Have you ever wondered why a competitor in your region or niche appears higher than you on Google’s search results? It could be that the keywords they use are more relevant to search users’ queries.

Figuring out which keywords your competitors use is pretty easy with the right online tools, especially those that sift through keyword data and find your rivals’ websites quickly. You can use these tools to influence your own SEO marketing strategies, score higher search rankings, and drive more potential customers to your pages. Learn how to do competitor keyword analysis below!

5 Best Tools to Find Competitors’ Keywords

Here are a handful of tools for sourcing competitors’ keywords:

1. WordStream

If you want to know how to find out what keywords competitors are using, WordStream is for you! This competitor research tool lets you enter a competitor’s website URL and discover the keywords they incorporate into their content. WordStream is free to use, and you don’t even need to create an account to access its features. Just provide your email, and get started! 

2. Ahrefs Site Explorer

Ahrefs Site Explorer is one of the most popular competitor research tools on the internet, and for good reason. Unlike some other tools, you get access to a competitor’s full keyword profile instead of just a few keywords, and you can filter results based on various criteria. You can also differentiate between keywords used in organic and paid search campaigns. 

3. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is another one of the best keyword tools out there. It lets you find competitors’ keywords and filter results by average monthly, quarterly, or yearly searches, helping you plan your SEO campaigns. You can also download keyword analysis reports as a Google Sheets or CSV file, making it easy to share insights with your team. 

4. Moz Keyword Explorer

Want to know how to identify competitors? Moz Keyword Explorer provides free SEO analysis of your rivals, helping you determine the right keywords for your campaigns. You can also view insights about competitors’ domain authority and overall SEO effectiveness. 

5. Semrush

Semrush identifies the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’ campaigns, providing you with real-time intelligence for your own SEO strategies. You can also learn about your rivals’ unique audience count, user engagement metrics, site visitor numbers, and other benchmarks. 

How to Do Competitor Keyword Analysis

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to find competitors’ keywords:

Create a List of Your Competitors

List all of your competitors in your region or niche. These are the companies that sell similar products and services to yours and appeal to the same audience or buyer persona. Also, write down the URLs of each competitor so you can enter this information in keyword analysis tools. 

Understand Your Competitors

Just because your rivals are in the same sector or location as you, they might offer unique services or operate differently from your company. Understanding these competitors better will determine whether you should analyze their SEO efforts. 

Choose a Competitor Keyword Analysis Tool

You might want to use one of the keyword tools listed in the previous section or another platform. Whichever tool you choose, learn how to use its features to garner accurate insights about how your rivals perform on search engines. The best tools identify common and unique keywords your competitors rank for.  

Identify Patterns and Trends

Most keyword tools provide historical data that reveals the popularity of specific keywords over time. For example, you can learn whether keyword usage spikes during certain times of the year, such as the holiday shopping season. Use this information for your seasonal marketing campaigns. 

Don’t Use the Same Keywords as Your Rivals

While it might tempt you to incorporate your competitors’ keywords into your content, you should adapt them according to the specific needs of your business. Use competitors’ keywords to guide your campaigns rather than copy them verbatim.  

Track Your Competitors Regularly

Once you learn how to find competitors’ keywords, don’t stop there. Track your rivals’ SEO campaigns regularly to see whether these companies switch out their keywords or continue to rank for highly-popular search queries. 

A quick tip: Most competitor analysis tools provide free access to your rivals’ keywords in exchange for your email address. That means you’ll most likely end up on their mailing lists! You can always unsubscribe from these lists after receiving keyword insights by email.

Analyzing Your Competitors’ Websites

Keyword research tools only provide part of the story. For full competitor analysis, review your rivals’ websites and see where and how they incorporate keywords. For example, do competitors use keywords in blog posts? Where in a blog post? How many times do they use keywords in content? If a company ranks high on a search engine results page, it’s not just the keywords they use but how they use them. 

Also, pay attention to your competitors’ website layouts and other elements that might influence their search rankings. Internal links, external links, site maps, and other factors are just as important for SEO as keyword usage. You should also analyze your competitors’ content itself. Google and other search engines now favor credible and authoritative content that is well-sourced and fulfills the needs of the search user. So read through web pages, blog posts, and other content types to learn how your rivals engage with both website visitors and search bots. 

Analyzing Your Competitors’ Data

Keyword data generated by some analysis tools can be complicated to decipher. You might see tables with column labels such as search volume, search difficulty, and traffic lift. All these labels help you determine the effectiveness of your competitors’ keywords in different ways. Search difficulty, for example, tells you how difficult it is for a rival to rank in organic results for a very specific keyword. You might also come across terms like page authority and content authority. Learning what all these terms mean will make it easier to evaluate the keywords used by other companies in your sector or area. 

Also, discover whether rivals incorporate keywords in headers, meta descriptions, image alt texts, tags, and other online elements. You might have to check this information manually if a keyword analysis tool doesn’t provide it. However, knowing how competitors use keywords throughout their campaigns will let you fine-tune your SEO strategies and rank higher on search engine results pages. 

Find Competitors’ Keywords to Improve Your Digital Strategy 

Researching competitor keywords and adapting them for your campaigns can help you score higher search rankings. That can improve your overall digital strategy and make attracting potential customers from search engines to your pages easier. Ideally, you will take your competitors’ keywords, use them as inspiration for your SEO campaigns, and rank higher than those companies. 

Comparing competitors’ keywords with your own can also identify keyword gaps in your campaigns. You might not rank very highly for a particular search query because you’re not using a specific keyword or phrase. Competitor analysis will identify those missing keywords so you can adapt and incorporate them into your content. You can discover keywords used in organic, paid, and PLA campaigns and learn how different keyword types overlap. 

Find Competitors’ Keywords: Final Word

If another company in your niche or location appears higher on search engines than you do, it could be because of the keywords they use. Using competitor analysis research tools will identify these keywords and provide inspiration for your SEO campaigns, helping you rank higher on search engine results pages. 

Competitor keywords can be complicated, especially if you’ve never researched them before. Working with a full-service digital marketing agency will streamline this process, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your campaigns. 

Want to know how to find competitors’ keywords? Symphonic does all the hard work for you, so you can rank higher than your rivals and make more informed SEO decisions. Start by requesting an SEO audit now!