When it comes to conducting keyword research, one of the most important factors to consider is keyword competition.
This refers to the number of other websites that are targeting the same keywords as you are. The higher the keyword competition, the more challenging it will be to rank for those keywords.
But how do you research keyword competition? In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide to help you determine how competitive a given keyword is.
Read on to learn more.
The Importance of Keyword Competition
As we mentioned above, keyword competition is an important factor to consider when conducting keyword research.
This is because the level of competition can have a direct impact on your ability to rank for a given keyword.
If you’re targeting a keyword with a lot of competition, it’s going to be more challenging to rank in the SERPs.
In contrast, if you’re targeting a keyword with little competition, it will be easier to achieve a higher ranking.
That’s why it’s crucial to understand how to research keyword competition. By doing so, you can select keywords that are more likely to result in a high ranking and avoid too competitive keywords.
Additionally, it’s also worth noting that the level of competition can change over time. A highly competitive keyword today may become less competitive in the future, and vice versa.
As such, it’s important to periodically re-evaluate your keywords to ensure they are still a good fit for your website.
How To Research Keyword Competition
Now that you know the importance of keyword competition, let’s take a look at how to research it. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
You need to be aware of the short- and long-tail keywords you’re currently ranking for before you can evaluate your performance against that of any other company.
By using a keyword research tool like Ahrefs, you can get an idea of what keywords or articles are driving the most traffic to your website and which keywords you’ve so far had success with.
Knowing your weaknesses and strengths in terms of keyword rankings can give you a decent idea of how much work you’ll need to put in to achieve your SEO objectives.
Remember that it’s important to research how competitive the keywords you want to rank for are as well.
You can get an overview of topics like keyword competition and search intent using tools like SEMrush or Moz.
Identify Your Competitors
Once you find out where you are in terms of keyword rankings, you can start to look at your competitors.
You don’t necessarily have to check every company that offers similar products or services to yours.
Instead, you should focus on the businesses that currently hold a position in the keywords and phrases you wish to rank for.
BuzzSumo is one of the top resources for identifying your competitors. With this tool, you can easily find the companies that are currently ranking for the terms you want to rank for by typing them into the search bar.
Create a list of your main competitors so that you can subsequently analyze them in further detail.
Check Your Competitors’ Rankings
If you conduct your research, you should be able to compile a list of five to ten competitors in your field who are ranking for the keywords you want people to use to find you.
The next step, after you have that list, is to look for keywords that your competitors are ranking for but you are not.
Use the Keyword Gap tool in Ahrefs or SEMrush to identify any topics that your content strategy may have missed. You’ll have to create content for these keywords if you want to rank for them too.
If you want to appeal to a more niche audience, you can also use this opportunity to look for low-hanging fruit keywords that you could potentially rank for with minimal effort. These are usually long-tail keywords with low competition levels.
Improve Your Rankings
When coming up with your keywords list, consider the words and phrases that will most likely attract future clients and dedicated audience members to your business.
You should also consider how difficult it will be to rank for each keyword on that list.
This is an opportunity for you to consider your user personas and think about what attracts visitors to your website.
Select a range of “head” or seed keywords from which you can create content pillars.
This means that in order to rank for a term like “social media marketing,” you may also need to provide content that helps in ranking for the followings:
- What is social media marketing?
- Social media marketing tips
- How to do social media marketing
- The best social media marketing platforms
- Social media marketing trends
Each of these subtopics, or LSI keywords, can be used to create a blog post, video, or other forms of content.
Once you have this range of content, you can start to see which pieces perform well and generate the most engagement. You can then use this data to create your future content strategy.
Make A Long-Term Investment
Finally, remember that you won’t see dramatic changes overnight. Like with most things in life, a slow and steady approach is usually best for SEO.
Once you understand how keyword competition works, you can start making small changes to your website that will have a big impact in the long run.
You need a comprehensive content strategy to persuade your target audience that you are the industry leader in their chosen fields.
In today’s competitive SEO landscape, stuffing your content full of keywords and phrases isn’t enough.
A wide variety of media, from blogs to podcasts and videos, will be required to convince your target audience that you are the best at what you do.
You may notice that other parts of your SEO campaign are also improving as you continue working on your content strategy and filling the keyword gaps.
For example, as you start ranking for more keywords, your website’s authority will increase, which could lead to improved organic traffic levels.
Understanding how to research keyword competition is essential for any business that wants to rank higher on search engine results pages.
Use the tips and tricks in this article to ensure that you are always one step ahead of your competitors.
Amit Gupta is the creator of Keyword-Research.org
Amit is a keyword research guru. After completing his high school certification, Amit spent half a decade learning about different ways to do keyword research for SEO and PPC. Before forming Keyword-Research.org, Amit worked for top Keyword Research companies for more than 10 years. When Amit is not helping people with their keyword research, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends.