Discover Competitor’s Keywords with These 5 Free Tools
In the realm of search engine optimization (SEO), understanding your competitors’ keyword strategies is crucial for the success of your own campaigns. By analyzing your competitors, you can gain valuable insights into the keywords they are ranking for and targeting, enabling you to adjust your SEO strategy accordingly and surpass them in search results.
To begin, let’s explore how you can identify your main competitors and the recommended tools for uncovering the keywords they are targeting.
Finding Your Competitors through Google Search:
Start by conducting a search on Google using your target keywords. Excluding prominent brands, pay attention to the websites that appear in the top positions. These websites are likely to be your competitors. However, it’s important to note that a more detailed keyword analysis is needed to confirm if they are direct competitors.
Using Tools to Identify Competitive Domains:
Another approach involves utilizing tools that automatically generate a list of competitive domains based on factors such as the number of keywords each domain ranks for and the number of common keywords shared among domains.
When multiple domains have a considerable number of common keywords appearing within Google’s top 20 organic search results, they can be considered competitors. This method might seem complex, but real examples provided below will help clarify the process.
Now, let’s delve into a step-by-step keyword analysis to better understand how to identify your competitors and the keywords they are targeting.
One effective tool for uncovering the target keywords of any website is Google Keyword Planner. While it is primarily designed for Google Ads customers, it can be used for keyword research purposes as well. Here’s how you can use it:
Go to Google Ads and sign up for a new account if you don’t have one already.
Click on “Tools & Settings” and select “Keyword Planner” from the dropdown menu.
Choose the option “Discover New Keywords” and then select “Start with a Website“.
Enter the domain of your competitor and click the “Get Results” button.
The tool will generate a list of keywords related to the competitor’s website.
To prioritize the most popular keywords, click on the “Avg. Monthly Searches” column to sort the results.
You can also apply filters to refine the results based on your target country and language.
It’s important to note that Google Keyword Planner is primarily focused on Google Ads and doesn’t provide detailed information about ranking positions or other competitor analysis metrics. However, it can still provide valuable insights into the main keywords a website is targeting.
Another useful tool for competitor analysis is Semrush Organic Research. Follow these steps to utilize Semrush for competitor analysis:
Go to Semrush and register for a 14-Day Trial account, which will give you ample time to research your competitors.
Once your account is set up, navigate to the Organic Research section and enter the domain name of the website you wish to analyze.
Start by entering your own domain as a reference (e.g., bzbuz.com).
After clicking “Search“, Semrush will provide you with extensive information regarding how the specified domain is performing on Google Search.
To identify your main competitors, locate the section labeled “Main Organic Competitors“. You can click the “View all Competitors” button to access a detailed list of domains competing with you on Google.
Once you have identified your main competitors, return to the “Organic Research” section and enter their domain in the search box.
Scroll down to the “Top Keywords” section and click the “View All Keywords” button to explore the list of keywords associated with your competitors.
Utilize the filters at the top to refine the keyword list. For instance, you can apply the “TOP 10” filter to display only the keywords for which your competitors rank in the top 10 positions on Google.
If your competitors rank for numerous keywords, the “Pages” report can provide valuable insights. This report showcases the pages driving organic traffic to their website. By clicking on each page separately, you can examine the specific keywords they are targeting.
The “Pages” report is particularly helpful for SEO competitor analysis and serves as a reliable resource for discovering new keyword ideas to target with your own content.
While Semrush Organic Research provides comprehensive competitor analysis, it’s important to note that access to some of its features may require a subscription beyond the initial trial period.
To analyze your competitors using SERanking, follow these steps:
Visit the SERanking website and scroll down to the “SEO/PPC Competitive Research” section.
Enter your competitor’s domain in the provided search box. Click the “Analyse” button to initiate the analysis process.
Upon analyzing the competitor’s domain, SERanking will provide you with various valuable insights. This includes information such as traffic volume, country-specific data, traffic trends, and more.
