This guide will show you how to find competitive keywords.
The ultimate goal is to teach you how to see what keywords your competitors are using to rank their websites in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for organic traffic.
As you will learn below, there are many methods of checking competitor keywords as well as good keyword research tools that you can use for free to do competitive analysis for SEO.
At the bottom of this page, you'll learn how to best find your competitor's keywords to discover new topic ideas for your own website.
Table of contents
How to find competitive keywords
1. Use Google Keyword Planner
The first way to find competing website keywords is to use the Google Keyword Planner tool. While this tool is mainly used to find search terms for Google ads targeting, you can also use it as free SEO keyword research to find keywords used by your competitors.
All you need is a Google account to access the Google Keyword Planning tool, which is part of the Google AdWords control panel. CanSign up for Google AdWords here.
After you have logged in, do the following:
- Go to the Keyword Planner tool found under the Tools & Settings icon.
- Click the Discover New Keywords option.
- Select the Getting started with a website tab.
- Enter the domain of a competing website or the URL of a single web page. Then select the correct keyword search option: "Use Entire Site" or "Use This Page Only".
- Click the Get Results button.
- Google Keyword Planner then displays a list of competing keywordsalong with average monthly search volume to get a good idea of how much organic search traffic the keyword is getting per month
2. Find competitive keywords with Screaming Frog
The next method you can use to view your competitor's keywords is Screaming Frog.
Screaming Frog SEO ArañaThe software can be used to track any website on the internet. You can download and crawl 500 URLs for free, or purchase a license to break this limit and access advanced features.
With the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool, you can analyze your competitor's websites for on-page SEO elements like title meta tags, URL structure, header text, image alt text, internal anchor text and more. If your competitor is using good on-page SEO techniques, you can easily find out which keywords they are targeting by looking at the commonly used words in these HTML elements.
3. See keywords in KWFinder
The next way to check competitor keywords is to use KWFinder, a dedicated SEO keyword research tool.
KWFinder is my favorite keyword research tool and I use it every day to find good keywords for my websites. CanTry KWFinder for FREE herevia my affiliate link at no additional cost to you. I only earn a commission if you ever switch to a paid plan.
As mentioned in my fullKWFinder review herelets you review competing websites for their top keywords along with keyword difficulty, average monthly search volume, and other key SEO metrics. You can then use this information to create similar content on your own website. All you have to do is use the "Search by Domain" feature to find keywords for the root domain or any URL on the website.
KWFinder is also recommended in mineThe Best Free Keyword Research Toolsbook page.
After using this tool or any of the other tools mentioned in this guide, you can check out this other page for tipshow many keywords per page for seoyou have to focus. That way, you'll know how to effectively optimize your content for the largest number of search terms.
4. Check keywords with Keysearch
Another popular tool to find out what keywords your competitors are using is keysearch. It is very similar to the KWFinder mentioned above but has its own unique dashboard and some other advanced features for SEO analysis.
CanTry Keysearch for FREE hereUse my affiliate link and scan your competitor's websites to see the keywords they optimize to rank for content on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
5. Use Semrush for SEO keyword analysis
Semrush is perhaps the most popular tool for finding keywords used by competitors; However, it costs a lot more (about $119.95 per month). That's because Semrush is an all-in-one marketing platform that offers a lot more features than just keyword research. CanTry Semrush for free herevia my affiliate link.
The real strength of Semrush is that it includes a keyword gap tool that allows you to do a complete analysis of your website's keywords compared to your competitors. This way you can find out whatLong-Tail- vs. Short-Tail-KeywordsYour competitors are ranked for what your site is not. You can then create new webpages targeting those keywords to hopefully get more organic traffic from Google.
6. Find keyword gaps with Ahrefs
Another popular tool for finding out what keywords your competitors are using is Ahrefs. also has oneContent-Gap-ToolThis is similar to Semrush to help you analyze multiple competitors at once to create a list of keywords your site should be targeting.
7. See keywords for ads in Wordstream
If you're looking to source competitor keywords to easily load into your Google Ads or Bing Ads account for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, Wordstream can help. Use theKostenloses Keyword-Tool WordStreamto search your competitors' websites for a list of terms along with their Google search volume, competition level, cost per click (CPC) and opportunity score.
8. Check Keyword Sites Opportunities with SpyFu
SpyFuis another popular keyword research and competitor analysis tool to find competing keywords. What makes Spyfu different is that it exposes all search engine marketing tactics of its most successful competitors, includingorganic keywordsand paid SEO channels.
