keyword difficulty checker

Keyword Research : What Keywords Are My Competitors Using?

Target competitor keywords

Since the beginning of this year, my team and I have been focusing on developing the ASS site and turning it into a money making Amazon affiliate site.

So far, we have published over 100 articles by now and some early articles are showing pretty good results already.

As you can imagine, we need to continuously coming up with keyword ideas and check which keywords are easy to rank for our site. Although we have come up with a pretty good product centric keyword research method, because of our rigorous method to only targeting the easy to rank keywords, we had to eliminate more keywords than we initially anticipated and now we are running out of keywords.

Since our plan is to at least have 300 articles on the ASS site, we need to come up with more keywords. So, after a quick brainstorming session, we thought “why not just see what our competitors are doing?”.

What Keywords are My Competitors Using?

Analysing competitor keywords is not a new concept. We can actually learn a lot from our competitors.

In fact, I have previously described how to use a tool like SEMrush.com to find content that your competitors have but your site doesn’t have (a.k.a. Content Gap Analysis).

You can easily check the keywords that your competitors are ranking in Google by using SEMrush.com, then use our Keyword Difficulty Checker to find the ones that your site can easily rank for.

I have summarised the process below.

Step 1) Identify the competitors

There are several ways you can define who your competitors are.

SEMrush.com does a good job identifying competitors that are ranking for common keywords.

This is a good starting point because these sites are likely very similar to your site and they probably rank for many relevant keywords.

The image below shows the competitors identified by SEMrush.com for Digital Ready Marketing (DRM).

DRM competitors based on SEMrush.com data

In addition to the pre-defined competitors by SEMrush.com, we can also look for competitors that are ranked high for certain keyword categories.

For example, right now DRM is heavily focused on Amazon affiliate program, and I want DRM to rank for more Amazon affiliate program related keywords. Sites that are ranked on top 10 in Google for “How to make money with Amazon affiliate program” could potentially be good candidates.

results for How to make money with Amazon affiliate program in Google

Step 2) Download the keyword data from SEMrush.com

Once you have a list of competitors, it’s time to download the keywords they are ranking for.

SEMrush.com is the perfect tool for this. Just type in the site domain you want to check and download the keywords.

NOTE: You can only download the first 10,000 keywords (for the entry plan), so if the site ranks for more than 10,000 keywords, you might want to use the filter function and get only the relevant keywords.

semrush keyword data

Step 3) Use Excel to sort through the data

What we are looking for at this point could be the Seed Keywords and not necessarily the final list of keywords depending on what your aim is.

For example, for the ASS site, since it is an Amazon affiliate site, we want to primarily focus on purchase intent keywords. So once we have gathered the list of keywords here, we can then use them as the seed keywords to look for related purchase intent keywords.

Whereas for DRM, I am simply looking for Amazon affiliate related terms that are easy to rank for, I would just collect the Amazon affiliate related keywords and check them on the Keyword Difficulty Checker.

Step 4) Research for purchase intent keywords (where applicable)

Purchase intent keywords are essentially what people type in when they are ready (or very close to ready) to buy an item.

By ranking high for these phrases / keywords, the visitors coming from these search queries to your site are more likely to click on the Amazon affiliate links.

Step 5) Check the keywords with Keyword Difficulty Checker

Once we have a list of target phrases / keywords, use our Keyword Difficulty Checker to further filter down the list to only with easy to rank for phrases / keywords.

What do you think?

Keyword research is a lengthy process but when it’s done right, it will help your site to rank high easily.

What do you think about this process? If you have any cquestions / inputs / feedback please leave them in the comment section.

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