Find Competitors Keywords using Semrush and Boost Ranking

How to find competitors keywords using Semrush?

Identifying the right keywords that can help your content rank higher is the dream of every website owner. But given the massive competition and practically infinite amount of content that’s churned out today, the job is daunting at best.

We earn a commission when you buy through the links on this page. Affiliate disclosure.

Semrush – SEO and Marketing Tools

Get access to the top 55+ marketing tools. Try the 14-day PRO trial today.

Semrush logo

And if you are competing against someone in your niche, it’s equally challenging to dethrone those rankers on Google SERPs! But what if I tell you that you can literally steal the source of their power? What if you could have something that’s helping your competitor rank at the top? You would think I am talking rubbish. But trust me, that’s not the case!

Ok, let’s understand this first. What’s the most important element that helps a piece of content rank higher? It’s keywords, obviously! So what if you could literally find competitors keywords and steal them?

Well, that’s exactly what I am going to teach you in this blog. And trust me, it’s absolutely legal and ethical. So you don’t have to worry about this method’s mortality!

What’s the need to Find Competitors Keywords?

Keywords are the foundation upon which successful online strategies are built. They connect your content with your audience, acting as critical bridges. When you understand what your target audience is searching for, you can tailor your content to meet their needs, answer their questions, and solve their problems.

But here’s the real kicker: The game doesn’t end after knowing your audience. It’s equally important to understand your competition. Why? Because in the digital marketing arena, you’re competing for top spots in search engine results pages (SERPs). And let’s be honest: if you’re not on the first page of Google, it’s almost as if you don’t exist.

This is where the need to find competitors keywords comes in. When you find competitors keywords and analyze them, you gain invaluable insights into market trends. You also get an opportunity to discover content gaps, and plan on how outperform them in search rankings.

Think of it as a battleplan that you can use to beat your competitors in their own game! It can help you to refine your content strategy and target keywords that you might have overlooked.

Let’s understand how:

Semrush: Your Tool of Choice to Find Competitors Keywords

Semrush is a powerhouse when it comes to Digital Marketing. Renowned for its comprehensive data and user-friendly interface, Semrush can be super helpful for marketers and website owners like you. Whether you’re a pro or a newbie to SEO, Semrush simplifies the complex task of keyword research. And it becomes even more handy when you want to find competitors keywords.

In this guide on how to find competitors keywords, I’ll walk you through the process step-by-step so you can prepare your own action plan to take on your competitors.

How To Find Competitors Keywords Using Semrush’s Keyword Gap Tool?

The Keyword Gap tool in Semrush is a powerful feature that can help you find competitors keywords. Here’s a detailed guide on how to effectively use this tool and interpret the data to find competitors keywords.

Step 1: Access the Keyword Gap Tool

Logging into Semrush:

Visit the Semrush website and click on the “Log in” button located at the top right corner of the homepage. Enter your email and password. If you haven’t signed up yet, you’ll need to do so. Semrush typically offers various subscription levels, so choose one that fits your needs.

Explore to the Tool:

Once logged in, you’ll be on the Semrush dashboard, which gives you a snapshot of your SEO performance.

To find the Keyword Gap tool, look for the ‘Competitive Research’ section in the sidebar. This is usually structured in a menu format with multiple analytics options. Click on ‘Keyword Gap’. You’ll be taken to the Keyword Gap analysis interface.

Step 2: Enter Your Competitors

Input Domains:

On the Keyword Gap tool page, you’ll find input fields for domain comparisons. Your domain goes into the first field. As you can see here, I entered my website’s domain name, and Semrush will treat it as the root domain to find competitors keywords.. It’s the benchmark against which competitors will be compared.

Now, you have to enter the domains of up to four competitors in the next fields. These competitors should be direct rivals or operate in a similar space within your niche. But to keep things simple, I have added just one.

Select the Country:

Semrush keyword gap country selection
Semrush keyword gap country selection

If you’re targeting a specific geographic market to find competitors keywords, select the appropriate country from the dropdown. This ensures the data you gather is relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach. Semrush allows you to tailor your research to regional search engines, which is critical for businesses focusing on local SEO.

Step 5: Identify Valuable Keywords

Look for Opportunities:

The tool will present various keyword categories, including ‘missing’ and ‘weak’ keywords. “Missing” keywords are terms that your competitors rank for in the selected country’s SERP, but your domain doesn’t. These are immediate opportunities to explore.

