How To Check What Keywords Your Competitors Are Using?
The one aspect of blogging where almost all the bloggers struggle is finding profitable keywords that will bring visitors to their blogs. Moreover, if they even start ranking for keywords they won’t know how to benefit from it.
Whatever niche you are in, you will find some fierce competition in the SERPs and even in terms of social following. There are many tools to check Google ranking of your own posts but do you know how you can determine the keywords that your competitor’s site is ranking for?
If you want to find the keywords that your competitors are using and ranking for then you won’t be able to do it with a single click but you will have to do some detailed research to come up with the most accurate list of their ranking keywords.
Today, in this article, we are going to see some tools and resources that we can use to determine the keywords our competitors are ranking for and what to do with once we find those keywords.
How To Check Keywords Your Site is Ranking For?
This one is pretty simple because you can just go to your Google Analytics dashboard or to your Google Webmasters tools account to look for the keywords your blog is ranking for.
1. Check Keywords with Google Analytics
To check the keywords your blog is ranking for, login to your Google Analytics account and select your website and navigate to Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization > Queries. (You must link your Google Webmasters Tools account with Google Analytics to see the keywords)
Check search queries in Google Analytics to know your ranking keywords.
Another way to check your blog’s ranking keywords is to go to Acquisition > Campaigns > Organic Keywords. This feature shows you all the keywords, but most of them will be in the “not provided” category.
Get your Organic keywords from your Google Analytics account.
There is yet another way to determine the rankings of your blog posts and that is by researching for the most popular pages on your blog.
If you know that most of your visitors are coming to your website by landing on a particular article, then you can easily make out that, that particular article might be ranking for multiple terms.
So to find out the most popular pages on your website,
Check your Top Landing Pages in GA account to know your Organic keywords.
2. Check Keywords with Google Webmasters Tools
As I said in the above section, you will have to link your Google Analytics account with your Google Webmasters account to check for the keywords in the Acquisition tab. But if you don’t wish to do it then you can simply
To do this, simply log
By default, it will show you the queries your site is ranking for and the number of clicks these queries get. You can use the top tab to enable the Impressions, CTR and Position to check all the details of your ranking terms.
Moreover, you can also view the data in terms of top pages on your site, you can view which country sends you the most traffic and the devices that your visitors use to visit your website.
Get your Organic Keywords from Search Analytics in Google Webmaster Tools.
So that was how you can check the keywords that your own site is ranking for. You don’t need any other tools to determine the ranking terms because Google Analytics and Google Webmasters tools
How to Check Competitors’ Keywords?
We can use Analytics and Webmasters tools to check the rankings of our own site but what to do when we want to check the ranking keywords of our competitors’ websites.
There are many tools available for us to use and conduct our research on our competitors’ websites. The best research tools to learn about the ranking queries are SEMRush, Open Site Explorer and Google Keyword Planner.
Create an Excel Sheet and put in all the keywords that your competitors are ranking for. By doing so, it will be easy to use them in the later steps.
1. Use SEMRush to Determine Competitor’s Ranking Keywords
SEMRush is the best tool to learn almost everything about a website – it might be yours or your competitors’. So how can you use it to research the ranking terms of your competition?
Go to SEMRush and type in your competitor’s website URL in the search box and hit enter.
Next, select Organic Research > Positions from the left-side menu to go to the ranking keywords page. It will look something like this:
As you can see from the image above, you can learn about the keywords the website is ranking for and also you can see the position it is ranking at in the search results.
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You can also know about the monthly search the keyword is getting and the CPC as well. By looking at the SEMRush chart, you can determine whether a keyword is profitable or not.
By default, the SEMRush tool determines the rankings on Google search engine (US version). However if you want to see the keywords ranking in another country then you can do so easily by changing the country from the top. Also, if the website has keywords ranking in Bing search engine, then you will be able to see that as well.
You can create a 30-day trial account with SEMrush to conduct your research and then if you like the service, you can upgrade to one of its standard PRO plans.
2. Use OpenSiteExplorer to Determine the Search Rankings
OpenSiteExplorer is an amazing tool to learn about the website’s stats and rankings easily. You can check the Domain Authority, the Page Authority and the Linking Root Domains and backlinks using the tool.
But not many people know about this but you can also learn about the top pages on your competitors’ websites.
