How to Find My Competitor's Top Ranking Keywords (Free Tools to Spy)

Posted By on May 3, 2019

if I told you you could spy on your competitors search engine presence would you do it wouldn't have it any other way in this video I'm going to show you three free tools that you can use to spy on your competitors to find out which search terms they're ranking for organically which keywords they're buying ads for and how to find and use those search terms to develop content for yourself I'll also show you my favorite paid tool for doing all of this [Applause] the first tool I'm gonna demonstrate to you is called spyfu SP why fu and that can be found at spyfu comm so basically what you're gonna do is spy foo is you're going to grab your competitors URL so I'm gonna grab a URL here so basically what you're going to want to do is enter in your competitors URL and then hit enter now spyfu does have a paid or premium version but the free version does have a lot of great features and a lot of times I would recommend this is all you need to get a fair amount of data on your competitors so first thing I will mention is that it does depend on your competitor's traffic so I've seen in some cases if the website doesn't get enough traffic that a lot of these readings or a lot of this data will just won't register so keep that in mind you might enter a competitor's URL and find that nothing's really showing it's just probably because they don't get enough traffic and in that case you know it's probably not that big of a deal anyway because they're not getting a lot of traffic they're not really probably that big of a competitor so what you'll see here is this dashboard so first things first you're going to be able to see a rough estimate of how many organic keywords that they're ranking for and how many monthly clicks they're getting former from organic traffic so in this case this competitor is receiving about 8,000 SEO clicks or or organic clicks every month according to spyfu the other great thing about spyfu is it'll let you get an idea of what your competitors are doing for paid advertising on google so we can see that they're targeting currently it looks like about 116 paid keywords and they're spending about you know $1,300 every month on PPC or pay-per-click so as we scroll down I'm gonna skip over this where I think there's real value is here in the top keywords so you're gonna be able to see some of the top keywords that they're ranking for organically and also some of the top keywords that they're paying for now of course spyfu wants you to upgrade to their paid you know premium version so they're not gonna always show you the best results they're gonna kind of they're gonna show you five and it's gonna be just just enough to whet your whistle so these might not even be the most profitable keywords but at least it gives you a sense of some of their top keywords for example horseback rides their ranking 29th that's not a major one so you know throw that one out but here we've got you know ranch vacations in Montana the ranking number one for and by the way this is a guest ranch competitor of one of my clients so you know the ranking number seven for riding lessons or horse riding lessons dude ranches in Montana dude ranch Montana but so that's all good information I'm interested in you know the paid at you know paid Avenue so here's what they're paying for and this would be a good play if if I wanted to run my own you know pay-per-click campaign to see what they're targeting how much you're spending how much per month they're spending this is all great information and you can scroll through and kind of dig through this of course a lot of this is going to prompt you to upgrade but it does give you a nice broad overview now this is one of my favorite things about spyfu it will actually show you some of the paid ad history and even the exact ads that they ran so you can see that it's gonna go back almost up to two years I believe and you can see which ads they ran and for which keywords of course it's only showing us three here so like for example if I wanted to click on ranches Montana I'm gonna check out the ad that they ran in September of last year of course it's not showing me the full description but at least I'm seeing the headline let's see another one okay so it is going to show me the one the most recent full ads with description and everything you can see some of their organic ranking history so if I go back let's see five years you can see that this competitor is slowly increased in rankings again top five keywords or at least five keywords that they're giving us access to you could check out some of the inbound backlinks that they're receiving so these are other websites that are linking back to theirs you know these might not be the most powerful backlinks based on metrics but at least they're giving us a taste of okay I can see that glacier Montana com is linking back to this competitor there might be a play there or something I want to explore for for my client so that's spyfu com the next tool that I'm going to show you is called SEM rush and that can be found at SEM rush calm so for SEM rush much like spyfu it's going to give you a lot of great free information or I should say information without having to upgrade to their paid version the only thing is you do have to create a username and password in order to use the tool but you don't have to pay for it so I'm gonna log in so I'm all logged in and again I am just going to put in my competitors URL into the search bar here and I'm gonna click search now I like SEM rush I think it actually sometimes delivers better organic search data however a lot of times what it doesn't display well is the paid traffic so what you can see here is you know vs. spyfu it's telling me that there's zero paid traffic although we know that they're running ads and I bet I could even do a just a natural search and and find their ads but here SEM rush it's telling me that they're not paying for any advertising so they're you know a little flaky on that front but much like spyfu you're gonna get some data on their organic rankings and some of their top keywords so here we can see some of their top keywords again we're only going to get five luckily and I luckily we're seeing you know some better positions here so they're not showing us a keyword that's ranking like 29th we're seeing you know three keywords that are ranking number one one that they're ranking number three four and then one that they're ranking number eleven for that's what this POS or position stands for so I think what also something I've noticed with SEM rush is that these might change so you might vary so you might run a search you know one day and see that you're getting all position one so they're they're giving you a few of the better keywords and then the next day you know here we're seeing one that's ranking in position number eleven again they're only going to give you a taste because they do want you to upgrade to their premium version here's some backlinks and I'm gonna skip over that some referring domains so much like backlinks here are the some of the websites linking back to them so one other thing I'm going to show you is this topic research if you're looking for maybe a way to get some ideas for content you can enter a topic you can enter again the competitors URL here I believe and get content ideas looks like I've already used my free searches up but oh here we go so it I've already done this so let's here's my past one and see if it's gonna let me actually view them let's say no thanks okay so I simply put in the competitors URL and it's spitting out some topic ideas now this isn't great amazing data