How to Find Competitors Keywords Even If You’re A Beginner

Do you want to know how to find competitors keywords?

Have you ever wondered why your competitors websites are ranking so high in search engines like Google?

Have you ever performed competitor analysis to discover “what THEY do right and what YOU do wrong”?

If you said yes to any of the above questions, this detailed tutorial is for you where you’ll discover how to get ideas for keyword research from your competitors’ websites using one of the best SEO tools out there which is: SEMrush

SEMrush

Why SEMrush?

SEMrush

Before we get into the details of how to find competitors keywords, let’s first find out why you need a robust SEO tool like SEMrush.

There are a ton of free tools out there which can help you with keyword research but most of them fail at two things;

  • Most keyword research tools don’t provide you accurate data (search volume, CPC, related keywords information, traffic % of each keyword etc)
  • You can’t find out what keywords competitors are using most free SEO tools out there

The #1 reason to use SEMrush for this tutorial is this: it provides “Organic research tool”.

SEMrush organic research helps you easily find;

  • Easily find out what keywords your competitors are using
  • Discover new and unknown competitors’ websites in organic search
  • Keep an eye on position changes of domains
  • Uncover top landing pages of your competitors which are sending most organic traffic

Just in case if you don’t have access to SEMrush, use the below link to get it FREE for 7 days.

Get a 7 day FREE trial of SEMrush

Let’s now get into the details and find out how you can use SEMrush organic research tool to get ideas for keyword research from your competition.

How to Find Competitors Keywords Using SEMrush Organic Research: 4 Incredible Ways

How to Find Competitors Keywords

#1. Uncover your competitors’ best performing keywords

No matter how great your content is, it won’t generate any search traffic if your keyword strategy sucks. Observe any high traffic blog and you’ll notice one thing that they have a solid keyword strategy in place.

Almost every high traffic website has a PROVEN formula to come up with a ton of high performing keywords that rank well in SERPs.

So how can you strengthen your keyword strategy to find better keywords?

I’ve a simple tip for you: find out the best performing keywords of your competitors’ websites.

Why?

The reason is simple. If a keyword phrase is generating thousands of visitors every month from search engines like Google to your competitors’ websites, probably that’s a popular topic that your target audience are interested in.

That’s the topic probably you should also consider creating a blog post around. Why waste your time and energy on writing something that no one is interested to read about?

By looking at your competitors’ best performing keywords, you can easily lay out a keyword strategy that helps you come up with tons of new keyword ideas which you can use to create great content.

How to find competitors keywords easily?

Although there are a ton of ways to find competitors keywords but the most effective way is to use a tool like SEMrush.

SEMrush is the world’s #1 competitor research tool which is used by millions of people worldwide to analyse their competitors’ websites with ease.

Here’s how you can use SEMrush to easily find your competitors keywords.

Step 1: Login to SEMrush (click here to get a free trial of SEMrush) and click on “Organic Research” under Domain Analytics section.

Step 2: Now enter any URL of your competitors’ website to find out what keywords they are actually ranking for

As you can see above, I took an example of NeilPatel.com (which is a widely popular marketing blog run by Neil Patel). You’ll notice that his site ranks for over 156,000 organic keywords!

Step 3: Finding the best performing keywords of your competitors

You don’t want to target thousands of keywords that your competitors are ranking for. It just doesn’t make any sense and not time consuming as well.

In our example of Neilpatel.com, you don’t have to find all the 150,000+ keywords his site is currently ranking for. Instead, we can just find out few of the best keyword phrases that are easier to rank for.

Here’s where you can use the filters on SEMrush to filter out unwanted keywords and find traffic generating keyword ideas. Let’s see how you can use SEMrush filters to find the best performing keywords of your competitors.

I’m going to reveal few of the ultimate filters I often use to find low hanging fruit keywords.

Filter #1: To find long tail keywords

Click on Advanced Filters under the “Organic search positions” section and choose the following filter which gives you a list of all the keyword phrases that contain 4 or more words on your competitors’ websites.

As you can see from above, the keyword count of Neilpatel.com also came down to around 25,000 (all the way from ~150,000).

Still, there are a lot of keywords, right? Let’s now use some of more filters to find the best performing keywords.