“Weak” keywords are ones where you rank lower than your competitors, indicating a need for improvement in your ranking for these terms. (I’ll talk about the different categories of the keyword in the later section).

Semrush keyword filter
Semrush keyword filter

Assess Keyword Relevance:

Not all keywords will be suitable for your strategy. So once you find competitors keywords, evaluate the list based on relevance to your brand, products, services, and the intent behind the search queries.

Consider the user intent and the potential traffic and conversions that the keyword might bring to your site.

Step 6: Interpret the SERP Analysis

Check SERP Features:

For each keyword listed, Semrush provides data on SERP features that are currently triggered by those queries, such as featured snippets, local packs, or knowledge panels.

SERP features take up significant real estate on search results pages and can drive a lot of clicks, making them valuable targets.

Semrush keyword comparison list.
Semrush keyword comparison list.

Understand the Competition:

SERP features are often tied to keywords with high competition. Knowing which features are associated with a keyword can help you understand how to structure your content to compete for those spots.

Step 7: Export and Integrate

Export Your Findings:

Semrush allows you to export the data you’ve gathered into formats like Excel, CSV, or PDF once you find competitors keywords. This feature is handy for sharing with team members or integrating with other reporting tools for further analysis.

Semrush keyword export.
Semrush keyword export.

Integrate into Your Strategy:

Take the insights from the Keyword Gap analysis and use them to inform your SEO strategy. Prioritize content creation around missing and weak keywords, and consider how to optimize existing content to compete for shared keywords and maintain strong keywords.

Remember I mentioned we will discuss various types of keywords previously? Let’s explore them one by.

Categories of Keywords

#1 Missing Keywords

Missing Keywords are the gold mines that you haven’t yet tapped into. When you find competitors keywords that fall in this category, you have a lot of opportunities here. These are terms and queries that your competitors have found valuable enough to target and achieve rankings for.

Strategies for Missing Keywords:

  • Content Creation: Identify gaps in your content where these missing keywords fit and create new, high-quality articles or pages focused on these terms.
  • Content Optimization: Improve existing content by integrating these keywords where relevant, ensuring that it matches the search intent and adds value for the reader.
  • SEO Alignment: Ensure that these keywords are included in strategic SEO elements like meta tags and headers and within the content in a natural, reader-friendly manner.

#2 Shared Keywords

Shared Keywords are the battleground where you and your competitors vie for the attention of the same audience. They are essential for understanding your market position and gauging the competitiveness of your SEO strategy.

Strategies for Shared Keywords:

  • Content Enhancement: Analyze the content ranking for these keywords on your competitor’s site and enhance your own to be more comprehensive and useful.
  • User Experience: Ensure your page provides a superior user experience with faster load times, mobile optimization, and easy navigation.
  • On-Page SEO: Optimize all on-page elements like title tags and meta descriptions, and utilize schema markup to stand out in SERPs.

#3 Weak Keywords

Weak Keywords are where you’re in the race, but you’re not leading. These are keywords for which your website ranks lower than your competitors.

Strategies for Weak Keywords:

  • SEO Audit: Conduct a full-page audit to identify any SEO weaknesses, such as poor backlink profiles or insufficient keyword usage.
  • Backlink Strategy: Implement a targeted backlink strategy to earn high-quality backlinks for pages targeting these keywords.
  • Content Update: Regularly update the content targeting these keywords to keep it fresh and relevant, which can improve rankings over time.

#4 Strong Keywords

Strong Keywords are your SEO trophies. These are the keywords where your site is the leader, outperforming all competitors.

Strategies for Strong Keywords:

  • Content Maintenance: Keep the content fresh and updated with the latest information to continue ranking well.
  • Monitor Competitors: Watch for any moves your competitors make to target these keywords and be ready to counteract with improvements to your content.
  • Leverage for Backlinks: Use these high-performing pages as leverage for building backlinks to other important but less strong pages on your site.

#5 Untapped Keywords

Untapped Keywords are uncharted territories. They are relevant to your niche but are not yet dominated by any competitor, including you.

Strategies for Untapped Keywords:

  • New Content Opportunities: Develop content around these keywords, focusing on areas that have not been extensively covered by your competitors.
  • Long-Tail Approach: Often, untapped keywords can be long-tail queries with lower search volumes but high conversion potential. Focus on these to capture a specific audience.
  • SEO Foundations: Build strong SEO foundations around these keywords, as ranking for them may be easier due to lower competition.

