Keyword research is a core part of any content marketing or SEO strategy, so it makes sense that knowing the keywords of your competitors would also be important.
Knowing how to do this is important because as you become more developed and advanced in your online business, then the more likely it is that other companies will also start watching and analysing your progress. SO the more aware you are of both your own keywords and your niche competitor’s keywords the more you will understand your own ranking potential.
How to Use Keyword Analysis Tools
In the beginning your keyword research probably consisted of sourcing keywords using manual research tools such as google search and autosuggest and the adwords planner.
As your business grew then keyword research may have extended to more complex keyword tools and site ranking tools such as Jaaxy which enables you to search for and analyse your own keywords and the immediate current competition for certain words and phrases.
The next stage is to understand how your overall keyword targeting compares to that of other authority and competitor sites within your niche.
Understanding the Link Between Ranking and Site Authority
Site ranking is not just based on accurate keyword use, a host of other factors come into play as well, these include;
- the age of the website – older websites are usually seen as having more authority and as having greater long stay potential (they won’t suddenly disappear overnight).
- tags – the use of tags is important because these categorise your content and show search engines that you have more than one article on this topic or theme – so it will be potentially more beneficial for searchers looking to read about this subject.
- backlinks – developed naturally these illustrate to search engines that other site owners and industry niche sites like your content and are willing to share it with their own readers.
- internal links – a good quality site will have more than one article on a broad topic so there and this is shown through internal links to other relevant articles
- Keywords – like tags these show the search engine what your content is about, long tailed keywords are more specific and target very clear searches, but general articles and more competitive keywords can rank well if the other factors listed above are in place.
All of these factors illustrate to a search engine that your content has authority and relevance to the search.
These are the same factors that your competitor will have and will be assessed for as well by the search engines, so the more you can understand the breakdown of their results the better you understand your own ranking position.
SEMrush An Advanced Keyword Analytics Tool
One of the more advanced keyword analytics tools is made by SEMrush. Here you can track websites and analyse how and where they are getting their traffic.
For the purpose of this article and to give a full picture of exactly what kind of data this tool can collect, I have selected a well known site – Amazon.com
The following screenshot highlights the major areas that can be analysed and this is presented in your search dashboard. As you can see there is a high amount of traffic both organic and paid coming to the site. I originally tried this exercise using Facebook.com as the web address but discovered Facebook actually had no backlinks recorded.
In SEMrush each of these four areas can be further broken down and explored in more detail. As you can see from the image below.
Here is a list of all the main organic search competitors that are competing agains Amazon.com, it also shows how many keywords the sites have in common to Amazon and how many they have in total, registered with the search engine.
If there is a high level of common keywords then they would be deemed a competitor.
There are other reports available to look at including the number of paid searches, keywords used and main landing pages. However I’ll share one more graph that I found to be interesting which was the backlinks analysis.
Here you can see the breakdown of backlinks both the number and also the type of link. Most links are text, but interesting to note that forms, frames and images are also being used.
This graph is useful for affiliate marketers as well, since it illustrates how people are referring their readers onto Amazon as potential customers.
The SEMrush tools isn’t cheap starting at $70 per month to access their full reports. But you can sign up for a free account and pull off reports such as these at no cost, so it is certainly a tool worth looking at, especially if you have identified sites that could be considered as potential competitors.
The link below will lead you onto their site, simply enter a domain or url that you wish to explore.
Writing blog posts as a business involves a fair amount of analysis work and SEMrush offers another potential tool to add to your collection. On this site there are a number of other articles that focus on useful tools for analysis, these include;
- Jaaxy a Powerful Keyword Search Tool
- Using SERP Checkers More Effectively to Monitor Your Ranking
- Understanding Google Analytics A Basic Overview
If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments section below, and I’d love to hear of other tools you would recommend or your own experience of using SEMrush, thanks, Marie