How to steal your competitor's top keywords using the competitive research tool

When you've hit a wall with keyword research, you might need some fresh ideas to help move things forward. The good news is that competitor research is easily carried out using SEO Scout.

The SEO Scout competitor research tool helps you steal competitor keywords to use them on your website. This article will teach you how to do this and help improve the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.

What is competitor research?

Before you start worrying about stealing your competitor keywords, let's preface this by saying that it is a totally legal and normal marketing activity. Most companies keep an eye on their competitor's marketing activity to help inform their strategy.

Competitor keywords can inform your SEO, PPC and content marketing strategies. Through effective research, you can focus on the keywords that are most likely to deliver results for your business.

This method can help you deliver a better user experience for your website visitors because you'll tailor the content towards things you know they are searching for.

Which is the best tool to find a competitor's keywords?

SEO Scout makes it simple to find and steal competitor keywords to use on your own site. So whether you're new to the market and looking to compete with the big boys, or you're well-established and trying to keep pace with younger upstarts, this methodology will work for you.

To start using this tool, head to the Domain Competitors tab, which is nestled under Keyword Research on the left-hand menu. Before you can begin mining competitor keywords, you need to know exactly who your competitors are.

Enter your domain in the search bar and choose your territory, then hit "research". You might see some results in the list that aren't entirely relevant. For example, swiping keywords from Wikipedia might not be the easiest move. To refine your list, you can try a few different methods:

  • Set an upper limit on the total number of keywords
  • Set an upper limit on the overlapping keywords

You should now see a list that is far more manageable. When you've found a competitor you want to mine for keywords, hit the "keywords" button right below their domain.

How to choose the best competitor keywords

Now you've lifted the lid on your competitor's most profitable keywords, it’s time to turn this into an actionable content strategy for your own website.

Try these workflows to help streamline your content production.

Finding longtail keywords for blogs

  1. Identify long-tail keywords for blog posts by increasing the upper limit for the word count. 5+ words is usually an excellent place to start.
  2. Run topic research for the best keywords and produce an informative and valuable blog post in line with the recommendations. This avoids the need to head to Google and start researching what has already been written about the topic.

Finding low-hanging fruit

  1. Keywords with low CPC are more likely to be low competition. Sort the keyword list by CPC, or set an upper limit on the CPC to find the low-hanging fruit keywords.
  2. Run topic research, or add keywords to a list to start building a content strategy. Targeting multiple keywords in one blog might be a better use of resources.

Finding their most valuable keywords

  1. The Traffic Value tool allows you to understand which keywords are most profitable. The balances position with search volume, as ranking at #1 for a phrase with ten searches per month might not be as valuable as ranking at #4 for a phrase with 5,000 searches per month.
  2. Sort by traffic value and save these keywords to a list.
  3. The Features column will help you to understand how you could rank. If a keyword has a video result, for example, this information could help shape your content strategy.

What to do with competitor keywords

Hopefully, this type of keyword research will dig up some new keywords to inform your marketing campaigns. Before launching into new content creation, take a moment to check the relevance and intent of the keywords.

A quick Google search will help to reveal if this is a search you want to appear in. Your competitor might offer services that you don't, so some keywords might not be relevant.

Imagine you operate a glamping holiday park in the Lake District. A competitor nearby offers a similar experience, but they also have hot tubs in each glamping pod. A keyword like "glamping with hot tub" wouldn't be a worthwhile pursuit, as users will be disappointed when they click through and learn you don't have hot tubs.

So, before you start optimising your website content or creating new content, always make sure the keywords are relevant to your business.

Optimising existing content for competitor keywords

Some keywords might be relevant for existing content on your website, so all you need to do is optimise the content for these keywords and then run a test to see if changes to the meta title and description help boost your rankings.

This method is preferable as it avoids the risk of keyword cannibalisation. This happens when there are multiple pages on your site optimised for the same keyword.

You can keep an eye out for keyword cannibalisation on your site by monitoring the keyword rank tracker. Keywords with more than one page ranking will be marked in red on the # Pages column. If you click on one of these, you will see how the two pages fluctuate in the rankings, sometimes dropping out altogether.

Creating new content to target competitor keywords

If you are confident the keyword isn't already represented on your site, it's time to get creating.

Run topic research for your chosen keyword to learn more about what Google (and the end-user) expects to find. This will help guide the content creation process and increase the chances of the content performing well in search.