What Is Competitor Keyword Research?

Competitor Keyword Research

The keyword is a phrase that Google looks for when a user runs a search for a good or service. Relevant websites that rank well with these words will appear on the first page. It stands to reason that you want your business to be there.

The question is, how do you go about it? How do you find the magic words that will drive people to your site? The answer is to do a little competitor keyword research.

By seeing what words your competition ranks well with, you can steal them and use them for your own marketing strategy. Are you ready to get started? Keep reading to learn more about what keyword research is and how you can go about it.

What Is Competitor Keyword Research?

So, first thing’s first. What is competitor research? It’s the process of finding out what keywords your competition is using, so you can target the same ones.

Something to keep in mind is that when you conduct your research, you’re going to get a general list of words that your competitors are using. That includes the ones that they’ve failed to rank well for.

To filter out the good words from the bad ones, you’re going to have to use an additional keyword research tool. The last thing you want is to make the same mistakes as your competitors.

How to Find Their Keywords

The first step to keyword research and analysis is to find out which ones your competition is using. You’ll have to go through a short process that starts with finding out who your competitors are in the first place.

Locate Your Competitors

You can’t pull keywords from your competitors if you don’t know who they are. Your online competitors are a little different than your local ones.

Those who you thought were your closest competitors could be struggling as much with their keyword research. Maybe even more so than you.

Competitor Research

Your online competitors are different in that they’re the businesses in your area that are dominating the organic search game. Those are the ones you want to pull your research from.

To get started, open Google and type in the name of your industry, followed by the area where you’re operating. For example, Pizza restaurants in NC.

From there, your search engine will give you a list of the top players around you. You can use an SEO keyword research tool to grab information from the most popular results.

Do Your Research

Let’s say that your company is still sort of new. You may struggle a bit trying to locate your competitors because you’re not that established yet.

That’s where organic research tools come into play. They’re tools that will allow you to find out who your closest competitors are by plugging in your URL.

Gather and Organize the Keywords

The last step is to organize your research in a way that you can use it. Some tools will allow you to place the keywords in Excel, so you can categorize them.

Tools That Will Help

We’ve talked a lot about using keyword tools. There are quite a few of them out there that can help you, but we’re going to discuss three of them. Your internet browser, SEMRush, and Google Keyword Planner.

The HTML Page

This is less of a tool and more of a trick that you can do using your browser. Go to a webpage that you want to search for keywords on. Right-click on the page and choose “View Page Source” from the dropdown menu.

The webpage’s source code will pop up in a separate window. In this code, you’ll see that all the keywords are highlighted by a tag. Not every website uses keyword tags, but it’s still worth it to take a look.


SEMRush is an amazing and easy-to-use tool that will give you keyword rankings for pretty much any site out there. All you have to do is pop the URL in the search bar.


The tool will generate the complexity and search volume of all your competitor’s organic keywords. You can go here if you’re interested in giving SEMRush a try.

Google Keyword Planner

Having a free Google account will give you access to the keyword planner. Go to the Google Adwords interface and log in using your account.

Click on the “Search for new keywords using a phrase or website” option. You’ll now be free to plug in your competitor’s URL and hit the search button.

Google Keyword Planner

Google will crawl through the website and generate keywords for you. If you go to the “keywords idea” tab, you’ll be able to see graphs that will lay everything out for you.

Using Your Competitor Keyword Research to Your Advantage

Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to put it to good use. The main thing that you can use the keywords for is a content inspiration. You’ll have phrases that you can base an entire post on.

The popular keywords will give you an idea of what your target audience cares about/is searching for. You might even find new competitors that you never even considered.

Pull-Ahead of the Competition 

No matter what type of industry you’re in, one thing is true. You’re going to run into a lot of competition. Everyone wants to pull ahead in the business world.

The best way to make sure you come out on top is with competitor keyword research. You can take the keywords that go over well for your competitors and use them in your own content. You should never copy someone else’s ideas, but getting a little inspiration hurts nobody.

For more tips that will help you with your online marketing strategy, visit the SEO section of our blog.