Scroll down to the “Organic Keywords” section and click the “View Detailed Report” button.
In the detailed report, you can utilize the available filters to analyze your competitor’s keywords in-depth, refining the results based on your specific criteria.
It’s important to note that while the free version of SERanking allows for limited usage and results, you can register for a 14-day trial account to access the tool’s full functionality. Additionally, subscribing to a paid plan will provide you with even more comprehensive information beyond the trial period.
Moz’s Keyword Explorer is indeed one of the longstanding keyword tools available in the market. Here’s how you can use it:
Create an account on Moz’s website if you don’t already have one. The tool is free to use, but registration is required.
Once your account is set up, log in and navigate to the Keyword Explorer tool.
In the “Root Domain” search box, enter the domain name you want to analyze.
Click the “Analyze” button to initiate the analysis process.
To view all the keywords for which the website ranks, click the “See all ranking keywords” button.
You can use the filters provided at the top of the results page to further analyze the keyword data based on specific criteria.
If you wish to export the data for further analysis or reference, you have the option to click the “Export CSV” button. This will allow you to save the keyword data in a CSV file format.
Please note that while Moz’s Keyword Explorer offers a free version, there are limitations to the number of queries you can perform per month with a free account (typically 10 queries). If you require more extensive usage and access to advanced features, Moz also offers paid plans that provide additional functionality and benefits.
Ubersuggest is indeed a popular free keyword research tool that provides valuable insights. Here’s how you can use it:
Access the Ubersuggest website and sign up for an account. The tool offers a free version, but you can also opt for a 7-day free trial to access all data without restrictions.
Once you have registered and logged in, you can start using Ubersuggest.
Enter the keyword you want to research in the search bar and click the “Search” button.
Ubersuggest will provide you with data and insights related to the keyword, including search volume, keyword difficulty, and more.
For each keyword, Ubersuggest also provides the URL of the page that ranks for it.
To see the top 10 websites ranking for a specific keyword, click the “Search Results” button.
Ubersuggest will then display a list of the top 10 websites that rank for the keyword you entered.
This feature is particularly useful when you want to quickly identify the websites that hold top positions for a specific keyword, saving you the effort of researching them individually.
While the free version of Ubersuggest offers limited data, utilizing the 7-day free trial allows you to access all the available data without any restrictions.
Choosing the Right Tool
When it comes to selecting a tool for comprehensive and accurate data analysis, Semrush stands out among the options provided. Having used it for years, I can confidently recommend it. With the free 14-day trial version, you can explore its features without any limitations on queries or data.
Semrush is user-friendly and offers a wide range of functions to support your digital marketing tasks effectively.
The Absence of Ahrefs
While Ahrefs is indeed one of the top keyword research tools available, it is missing from the aforementioned list for a specific reason. Ahrefs does not offer a free version or trial, which goes against the objective of this post—to help you find and analyze competitor’s keywords without any cost. Therefore, Ahrefs was not included in the list.
Tips for Effective Competitor Analysis
Regardless of the tool you choose to uncover your main competitors’ keywords, here are some valuable tips to enhance the significance of your research
1- Exclude brand-related keywords: It is impractical to target brand-related keywords for ranking purposes. Utilize filters to exclude such keywords from your list, focusing on more relevant terms.
2- Concentrate on top-ranking keywords: Employ the appropriate filters to identify your competitors’ keywords that rank within the top positions (1-10) on Google. These are the keywords that hold significant importance.
3- Remove low-volume keywords: Streamline your list by eliminating keywords with a very low monthly search volume, typically below 200 searches. The objective of competitor research is to identify keywords that generate substantial traffic.
4- Begin with long-tail keywords: Start your analysis with long-tail keywords, as they are generally easier to rank for compared to broader, head keywords. Use filters to display reports containing three or more words, ensuring a focus on long-tail variations.