With Spyfu, you can get keyword data from competitors and track the ranking history of any website or domain. This gives you an idea of how a change in Google's algorithm has affected the keyword ranking results for this competitor's website.
9. Use Moz to find top keywords and competitors
Moz has oneSEO competitor analysis toolyou can use to gain the following insights about your competitors:
- Main Competitors:This displays a list of your top SERP competitors on Google.
- Keyword possibilities:This helps you find keyword gaps by understanding your competitors' top keywords and the potential impact on website traffic.
- Content options:This allows you to see the best content that your competitors are using to rank for important keywords.
10. Check popular SEO keywords with BuzzSumo
Another great way to check your competitor's keywords is BuzzSumo.
However withBuzzSumoIt analyzes the social sharing aspect of your competitor's websites to find popular content. You can then reverse engineer the keywords that the content ranks for search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing using one of the other tools mentioned on this page. This allows you to discover topics that have shown interest and excitement in your industry, which can hopefully lead to a higher volume of organic search traffic.
How to see competitor keywords for free
1. View the HTML source code of the website
The first way to find free keywords is to check the HTML source code of the website. You can do this in two ways:
- Right-click the webpage and choose View Page Source.
- Use the keyboard shortcut command Ctrl + U.
Once you look at the website source code, you can look for the most important SEO elements on the page, such as: B. the meta title tag <title>, the meta description tag <description> and the main heading tag <h1>. . You should see a common keyword in these three places, indicating the SEO keyword that the competitor is trying to rank for on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
In the example image below you can see the phrase “best SEO tools” highlighted for this website, which is obviously a keyword you want to rank for in the SERPs since it's in these key HTML locations.
If you want some great tips on how to properly optimize these elements for on-page SEO, check out this other tutorialHow to add keywords for SEO to a website.
2. Check the competitor sitemap
Another easy way to view competitor keywords for free is to check your site's sitemap file. The sitemap shows you a list of URLs for each website. And if the competitor has good SEO practices on the page, the URL will contain the main target keyword.
There are three easy ways to find your competitor's sitemap:
- Manual verification:Add sitemap.xml to the end of the domain name so it looks like "domain.com/sitemap.xml". Most website owners use the standard sitemap string, which makes it easy to find.
- Check the Robots.txt file:Almost every website has a robots.txt file, which contains a line of code that directs search engine crawlers to the sitemap file. Add robots.txt to the end of the domain like this: "domain.com/robots.txt" and find the line of code that starts with "Sitemap:" like this: "Sitemap: https://domain. com/sitemap.xml"
- Use Google search operators:The Google search engine allows special operators to help you find indexed content in the SERPs. You can use this group of operators to find the sitemap file for some websites. Simply replace "domain.com" with your competitor's domain and TLD extension: "site:domain.com filetype:xml inurl:sitemap".
3. Use the Google Keyword Planner for free
As mentioned earlier in this guide, Google Keyword Planner is free to use by anyone with a Google account. It is part of Google AdWords that canLogin here.
After signing up for AdWords, follow these steps to use Keyword Planner to find a list of free SEO keywords that your competitors are ranking for in the SERPs:
- Click the Tools and Settings icon.
- Select "Keyword Planner".
- Click the Discover New Keywords option.
- Select the Getting started with a website tab.
- Enter the domain of a competing website or the URL of a single web page.
- Choose the correct keyword search option: "Use Entire Site" or "Use This Page Only".
- Click the Get Results button.
Google Keyword Planner then displays a list of keywords for the entire domain or individual webpage URL along with average monthly search volume and some pay-per-click (PPC) data.
4. Download SEO Powersuite for free
SEO-Powerpaketoffers a free download to try and test its tools. You can use the free features to do a quick competitor analysis. SEO PowerSuite consists of 4 tools that cover all aspects of SEO including keyword research, rank check, backlink analysis, on-page and content data, mobile SEO, social media, analytics and reports.
5. View keywords with Ubersuggest
Ubersuggest is another free way to see what keywords your competitors are using for SEO. Under theUbersuggest Keyword-IdeenIn this section, you can use the "Search for website" feature in Ubersuggest to check a domain or website URL to find potential keywords that you can also use for your website. Please note, however, that you can only carry out 3 searches per day without registering.
Search, show and check competitor's keywords. Summary
I hope you enjoyed this guide to finding competitive keywords.