Quick tip: When you click the “add one more” button, you can build out a more specific filter. That way, you can add any number of filters you want. Here’s how it looks like;

Filter #2: To find keywords with less keyword difficulty

There’s no point of finding keywords with high difficulty. Fortunately SEMrush helps you easily find difficulty of any keyword so you can use filters to find keywords with less difficulty.

Just set the filter to keyword difficulty below 50 (50 is a relative number, you can pick any number of your choice, just make sure to find anything below 50 or 40 keyword difficulty for better chances of getting higher rankings for your keywords).

Here’s how it looks like after applying the keyword difficulty fitler.

As you can see above, the overall keyword count came down from 25,000 to around 700 keywords on Neilpatel.com by using Keyword Difficulty filter.

Let’s dig further down to find out much easier ranking keywords.

Filter #3: To find less search volume keywords

The final filter we’re going to use is “Search volume” keyword where you can enter 100, 500 or 1000 (any number) to find keywords with less monthly searches so you can easily rank for those keywords with minimal efforts.

Here’s how it looks like after applying the filter;

If you closely look at the above screenshot, you’ll notice that we filtered out the keywords from 150,000 to just around 100 keywords on NeilPatel.com (which is an example case study on how to find competitors keywords)

Now, you can pick any of those keywords to start generating more search traffic and sales to your site. They are easier to rank as well because we chose various filters to only find the “low competitive and less keyword difficulty long tail keywords”.

You can repeat the same keyword research process by getting access to Organic Research tool from SEMrush to find competitors keywords within a few minutes (no matter what industry you are in).

#2. Identify new organic competitors to discover more content opportunities

Let me tell you one important thing.

The whole purpose of the competitor research is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’ websites so you can find ways to outrank them in search.

Do you know who your competitors are?

You may already have a list of your competitors websites but I bet there will be even more sites that you have probably never heard of.

The great thing about using SEMrush is that you can easily find your competitors’ websites which are hidden from your radar so you can use them to find better content opportunities.

How to find unknown competitors’ websites using SEMrush?

So far we’ve been using the site NeilPatel.com as an example for this post, so let’s find out all the “competitors” to see a list of websites very similar to NeilPatel.com

Step 1: Go to SEMrush “Organic Research” tool and click on “Competitors” section to find a list of all the competing websites which are similar to NeilPatel.com

Step 2: SEMrush instantly gives you a list of all the websites that have the most common keywords and put them at the top.

Here’s how it looks like;

Step 3: Finding unknown competitors’ websites

When you start scrolling down the list, you may come up with a list of sites that you’ve probably never heard of.

Or you can simply click any one of the organic competitors of NeilPatel.com to find unknown competitors’ websites.

When I click on Backlinko.com (one of the competitors of Neilpatel.com), it shows me a detailed report of that domain where I can find a ton of organic keywords along with its close competitors’ websites.

SEMrush organic research tool also shows you a list of competitors domains in pictorial view with the most common keywords and competition level.

Here’s how it looks like in pictorial form;

So there you go! You can repeat the same process any number of times until you come up with a huge list of your unknown competing websites to discover better content opportunities and hidden keyword ideas.

#3. Spy on your competitors’ position changes to outrank them in SERP

Do you know the value of first page results on Google?

Here are some interesting stats you need to know (taken from Google organic CTR history Advanced Web Ranking).

  • The 1st position on Google search gets around 28% of traffic share
  • The 2nd position gets a traffic share of 13%
  • The 3rd position receives nearly 10%
  • The 4th and 5th positions attract 6% and 4% of traffic share respectively

Here’s the data (as of May 2018).

If you analyse the above data carefully, you’ll notice that the lion’s share of clicks (around 75%) are going to the first page results on Google.

What can you learn from it?

If you really want to get more visitors from Google, you need to get first page rankings. It’s as simple as that.

But here’s the thing: getting first page positions in search results is challenging.

Getting first page rankings for a keyword is one part and maintaining rankings for the same keyword is another task.

By tracking competitors’ position changes and comparing them with your own website, you can easily find out whether your SEO and content marketing strategy is working or not.

Here’s where SEMrush position changes report comes into handy which keeps a track of both you and your competitors’ website position changes so you can easily find out what’s working and what’s not.

