The Comprehensive Guide to Competitor Keyword Research and Analysis

Competitor keyword research is a powerful weapon in your digital marketing arsenal. It allows you to uncover the keywords your competitors are ranking for, offering a golden opportunity to outrank them in search results. In this guide, we will walk you through a comprehensive process to conduct a competitor keyword analysis and make the most of this underutilised strategy.


What is Competitor Keyword Analysis?

Competitor keyword analysis, often referred to as keyword gap analysis, is the process of identifying and analysing the keywords that your competitors are using to achieve high rankings in search engine results. This analysis provides valuable insights into your competitors' strategies, paving the way for you to adopt, refine, and gain a competitive edge in your field.

Understanding the Power of Competitor Keyword Analysis

Competitor keyword analysis can provide you with a wealth of information. It enables you to understand where you stand compared to your competitors, identifying gaps and opportunities in your current keyword strategy. It can also help you uncover high ROI (Return on Investment) opportunities, pinpointing keywords that can lead to conversions and sales.

The Importance of Knowing Your Customers' Search Behaviour

One of the critical aspects of successful competitor keyword analysis is understanding what your potential customers are searching for. Many businesses make the mistake of targeting high-volume keywords without considering the intent behind these searches. It's crucial to know not just your target audience’s demographics but also the questions they ask, the problems they face, the goals they have, and the things they discuss. This will help you map keywords based on your customer's journey through your sales funnel.

Identifying Your Main Competitors

The next step in the process is to identify your top competitors. You may have a multitude of businesses in your industry, but for the purpose of competitor keyword analysis, it's advisable to focus on your main three competitors. These competitors should be similar to you in terms of targeting the same customer base and offering similar products or services.

Selecting the Right Tools for Competitor Keyword Analysis

The tools you use for your competitor keyword analysis can significantly impact the accuracy and usefulness of your results. Renowned SEO tools like Ahrefs and Semrush are popular due to their extensive databases and accurate metrics. These tools provide a detailed look at your competitors’ keywords, backlinks, rankings, and more.

Analysing Your Competitors' URLs

By analysing your competitors’ URLs, you can find the keywords they rank for. Most SEO tools have a ‘Site Explorer’ feature that lets you see the keywords your competitors rank for, their backlinks, rankings, and more. Keep an eye out for ‘Content Gap’ or ‘Keyword Gap’ tools, which can help you identify keywords that your competitors are ranking for but are not.

Identifying the 'Golden Keywords'

The 'Golden Keywords' are high-intent, high-volume keywords that your website can rank for quickly. These are the keywords that your competitors rank for, which drive the right kind of visitors (the ones that convert), and for which you can create better content.

Ensuring a Thorough Google Search for each Keyword

Before finalising any keyword, always perform a Google search for it to understand the kind of content that currently ranks. This will provide insight into what Google considers to be the best answer to a particular query and can help you identify gaps in the content currently available.

Adopting a 'Reverse Engineering' Mindset

The key to successful competitor keyword research is to think like a reverse engineer. You aim to dissect your competitors' strategies, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and create a better strategy. This approach will help you find the 'right' traffic for your site, leading to higher conversions and sales.

Regularly Conducting Competitor Keyword Analysis

Competitor keyword analysis should be a regular part of your SEO and PPC strategies. Regular analysis helps keep your keyword strategy up-to-date and allows you to continually refine your approach based on the evolving strategies of your competitors.


Competitor keyword analysis is a powerful tool for digital marketers. By understanding your competitors' strategies, knowing your customers' search behaviour, identifying your main competitors, and selecting the right tools, you can uncover the 'Golden Keywords' that will drive high-intent, high-volume traffic to your site. Remember, the key to successful competitor keyword research is to adopt a 'reverse engineering' mindset, allowing you to dissect your competitors' strategies and create a better one.

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