Adam Stokes takes a closer look at keyword research and explains why the competition can hold valuable information – even if you’re the market leader.

Market research is an invaluable tool in the pursuit of gaining visibility both online and beyond. One of the best ways to understand your industry is to analyse your competitor’s approach, which can often provide insight into tactics and methods that aren’t currently being utilised by your business.

When it comes to digital marketing, and SEO in particular, the ability to glean information from the opposition is much greater than off page, with the implementation of the information itself being much more subtle. Keyword analysis is something that can be done with relative ease, providing significant information that can be used to help boost site visibility.

Conducting Keyword Research As A Market Contender

For businesses that don’t hold the top spot in SERPs, understanding how competitors that rank much higher use keywords can offer insights into areas that are currently being neglected by your business.

Competitor analysis tools such as SEMrush hold hundreds of millions of keywords. This information can be downloaded with ease and used to good effect in your marketing strategy. We recommend you create a spreadsheet showing your keywords and those of your key competitors. This will show the volume of keywords being used by your competitors in an easily interpretable format.

competitor_analysis

 

This analysis will show you the priority keywords being used by your competitors. From this information, you can determine:

  • Keywords you are not using at all
  • Keywords you are using but that are not optimised to the right page
  • Keywords you could use more of

With this information in hand, changes can be made to improve on your keyword use, therefore optimising your site to its full potential.

Using Keyword Research When You Are The Current Market Leader

Just because you show on the first page of Google for many of your priority terms, doesn’t mean that there isn’t work to be done. Following the above process, you may find thousands of keywords that your competitors are using that you are already ranking higher for. So, what next? Even if only 20% of your keyword research presents you with keywords that you aren’t using, it’s still 20% more potential market share that can be absorbed.

But what do you do with the other 80%? This is where the document becomes more self-reflective than competitor focussed. By analysing the page that a keyword is currently ranking for, you can understand:

  • If it is the right keyword for that page
  • If it is being fully optimised in terms of headlines and keyword density

This is invaluable information for you, even if your business is ranking the highest for the majority of keywords your competitors are using.

With such vast amounts of information being held on competitor analysis tools, businesses in any position within their industry can gather highly valuable information by conducting keyword research.

From outranking competitors to improving your site as a whole – competitor analysis will always provide insights into what you can do next for your site, whether that be a large overhaul, or the smallest of changes.

Need help with your competitor keyword analysis? Contact our SEO Team today to discover how we can help you optimise your site.

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About the author:

Adam Stokes joined ClickThrough as a content writer in March 2015. His role involves writing industry news articles, blog posts, product descriptions, web pages, infographics and more for many of ClickThrough’s clients. Away from his desk he enjoys writing screenwriting, creating flash fiction, and eating nothing but Cadbury’s.