It is extremely important to track your competitor’s promotional activities. While offline, you have less control over the monitoring of all those media channels like TV channels, radio stations, big boards, etc.? Fortunately, with online marketing media, it is much easier to do. One of the most important online channels for the attraction of relevant customers is organic searching, or in other words, the search results of any search engine. Therefore, it is vital to track your competitors’ organic positions for relevant keywords. Organic positions — positions of your competitors for keywords on search results pages of any search engine.
There are generally two methods for this. To get the most comprehensive data it is reasonable to apply both of them:
- The Competitor Site Analysis
- Purchasing the data from a special service
The Competitor Site Analysis
Your competitors’ websites are invaluable sources for understanding a promotional strategy. Since it is vital for SEO to have the website optimized towards relevant keywords, you need to thoroughly study your competitors’ websites:
- First of all pay attention to titles of their pages (by pressing Ctrl+U you can see the code of the page; from there you should find the meta tag Title there. In this meta tag you will most probably see competitors’ keywords).
- Another useful meta tag is Keywords. Most webmasters just leave it blank nowadays, but there are still many people who are still using it and inserting relevant keywords into it.
- Many webmasters also mark relevant keywords in bold in the page content. This will also give you a strong signal on what keywords your competitors use for their website promotion.
However, this technique has some limitations and won’t give you all the required information because:
- This method is good for finding competitors’ keywords that are listed on your competitors’ website. But some webmasters just leave meta tags empty for some reason.
- If relevant keywords are not marked in bold in the page content, you may miss many keywords that could potentially bring profit to your project.
So generally this method will help you find just some of your competitors keywords that they would like to have high rankings for.
To be sure that you’ve gathered the most comprehensive data about your competitor's keyword strategy, it is highly desirable to additionally purchase data from special services.
Purchasing the data from a special service
To get additional information on your competitors' keywords you need to use some sort of keyword competitor tool like, for example, Semrush.
Semrush has data on approx. 6.5m keywords and updates its indexes at the beginning of every month. Although such data may be slightly out of date, you will definitely find a lot of additional insights and trends with this tool.
If you enter the domain name in the appropriate search field at the homepage of Semrush, you will get all the keywords that your competitor’s website is ranked in the top 20 for. If you check competitors’ keywords here, along with the keywords themselves, you will also get a lot of additional useful information like a position in search results for every particular keyword, traffic percentage, the URL on the site that ranks for every specific keyword, etc.
One more advantage of semrush.com is that it helps to find keyword patterns that were previously omitted. Based on those patterns you will be able to considerably expand the list of relevant keywords for your own project promotion.
Additionally, you will be able to automate competitive monitoring and continue doing so on a regular basis.
Purchasing data seems to be the easiest way out, but it also has its limits:
- If the website is optimized for some highly relevant keywords but has no rankings for them at the moment — you won’t discover those keywords. Therefore, it will still be more reasonable to additionally perform competitors’ site analysis.
- Every tool has its price.