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Performing a Competitor Keyword Analysis to Find Competitors’ Keywords

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Unveiling the secrets of your competitors' success begins with a strategic exploration into their keyword universe. Understanding what keywords your competitors are targeting can be a game-changer. In this blog post, we show you a quick guide to keyword analysis – a powerful tool that not only sheds light on their SEO strategy but also arms you with invaluable insights to enhance your own digital presence. Discover the art of decoding competitors' keywords and revolutionize your approach to search engine optimization. 

Competitive keyword analysis

What is Competitor Keyword Research & Analysis?

Competitor keyword research and analysis is a strategic process in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that involves studying and evaluating the keywords targeted by competitors to improve one's own search visibility and online performance. It is a crucial aspect of developing an effective SEO strategy and gaining a competitive edge in the digital landscape.

Ways to Perform Competitor Keyword Research

  • Use software such as Ahrefs or Semrush to find and steal your competitors’ keywords.
  • Perform searches on Google for key phrases you want to be found under. Look to see what titles you see from competitors and what keywords they are using.
  • Use software to lookup keywords. A good keyword research software will not only tell you if that word receives good search volume, but it will also give you a list of similar keywords that do receive high search volume.

How to Do a Competitor Keyword Analysis Using Ahrefs to Steal Keywords from Competitors

Let’s pretend I own a beef farm and I want to sell steaks online. I know that one of my competitors is Chicago Steak Company. I would take their URL and enter it into the dashboard search bar and click on the search icon.

ahrefs competitor keyword analysis

You would then see the overview for the backlink profile and organic search data. What we want to click on is the keywords number that shows 124k.

ahrefs competitor keyword analysis

This will take us to the list of keywords that Chicago Steak Company ranks well for. The first column shows you the ‘keyword’, ‘volume’ is how much volume that keyword receives each month, ‘KD’ is the difficulty it is to rank for that keyword on a scale of 1-100, ‘traffic’ is how much estimated traffic the site receives each month for that keyword, ‘positions’ is where this site ranks on Google for that particular keyword, and the ‘URL’ is the exact URL that this website ranks for this particular keyword.

competitor keyword analysis


Now that you have this long list of keywords you can go through and see which ones are relevant to your business. You can go a step further and click on the URL for each ranking keyword to visit the page that is performing well. Look in the page structure to see what your competitor is doing. What headings are they using? What type of content do they have on the page?

Things to Consider

With keyword research you need to take keyword difficulty into account. If your site is newer and doesn’t have a ton of credibility, you cannot only target competitor keywords that receive a ton of traffic and have high keyword difficulty. You just won’t be able to compete. Try to find long-tail keywords that are in the 1-40 KD range. If you have a well-established website, you can aim higher in the 50-70 range.

Finding Keywords in Google Searches

Now let’s pretend we are marketing for a law firm in NYC. They specialize in DWI defense. We go to and search for “ DWI lawyer in NYC.” We take a look at the blue titles in the results to see what the competitors are using. We can see there are different variations of key phrases being used. We see DWI and DUI, NYC and New York, and the full written out, Drunk Driving. You can take all the variations and use them to craft your own title for your site. You will want to make sure you are using these throughout your site headings and content as well.

Google Competitor Keyword analysis

Using Keyword Research Software to Find Keywords

If we go to the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, we can type in a generic keyword like “DWI.”

keyword explorer

You will then see an overview for that keyword. This tells us the keyword difficulty, search volume, and what website is ranking the highest. At the bottom you will see the keyword ideas. These tell you all the search terms that include your keyword (DWI) and also questions that people are searching for that contain your keyword. You should use this data to find relevant keywords and questions to optimize your website for.

ahrefs competitor keyword analysis


Using Competitor Analysis to Outrank Your Competition

To outrank your competitor, you need to identify what keywords you are targeting. For this example, let’s pretend we are a chimney repair company in Houston. Using the same Keyword Explorer in Ahrefs, we can search for this keyword.

ahrefs competitor keyword research tool

Once you are on the results page, scroll down until you see the list of competitors. This is where you will find the top-ranking pages for the keyword that you searched for. Now that we have these, visit each one of the landing pages and audit what each one of the pages has.

ahrefs competitor keyword analysis

Competitor Website Content Audit Checklist

  1. What meta title are they using?
  2. What is the H1 tag on the page?
  3. What are their H2 tags?
  4. What sections of the page do they have that you don’t?
  5. Is there any content on the page that you could use on your website?
  6. What questions are they answering?

You should gather all of this information while auditing your top competitors. Then, using this information, create a template layout for your page that you will create. Determine the heading of the page, subheadings, content you want to discuss, questions you want to answer.

Goal of a Competitor Content Analysis

The end goal of the competitor content analysis is for you to create a webpage that is more valuable to Google than your competitors. Provide more quality information than them in hopes that Google will rank your website higher.

Finding Ideas for Blog Posts Using Competitor Analysis

What better way to come up with blog ideas than to see what blogs are already performing well from your competitors? For this example, I will use as my pet industry competitor. In Ahrefs, enter their domain. You will see their traffic estimated at 5.3M. Click on that number.

ahrefs competitor blog topic analysis

On the next screen you will see all the pages of listed. To narrow this down we need to identify their URL structure for how they display blogs. I can see that their top post has “learning-center” in the URL.

ahrefs competitor blog analysis


We can then apply a filter that shows us only URLs from PetSmart that contain “learning-center.”

blog analysis filter

With this list now filtered, I can see all of the top blog posts, how much traffic each one receives, and the top keyword that the page ranks for.

list of competitor blog topics


You can apply this same strategy to all your competitors. Find what blog posts perform well, audit their content, and try to create a more valuable piece of content for your website.