In case if you’re wondering about how to track position changes of your competitors to see where your website stands in organic search results, here’s a simple step by step tutorial on how to do that.

Step 1: Go to SEMrush Organic research tool and enter a domain of your competitor to find position changes.

As you can see above, SEMrush “Position changes” report shows us a list of all the keyword positions of any site where we can easily discover;

  • New
  • Lost
  • Improved positions
  • Declined positions of keywords

Quick note: Data can be displayed for the last 30 days, the last 6 months, one year or all time.

Step 2: Find out “Improved positions” to see the “strengths” of your competitors

By knowing your competitors’ websites strengths, you can discover what’s working well for them in getting top organic rankings for a keyword.

By visiting the URLs of improved positions of your competitor websites, you can find out what is working well for them and what’s actually helping them to improve their search rankings.

Step 3: Find out “Declined positions” to see the “weaknesses” of your competitors

Your competitors’ websites positions are declining on organic search for several reasons such as their content is not up to date, attracting toxic backlinks, bad keyword optimization or it could be anything.

Here’s where you can use SEMrush position changes report to find an opportunity to capture some of that search traffic away from your competitors’ websites.

As you can see above, SEMrush is showing us the declined positions of Neilpatel.com. You can visit those URLs to see if you can create 10x content around it to take away some of their traffic by getting better search rankings.

Likewise, you can use the same process for New and Lost on “Position Changes” to carefully scrutinize your competitors’ websites.

So there you go. That’s how you can use position reports on SEMrush to find strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’ websites.

What can all be found in organic search positions table?

In case if you’re curious to find out what are all the metrics provided by SEMrush Organic Search tool, here’s what all you can find of any website.

  • Position of the keyword (where the URL currently ranks in the SERP and their position from the previous update)
  • Volume (monthly average in the chosen database)
  • KD (Keyword Difficulty)
  • CPC (Cost-per-click)
  • URLSEMrush
  • Traffic % (The share of total traffic driven to the website from the keyword over the specific time frame)
  • Costs % (The share of total traffic cost driven to the website from the keyword over the specific time frame)
  • Com. (Competitive Density of advertisers using the given term for their ads)
  • Results (Number of search results in the database)
  • Trend (The changes in interest for the given keyword over 12 months)
  • SERP (A snapshot of the SERP source where SEMrush found the result)
  • Last Update (The time when the given keyword was last updated in our database)

The above information is HUGE and enough for anyone to carefully analyse the keyword strategy of any website in the world. So what are you still waiting for?

Go give a try to SEMrush NOW to boost your search rankings.

#4. Finding traffic generating pages of your competitors

Do you want to find out what pages are sending your competitors the most traffic?

Do you want to find a list of all the keywords pointing to particular landing page of your competitors’ websites?

Are you curious to find out backlink pointing to a landing page?

You can get all that information from SEMrush organic pages report.

Here’s how it works.

Step 1: Enter any of your competitors’ website URL by clicking on “Pages” under Organic Research tool from SEMrush

You’ll instantly get a list of all the landing pages which are generating the highest traffic percentage. Check out how it looks like;

Step 2: Find top keywords that are generating the most organic traffic to your competitors’ websites.

You can also easily find out a list of all the keywords pointing to traffic sending landing pages of your competitors.

You can click on those keywords to further find what all the keyword phrases that are generating organic traffic.

How much does SEMrush cost?

SEMrush is currently offering three monthly subscription options

  1. Pro for $99.95
  2. Guru for $199.95 and
  3. Business starting at $399.95

Let’s briefly talk about what features you get with each one of SEMrush subscription plans.

#1. SEMrush Pro Account Features: This is perfect for beginners who want to increase their search traffic using an incredible tool like SEMrush. Here’s what you get in SEMrush pro account which costs you $99.95 per month.

  • Results per report (domain and keyword analytics): 10,000
  • Reports per day: 3,000
  • Projects: 5
  • Keywords to track: 500
  • Pages to crawl: 100,000

#2. SEMrush Guru Account: This is perfect for bloggers, SEOs and marketers who want to add more users and advanced features. Here’s what you get in SEMrush guru account which costs you $199.95 per month.

