How to find out what keywords your competitors rank for that you don’t (and what to do about it)!

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    Today we’re going to share with you a quick and easy way to find out what keywords are bringing organic traffic to your competitor’s website, but not to your website. Essentially, this shows you where there are content gaps in your website, and from there you can make a plan to address the issues and take your fair share of that sweet organic traffic away from your competitors!

    The tool we use to do this is called SEM Rush – it’s a handy too used by a lot of SEO companies and it has a lot of different uses. Finding content marketing gaps isn’t one of its core uses, but with a little data manipulation in Excel this info can be easily extracted. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

    How do you identify content gaps on your website?

    1. In SEM Rush, input your homepage URL, select from the dropdown on the right (AU) and click search.
    2. Once in the dashboard you’ll be faced with a lot of information. Just look to the menu on the left hand side and select ‘Organic Research’.
    3. In there you’ll see a full list of the keywords that are bringing in organic traffic to your website (i.e. the keywords that you rank somewhere in the organic search results for). You’ll need to be signed in to access the full list – a free account will only allow you to see the first 10 results unfortunately.
    4. From there, click on the ‘Export’ button above the list and save that spreadsheet.
    5. Repeat these steps for your top competitor(s) and save that spreadsheet too.
    6. Finally, open a new blank spreadsheet and paste in the SEMRush keyword data for both your website and your competitor website. Colour the text of your website data green and that of your competitor website red, so that you can easily tell the difference between the two.

    From there, you want to first identify what keywords both of the websites are getting traffic from, so that you can eliminate these from your ‘content gap’ list. To do so, Highlight the ‘Keyword’ column by clicking on the ‘A’ at the top of the column, and then go to ‘Conditional Formatting’ -> ‘Highlight Cell Rules’ -> ‘Duplicate Values’ in the Home menu at the top of the screen, and change the settings to format all duplicate cells with a yellow fill.

    Now you know you can ignore any keywords with a yellow fill as both sites already get traffic from these keywords.

    What you want to focus on are the keywords with red text and no yellow fill – these are the keywords that your competitor is getting traffic from that you are not.

    You can then copy these into another tab in the spreadsheet, and even sort by the search volume that the keywords get (sort the ‘Search Volume’ column from highest to lowest), or the percent of the competitor’s traffic that is brought in by each keyword (sort the ‘Traffic (%)’ column from highest to lowest, to really find some gold within the data.

    How can you take action on the data to improve your traffic?

    From my sample research above, I came across some juicy content gaps for my client – which I can use to create both blog articles and possibly also some service pages. The client is a property investment and development consultant, and their competitor gets quite a bit of traffic from high volume keywords related to subdividing land and the associated costs for example – so we can certainly add that topic to their onsite and offsite blog content plan, as well as perhaps adding some information about the topic to their development consulting service page.

    Have a go for your own website and see where you can find some areas where you can take traffic from your competitors! And if you’d like help improving the traffic your website gets – as well as those all-important leads and sales – talk to White Chalk Road about how our SEO services can help you.

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