Are you publishing a blog post? Then you need to keyword-optimize your post, otherwise, you’ll never get your pages to rank in the search engines.
Are you launching a PPC campaign? Then you have to find the sweet spot between keyword demand and competitiveness.
There are no exceptions. Everything — even your social media marketing campaigns — must have a solid keyword targeting strategy if you want your efforts to pay off.
The good news is, you can easily conduct competitive keyword research with the right tool and build upon the existing tactics of the top brands in your niche.
It’s exactly how it sounds — assessing the keywords used by competitors and adopting them as your own.
Not only will it save you loads of research time, but it can also help you discover low-hanging fruit keywords that are much easier to target.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to see competitors’ keywords with LongTailPro. After all, even the most groundbreaking strategies are meaningless if they aren’t paired with an equally capable tool.
Let’s dive right in.
Finding Your Top Competitors
Before anything else, you need to identify the top competitors in your niche. There are a couple of ways you can go about doing this.
The most straightforward, however, is to perform a Google search using relevant keywords in your niche and taking the top results.
For example, if you searched for professional photography Spokane, start with Google’s “local 3-pack” results:
Additionally, you should use the “related:” search operator to discover even more websites that are similar to yours or a known competitor.
Suppose you went with the first website listed in the example above. By adding “related:” right before their website URL, you’ll get the following results:
Apart from using Google search, don’t forget to consult social media sites and online directories as well to identify other competitors.
You should also ask people you personally know for suggestions.
After following the tips I detailed above, you should have more than enough information to kick off your first competitor keyword analysis.
At this point, it’s time for you to boot up LongTailPro and get those keyword suggestions.
Obtaining Competitor Keyword Suggestions
To start your competitor keyword research, head to the “Keyword Research” tab and click the “Competitor Keyword Suggestions” button.
Next, type in your competitor’s website URL in the “Page or Domain” field and click the “Retrieve” button.
Note that you can also use a specific, inner page, rather than the homepage itself.
You can also adjust the number of results in one search by changing the “Max results per URL” value. This will allow you to search from a bigger list of keywords in a shorter amount of time.
Give LongTailPro a second or two to perform the competitor keyword search. When done, you should see the list of keywords directly below.
That’s it! You now know the fastest way to pull in your competitor’s keywords.
The next step is selecting which ones are the most suitable to target ROI-wise.
Crunching the Numbers
In the results page, you should see five additional columns right next to the keywords themselves:
- Avg. KC
LongTailPro calculates the average keyword competitiveness using important metrics such as domain length, page authority, and page title factor. You can use this to quickly gauge the level of competition you should expect in any particular keyword.
The volume denotes the average number of monthly searches for a keyword.
The sole purpose of the “Words” column is to help you sift keywords according to length — this is useful if you’re trying to look for long-tail or broad keywords.
- Rank Value
Unlike the volume, rank value is a more accurate representation of a keyword’s ROI potential. It is calculated using the keyword’s suggested bid price on Google AdWords and the estimated click-through rate.
Lastly, the “Location” column is useful when looking for local keywords. These are usually less competitive while also more potent in attracting qualified leads.
In addition to these default filters, you can also add other categories such as language, bid, and competition by clicking the “Customize” button.
As a rule of thumb, always go for keywords with an average KC of 30 or less.
In LongTailPro’s scale of keyword competitiveness, this is considered as the bracket for zero to low competition.
You can click on the “Avg. KC” column to easily sort the results according to competitiveness.
An average KC of 31 to 40, on the other hand, signifies moderate competition. Keywords that fall into this bracket can still be feasible to target, however, it will be more costly and more time-consuming.
You should avoid keywords with an average KC of 50 to 100 — unless you have a deep pocket for your marketing campaigns. These are highly competitive keywords that are simply too impractical to target for smaller brands.
While the average KC is important in competitor keyword research, you shouldn’t forget the average monthly search volume and rank value. Both of which are helpful when assessing a keyword’s ROI potential.
It’s also crucial to pick keywords that align with your brand’s online objectives. For this, you need to look at the user intent that keywords insinuate — which could only be to research, rent, or to purchase.
For example, the keyword “microwave toaster” may look promising in terms of average KC and volume. However, it’s more likely used by people who intend to do research rather than make a purchase.
A good strategy is to look for keywords with action-oriented terms like “for sale” and “for rent.”
Location-based keywords may also indicate a strong purchase intent despite not having action-oriented terms.
For example, the keyword “Spokane photographers” may sound broad, but it can be a keyword phrase that users would search for if they need professional photographers in the area.
Once you find an interesting keyword, you can click the “+20” button to quickly obtain Google AdWords suggestions.
These will be automatically added to your existing keyword pool, along with their respective competitiveness, volume, words, location, and rank values.
Playing with Custom Filters
As your keywords amass over time, it can get harder to compare and inspect them. Fortunately, LongTailPro allows you to create and apply custom filters to organize the results.
To do this, click on “Filter: None” to bring up the filter creation box.
Here, you can specify your preferences according to average KC value, search volume, and so on.
For example, if you need to look for keywords with an average KC of 30 or less, you can do either of the following:
Performing competitor keyword research can be tedious and overwhelming. But with LongTailPro, you can easily fill up your keyword spreadsheets as you focus on more meaningful activities, such as blogging, link building, and running ad campaigns.
Remember that keyword research is only a piece of the puzzle. It may give your online marketing campaign a strong start, but you need to be precise and effective through and through.
Want to try LongTailPro for yourself? Click here for our free 7 day trial.