How to Use a Keyword Competition Analysis for a Winning SEO Strategy

One of the main factors of an effective SEO strategy is your use of keywords. The things is, ranking for common keywords is next to impossible, especially for smaller to mid-sized businesses. It’s why so many experts emphasize the fact that you need to do keyword research in order to find relevant and unique keywords that you can rank for, including not just head keywords but also LSI keywords, which help provide context to Google’s algorithm. There are numerous ways that you can do your keyword research, whether it’s by using many of the free tools available to you, such as Google’s related search recommendations, or by running keywords through a PPC campaign in order to judge their effectiveness. However, there’s one strategy that you may not have been using that you should absolutely implement – keyword competition analysis.

Why You Should Do A Keyword Competition Analysis

Think about it this way – isn’t it usually considered a good idea to keep an eye on your competition in general? If you’re Pepsi, wouldn’t you want to know what Coke was up to? There’s a lot you can learn from a competitor by just paying attention to what they’re doing. In fact, you can model certain aspects of your business around strategies that competitors are using that have proven to be successful (as well as avoid some of the mistakes that have made), thereby limiting the amount of trial and error you need to go through. The same can be said about doing a keyword competition analysis.
Which keywords are your competitors using? How are they using them? How effective are they? 
Researching your competitors can help to improve your own keyword strategy greatly. Not only can you find relevant keywords you may not have thought of, but you may even come up with more keyword ideas on your own as a result. Additionally, keyword competition analysis can benefit you in the following ways:

  • Improve search engine rankings – Identifying new, powerful keywords to use through a keyword competition analysis and using those keywords to optimize your website will help to boost your search engine ranking, which in turn will increase your brand’s visibility and attract more visitors.
  • Increase your conversion rate – By obtaining more relevant and unique keywords, you’ll be able to attract more visitors to your website – visitors that have a much stronger chance of being converted into sales. The better your keywords are, the more likely it is that you’ll attract high-quality leads.
  • Target a broader audience – Finding new keywords that are relevant to your brand could help you pinpoint a new audience that has an interest in what your brand has to offer.
  • Insight into current industry trends – Scoping out your competition’s keyword use can give you some helpful insight into trending topics within your industry, which you can leverage in your SEO and content marketing strategies.
  • Market more efficiently – Keyword marketing is cheap — often it only requires time and effort. This makes it one of the most effective ways to boost your brand’s exposure.

How To Do A Keyword Competition Analysis

So, now you know why you should be doing a keyword competition analysis; let’s talk about howto go about doing one. Believe it or not, it’s actually pretty easy. There are a lot of analytics tools out there that will provide you with a detailed breakdown of your competitors’ keyword use. The following are a few of the analytics tools worth checking out:

  • SEMRush – This analytics tool will provide you pretty much anything you need to know about any website, whether it’s your website or the website of a competitor. All you need to get started is a URL. Available is a list of keywords that the website is ranking for, how the website is ranking for those specific keywords, the amount of times that keyword is being searched for on a monthly basis, what the cost-per-click is on each keyword and the total amount of results that keyword brings up on general searches.
  • SpyFu – This analytics tool allows you to type in the URL of your competitor’s website in order to obtain all kinds of useful information. It will reveal the number of organic keywords the site is ranking for as well as how many organic clicks they’re getting. Choose the Organic Keywords option in order to get a complete list of ranking keywords. You can also see which keywords are currently performing well by checking the Rankings History tab, which shows you which keywords are rising in search engine results.
  • OpenSiteExplorer – Here, the tool will provide information about a website’s Domain Authority, Page Authority, Linking Root Domains and Inbound Links. Unlike other analytics tools, OpenSiteExplorer does not provide you with a list of keywords the competition is using. However, it can still be incredibly useful. This is because it will list the most popular pages of your competition’s website. You can then simply go to that page and scour it for potential keywords on your own. It’s also a great way to figure out what kind of topics your target audience is being attracted to.

How to Use the Anaylsis to Enhance Your SEO Strategy

When using these tools, you’ll want to jot down keywords that you aren’t using but are relevant to your brand or industry. However, before you begin implementing them into your website you’ll want to consider a few other things.
If one of your competitors is ranking high for a keyword your site’s not optimized for, you’ll want to know how often that keyword is coming up in searches (search volume).
You’ll also want to know how much competition there is for that specific keyword. It’s going to be difficult to rank for a keyword that hundreds of thousands of other websites are trying to rank for as well. This will most likely end up in a wasted effort.
You want to optimize your site using strong keywords with low competition.
This will give you a much better chance at ranking well for them. So how can you find this information? Just use Google Keyword Planner. Type in the keywords that you are considering one at a time. The tool will then provide you with information on how much competition the keyword has, the average monthly searches for that keyword and even a list of alternative keywords that you can use.
To ensure that your keyword strategy is as effective as possible, we highly recommend that you keep an eye out for your competitions’ keyword strategy. Use these tips in order to complete a keyword competition analysis in order to strengthen your own keyword strategy.

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