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So far in the SEO in 30 Days Series we’ve presented keyword research in four parts: Why Keyword Research is Necessary (Day 3), Common Mistakes Made When Conducting Keyword Research (Day 4), and the Benefits of Targeting Long-Tailed Keywords (Day 5). Today we’ll continue this section with a discussion of how competitor research can help you uncover good keyword phrases for your own site.
A good tactic for expanding your target keyword list, and for monitoring the search marketing tactics of your competitors, is to compile a list of your competitor’s keywords. This can be done by scraping valuable information for key pages on your competitor’s websites. Specific information regarding the keywords they are targeting for each page can be found in the html code for each page.
There are several ways to check the keywords that your competitors are targeting on specific pages. The first way to do this is by right clicking on a page and selecting “View Source” (Command+U on a Mac). This will open the html code for the page in a new window. Once this is open, check the Title tag which should appear at the very beginning of the code. If the site has been optimized properly the title tag should contain the primary keyword phrase or phrases for that page. Also check the Meta Keywords tag, usually placed after the Title and Description tags. This should include any keywords being targeted on the page. While Meta Keywords do not affect search engine rankings, they could help you pinpoint targeted keywords.
Another way to find targeted keywords is to look at the keyword density on a page. This can be done through SEO X-Ray, an add-on that can be found on SEO Book’s Toolbar. This is available for free when you register online. The SEO Book site gives detailed instructions on the use of the tool.
You can also visit the websites of your competition and note which phrases they are using in the headlines and subheads of each page. Are these phrases being repeated within the body copy? If so, they are more than likely being targeted. Put the phrase into a search engine and see if the competitor’s site shows up on the first page for that phrase. These types of observances about your competition’s websites will tell you what keyword phrases they may be targeting, and which of them are being targeted successfully. We will take a more in-depth look at analyzing your competitor’s keywords and website in Day 7 of the SEO in 30 Days Series.
These three simple steps are a great way to get started on keyword research. Once keyword research is complete, you are one step closer to a successful online marketing campaign.
Up next is Day 7: Using competitor keyword analysis to differentiate your website