What to Know About Competitive Keyword Analysis

Posted on December 12, 2012 in Google, Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, SEO

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When it comes to paid and organic search optimization strategy, competitive keyword analysis should be an important part of your plan. Paid search activity is an expanding market and your competitors will increase their share of the market over you if you don’t learn from them and the keywords they’re optimizing for.

There are several tips and tricks to accomplish these goals and to stay relevant and competitive in your market.

Who Are Your Competitors?

Not entirely sure who your competitors are yet? There a couple of different ways you can go about finding who they are. The easiest is to just search for your keywords about your product or service on Google or Bing. The organic and paid search will give you a list of competitors for those keywords.

Another tool you can use is called Spyfu. This tool provides the domain; top keywords (organic and paid) estimated daily budget, average position and the click volume of your competitors. It’s easy to use as all you have to do is enter a domain name or a keyword and the tool does the rest.

Understand The Market Keywords

Keyword spy tools work, but don’t always provide you with the most complete list of your competitor’s keywords. Sometimes, the best place to look is within the creative text of your competitor’s ads.

MixRank is a tool that allows you to do that by indexing millions of contextually targeted creative text within ads and identifies and ranks the most effective ones. This allows you to search for a domain or keyword and analyze the list of creative text that the tool shows to find related keywords to your field. This gives you the advantage of finding your competitors keywords that they’ve tested and decided were effective and performed well.

Understand Your Competitors

Now that you know who your competitors are, it’s time to learn everything you can about them. The best place to do this is to explore their website first. The homepage of their site holds all the answers after you click to view the page source. The things you want to look for are:

  • <title>
  • Meta name= “description”
  • Meta name= “keywords”

You will also want to do this on their product and category pages. This will give you a comprehensible list of the keywords they use and then add them to your list of keywords to compete for. Organize these keywords to make it easier to create new search campaigns and ad groups around them.

Keyword Expansion

With your list of keywords from the various tools talked about above, it’s time to take them and use a keyword tool to determine traffic and competition for potential new keywords. The easiest tool to use for this is Google Keyword Tool. Take your keywords and put them in small amounts into the search field. The results from “Search Terms” and “Keyword Ideas” will be the ones to focus on. Also consider:

  • The amount of Competition (Low, Medium, High)
  • Monthly Search Volumes
  • Approximate CPC (cost-per-click) metrics

The best combination for you would be high volume search with low volume competition. You might not discover that magical, golden keyword but you could discover some keywords that do well at a low CPC compared to the other keywords on your list.

Use What You’ve Discovered

It’s time to apply everything you’ve researched to your own website and SEO strategy! Certain keywords are going to be discovered during your competitive analysis due to the fact that you can’t always predict what keywords your customers will use when searching for your product or service. Optimize these keywords based on the data you find and use them to improve your website and search rankings.

The Follow-Up

Continue to refine your list of competitors and search for competitive keywords while building up your search engine marketing strategy. Remember to optimize, generate creative ad text, and set the keyword bids that you want.

By using these tips and tricks you’ll be able to get ahead of the competition and better optimize your SEO strategy for your market.