Reverse engineering your competitors’ strategies can be a good way to beat them at their game.This is especially true in search engine optimization , as this method give you actionable findings that can dramatically improve your own SEO campaign.Identifying your competitor’s keywords can let you identify opportunities and help you align your approach accordingly.
However, just because your main competitor ranks for a certain keyword doesn’t mean you should, too. You still need to be intentional and strategic so as not to waste time and resources. The key to good keyword targeting is (1) understanding your own funnel, (2) knowing which competitors you should track, and then (3) determining which of the keywords they rank for are worth pursuing.
There are all sorts of keyword research tools in your mission of identifying your competitor’s search terms. Some of the most popular tools out there include KeywordSpy, Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz Keyword Explorer, and Spyfu. All these are relatively easy to use and are effective in obtaining insight into the types of keywords your competitors are ranking for. However, this is just the first and easiest part of keyword targeting.
The bigger challenge lies in actually sifting through the list of keywords and figuring out which ones are worth targeting. It isn’t enough to know what the most competitive keywords are in your niche—you also need to know which of them will help you reach your goal.
So, how do you discern which keywords to use?
First things first: Understand your own keyword to conversion funnel. Before looking outwardly, look into your own keyword trends. Understanding what people search for is just the first step. You also need to what keywords are used by people who actually complete the buying process, so you can prioritize those key terms according to their effectiveness.
Some keywords may bring you traffic but don’t actually help you make conversions. This is why you need to regularly examine your goals so you can bring more focus on certain key terms, according to your SEO purposes for a particular campaign. If your goal is to increase raw traffic, then it makes sense to focus on high-traffic key terms. But if your goal is conversions, it’s best to redesign your campaign for keywords that actually make you sales.
Next, make a list of competitors whose target audiences are the same as yours. Go after sites targeting the same type of visitors or buyers. Optimizing for the keywords that these sites are using can increase your chances of snatching their conversions and making them your own.
Just the same, your strategy should always be based on your campaign goals. If it is raw traffic you are after, then by all means go for the most popular keywords in your niche. However, if you want visits that convert into sales, target key terms that intentional buyers use. Discover audience overlaps and be smart in the key terms you target.
Finally, follow simple rules of keyword selection. SEO has changed a lot through the years, but one thing remains: keywords rule. Selecting the best keywords to target is matter of knowing your campaign goals. If you want to see results right away, go after low-difficulty key terms that offer high odds of success. Easy keywords (such as generic key terms) are great to target if you are trying to get the buy-in from your higher ups, as they can give you the fastest measurable results. These keywords will help you get your managers to see the value in targeting keywords that convert more than those that simply bring in traffic.
Need help in reverse-engineering your toughest competitor’s search engine optimization campaign? SEOValley can help. Talk to one of our analysts today.