For most small and medium-sized enterprises, the key to generating more traffic, sales leads and sales lies in surpassing competitors.
Especially in digital marketing, mature brands make it difficult to compete. Not only can they attract the best sales, marketing and research talents, but they also have strong financial influence and can quickly surpass you in foot-to-head matches. This means that if you are not smart, you will always feed on crumbs.
So how do you overcome this obstacle? Despite these obvious challenges, how can your small business compete? Simple-competitor analysis-research your competition! Competitor analysis enables you to;
- Find out what makes your competitors tick; what is their secret?
- Identify and take advantage of opportunities overlooked by competitors
This guide should help you plan and execute one of the most valuable forms of competitor research in digital marketing-competitive keyword analysis.
This is not entirely easy. However, with dedication, you can even do it yourself. Let’s start with the definition.
What is competitive keyword analysis?
Competitive keyword analysis (also called SEO competitor analysis or SEO keyword competition analysis) is just that-clarifying the keyword strategy of competitors.
By analyzing the keywords of your competitors, you can gain insight into the interests of your shared audience and adjust your SEO campaign accordingly to improve your SERP performance.
The benefits of SEO competitor analysis
There are three main reasons why competitor SEO analysis should be prioritized for search engine optimization activities.
- Find effective keywords
Using the SEO competitor research tool, you can find a complete list of keywords used by your main competitors, as well as the number of clicks each keyword has received and overall search volume. You can then categorize these terms to provide a series of verified keywords to drive your campaign.
- Find out the keywords you are missing
If you have already done SEO, a competitor’s SEO search can also help discover valuable keywords that you may have overlooked in the past. Even better, most competitors’ SEO analysis tools now allow you to compare SEO keywords with competitors’ SEO keywords to find keywords that are missing in your campaign.
- Give you a competitive advantage
Business is to be smarter than rivals. This is about finding new ways to stay ahead. Competitive SEO analysis adds another weapon to your business intelligence library. Once you know the keywords that drive your competitor’s success, you can find a high-performance long-tail version and even find alternative keywords to surpass that competitor.
How to perform competitive keyword analysis in 3 steps
So, after understanding the above benefits, you may be thinking-where should I start for competitor keyword analysis? This is the way to continue;
Step 1: Define your competition
Who are your competitors?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. It is easy to find your local competitors by searching for your main keywords in Google, but SERP search results alone cannot reveal all of your global competitors.
For example, for a local bakery, try to rank the keyword “delicious bread in Texas”, and the competition will be limited to bakery in Texas. But when the same bakery tries to rank how to operate articles, it will even compete with domestic brands such as Taste of Home and Food Network. Compared with the first case, it becomes more difficult to turn it to the first page.
Therefore, for the purpose of competitive keyword analysis, we prefer to define a competitor as: “Anyone who ranks on the first result page of your target keyword, regardless of whether these people are your local business Competitors.”
Step 2: Find out your competitors’ keywords
This part should be easy! Choose an opponent (one of your competitors) and use SEO analysis tools to discover the core keywords that drive their campaign.
First search for the target keyword in Google, and then check the results. Then, select the brands/companies behind the results and analyze their SEO strategies one by one.
You can use a variety of tools to complete this process, including Google Analytics, SEMRush, and Moz. However, we prefer (and recommend) BiQ ranking intelligence. With BiQ, all you need is the URL of the competitor’s website. After entering the URL in BiQ, the dashboard will be filled with all the intelligence data you need.
Even better, BiQ allows you to choose from five SEO intelligence parameters, namely keywords, content, links, rankings, and site intelligence. You only pay for the selected parameters.
In this case, you will choose Keyword Intelligence. Under this parameter, BiQ will help you;
- Discover the keyword information of competitors
- Collect all the keywords you like
- Find popular keywords that suit your content
- Discover hidden long-tail keyword opportunities
- Do a keyword search to search for local SEO
- Determine the actual SEO value of each keyword
In this case, “actual SEO value” refers to metrics such as search volume, average cost-per-click, and average competition for that keyword.
Step #3: Choose the best competitive keywords
Not all keywords are equal-some keywords promise to bring in more traffic and potential customers. In addition, certain keywords are extremely competitive. For example, bringing an article to the homepage of the term “content marketing” is not easy because it is currently one of the most competitive keywords. You need to choose keywords that can justify your efforts.
Due to the above reasons, sometimes you may need to evaluate each keyword in the list to select the correct keyword. This is what makes this part more challenging. In order to shorten the process, we recommend that you concentrate on searching;
- Your competitor’s ranking of you without keywords
Have you missed some important keywords in your search engine optimization strategy? Can your competitors rank higher in the SERPs because they use these keywords that you often overlook? If so, you need to start using keywords more often.
- High-level competitor content that does not match the search query
Will your competitors benefit from the lack of high-quality content for specific keywords? Since there are no quality substitutes, do they have poor content at the top of the SERP? You can take advantage of this situation by creating high-quality articles around these keywords.
- Keywords that your competitors are paying for, you can rank naturally
If your competitors pay for these keywords, then they are valuable keywords in your industry. So what would you do? Try to see if you can rank these words naturally. Create high-quality articles around keywords and submit them to Google for indexing.
Investment keyword gap analysis
Finally, competitive keyword analysis cannot be completed without keyword gap analysis. Gap analysis requires comparing two domains (for example, your site and a competitor’s site) to identify differences in keyword usage and performance.
We’ve discussed finding keywords for competitors’ rankings, but you didn’t find them. Keyword difference analysis will help you discover such keywords.
But this is not all. Difference analysis can also help you discover long-tail keywords that you might overlook and terms that you might need to use more frequently.
Competitive keyword analysis can greatly help your SEO campaign. With the help of informed SEO competitor analysis, you can even overturn certain pillars in your industry to get the highest SERP ranking for a particular keyword. You should give priority to this matter.
Updated: April 23, 2021