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How to Identify Keywords That Your Competitors Are Ranking For or Trying to Rank For

In Today’s video I wanted to talk about keywords again. But today we’re going to look at finding keywords that your competitors are either ranking for or trying to rank for.

This is a great way to collapse time on the keyword research and keyword mapping process and speed things up a bit by gaining insights from your competitors.

If you stick around to the end of the video I’ll let you know how you can have one of our team members conduct this quick competitive research for you.

So, let’s talk about two different ways that you can leverage your competitors to find keywords to target.

The first way is to identify core keywords – which are head keywords targeted by your homepage or core pages – and we do this by looking at your competitor’s source code.

Reviewing the on-page elements such as page titles, header tags, alt tags, and meta descriptions of your competitor is a great way to get insight into what they are targeting on their core pages. Usually, I like to start with simply their title tag and then look at maybe their header 3 tags and header 1 tag, and then read through their meta description. If they have a meta-keywords which they probably shouldn’t, you can review that as well, but often times it’s stuffed with a lot of miscellaneous and/or useless words.

So then what you can do is take some of these terms and find their search volume in Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs and then bring them into your keyword mix – if the competition is ranking well for these terms and they are high volume, consider mirroring their meta-data as well.

So, next up we’re going to identify some of the keywords that your competitors are actually ranking for now. Regarldess of whether or not they even know it themselves or are actively targeting these keywords, we’re able to use paid tools like to identify the keywords that their pages have visibility for. is our tool of choice for competitive insights and research, but there are a lot of other great tools out there like Moz or SEMRush for example.

With Ahrefs, we simply put the competitor’s website into the search bar, and on the dashboard click on organic keywords. This is going to bring up a full list of organic keywords that are in the ahrefs database and the competitor has visibility for.

You can do this for the website as a whole, or you can do it page by page, or you can do it by section depending on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking to target similar content – for example a services page or ecomm category page – you could pop those specific pages in and get the insight.

This is also a great way to get some keyword ideas or topic ideas for blog posts – where you can pop your competitors blog section into Ahrefs and find the keywords that their blog posts have visibility for.

Now we can either export a list of these keywords or simply hand pick the ones that are most relevant to our business, pop them into our keyword lists – and pull additional metrics on them during our keyword research process.

If you do this for a handful of competitors in your industry it’s a great way to have a solid starting point for keywords without having to think up your own

So, I really hope this helped you understand how you can leverage your competition in order to gain a little insight into what types of keywords you should or could be targeting.

I know that not everyone has access to a paid keyword research tool, so as promised, if you’re interested in us pulling this keyword insight data on your competitors please simply like or share this video, and then send me an email and provide the competitor websites you want looked up – I’d be happy to do it for you.

Thanks and have a great week!

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Adam Bate

Adam is the older brothers here at SEO Brothers. While he is not deep diving into optimizing websites, he's hanging out with his wife and three children in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada.

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