When it comes to the world of conducting business online, competition is the name of the game. In the digital age, you are often not just competing with the local businesses in your area; you are competing with hundreds of online businesses.
While this can be difficult to navigate, the good news is that there are sound strategies to help you achieve your business goals and serve your clientele. If you are new to the world of online marketing and aren’t sure where to start, then keep reading. We will discuss how essential competitor keyword research is to the health of your business!
What is Keyword Research?
Let’s start with the basics – what is keyword research, and why is it important? Keyword research is the process of identifying search terms that your target audience is using to find services. Upon researching and reviewing this data, your business can effectively create a content plan to target your audience’s keywords to connect you!
For example, if you run a business that sells strollers, you want to understand what new parents are typing into search engines to find the best strollers near them. Here is a variety of keywords they might use:
- Best strollers near me
- Safest baby strollers in 2022
- Affordable baby strollers
- Best baby stroller for multiple kids
So on and so forth. You can see that this business owner will have to rank for a lot more than just “baby strollers” if they want to appear on the first page of Google or other popular search engines.
You might be wondering how important this really is to your business. It turns out – extremely important. According to Niel Patel, 75% of people never look past page 1 of search results. That means that even if you rank on page 2 or 3, 25% of consumers will never even see your business, let alone become clients.
If that isn’t a strong enough reason to encourage you to start researching the competition, we don’t know what is!
Understanding Competitor Keyword Research
Now that you understand the basics of keyword research let’s break down competitor keyword research and why it is essential to running a successful business.
When it comes to keyword research, you don’t have to rely on only understanding what your target audience is searching for. Another part of your keyword research should include understanding what your top competition is ranking for!
For example, if you sell baby strollers, you can type in “stroller” to a search engine and see what businesses are on page 1. From there, you can visit their site and search all the keywords they currently rank for!
Once you have compiled this list, you can begin working these keywords strategically into your site’s content to begin ranking and climbing your way up on the search engine results page! This is not only a great way to get noticed by your target audience, it is also a fabulous way to generate content ideas, look into expanding your services, and provide better business to your target clientele.
It is important to note that competitor keyword research is the second step after identifying the keywords you want to rank for.
Steps to Complete Competitor Keyword Research
Competitor keyword research is relatively simple to complete but can have a huge impact for your business. Here, we’ll break down the steps you need to complete your research successfully:
Step 1: Identify the Competition
For most business owners, you probably are already aware of your competition. However, when it comes to operating a business online, it is worth completing several searches to identify the biggest threats.
You can search the primary keyword of the service you are providing and see what other business pop up. Look into those businesses to see how the services you offer are similar or different.
If you own a business that is location specific, be sure to type in the search “BLANK near me” or “BLANK in [City Name].” You will see several business pages pop up. Typically, some of the most popular businesses in search engines have many positive online reviews. This is another strategy you can employ to boost your rank online. If you don’t already have a review tool on your website, there are tons of options to choose from! Increasing the number of positive reviews you have is another way to get a leg-up on the competition. It is also an opportunity for you to gain honest feedback to improve your services.
Step 2: Research the Competition
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. To compete at the highest level in your industry, it is essential to understand the business models of your competition and what keywords they are ranking for.
This is an opportunity to dive deeply into your competitor’s reviews, blogs, business models, and services. You can use this as an exercise to see what areas you are performing well in as a business and what areas could use improvement. It is also an opportunity to become inspired again by other leaders in your field!
Step 3: Utilize SEO Tools
From here, you are able to utilize SEO keyword tools to help you narrow down the keywords you want to target. The tools will do all of the heavy lifting for you so that you can create your content plan.
Here are a few tools you can utilize:
SEMrush Keyword Gap Tool:
SEMrush has lots of tools on their website to help you narrow down your content strategy. The keyword gap tool allows you to enter up to five different web domains to identify common keywords among the sites. It will specifically tell you what keywords your competitor is ranking for that you are not. This information is gold!
The Ahrefs tool works in the opposite direction of the SEMrush keyword gap tool. With this SEO tool, you type in the keywords you want to rank for and the site will identify the other sites that rank for that word. This is one way to find your competition and begin narrowing down the keyword tools you want to target.
BuzzSumo is an in-depth tool in that will provide you with an analysis after you enter your information. This tool lets you compare two domains side by side and let you know what your competitor is ranking for. It will also provide factors for why your competition ranks higher than you so that you can tailor your approach. What we love about this tool is that it will actually show you the highest-performing pieces of your competition.
You can then utilize SEO strategies like the skyscraper method to make content that is longer, more in-depth, and more targeted. This is a great way to start ranking content higher on your website and attracting more clients.
You can use Google alerts to alert you when keywords you are trying to rank for are used online. This helps you monitor your competition over time so that you have a broader picture of what your audience is interested in. This can also be a helpful tool if you are interested in understanding how your content is utilizing backlinks.
Step 4: Create a Content Plan
The most important step to competitor keyword research is to put the information you have gathered and use it to create an action plan! More specifically, a content plan.
Content on your business website is important for a few reasons. One of those reasons is that it helps you rank for your target keywords. These keywords are the bridge that connects what your audience is searching to what services you offer.
Another reason content is so important is that regularly posting quality content will let Google and other search engines know that this is an up-to-date site they can feel confident sending people to. For example, a business that hasn’t posted content in 5+ years is less likely to rank on the first page of search engines.
Perhaps the most important reason you need to regularly create quality content on your business website is that you want to show your future clients that you are an expert in your industry that they can trust. Providing helpful information to your clients is a way to build trust and rapport.
Ranking for keywords and creating content can be the factor that makes or breaks your business.
Understanding Your Key Audience
It goes without saying that understanding your audience is a central part of your SEO strategy. Many businesses make the mistake of trying to be accessible to everyone. Don’t make this mistake!
Having a deep understanding of what value your service will bring to a certain group of people is essential. Some information you should have about your audience are the following:
- Specific age range
- Economic background
- Employment industry
- Region and nationality
This is the baseline of information you should have, but it might need to be even more specific. For example, depending on your service or product, you may need to know their parental status, sexual orientation, whether or not they own pets, drive a car, etc. The more information you have about your target audience, the more specific you can tailor your content and rank for keywords your audience will be searching for.
You should also be sure to take inventory of who your audience isn’t. This would be the group of people that may be close to your target demographic, but they are not going to act on your service. You don’t want to waste time, energy, and resources on catering to an audience that will not engage your business.
Not to mention, you will be able to advertise or create content on sites or topics that are adjacent to your own. For example, if a new family is buying a stroller and growing their family, they are more likely to need a larger vehicle. Or, if you offer veterinary services, you will want to be appearing on sites that mention pet toys or pet boarding. This is another way to establish trust with your audience as well.
Utilizing Social Media
When it comes to creating content, targeting keywords, and understanding your audience – a huge part of your business’ sucess lies in how you utilize social media. Social media is the number one way for you to connect with your target demographic in a meaningful way.
Utilizing strategies such as social media management, advertisements, and smart marketing campaigns are all steps to help you surpass the competition.
Once you connect with your target audience, you will want to make sure that your website is easy to navigate and fun to use so that you can capture leads.
The Importance of Competitor Keyword Research
Now that you know the ins and outs of competitor keyword research, it is time to start. The good news is that you don’t have to wait; you can start immediately.
Having a deeper understanding of your competition and then taking steps to match them in stride will help you speak more effectively to your target audience and capture clientele! Even if you run the best business in the world, it won’t matter unless you can rank against competitors in online search engines.
If you have more questions on SEO strategies that actually work, then be sure to check out our site. We are here to help you take your business to the next level using methods that yield results.