As you have discovered, there are many ways to check competitor keywords using free and paid SEO keyword research tools. You can also see what keywords your competitors are using by analyzing HTML source code, sitemap files, robots.txt files and more. So just use the method you like the most to get competitor keywords which you can also use to improve the search engine optimization strategy for your website.
Stephen Hockman is an entrepreneur and founder of SEO Chatter. He specializes in search engine optimization and digital marketing and has been fascinated by SEO since 2005. Stephen's goal is to share the best search engine marketing tips and news to help you get more website traffic.
The easiest way to find out the keywords your competitors are using is to visit their website and then view the Page Source—or the underlying HTML code—for their homepage. In Google Chrome, you simply click the tools bar (the three lines in the top right-hand corner) then select Tools > Developer Tools.How do I spy on competitors keywords? ›
- Subscribe to Newsletter and Social Media. This is where you should start. ...
- Track Brands. ...
- Find out What Technologies They Use. ...
- Check Popularity. ...
- Check Paid Keywords. ...
- Check SEO. ...
- Check Display Ads. ...
- Check Backlinks.
Evaluate competition by looking at search engine results (SERPs) to determine how many sites are competing for the exact keyword phrase and if these sites are well optimized and have link authority. In Google, search for the keyword phrase in quotes to find the number of indexed pages for the exact phrase.Is it possible to scan the website of your competitor to search for keywords idea? ›
First, plug in your competitor URL into Buzzsumo. You'll get an accurate view of their top content as well as the social capital for each post. This means that you'll have information on both the page and root domain as soon as you conduct a search.How do you analyze competitors keywords? ›
- Use competitive analysis templates. ...
- Create a list of your top SERP competitors. ...
- Identify keyword gaps and content gaps. ...
- Understand your and your competitors' audience. ...
- Create audience-centric and SEO-optimized content to fill content gaps. ...
- Track your competition's performance.
- Semrush. Pricing: Plans start at $119.95 per month. ...
- Ahrefs SERP Checker (Free And Paid) ...
- Serpstat. ...
- SpyFu. ...
- Sandboxweb.io SERP Analysis Tool. ...
- Screaming Frog. ...
- Inlinks. ...
- WordStream's Free Keyword Tool.
- Google Auction Insights.
- Seed Keywords.
- Tag Clouds.
Targeting competitor keywords helps you appear on the same SERPs (search engine results pages) as your competitors. You can also use competitor keyword research to reveal weaknesses, such as valuable keywords they have yet to target.How do I steal traffic from my competitors? ›
- Target their keywords.
- Increase your domain authority.
- Take some of the high-quality links from your competitor.
- Become more influential.
- Use paid promotion tactics.
- Knowing Customer Needs. ...
- Understanding Competitors' Strengths and Weaknesses. ...
- Finding Markets That Are Large or Growing.
The best keyword strategies rely on highly relevant keywords, which are keywords that relate closely to your business or are associated with your industry. Once you know the keywords you want to bid on, the next step in your keyword strategy involves crafting text ads that incorporate your keywords.What are the four criteria for keyword selection? ›
Your target keywords need to meet four criteria — significant search volume, high relevance, strong conversion value, and reasonable competition.What is the most accurate keyword research tool? ›
- Google Search Console.
- Ahrefs Keywords Explorer.
- Google Keyword Planner.
1. Google Keyword Planner. Google has a few tools that make it easy to conduct keyword research, and their free AdWords tool called Keyword Planner is a great place to start -- especially if you use AdWords for some of your campaigns.What tool can be used to understand competitor information? ›
Serpstat. Serpstat is an all-in-one SEO platform that'll analyze your website, and those of your competitors. Search for your competitors' keywords, analyze their pages and backlink strategy, and monitor their positions in SERPs.How do I monitor my competitors for SEO? ›
- What keywords should I consider in my competitor analysis? ...
- Focus on search intent instead of search volume. ...
- Explore long-tail keywords opportunities in your keyword competitor analysis. ...
- Keep an eye on your SEO competitors' paid listings. ...
- Monitor your keyword rankings.
Set up a local competitive search terms report
Note: If you prefer to use the navigation panel on the left, click Change view in the top right of your Google Ads account. Sign in to your Google Ads account. From the page menu on the left, click Keywords. Click Local competitive search terms.
- Google Analytics Benchmarking. Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) benchmark report. ...
- Similarweb. Similarweb is a free tool (with an optional Chrome extension) for comparing web traffic on sites you don't have access to. ...
- Ahrefs. ...
- Alexa. ...