#6 Unique Keywords

Unique Keywords are your brand’s signature. These are the terms that your site ranks for which your competitors do not, often directly related to your unique products, services, or content.

Strategies for Unique Keywords:

  • Content Optimization: Continuously optimize the content ranking for these keywords to maintain your unique position in the SERPs.
  • Brand Building: Use these keywords in your branding and marketing efforts to reinforce the association with your company.
  • Customer Journey Alignment: Align content targeting these keywords with the customer journey to drive conversions and encourage brand loyalty.

I hope it’s now clear to you what keywords you should be using and how you should be using them. You don’t have to focus on any particular category necessarily. Always keep trying, adapting, and churning out content using all types of keywords mentioned above.

Content Strategy After You Find Competitors Keywords

Now you know what the different categories of keywords available to you are, how they can benefit you, and what keywords you should target. But the key is how to use these keywords. There are two ways you can leverage the heaps of data you just collected:

Content Diversification: Examine the unique angles and topics your competitors are covering. This could include new industry trends, emerging technologies, or niche subjects. Based on this information, develop content that covers these topics and adds unique value—perhaps through expert interviews, in-depth guides, or interactive elements.

Update Existing Content: Audit your existing content to find pieces that could be improved to match or exceed the quality of competitors’ content that ranks for the same keywords. Once you find competitors keywords, focus on updating your existing content.

Enhance your content by incorporating multimedia elements like videos or infographics, updating statistical data, and including more comprehensive information.

Tips for SEO-Optimized Content Creation

Tips for SEO optimized content creation
Tips for SEO optimized content creation

Trust me, knowing keywords is not enough. You will have to integrate them into your content to rank better properly. Here are a few tips that you can use to SEO-optimize your content.

Keyword Placement:

  • Place competitor keywords in SEO-sensitive parts of your content without compromising readability.
    • Ensure the title is compelling and includes the primary keyword; subheadings contain variations of the keyword. Also, make sure that it’s organically integrated into the opening paragraph.

Content Quality:

  • Prioritize creating content that thoroughly answers questions related to the keyword and provides actionable insights.
    • Make sure the content adheres to SEO best practices, such as using short paragraphs and bullet points and ensuring mobile-friendliness.

User Engagement:

  • Craft content that naturally encourages interaction, such as asking questions that prompt comments or including calls-to-action that invite sharing.
    • Use social media and email marketing to promote content and drive engagement, as this can signal content quality to search engines.

Monitor Competitors’ Keyword Performance

Look, identifying the right keywords and creating content based on that is not a one-time job. You will have to monitor your competitors’ keyword performance constantly. So here’s how to do it:

Set Up Alerts:

Tools like Semrush offer alert features that notify you when there’s a shift in rankings for your competitors’ keywords.

  • Customize these alerts based on specific metrics, such as position changes, so you’re only notified of significant movements that could impact your strategy. Dedicate time each week to review your competitors’ websites and social media channels for new content that could be targeting new keywords.
  • Keep track of any industry events, product launches, or campaigns that could shift focus to new keyword groups.

Tracking Changes:

Set up a performance dashboard using tools like Google Data Studio to visualize trends in keyword rankings for both your site and your competitors.

  • Use this data to identify patterns or shifts in strategy that could inform your content updates or new content development.
  • Stay flexible with your content strategy to quickly respond to changes in keyword rankings.
  • For instance, if a competitor’s new content starts ranking for a key term, analyze their content and update your own to maintain competitiveness.

Adjusting Your Strategy Based on Competitors’ Movements:

When a competitor overtakes your ranking for a particular keyword, immediately review your content for that keyword to identify areas for improvement.

  • Consider adding new, original research, updating meta tags, and enhancing the overall user experience.
  • Continuously test different SEO techniques, such as adjusting meta descriptions, experimenting with new content formats, or optimizing page speed.
  • Monitor the impact of these changes closely to determine which tactics yield the best improvements in rankings.
  • Keep abreast of SEO industry news, algorithm updates, and evolving best practices.
  • Attend webinars, participate in forums, and read publications from thought leaders to ensure your strategies remain cutting-edge and effective.

