This is a sponsored post written by SE Ranking. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.
Keyword research is tough and tedious.
Finding the best-performing keywords that generate steady revenue – the so-called “golden” keywords – is even harder but once you find them, it’s like striking an oil well.
There are various ways to do the keyword research – from collecting semantics manually to using tools such as Keyword Planner or Keyword Suggestion tool.
But if you want to find the best-performing keywords with a proven history of success, you might consider looking at your competitors’ semantics.
It could well be that the “golden” keywords have been already discovered and all you need to do is to use them for your own benefit.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to find and use competitor keywords to generate the best results from your SEO efforts as well as some other ways to use competitor semantics.
How to Find ‘Golden’ Keywords Using Competitor Research
Let’s illustrate the process using Competitor SEO/PPC research from SE Ranking. The steps here would be as follows:
Step 1: Evaluate Paid Semantics
Enter the list of your known competitors or use the tool to find the top 10 in your niche.
Check the keywords those competitors are using in their Google Ads campaigns.
Review the advertisement history and pick the keywords that your competitor has been using to run campaigns for a long period of time. This is an indicator that the keywords are successfully performing – otherwise the competitor would not be blowing their PPC budget on them.
Repeat the third item above for all of your main competitors.
Valuable tip: Also check “common” and “missing” keywords to enrich your semantics with a cluster of keywords that work.
Step 2: Evaluate Organic Semantics
The approach here is similar to what we discussed in the previous paragraph with the exception that we are going to review the competitor keywords that are at the top of the SERPs.
The dynamics in organic search is much slower and not representative.
Collect a list of your main competitors.
Select the top-performing keywords.
Create your main semantics deriving data from all of your main competitors.
Step 3: Merge Keyword Data from Paid & Organic Semantics
This step brings together the information you found in two previous steps. This is your oil well that is going to fountain out with “golden” keywords.
Take the list of keywords from paid semantics data.
Add the list from the organic data research and find the keywords that are also present in the paid semantics list.
The keywords that are present in both paid and organic lists are the best-performing keywords that your competitors are using to bring highly-converting traffic to their sites!
Valuable tip: Use common sense and logic. Your competitors aren’t always smarter than you. Apply your own knowledge and judgment when working on creating your semantic core.
How to Develop Best-Performing Content Using Competitor Intelligence
Competitor intelligence is a whale of information that could be used in enhancing and optimizing the landing pages that you already have. Or for creating brand new landings developed for specific lead-generating campaigns.
To find those ideas employ the following approaches:
Use Competitor ‘Keywords with Potential’
Those are the keywords that your competitor is under-using but can potentially yield great results for you.
For example, you found competitor pages optimized for certain keywords that rank in the 20th to 25th positions that are very relevant and Google seems to be liking them – but something is missing in terms of search intent or content quality.
Review these pages or resources and enhance or create similar content optimized for those keywords on your site.
Use Keywords with Low Search Volume
Those kind of keywords are relevant and targeted for you but have a low or medium level of search volume. Such keywords might become a ground for your growth.
How to Find Them:
Remember the “golden” keywords that are found where the paid and organic semantics merge?
Look again in the advert’s history as well as data collected from organic competitor research and pick the keywords with low and medium search volume. Then create content based on this intelligence.
How to Avoid Errors & Mistakes Using Competitor Intelligence
Paid and organic competitor research data are lifesavers in the costly world of SEO.
Don’t Use Keywords That Your Competitors Dismissed
Google Ads is great at driving quality traffic to your resource. But it’s also a costly channel, especially if you’re trying to find the best performing ads with a hit-or-miss strategy.
A smarter way would be to analyze the history of your competitors’ ads. Here you will see what keywords they played around and dropped as the ones that didn’t bring results needed.
Be careful, though: your competitors are not necessarily always correct when dismissing keywords. However, it can be a good indicator. Just be cautious and avoid falling into the same trap.
Save money – create better campaigns.
Don’t Use Keywords That Google Treat as a Missed Intent
When doing competitor research, you might find good keywords that don’t generate as much traffic as anticipated.
For instance, you detected a strong competitor page that is nicely optimized for the keyword of your interest but it’s stuck in the 30th position in the SERPs.
This might mean that Google understood the user intent differently and didn’t rank their content as initially expected.
So carefully evaluate what keyword the content has been created for and avoid replicating the same tactic.
Do Keyword Grouping
Competitor intelligence is a great way to find “golden” keywords, discover new ideas that can potentially boost your revenue, and avoid errors.
However, you should never blindly apply competitor intelligence to your site. Your competitor site might be suffering from keyword cannibalization or poor site structure.
One way to straighten your strategy and avoid errors while discovering new ideas for optimization and content development is to do keyword grouping.
How to Do It:
Take the competitor semantics that you’ve collected while running competitor research.
Copy-paste the list of keywords into grouping tool and run the grouping.
Analyze the clusters to discover search queries that match the same website’s URLs that are in TOP-10. Use this knowledge to develop a better content strategy.
Keyword Grouper from SE Ranking also checks the keywords search volume which helps you to decide what would be the best way to distribute them across the website pages.
Hopefully the tips and techniques listed above have provided you with valuable information.
Curious how you can derive and apply competitive intelligence in creating the best-performing marketing campaigns?
Just sign up for a free trial and see for yourself the kind of magic you can do by simply analyzing your competitors’ data.
Featured Image: Image by SE Ranking. Used with permission. In-Post Photos: Images by SE Ranking. Used with permission.