Researching Competitor’s Keywords

Another way to find new and relevant keywords is by availing of wisdom of people who might have been promoting their sites longer than you – your competitors.

And you can research their keywords in 2 simple ways:

  1. With a Google Keyword Planner Tool or,
  2. By analysing their website’s code.

Competitor Research with Keyword Planner Tool

You already know how Keyword Planner works. You’re familiar with its interface and in fact, with the very option you need to use:

Your Landing Page:

New Keywords Ideas

Type in your competitor’s web address in the Your Landing Page field.

Then, specify targeting options and click “Get Ideas”.

Keyword Planner will output whatever keywords your competitor has optimised their page for along with information you’ll need to assess them:

  • Average search volume.
  • Competition.
  • Trends.

Analysing Your Competitors Code

This is a more advanced way to find out your competitor’s keywords. If you’re not familiar with HTML code, you might want to skip this option.

Otherwise, visit your competitor’s website, right click and click “view page source” (or similar option, depending on your browser). You should see a window displaying their website’s code.

Find the <head> element and in it, various meta-data:

  • Meta-title
  • Meta-description
  • Meta property og:title
  • Meta property og:description

If your competitor’s site is well optimised, each of them will contain top keywords for that page.

Using Keyword suggestions tools

There are also few other tools that can help you generate new keyword suggestions. Granted, most of these tools I’m going to show you will reveal nothing more but the keyword itself.

They are great however for creating keyword lists you can further research with the “Get search volume for a list of keywords” feature of the Google’s Keyword Planner.

SERPs’ Keywordini Keyword Ideas Tool

This tool works on a simple premise – it searches for relevant keywords using a giant database of over 1 billion keyword ideas.

Unlike other tools I’m going to show you, it actually displays the average traffic volume as well as average cost per click information, helping you to immediately assess the popularity of a keyword.

SERPs’ Keyword Ideas Tool

(screenshot from SERPs’ Keyword Ideas Tool results page)

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest works in a similar way to SERPs tool. It takes your base term, adds a letter or a digit in front of it and extracts suggestions for it.

Unlike the SERPs’ tool, Ubersuggests outputs only keywords and provides no additional information about them.

ubersuggest

Keywordtool.io

This is a very similar tool to Ubersuggest. It works in the same way and also, displays no other information bar a list of keywords.

keywordtool.io

Analysing Keyword’s Commercial Value

Creating a long list of potential keywords you could try to rank for is one thing.

But figuring out which of those offer the best conversion opportunity is something different.

Not every keyword on your list has a potential to bring converting traffic.

Some keywords are just not popular enough. Others relate to searches for information rather than product.

That’s why your next step in keyword research is to analyse what keywords to focus on and which ones you should leave for later. Or never.

Not all keywords can convert

Remember when we talked about keywords types, we categorised them not only by length but also their relation to a buying process. There were 4 keyword types in that group:

  1. Navigational,
  2. Informational,
  3. Commercial and
  4. Transactional.

Each of these types is important as it can bring visitors at various stages of the buying cycle to your site. Some might not buy straight away. Providing them with content answering their questions however is a sure-fire way to making a lasting first impression.

Yet if your goal is to convert traffic into sales or leads, you should focus only on commercial and transactional types.

These keywords are easy to discern by such words as:

  • For commercial: best, compare, where etc.
  • For transactional: buy, order, hire, get etc.

However, because searchers often use keyword interchangeably, there are few other factors you should use to assess a keywords commercial value.

Keyword Search Volume

This metric indicates the average number of users searching for this keyword monthly. It also suggests how popular a particular keyword is.

You shouldn’t however focus only on keywords receiving high traffic. And that’s for a number of reasons:

  • These are often informational keywords offering very little chance for conversion.
  • There will also naturally be a greater competition for them.
  • And less popular long tail keywords often convert much better.

Average Cost Per Click

There’s a rule saying that if someone is willing to advertise something, there must be a business potential in it. And so, if companies are willing to pay for a click on a particular keywords, it may suggest that it offers a good chance for a conversion.

Competition

Similarly to the average cost per click, the density of competitors willing to bid for a particular keyword may be an indicator of commercial value of a keyword.

But it’s easy to get fooled by this metric.

Google Keyword Planner displays only 3 levels of density, high, medium and low. But keywords with high density aren’t always the best ones to use. There might be other keywords, perhaps with lower traffic but less competition also. And that means it will be much easier to rank for them.

Overall however, if a keyword has a low search volume, low cost per click bid and low competition, it may be a sign that there isn’t much of a commercial value behind it.

Use Common Sense Too

It’s also good to forget about the numbers and use common sense. For instance, when assess a commercial opportunity of a keyword, check:

  1. How many ads are displayed for a keyword? Some search results will feature more ads than others. Even though it’s relative between users, prominence of ads is still a good indicator of whether to invest time and money for a particular keyword.
  2. What’s the presence of big brands in organic search results? Google favours big brands, fact. And if the majority of URLs on first page are from big brands, the keyword might prove too competitive. Presence of other sites however might indicate a good opportunity.
  3. Are there any local results displayed for a keyword? Local results are often a way to achieve higher rankings even for highly competitive phrases. Therefore, check if Google displays any for a keyword you’re researching.

Long Tail Keywords

Earlier on we discussed 3 types of keywords: head, body and long terms. I indicated how important the last type is for increasing conversions on your site.

It’s time we discuss this in depth now.

Long tail keywords, even though have a low search volume, offer enormous conversion opportunity.

Yet I’m sure you’d prefer to rank high for keywords receiving a couple of thousands searches a month. The problem with those keywords though is that they are often too generic and have no commercial value.

After all, someone searching for “shoes” might not necessarily be looking to buy a new pair.

Looking back at our keywords and buyer intent table above, notice that keywords that suggest someone’s looking for a product are generally long:

Intent to Learn Intent to Compare Intent to Order
Slow laptop compare laptop computers best price HP Chromebook 11
Asus laptop boot up problem Asus laptop reviews HP Chromebook 11 free delivery
Chromebook laptop repair cost best Chromebook laptop buy HP Chromebook 11 online

They are known as long tail keywords.

This graphic from Lunametrics explains them perfectly:

Short-tail-vs-long-tail-keywords

The start of the graph (its left side) contains head terms.

These keywords are very popular but are very generic. As they become more specific (right side), their popularity drops. Until, at the end, keywords become very specific with only few people searching for them.

But these people are ready to buy.

There are some advantages of focusing on long tail keywords:

  • There is typically less competition for them.
  • They offer a good chance for conversion.
  • They are easier to rank for.

Finding Long Tail Keywords

Looking for long tail keywords is no different as looking for any other keyword suggestions, with the exception that you seek much longer phrases.

You assess their popularity using the same metrics as we discussed too.

Apart from Keyword Planner Tool, there are few premium tools you could use to find long tail keywords:

(Please note that we are not associated with any of those tools.)

All aim to specifically deliver long tail keywords and as in the case of some, offer various metrics that can help you assess a keyword’s value.

And, that’s it. That’s everything you need to know about finding new keywords for your business.

The rest is just practice. So free up some time, fire up Keyword Planner and start researching keywords to help you attract new and targeted audience.

Good luck!

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