here or but it's going to give you some general broad topics that if you wanted to maybe consider using these for content you could so that's SEM rush now I'm going to jump into my third and final free tool that you can use and that's AdWords so if you've never run paid advertising on Google the way that you do that is through Google's tool called Adwords and how you get here is I'm in a an account that I'm no longer using for our clients so you can see that there's no data here but once you've logged in to AdWords you come up this to this wrench here and the tool that I'm gonna be showing you is the Keyword planner if you've never used this I highly recommend it it's a free tool that Google provides and it'll give you a ton of great data on keywords and terms that are searched on Google I use it all the time so what you can do here is again just grab your competitors URL and throw it in this search bar here and click get started and what you're going to see here is Google is gonna return a lot of data based on that URL and it's gonna give us a ton of search term recommendations that we can use for our own keyword research but also gives us an idea of some of the search terms that they're ranking for now Google is not going to show us which positions they're showing up for this is just going to give us keyword research the reason this is here is if you want I mean this tool essentially is here for the fact that if you wanted to do keyword research for paid advertising campaigns you could but it has a lot of other value and I use it all the time in my SEO work so one thing I like to do is sort by average monthly searches to see which keywords are getting the most searches so again it's gonna start off often very broad and I'm assuming it's returning here on national because I haven't gone in and yes I haven't gone in here and tweaked any of the targeting so it's just showing me the whole United States here's my how many time these keywords are searched now if I wanted to and and you can do this as well you can come in here and you can narrow this down based on the market that you specifically want to target but I know that here are some of the search terms and their national monthly search volume for search terms related to my competitor and I can use this to get an idea maybe some of the keywords that I want to target in my search engine campaign so that's AdWords again that's Adwords Keyword planner you can go to AdWords Google calm now one thing I've noticed with this is if you have never run a paid camp paid ads campaign out of your account you might have to set up an AdWords account and then secondly you might not see as specific as data as I see because I run campaigns frequently out of this account I'm able to see really specific numbers what I've noticed is what I've noticed is if you've never done that before sometimes what you'll get is a very broad result like something here you might see something like 10,000 to 15,000 searches that's what's going to show up you're not going to see as specific numbers you're gonna see more of a general range so that might look something like here for this 8,000 it might look something like 5,000 to 10,000 is what you'd see here and that still gives you at least a broad idea of how many searches there are but just something to keep in mind so let's jump into my favorite paid tool for spying on your competitors and that is SERP dotnet so this tool I use it all the time in my campaigns it's gonna cost you about $79 a month but what it does is it it's kind of like all those other tools but I think on on steroids a little bit it's gonna link with a lot of the big-name data aggregators so majestic Moz YouTube so let's jump in I'm gonna show you some of my favorite features okay now that we're logged in I want to show you two of my most favorite tools within SERP net now you're going to see that SERP dotnet has a ton of tools for your search engine marketing to help you explore data on your web your own website your competitors websites maybe client websites that you manage but I'm going to show you just a few of my favorite and the first one being this what ranks where tool I use this all the time and it's great to show where your ranking organically and even with your paid ads or where your competitors are ranking organically or with their paid advertising on Google as well so real simple are you going to do is type in your competitors URL you can give this a name and then we're gonna do we're gonna do organic and I like to do you know something like a hundred what this means is it's going to return up to one hundred of their top organic search results so all I'm gonna do once I've done that is I'm going to sort my results by their position I could do search volume but I like position either way we're going to be able to we can still sort them out once we've ran the report and I'm gonna say I want to check for the entire site here so I'm gonna go check now and here we go so our report has been run the first thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go to this POS tab here and I'm gonna click on it so that I sort by their position POS stands for position now there's a lot of data here there's two that I'm mainly concerned with and that is their organic position and how much monthly search volume that keyword gets so as you can see I'm able to for this competitor see all the number one search term that's that's the ranking for and this competitor is really kicking butt there's a lot of search terms that they're ranking number one for so what I could do is I could export this to PDF or to a spreadsheet I often do that for clients here's the other way that I like using this tool so I'm gonna again run another report same thing this time I'm gonna run their a report on their PPC ads so that actual ads that they're running on Google I'm gonna do a hundred and rather than clicking organic I click PPC Adwords and I'm gonna run the report check now much like spyfu I can get really specific with the ads that they're actually running including which keyword they're targeting what's their title what's their ad copy description so on and so forth so again I'm going to sort by position to see just because I want to see which which keywords in which ads are running in position number one you can see they're targeting their own name they're targeting cheap dude ranch Christian dude ranch and here is literally the ads that they're running here's the title the description and if I wanted I could again export this to PDF or export this entire data to a spreadsheet so pretty pretty cool so that certain ette and those were my top three tools free tools and my favorite paid tool for you to spy on your competitors again those top three free tools are spyfu sem rush and Adwords Keyword planner and my favorite paid tool again is SERP debt I hope you've got some great value out of this video stay tuned for more just like it and while I have you here please hit the subscribe button below and when you see that Bell pop up hit that also so that you'll receive a notification every time I post a new video thanks and we'll see you next time

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 11 comments

  1. Do you have a paid version of SEM Rush? Your screen looks different than my free one regarding backlinks…

  2. Free Tools to Spy my Competitor's Top Ranking Keywords? Keyword plan is realy good, thanks a lot for your video and the idea !!!!!!!!

  3. Actually, my competitor has almost 200 pages and I want to target only those pages which address my niche. Is that a goof technique? I am working in a sub nitch (on a single disease).


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