Have you ever thought of SEO and felt overwhelmed? Most website owners would rather not deal with SEO and the uncertainties of search engines. However, when teaming up with experts in the field of SEO, you’ll realise that it is not as complicated as you may think. Your competitors could be your greatest allies. Imagine reverse engineering your competitor’s success, identifying their weaknesses and using this information to top the SERPs. This is the beauty of competition when it comes to SEO. One way to achieve this is to use competitor analysis to improve your keyword research.
What is Competitor Keyword Research?
Most website owners depend solely on keyword tools to tell them how competitive a keyword is. Conversely, keyword competition involves finding out how many web pages ranking for particular keywords you must beat to get a top position in SERPs. Competitor keyword research allows you to investigate what your competitors are doing and learn from their success and mistakes.
You can determine the kind of SEO strategies that work best for you through competitor keyword research and what you should do differently to achieve the top place in search engine results. Keyword-focused competitor analysis will help you rank higher, gain more customers and drive more conversions. After completing your competitor keyword research, you will be able to answer questions like;
- Who are my competitors?
- How can I stand out when compared to my competitors?
- What keywords should I target?
- What topics should I cover?
- How can I improve my ranking based on what my competitors are doing?
What is the importance of Competitor Keyword Research?
Effective keyword research requires you to evaluate your audience and industry. Competitor keyword research gives you additional insight when building your online presence. Understanding the competitive nature of specific keywords will let you see how challenging it will be to rank for those keywords and determine which keywords you should focus on. Competitor keyword research will also help you identify opportunity gaps in your niche. This means that you will know the keywords with higher intent levels but that have not been utilised by your competitors. For instance, you can discover that you can dominate local search because your competitors focus on global presence.
You will also know how to remodel your content to cover new topics that will attract customers. Competitor keyword research will also assist you in finding keywords that you can use for your pay-per-click strategies. Effective competitor keyword research gives you an insight into secondary keywords that you may not have considered for your online marketing campaigns.
How to Conduct Competitive Analysis to Improve Your Keyword Research
Now that you know why competitor keyword research is crucial for your company, it is time to learn how to use this analysis to your advantage. While SEO is challenging on your own, competitor analysis is an excellent starting point to building an SEO strategy that works for you. Here are the steps to take for effective competitor keyword research.
- Audit Your Website
Before comparing your website to others, you must know which short and long-tail keywords your website already ranks for. Use a service like Google Adwords to identify the pages that generate the most attention for your website and which keywords are successful. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses will also give you an insight into how much work you will need to put into your keywords to reach your SEO goals. Always research the competitiveness of the words you wish to try ranking for. Competitor Analysis tools like SEMrush and Spyfu can give you an overview of components like keyword competition and search intent.
- Identify Your Competition
Once you have identified your keyword weaknesses and strengths, you can begin to figure out your biggest competitors. At this stage, you do not need to look at every company that sells similar services and products to you. Instead, focus on the websites that rank high in the keywords and phrases you want to rank for. One of the best ways to identify your competition is to use tools like BuzzSumo. With such tools, you will only enter the keywords or phrases you wish into the search bar and find websites already ranking for those terms. You can also type your keyword in the search engine and you will simply get a list of results. Make a list of all the websites that appear so that you can analyse them later.
- Analyse Your Competition
Your research will give you a list of about ten competitors in your niche that are ranking for your targeted keywords. Now that you have a list of these websites, the next step is to look for keywords that your competitors are ranking for, but you are not. Use tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to find the areas that you might have forgotten about. This will give you some topics to cover when coming up with a blog post or video idea for your website.
Conduct a complete keyword gap analysis to help you track down things you are ranking for that your competitors are not. This will help you identify areas that you should spend more of your time on. Use some of the key performance indicators that have a direct relationship with the competitor analysis goal. For instance, if your goal is to gain social media followers, use Google Analytics or Facebook Insights to see whether you will succeed. Set your KPIs and update them from time to time to get better results.
- Work on Your Ranking
Now you can direct your attention to the words or phrases that will attract the most customers. Look at your user personas and think about what attracts people to your website. The chances are that you cannot beat the competition with every keyword related to your industry. This means that you must be selective about what you wish to rank for. Choose some seed keywords that can help you create a solid foundation for excellent content. With a list of keywords, you can build a framework for future content creation. Start with the keyword gaps you have identified and the different content you wish to create.
- Commit to Long-term Growth
Remember that you will not achieve the results you want overnight. Succeeding in your keyword strategy will take time and effort. You must build a complete content strategy and convince your audience that you are the leader in your niche. Using keywords and phrases as often as possible in your content will not help you rank highly in the current SEO world. Use enough keywords for Google crawlers to find your website and avoid keyword stuffing. You also have to elevate everything, from excellent content to videos. This is to convince your audience that you are the go-to resource for specific topics.
As you work on your keyword strategy, you may find that other aspects of your SEO campaign begin to improve. For instance, getting more engagement from your audience may encourage authoritative websites to link back to you from their blogs.
Tips for Using Your Competitor Keywords
Competitor keyword research is not only meant to beat your competition. It is also about learning from your competitors to inform your strategy for SEO success. Once you have completed your competitor keyword research, ensure you;
- Use crucial terms for competitive benchmarking. Constantly check how you are stacking up to other leading companies in your niche.
- Look for gaps in your content and keyword strategies. Use the information you learn from your competitor analysis to inspire you to target new terms and develop relevant content for your audience.
- Set up Google Alerts for crucial keywords that you wish to rank for, so you can track your progress, as well as track how other companies are getting ahead of you.
- Constantly search for new competitors because people are launching new businesses and websites every time. Searching for new competitors will allow you to update your research and gain new inspiration from other brands.
- Begin by targeting weak competitors and work your way up. Do not push yourself too hard. Set goals and work gradually towards ranking highly for the keywords you wish people to associate with your brand.
Compete and Win
Winning is your goal, right? If you follow the above steps, you will be that much closer to victory. The only thing left to do is to secure your win. Focus on content and audience building to draw people and turn them into leads. Update your existing content, produce newer and better content, seek out quality review websites, have a system to collect proof elements like customer reviews and mobilise affiliates and brand advocates.
A competitor keyword analysis is a single component of a comprehensive and ongoing SEO strategy. By understanding your competitor’s strategies, you will give yourself a crucial advantage. If you plan on launching a website, you must perform competitor keyword research since it will show what others in your industry are doing and how to be better than them.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and would prefer to consult with our SEO professionals at Marketing Sweet, we can relieve your stress and deliver outstanding results.