the search intent in mind. The gap keywords also play a vital role in optimizing SEO strategy, providing a clear perspective of what your website is missing.

Furthermore, competitive keyword research also finds specific long-tail keywords alongside semantic and seed keywords. These keywords are often overlooked, but they carry incredible value when it comes to increasing your website’s ranking. Targeting these keywords in your content pieces can diversify your approach and help capture more than one keyword cluster to rank. Lastly, competitor keyword analysis helps determine and prepare for seasonal trends.

2. Avoiding common mistakes

While having the secret recipe to their success may be tempting, recreating the same will only take you to a certain point. Blindly following what your competitors are doing is never a good idea. Instead, focus on creating unique offerings that are signature to your expertise. This will add a touch of authenticity and expertise to your approach.

At the same time, avoid trying to target keywords that have high competition, as these positions are often overcrowded, and your content pieces may struggle to find a spotlight for themselves. Instead, focus on creating content using more attainable keywords that resonate with your target audience. The key here is to start small and build authority & credibility over a period of time while leveraging what you do best.

3. Simultaneously work on your existing strategies

Content and SEO strategies are important when it comes to ranking high on search engine results pages. Competitor keyword analysis gives a clear idea about what’s working in your current strategy and what needs to go.

However, it is important that you analyze whether the keyword research resonates with your target audience and the specialization of your brand. Identify your user’s search intent behind the keywords and the content format that each of these search intents requires. This information will enable you to clearly understand what your competitors are doing differently to capitalize on potential customers’ interests.

4. Creating content that resonates

Paying close attention to the type of content your competitors produce will help you understand how they align themselves with the search intent. Analyzing how your competitors use keywords in their content pieces, the format of content, and the frequency at which they are being produced will help optimize your current content strategy. Additionally, analyzing your competitor’s title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and backlinking can further add dimension to how you are producing content.

Stay Ahead with Competitor Keyword Analysis

Competitor keyword analysis carries the potential to unlock several opportunities that you might be missing out on right now. It enables businesses of any size to scale their rankings and give tough competition to their competitors by simply modifying their SEO and content marketing strategies.

Competitor keyword analysis also gives an indication of upcoming trends to leverage and the opportunities your competitors are not yet leveraging. Additionally, regular tracking will ensure you are taking the right steps and have room to rectify any mistakes. As a business that wants to create a mark online, competitor keyword analysis can be the secret ingredient to your success story. If you are unsure where to start and how to stay consistent, get in touch with our experts!

Competitor keyword analysis unlocks opportunities and is a smart way to stay ahead of your competitors and rank higher on SERPs. Read more about how to perform it and the tools to use.

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