Competitive Research – Who’s Your SEO Competition?
SEO Guide Step 2
- Identify the top-ranked websites for your keywords
- Know your true competitors
- FAQ: How do I choose keywords that attract potential buyers and not just casual visitors?
Identify your potential competitors: start by finding the websites currently ranking for the keywords in your keyword list. Knowing these “keyword competitors” helps you determine whether your site belongs in the competition for that keyword.
You can think of a search engine results page (or SERP) as a competitive field. Each search query changes the opponents entirely, depending on what the search engine perceives the searcher’s intent to be. Identifying who’s competing for a particular keyword topic can tell you what the search engine is looking for and rewarding and what competitors you will need to beat.
Some keyword competitions just won’t be your near-term targets – yet.
Remember, your keyword choices influence who can find your website. So, optimize your pages for the phrases and terms that buyers, not just window shoppers, might use to find what they need.
You must select keywords that interested site visitors would search for. And then, make sure the content on your page answers their needs AND uses those keywords.
What do you hope your site visitors will do — make a purchase, sign up for your newsletter, or other? Then, figure out which queries those people will search for.
Fortunately, the search engines are trying to figure out the same thing — what people really want — for every search query.
The best way to tell whether a keyword could lead to conversion on your site is to see what kinds of results the search engine delivers.
If at least some of the top 10 websites offer the same types of products, services, or information that yours does, then that’s probably a relevant keyword worth putting on your list.
Are all the top-ranking sites really my keyword competition?
Well, yes and no.
If you operate a campground, you might find that the Parks Service shows up a lot in related search results. Will your website ever be able to compete against this authority .gov website? Probably not for certain keywords. You probably don’t consider this government site or other high-clout sites (like Wikipedia) your direct competitors. Nevertheless, where these and other search result giants are competing for the same SERP space, they are among your keyword competition.
Still, the results reveal what kind(s) of pages search engines think are most relevant to this keyword’s perceived user intent. If ALL the top-ranking sites serve a different kind of visitor from the person you want to attract, then maybe you don’t want to compete for that keyword.
For example, say that your business designs go-kart tracks. Should you optimize for the keyword “go-kart racing”?
Looking at search results shows the answer: none of the top-ranked websites offer what your company offers. The search engine assumes that everyone searching for “go-kart racing” wants to go for a ride, so it will probably never consider your design company a relevant match.
You’d better keep doing keyword research. Look for more relevant keyword phrases whose top-ranking websites include some true competitors.
You can see how keyword research leads to competitive research, which leads to more keyword research, and so on.
Now that you know who’s your SEO competition for the important keywords, keep their URLs handy.
Next up in this SEO guide, you’ll use competitive research tools to spy on those websites and do some SEO competitive analysis.
Need more SEO tips?
See additional information on Competitive Research.
Related blog posts and articles
- Back to Basics: Competitor Research – How to Beat Giants in the Search Results
- Back to Basics: SEO Competitive Research: Data Analysis
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Selecting keywords that resonate with your target audience and prompt action is a nuanced process. Here, we’ll guide you through choosing keywords beyond website visits and bringing in valuable customers.
- Understand Your Audience:
Begin by gaining a deep understanding of your target audience. Conduct thorough market research to identify their preferences, pain points, and search behavior. This foundational step is crucial for pinpointing keywords that resonate with potential buyers.
- Competitive Analysis:
Analyze your competitors’ keyword strategies. Identify the keywords that have been effective for them in attracting buyers. Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs can provide valuable insights into your competitors’ keyword rankings
- Long-Tail Keywords:
Opt for long-tail keywords that are more specific and have lower competition. These keywords are often used by individuals closer to making a purchase decision. For example, instead of “running shoes,” consider “best trail running shoes for beginners.”
- User Intent:
Consider the intent behind the search queries. Keywords with transactional or commercial intent are more likely to attract potential buyers. Focus on keywords that imply the user is looking to buy or take action, such as “buy,” “order,” or “hire.”
- Keyword Tools:
Leverage keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, or Moz Keyword Explorer. These tools can help you identify relevant keywords, estimate search volume, and gauge competition.
- Analyze Search Trends:
Monitor search trends and seasonality. Align your keyword strategy with trending topics or seasonal demands to capture potential buyers’ attention when they are actively searching.
- User Experience Matters:
Ensure your website provides a seamless and user-friendly experience. A well-designed, mobile-responsive site with fast loading times can significantly impact conversion rates.
- High-Quality Content:
Craft content that aligns with your chosen keywords and provides value to your audience. High-quality, informative, and engaging content attracts visitors and encourages them to take action.
- A/B Testing:
Continuously refine your keyword strategy through A/B testing. Experiment with keywords, ad copies, and landing pages to determine what resonates best with potential buyers.
- Conversion Tracking:
Implement robust conversion tracking tools like Google Analytics to measure the success of your chosen keywords. Adjust your strategy based on data-driven insights.
Selecting keywords that attract potential buyers requires a strategic approach that combines audience understanding, competitor analysis, and optimization techniques. Follow these steps to increase the conversion rate of your website.
Step-by-Step Procedure: How to Choose Keywords that Attract Potential Buyers
- Conduct thorough audience research to understand your target market’s preferences and behaviors.
- Analyze your competitors’ keyword strategies to identify effective keywords.
- Focus on long-tail keywords that are specific and indicate buyer intent.
- Consider the intent behind search queries and prioritize transactional keywords.
- Utilize keyword research tools to identify relevant keywords and assess competition.
- Stay updated on search trends and align your keywords accordingly.
- Optimize your website for a seamless user experience.
- Create high-quality, valuable content that aligns with your chosen keywords.
- Conduct A/B testing to refine your keyword strategy.
- Implement robust conversion tracking tools like Google Analytics to measure success and make data-driven adjustments.