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How to Find Keywords Your Competitors Rank For But You Don’t

Marketing Strategy, SEO 24th Jun 2020

(This is the transcript from our new video so it may not read as well as a normal blog post would)

So today we are going to look at how to find keywords that your competitors rank for, but you don’t, using the Ahrefs. So for the purposes of this example, we’re going to use the fashion site, ASOS because it’s one that a lot of people aren’t very familiar with. So we’re going to kick off. First of all, you want to grab your URL. So we’ll just copy and paste that into the site Explorer in Ahrefs. We’ll remove the HTTPS and the WWW., so we’ve just got the root domain. Once we’ve done that, we’ll go down to competing the mains on this left-hand toolbar and click that. This will give us all of the domains that competes with http://www.asos.com. You can see that this is on US at the moment, so there are lots of different countries that we can explore the results for, but we’re interested in the UK. So we can see that Ahrefs will give us a list of all of the competing domains, based on various different metrics, but the one we’re interested in here is the percentage of common keywords. Now, the reason for that is that if you just go off of common keywords alone, you’ll often see a lot of sites in there, like Amazon, for example, who sell a lot of products, and so we’ll have a lot of overlap with many eCommerce sites, so the best thing to use is the common keywords percentage. So you can see here, all of the competitors of ASOS. These graphs are quite important to look at. So if you hover over this information, symbol next to the graph, you can see that the green bar represents the intersection between the blue and the yellow bars, so these are the amount of keywords that will overlap with each other across Zalando and ASOS, or Boohoo and ASOS, or Next and ASOS. You can see that the yellow bars are the keywords that are unique to your competitor, and the blue bar are keywords that are unique to you. So in this case, for example, with Topshop or Missguided, we can see that ASOS have a lot more unique-ranking keywords than they do. So what we can do from here is select a few of these competitors, based on the common keywords percentage. Let’s go with three for now. So we’ll take Zalando, Boohoo.com and Next.co.uk. I’ve opened those in separate tabs, so I can easily copy and paste the root domain. So the next thing we want to do is navigate to content gap that is also in the left-hand-side bar. Once we’re in here, all we need to do is paste the competitors that we’ve selected into these fields. Now, once we’ve done that, again, we’ll just remove the HTTPS and the WWW., just to make sure we’re capturing everything. So as you can see, we are showing the keywords that the below targets rank for, by Zalando, Boohoo and Next, but ASOS doesn’t rank for. So all we need to do now is hit, show keywords. Again, just keep an eye on this country filter here because we can see that it’s gone back to US, so we want to make sure that that is on UK. And then down here, we can see a list of all of the keywords that at least one of these competitors ranks for that ASOS doesn’t. So we can see we’ve got 38,000 keywords here. Now, that’s quite a lot, so you want to filter it in some way. These are automatically filtered by search volume, Which will mean that the highest potential key words that you could rank for will be at the top of the list. Of course, there will be some irrelevant examples in there, so we can see that, of course, Next rank far. Next, unsurprisingly, in position one, and the search volume for that is about 4 1/2 million per month in the UK. Of course, you know, we’re not going to try and go after that term because that’s a branded term, but if we scroll down the list, we’ll start to see terms that we might want to rank for. Now, we can also see that there are some irrelevant products in here such as; cushions, blackout curtains, of course, Next also sell homeware as well as clothing, so that’s why we’re seeing those in there, but if we carry on going down this list, eventually, we will see some potentially relevant keywords in there. Under Armor, for example. That is a brand that Next would sell on their website. So ASOS is not ranking for that term, but it’s likely because they don’t have a relationship with that brand. Again, we can see a few irrelevant ones in here. You know, brand + product keywords. For example, Next lighting, we’re not interested in that. We’re also not interested in lamps or floor lamps, or anything like that because we know that ASOS doesn’t sell those products. Now, here’s an example of a keyword that we might be interested in. So this is a tankini. So, of course, this is an item of clothing. We can see that, Next rank number one for this term, but Boohoo and Zalando don’t rank at all. So that might be a great opportunity for a brand like ASOS to create a page to target this term, a category page, and then they could list all of the individual products on that page and link to them. You can see that the search volume is 18,000 a month in the UK, so it’s pretty substantial, and that’s a great opportunity for ASOS there. So the best thing to do with this data is export the list. Of course, sort it based on search volume, and we can go through and start to find other relevant keywords that we could rank for.

Joe Johnson

SEO Manager

If you can’t find Joe at the gym or at his favourite restaurant, the chances are he’s binge-watching Black Mirror on Netflix. His claim to fame is being interviewed on BBC radio about public toilets, but we reckon he’d rather be interviewed about his favourite destination – Las Vegas. With Canada and Japan on the travel bucket list, identifying as a sloth means he best get a move on!

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