How to find competitors keywords
Blog,  SEO

What keywords are your competitors ranking for?

In my post, I show you three tools you can use to find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for.

You can use this information to give you ideas on what type of content you should be writing for your site and what keywords to target.

I take you step by step on how to find content ideas from analyzing your competitor’s websites. Your competitors will ranks for multiple keywords that they are not targeting, you can use these keywords to write blog posts for your site.

When I started blogging, I wasn’t sure what I should write posts about. Analyzing a competitor’s website, gives you insight into what content type gets the most views and social shares.

Let’s get started.

Ubersuggest

The first tool is Ubersuggest, Ubersuggest is a fantastic tool for doing keyword research. The tool has recently changed to limit the data available to free accounts, but it is still excellent for doing competitor website analysis.

To gain full access to all the data, there is an option to upgrade for a few dollars a month.

Here is Ubersuggest’s homepage.

Ubersuggest
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Find your competitors

When you are doing keyword searches on Google for your blog, you will find a number of websites that will keep appearing in the results. You can use these websites to get content ideas for your blog.

For example, I have a website about travel in Thailand and I frequently see nomadicmatt.com when I do Google searches about Thailand. This website is ideal for me to find content ideas because it has thousands of posts and almost two million monthly visitors.

How to use Ubersuggest to find competitor’s keywords

As an example, I will use Nomadic Matt’s blog and see what keywords he is ranking for.

First, copy the blog URL and paste it into Ubersuggest. Select the country you are targeting and click ‘Search’.

After a few seconds, you get an overview of the website. Here is a summary of NomadicMatt.com.

Nomadicmatt.com

This website ranks for over 708,000 keywords and gets about 1.8 million visitors per month.

To get limited access to data from Ubersuggest, you need to sign up for a free account. You can use your Gmail account, click on the ‘Sign in with Google’ link on the top right.

Sign in with Google to open a free account on Ubersuggest

To see what are the top ranking keywords for this site, click on ‘Organic keywords’.

Organic keywords

Now you have a list of keywords that drive traffic to this site.

Top performing keywords

On the left, the data shows the search query, estimated search volume per month, position in Google search, estimated visits per month, and the ranking difficulty score.

If your site is new, look for keywords that have a low search difficulty score, they are highlighted in green.

On the right is the search result on Google for that search term. This is where you can look at the competition for that keyword. If there are established well known websites ranking, stay away from those, it will be too difficult to rank.

Most popular posts

On the left menu, click on ‘Top pages’, to find out what posts drive the most traffic. This helps you decide what type of post you need to write for your blog.

Top pages

From this list, I can see four out five of the best performing posts, have ‘Cheap’ and ‘Inexpensive’ in the title.

Posts driving the most traffic

Nomadicmatt.com gets a lot of traffic from posts that help his visitors save money. If you have a travel blog, look at how you can help your visitors reduce costs.

To find keywords driving traffic to each post, click on the ‘View all’ link.

Click on 'View all'

With a free account, you can only see a handful of keywords for each post. To see all the data, you need to upgrade.

Upgrade to view all keyword data

For each keyword you have data on approximate search volume on Google per month, ranking position on Google, estimated visitors from this keyword per month, cost per click for advertising, paid difficulty score for advertising, and free traffic difficulty score.

Moz

Moz has an option to view limited data and ten searches per month when you sign up for a free account.

Here is their homepage.

Moz.com homepage

To get access, click on the ‘Create Account’ link on the top-right.

Create a free account

After you create your account, log in.

Log in to your Moz account

The tool needed to analyze competitor websites, is the Keyword explorer tool.

Competitor keyword research tool

If when you log in, you don’t see this page. Scroll to the bottom of the page you are on, and look for the ‘Keyword research’ link under ‘SEO tools’.

SEO tools

To analyze your competitor’s website, ensure you change the drop-down to ‘Root domain’, paste the site’s URL, select your target region, then select ‘Analyze’.

Analyze your competitor's website

Site overview

After a few seconds, you get an overview of data from the site.

Website overview

According to Moz, Nomadicmatt.com has almost 150,000 ranking keywords. Almost twelve thousand of those are in the top three on Google.

The page authority and domain authority are metrics created by Moz. Google doesn’t use these metrics to rank a site, but they do show that this is an established site.

Top ranking keywords

Below the site overview are the top-ranking keywords for the website. To view the report, click on the ‘See all ranking keywords’ link.

Top ranking keywords

The are filter options to help you find keywords.

Filter options

If your site is new, I recommend using the ‘Difficulty’ filter to find keywords that are easier to rank. Look for keywords that below 30, keywords that are relevant to your site.

Select keyword difficulty score

Sort the list in order of difficulty.

Use the difficulty tab

Some of the keyword monthly volumes show no data. These volumes are rough estimates, I suggest you look for keywords on the list that match your blog topic and ask yourself, is this a question that someone would ask? If you believe it is a sensible query, write it down to research.

As with most ‘free’ tools, you only have access to some of the data. To get a full list, you need to upgrade to a paid account.

SEMrush

SEMrush*(Paid link) has a number of excellent features you can use. As a free account user, you have access to data with a limit on searchers per month.

Here is SEMrush’s homepage.

SEMrush

To open a new account, click on the ‘Sign up’ link.

Sign up for a free account

Once you are signed in, enter your competitor’s site URL into the text box, and click on ‘Search’.

Competitor's URL

After a few seconds, you get a domain overview.

Domain overview

According to SEMrush, Nomadicmatt.com, gets over 500,000 visitors a month. His free traffic is worth about $500,000 a month.

To find out what keywords a site is ranking for, scroll down to ‘Top Organic keywords’, and click on ‘View details’.

Top organic keywords

In the details report. you can see the top ten keywords driving traffic to this website.

Top 10 keywords

To get the full list of keywords, you need to upgrade to a paid plan. SEMrush is currently offering a free 7-day trial.

How to find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for video tutorial

Conclusion

In my post I have shown you three excellent tools to check what keywords your competitors are ranking for.

To get in-depth details, you will have to sign up for a paid plan. The cheapest is Ubersuggest at about $7 per month.

When you first start blogging, it is difficult to know what type of posts you should be writing to rank on Google. The truth is there is no magic formula that generates results every time.

The best solution when you start is to cover a number of topics and check your analytics to see what posts get the most engagement. Use the data to plan your future blog content.

Check your competitor’s websites and look at what type of post they are currently publishing. The big websites have a lot of money to do keyword research, you can use this to help you decide what content you should be writing for your blog.

Don’t go after the same keywords as your competitors, you have to find something easier to target if you want your posts to rank.

Website owners that have years of experience still can’t explain why some posts do well and others don’t. The more content you have on your blog, the easier it will be to identify what works and what doesn’t.

Before you disappear to start checking your competitor’s websites, may I ask for one minute of your time to write a comment? Did I help you? Did you find the tools I recommended useful? I look forward to reading your comments.

For more SEO tutorials, check out my SEO category posts. I also have a YouTube channel full of tutorials on using WordPress and SEO.

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4 Comments

  • Verena

    Great post, John! I’m a travel blogger and I find it hard sometimes to find the right keywords, but Ubersuggest seems to be a good tool! Thanks for the detailed guide and the helpful screenshots 🙂

    • newblogr

      Thank you Verena, I am glad you found my post helpful. There are a lot of successful travel blogs out there. It is about finding what your audience is looking for and helping them out. It is important to be genuine and honest. Good luck with your travel blog.

  • salvo

    Amazing job, John!
    Your post has finally helped me understand how to find good keywords.
    Thank you!

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