How to find competitive keywords

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In this guide, you will learn how to find competitive keywords. The ultimate goal is to teach you how to find out what keywords your competitors are using to rank their websites in search engine results pages (SERPs) in order to get organic traffic.

As you’ll find below, there are many ways to research competitive keywords, as well as good keyword research tools that you can use for free to do an SEO competitive analysis. By the end of this page, you will know the best ways to find competitive keywords to help you discover new topic ideas to target on your website.

How do you find competitive keywords?

1. Use Google Keyword Planner

The first way to find competitive keywords is to use Google’s Keyword Planner tool. While this tool is primarily used to find search terms to target Google Ads, you can also use it as a free SEO keyword research to find keywords used by your competitors. You just need a Google account to access the Google Keyword Planner tool which is part of the Google AdWords dashboard. You can sign up for Google AdWords here.

How to check competitive keywords with the Schema Tool

After logging in, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Keyword Planner tool located under the “Tools and Settings” icon.
  • Click on the “Discover New Keywords” option.
  • Select the Get Started with Website tab.
  • Enter the domain of your competitive website or the URL of your individual web page. Then select the correct keyword search option: “use the entire site” or “only use this page”.
  • Click on the “Get Results” button.

Google Keyword Planner then displays a list of competitive keywords along with average monthly search volume to give a good idea of ​​how much organic search traffic the keyword is getting per month.

2. Find competitive keywords with Screaming Frog

The next method you can use to view competitive keywords is Screaming Frog. Screaming Frog SEO Spider can be used to crawl any website on the Internet. You can download and crawl 500 URLs for free or purchase a license to remove this limit and access advanced features.

With the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool, you can analyze your competitive websites for on-page SEO elements such as meta title tags, URL structure, title text, image alt text, internal anchor text, and more. If your competitors are using good on-page SEO techniques, it’s easy to see what keywords they’re targeting by looking at the common words used in those HTML elements.

3. View keywords in KWFinder

The next way to check competitive keywords is to use KWFinder, which is a dedicated SEO keyword research tool. KWFinder is my favorite keyword research tool and I use it every single day to find good keywords to target on my websites. You can try KWFinder for free here using my referral link at no additional cost to you. I only get commission if I upgrade to a paid plan.

As mentioned in my full KWFinder review here, you can check competitor sites for highly ranked keywords along with a keyword difficulty score, average monthly search volume, and other key SEO metrics. You can then use this information to create similar content on your site. All you have to do is use the Domain Search function to find keywords for the main domain or any URL on the website.

After using this tool, or any of the tools mentioned in this guide, you may want to check out this other page with tips on how many on-page SEO keywords to focus on. This way, you will know how to effectively optimize your content for the largest number of search terms.

4. Check keywords with Keysearch

Another popular tool for finding out which keywords your competitors are using is Keysearch. It’s very similar to the aforementioned KWFinder, but with its own unique dashboard and a few more advanced SEO analysis features. You can try Keysearch for free here by using my affiliate link and scanning competitors’ websites to see what keywords they are optimizing for to rank your content on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

5. Use Semrush for SEO keyword analysis

Semrush is probably the most popular tool for finding keywords used by competitors. However, it costs much more (about $119.95 per month). This is because Semrush is a versatile marketing platform that does more than just keyword research. You can try Semrush for free here using my referral link.

The real strength of Semrush is that it includes a keyword gap tool that helps you to do a comprehensive keyword analysis of your website against your competitors. This allows you to see which short-tail keywords your competitors are ranking in comparison to your website. Then, you can create new web pages targeting these keywords in hopes of getting more organic traffic from Google.

6. Research keywords

Another popular tool for finding out which keywords your competitors are using is Ahrefs. It also has a content gap tool similar to Semrush that helps you analyze several competitors at once to generate a list of keywords your website should target.

How to view competitive keywords for free

1. View the HTML source code of the site

The first way to find competitors’ keywords for free is to check the HTML source code of the site. You can do this in two ways:

  • Right-click on the webpage and select View Page Source.
  • Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + U.
  • Once you view the source code of the website, you can then search for the main SEO elements on the page such as the <title> meta title tag, the <description> meta description tag, and the <h1> main title tag. You should see a popular keyword in those three places indicating the SEO keyword your competitor is trying to rank for in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

In the example image below, you can see the phrase “Best SEO Tools” featured for this website, which is obviously a keyword you want to rank in the SERPs because it’s in those important HTML places.

  • Show competitor keywords for free in HTML source code
  • If you want some great advice on how to properly optimize these elements for on-page SEO, check out this other tutorial on how to add keywords to your website for SEO.

2. Check competitors’ sitemap

Another easy way to see your competitor’s keywords for free is to check out their website map file. The sitemap will show you a list of URLs for each webpage. And if the competitor is using good on-page SEO practices, the URL will contain the main target keyword. There are three simple ways to find your competitors’ sitemaps:

Manual Check: Add the sitemap.xml file to the end of the domain name so that it looks like this: “”. Most website owners use the default Sitemap string, which makes them easier to find.

Check your robots.txt file: Almost all sites have a robots.txt file, which is a line of code that directs search engine crawlers to your sitemap file. Add robots.txt to the end of domain like this: “” and find the line of code starting with “sitemap:”, like this: “sitemap: https://domain”. com/sitemap.xml”

Use of Google Search Operators: The Google search engine allows special operators to help you find content listed in the SERP. You can use this combination of operators to find the sitemap file for some websites. Just replace “” with the competitors’ domain and extension TLD: “site: filetype: xml inurl: sitemap”.

3. Use Google Keyword Planner for free

As mentioned earlier in this guide, Google Keyword Planner is free for anyone with a Google account. This is part of Google AdWords, you can sign up here. Once you’re signed in to AdWords, follow these steps to use the Keyword Planner to find a list of organic SEO keywords that your competitors rank in the SERPs:

  • Click on the “Tools and Settings” icon.
  • Select Keyword Planner.
  • Click on the “Discover New Keywords” option.
  • Select the Get Started with Website tab.
  • Enter the domain of the competitor’s site or the URL of the individual web page.
  • Choose the correct keyword search option: “use the entire site” or “only use this page”.
  • Click on the “Get Results” button.

Google Keyword Planner then displays a list of keywords for the entire domain or web page URL, along with average monthly search volume and some PPC data.

4. Download SEO Powersuite for free

SEO Powersuite offers a free download to try and test its tools. You can do a quick competitor analysis with the free functions. SEO PowerSuite consists of 4 tools that cover every aspect of SEO, including keyword research, ranking checking, backlink analysis, on-page data and content, mobile SEO, social media, analytics, analysis and reporting. .

5. See keywords with Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is another free way to see which keywords your competitors are using for SEO. In Ubersuggest’s Keyword Ideas section, you can use Ubersuggest’s “Search by Website” feature to check the domain or URL of a web page for potential keywords that you can target to your website as well. However, keep in mind that you can only perform 3 searches per day without logging in.

Ubersuggest features free keyword ideas

Find, view and review competitor keyword summaries

I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to find competitor keywords.

As you can see, there are many ways to check competitors’ keywords using both free and paid SEO keyword research tools. You can also learn which keywords your competitors are using by analyzing your HTML source code, sitemap files, robots.txt files, and more. So, just use the method you like the most to get competitive keywords that you can also use to improve your website’s SEO strategy.

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