Keyword research (3/7)


  1. How to increase your traffic with content
  2. Content Challenge
  3. Keyword research
  4. Content Planning
  5. Content writing
  6. Publishing content
  7. The result
  8. Learn to generate traffic through content

Analyse competition and build a list of keywords to create content about.

The goal is…

To build a list of articles that we will work on.

Starting point…

We need some ideas to feed our Ideation Process:

We need to know what our clients are reading about, and…

To find out what pages rank the highest for our competitor’s websites.

The solution…

We need to use two different tools:

Buzzsumo will help us to understand the clients.

Ahrefs will help us to understand the competition.

Understand what works for competitors

Keyword benchmark

List competitors

If you are small, Ahrefs won’t know who your competitors are.

Here I’m studying the market for Link Building Service; I need to grow my rankings and offer great content around it.

  1. Choose one that you know about and run the “Site explorer” Site Explorer and Dashboard


  1. Click on “Competing domains” Competing Domains List


  1. Choose 5 competitors and list then on a spreadsheet

Competitors listed for keywords research

Now we need to list the keywords that they rank for.

List keywords

  1. List all of the competitors on the option “Content gap” Content Gap Analysis


  1. List the keywords in a spreadsheet
    List of targeting keywords

How I analyse the results of this research?

I confess I didn’t quite like the result of this analysis because it has returned a list of keywords with too many repeated concepts, keyword planning tool from google adwords.

I don’t know, this might be something that my competition is not talking about and so I could position myself for the visitors and for Google as a specialist in keyword research, which I am.

I was expecting more varied options but it is a start.

Let’s filter it out and continue with our research.

Competing keywords filtered list

  • I have kept “Google Keyword Planner” instead of the others because I don’t want to mention the word “Adwords”. It is a guess in the end, but I know I don’t want to be thought of as a company focused on Google Adwords.

Understand competitors’ strategy

Still, on I have also listed their top pages, and check what I saw:

This SEO agency is making good bucks on geolocation. Competitors' top pages


All of these pages mentioning York, Hull, Manchester… this shows that they are trying to reach companies in a local, regional, level.

This is good!

I might not compete directly against them but I will certainly use this strategy myself on another campaign, not this one.

Do the same with the other 4 competitors and try to discover why they are unique by finding a pattern.

Understand what clients want

Using Buzzsumo we are able to list what people shared on their social media that was produced by one of your competitors.

Take a look at this one for example: most shared content from competitors

  • This competitor has done some effort towards getting social engagement, not many do.
  • In case your research doesn’t return many results you should run this same report using a keyword you want to rank on: most shared content on link building

  • Of course there is a lot of information here and we need to focus on our goal: we need to find what people are interested RIGHT NOW.
  • In this case we should ignore the old articles even if they had tremendous amount of interactions.
  • Another look and we can understand the types of content that are more interesting for the market: types of content most shared

  • “List” content is where the title begins with a number
  • “How, Why, What” content is where the title begins with those words
  • Yet another look and can see that size does count: the longer the article is the more interactions it gets. lengh of most shared articles

List keywords

Remember our list of keywords we have built when spying on the competitor?

Competing keywords filtered list

Now is the time to drill down a little bit more.

Checking on Buzzsumo what people are talking about will give you exactly that.

Look what I have found:

  • There are some news we can work with, like the mobile-first indexing and the new keyword planner tool
  • Someone is even questioning if Google will do a good job on the mobile-first indexing, which is a good controversy to work with


The keyword “backlinks” on the other hand doesn’t seam to have any news, only how-tos, guides and lists:

The last keyword on the list looked simple at first but now I have some ideas:

Take a look at the expanded list of keywords now:

Competing keywords list filtered

This tool gives you some insights about what people are searching for, just like Google Adwords Keywords Tool.

Looking at the results I can see that many are geolocated: geolocation-based keywords list

So I have added some close towns and cities to my list as well:

Final list of keywords to build content about

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