  • Results per report (domain and keyword analytics): 30,000
  • Reports per day: 5,000
  • Projects: 50
  • Keywords to track: 1500
  • Pages to crawl: 300,000
  • Historical data of domain, keyword and traffic analytics
  • Branded PDF reports

#3. SEMrush Business Account: This is perfect for big brands and agencies which are looking to skyrocket their search traffic and boost their website sales from search. Here’s what you get in SEMrush business account which costs you $399.95 per month.

  • Results per report (domain and keyword analytics): 50,000
  • Reports per day: 10,000
  • Projects: 200
  • Keywords to track: 5000
  • Pages to crawl: 1000000 (1 million)
  • Historical data of domain, keyword and traffic analytics
  • Branded PDF reports and white label PDF reports
  • Includes API access

Click here to get a free trial of SEMrush Pro account

FAQs About SEMrush Competitor Keyword Analysis

Here are some of the frequently asked questions that I’ve carefully compiled which can be helpful if you to learn about how to find competitors keywords with SEMrush to increase your search traffic.

#1. How do I find out who my competitors are?

Are you wondering how to find out who your competitors are? The best way to find your competitors website is to identify your most important keywords or topics. Then, you can use tools like SEMrush and enter those keywords to find who are ranking on top of Google search results.

You can also use sites like SimilarWeb which is a free tool that lets you enter a URL (such as your own) to identify similar websites.

Once you’ve a list of 50+ competitors’ websites, you can layout a detailed keyword strategy to come up with solid keyword ideas to increase your search traffic.

#2. How to find competitors keywords using SEMrush?

If you want to find out a list of all the traffic generating keywords of your competitors, you can use SEMrush organic research tool and it will help you come up with a ton of keyword ideas along with other important search metrics such as traffic cost, backlinks, related keywords and so on.

Just make sure to go through this detailed tutorial and you’ll be able to use SEMrush organic research tool effectively for competitor keyword analysis.

#3. What are SEMrush benefits?

If you’re wondering about what are SEMrush benefits, let me tell you one thing: it’s the ONLY SEO tool you need which helps you find keywords, perform site audits, competitor analysis, position tracking, backlink analysis, estimate the traffic of any website in the world and so on.

All in all, SEMrush is an all in one SEO toolkit which saves you a lot of money and time. If you’ve access to SEMrush, you don’t have to pay separately for Moz ($100/mo), Ahrefs ($100/mo), Majestic SEO ($100/mo) and so on because you can get all of those features in SEMrush.

#4. What are the best SEMrush alternative in 2018?

If you want to learn about how to find competitors keywords although there are few premium SEO tools like Moz, Majestic SEO, Ahrefs, SpyFu etc but there’s no best SEMrush alternative I came across until now. I’ve been using SEMrush since 2016 (I’m one of the very few users who’re using SEMrush since its inception) and I never regretted using it.

#5. Can I get SEMrush pro account free?

Yes, you can get SEMrush pro account free by using this exclusive link (affiliate link) which gives you free access to SEMrush pro account for 7 days which is enough for you to decide whether its worth your money or not.

Conclusion on how to find competitors keywords using SEMrush organic research tool 2018

The fastest way to get to top of organic search results for a website is to do competitor research. Finding the strenthgs and weaknesses of your competitors websites is the easiest way to come up with a keyword strategy to increase your organic traffic.

So if you’re wondering about how to find competitors keywords with ease, SEMrush organic research tool can be immensely helpful. Did you like this tutorial on SEMrush organic research? Do you have any questions? Shoo them in the comments.

Comments

  1. This is a massive guide, I have to say. SEMRUSH is one of my favorite tools and it is really very easy to find out the competitors keywords and backlink in just in a few minutes. One must use SEMRUSH or similar tools like Ahrefs to do keyword research first and then plan to blog accordingly.

    • I find SEMrush more useful than Ahrefs (no offence to Ahrefs, it’s a great tool though) when it comes to finding competitors keywords.

      SEMrush offers much more data in backlink analysis, keyword analysis and content analysis which is definitely useful to outrank your competitors no matter what industry you are in.

      Thanks for stopping by Santanu.

  2. One important tool for me to win web visitors in the world is semrush. This tutorial is very complete and good, thanks so much for sharing it along with the screenshots.

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