To get started, you need to go to OpenSiteExplorer and login to your account. (If you don’t have an account, then go to this page and create a Moz community account without getting the PRO membership.)
Now enter your competitor’s website URL in the search box and hit the search button. Then go to Top Pages from the left-hand side menu.
The posts that you see in the Top Pages section are listed based on the Page Authority of those posts. It means that the post with the highest Page Authority is placed on top of the others and the other posts are listed accordingly.
As you can see in the above screenshot, you can get the article’s title and URL, see its Page Authority, the number of linking root domains and even the inbound links to that particular post.
I admit that this page on OpenSiteExplorer won’t show you the exact data that you are looking
You can check for the article that has the best Page Authority compared to others and has
So you can find some profitable topics using this tool even though your competitor might not be ranking for that term.
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3. Use SpyFu to Find Competitors’ Keywords
Another awesome tool to check every aspect of a blog is SpyFu website analysis tool. You can use it to analyze any website for free and even check the terms it is ranking for.
To start using the tool, go to Spyfu and enter the website’s URL and hit the enter button. It will analyze every single thing of the website and give you a complete overview of the results.
As you can see in the above image, it not only shows the number of organic keywords that the site ranks for but also shows how many organic clicks it gets. You can also see the number of keywords that made it to the first page and the ones that fell from its rankings.
To see the keywords the website ranks for, you can either click on the organic keywords tab or go to SEO Research > SEO Keywords to get the complete list of the ranking terms.
If you want to check for new keywords, then you can see the Rankings History tab by going to SEO Research > Rankings History to see which keywords are rising in the search engines results.
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Other Tools to Check Competitor’s Rankings:
There are many other tools out there that you can use to find out the best keywords that your competitors are ranking for. Here are some of the best tools that you can use to dig out more profitable keywords.
Alexa is a great resource to learn about a website’s traffic growth. It’s known that a lower Alexa Rank signifies that the site is getting high traffic.
The Alexa website also shows you a number of keywords that the website is ranking for. You can find it out by going to www.alexa.com/siteinfo/domain.com (Replace domain.com with your competitors’ website URL.)
Scroll down a bit and you will find the keywords that the website is ranking for. Unless you have a PRO account with Alexa, you won’t be able to see all the keywords. But it still shows you 5-6 top keywords that brings the majority of traffic to the website.
In this way, you can use Alexa.com to find some of the top keywords your competitors are ranking for.
SimilarWeb is another great tool to get all the SEO details of your competitors’ as well as your own websites.
You can go to SimilarWeb and enter the website’s URL to search for all the details about the website. You can learn about the estimated visits, the traffic sources, the top countries and the referring websites that send the most visitors.
It also shows you around 10 keywords that the website ranks for and the search engine where the keywords rank.
What to Do After Having the Keywords List?
I hope that after following all the steps mentioned above and using the research tools, you will now have an Excel sheet filled with potential keywords that are ready to be used for your next blog posts.
But before you start working on them, you need to complete one more step. This is an optional step but I recommend you to do it anyway because it will determine whether the keywords you have found are worth ranking for or not.
Go to Google Keyword Planner and punch in the keywords one-by-one to see the competition and the monthly search volume. If the competition is high and the search volume is huge, maybe you need to look for alternative keywords.
As you can see in the above image, I searched for “plagiarism checker” keyword and though the competition is low but the search volume is huge.
So instead of working on the keyword, I would look for alternative keywords. Check the keywords that are suggested in the tool.
From the above image, you can see that I found some amazing alternative keywords – online plagiarism checker, free online plagiarism checker and others.
These keywords have low competition and moderate search volume making them perfect to work on and it’s possible that my article will rank for that keyword easily.
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Once you have completed all the steps above, the final and the most important step would be to write an informative article focused on your chosen keyword.
Remember to add the best resources to support the points in your article, give out all the information you can find and don’t hold back.
You can improve the keywords ranking in search engines by following some on-page SEO tips to give it an extra boost in the search engine results page.
I hope that after reading the article completely, you won’t have any doubts and you won’t face any difficulty in spying on your competitors’ keywords.
However, if you still have some doubts or you are not able to find the best possible keywords then please leave a comment below telling me your query and I will do the best to address it and solve it for you.
Also, please share your feedback via the comments section below and tell me if you liked this article on how to find keywords our competitors are ranking for!