Advanced Semrush Features for Competitor Analysis

Semrush offers a suite of advanced features that provide deeper insights into your competitor’s online strategy apart from finding Keyword Gaps. Here’s the list of some of these tools:

Position Tracking

This tool allows you to monitor your website’s daily rankings for a custom set of keywords. It’s particularly useful for keeping tabs on how changes to your website or content affect your position in the SERPs over time. You can also track the rankings of your competitors for the same set of keywords, giving you a direct comparison of performance.

Semrush position tracking.
Semrush position tracking.

Keyword Magic Tool

A more sophisticated feature of Semrush is the Keyword Magic Tool, which is a comprehensive keyword research tool that allows you to enter a seed keyword and then provides a wealth of related search terms, questions, and variations.

This tool is essential for expanding your keyword list and understanding the breadth and depth of a topic. It also gives insights into the search volume, trend, keyword difficulty, and the competitive landscape for each keyword.

Semrush keyword magic tool.
Semrush keyword magic tool.

Market Explorer

With Market Explorer, you can delve into market trends and understand the broader context in which your competitors operate. It provides insights into market share, audience characteristics, and benchmarking data, which can help you position your brand more effectively within your niche.

Traffic Analytics

This feature offers estimates of a website’s traffic volumes, sources, geographic distribution, visitor behavior, and more. When used for competitor analysis, it can reveal the strengths and weaknesses in their traffic strategy, like which channels are most effective for them and where there may be opportunities for you.

Semrush traffic analytics.
Semrush traffic analytics.

Understanding your competitor’s backlink profile is crucial since backlinks are a significant ranking factor. Semrush’s backlink analytics tools allow you to see where their backlinks are coming from, the authority of those linking domains, and how they are using anchor text in their backlinks, which can inform your link-building strategy.

Semrush backlink analysis
Semrush backlink analysis

Best Practices and Tips to Find Competitors Keywords

Finding good keywords that your competitor is ranking for is not a one-day ask. You’ll have to spend a lot of time and effort to find competitors keywords. But there are some tips and best practices that can help you simplify the issue.

  • Start With a Clear Objective: Before diving in to find competitors keywords, define what you want to achieve. Are you looking to increase organic traffic, improve conversions, or understand a new market? A clear goal will guide your research and analysis.
  • Segment Your Competitors: Not all competitors are created equal. Some may compete with you across the board, while others only in certain niches. Segment your competitors to ensure your analysis is targeted and relevant.
  • Focus on the Right Metrics: While its important to find competitors keywords and rankings are important, pay attention to other metrics such as page authority, domain authority, and the number of backlinks. These can give you a more nuanced picture of your competitor’s strengths.
  • Continuous Monitoring: The digital landscape changes rapidly. Make competitor analysis a regular part of your routine to stay current on any shifts or trends that may affect your strategy.
  • Avoid Common Mistakes: One of the common mistakes people make when they want to find competitors keywords is they focus too much on high-volume keywords without considering relevancy or intent. Another mistake is neglecting to look at the full content strategy of competitors, including their social media presence and content marketing efforts.
  • Utilize Reports and Alerts: Set up custom reports and alerts within Semrush to keep informed of significant changes or new opportunities in your competitor’s keyword strategy.

Find Competitors Keywords: Work Smart and HARD!

As I have repeatedly mentioned in this blog, you WILL have to work hard to find the best keywords for competition with your competitor. It’s not something that you can achieve in a single sitting. But thanks to Semrush, you will surely have an edge.

This amazing tool is specifically designed to help you find competitors keywords and the right keywords for website owners and marketers. So, if you are not giving it a shot, you should. It will surely help you in your quest to find competitors keywords with less effort.

In the end, work hard, find competitors keywords, optimize your content, and get ahead in the game. If you want to learn more about Semrush, explore my website for multiple articles that cover this topic. Till then, work smart and hard!


How exactly does Semrush find my competitors’ keywords?

Semrush analyzes your competitors’ online content and backlink profile to identify which keywords they rank for. The Keyword Gap tool provides a side-by-side comparison, showing where you can optimize or expand your own keyword strategy.

What’s the first step in using Semrush to find competitors keywords?

Begin by entering your domain and competitors’ domains into the Keyword Gap tool. Semrush will then display a comprehensive list of keywords your competitors rank for, which you don’t currently target.

After finding competitors’ keywords in Semrush, what’s next?

Evaluate the relevance and search volume of these keywords to your business. Then, strategically incorporate them into your website’s content and meta tags to compete for rankings and improve your SEO performance.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top