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How to Find Competitors Keywords: See & Check SEO Keywords

In this guide, you’ll learn how to find competitors keywords.

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The ultimate goal is to teach you how to see what keywords your competitors are using to rank their websites in the search engine results pages (SERPs) to gain organic traffic.

As you’ll discover below, there are many methods for how to check competitors keywords as well as good keyword research tools you can use for free to do competitive analysis for SEO.

By the end of this page, you’ll know the top ways for finding your competitors keywords to help you discover new topic ideas to target on your own website.

How to Find Competitors Keywords

How to Find Competitors Keywords

1. Use Google Keyword Planner

The first way for how to find keywords of competitors website is to use the Google Keyword Planner tool. While this tool is primarily used for finding search terms to target for Google Ads, you can also use it as a free SEO keyword research to find keywords used by your competitors.

All you need is 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 competitors keywords with planner tool

Once you’re logged in, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to the Keyword Planner tool that’s located under the “Tools And Settings” icon.
  • Click on the “Discover New Keywords” option.
  • Select the “Start with a Website” tab.
  • Enter a competitors website domain or individual web page URL. Then choose the correct keyword searching option: “Use the entire site” or “Use only this page”.
  • Click on the “Get Results” button.
  • Google Keyword Planner will then display a list of competitors keywords along with the average monthly search volume to give a good idea about how much organic search traffic the keyword gets per month

2. Find Competitors Keywords With Screaming Frog

The next method you can use for how to see competitors keywords is with Screaming Frog.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider software can be used to crawl any website on the Internet. You can download and crawl 500 URLs for free or buy a license to remove that limit and to access advanced features.

With the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool, you can analyze your competitors websites for on-page SEO elements like the meta title tags, URL structure, heading text, image alt text, internal anchor text, and more. If your competitor is using good on-page SEO techniques, then you’ll easily find out what keywords they’re targeting by looking at the common words being used in those HTML elements.

3. See Keywords In KWFinder

The next way for how to check competitors 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 day for finding good keywords to target on my websites. You can try KWFinder for FREE here using my affiliate link at no extra cost to you. I only earn a commission if you ever upgrade to a paid plan.

How to see what keywords your competitors are using with KWFinder

As mentioned in my complete KWFinder review here, you can check competitor websites to get their top-ranking keywords along with the Keyword Difficulty Score, average monthly search volume, and other key SEO metrics. You can then use that information to create similar content on your own site. All you have to do is use the “Search By Domain” function to find keywords for the root domain or any URL on the website.

KWFinder is also recommended on my best free keyword research tools page.

After using this tool, or any of the others mentioned in this guide, you may want to check out this other page with tips on how many keywords per page for SEO you should focus on. That way, you know how to optimize your content effectively for the highest number of search terms.

4. Check Keywords With Keysearch

Another popular tool for how to see what keywords your competitors are using is Keysearch. It’s very similar to KWFinder mentioned above but has its own unique dashboard and a few other advanced features for SEO analysis.

You can try Keysearch for FREE here using my affiliate link and scan your competitors websites to see the keywords they’re optimizing for to rank content on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

5. Use Semrush for SEO Keyword Analysis

Semrush is perhaps the most popular tool for how to find keywords used by competitors; however, it does come at a much higher cost (around $119.95 per month). That’s because Semrush is an all-in-one marketing platform that has a lot more functionality than just keyword research. You can try Semrush for free here using my affiliate link.

The true power of Semrush is that it includes a Keyword Gap Tool that helps you do a full analysis of your website’s keywords with your competitors. This allows you to find out which long tail vs short tail keywords your competitors are ranking for that your website is not. Then, you can create new web pages that target those keywords to hopefully gain more organic traffic from Google.

How to find keywords used by competitors with Semrush

6. Find Keyword Gaps with Ahrefs

Another popular tool for how to find out what keywords your competitors are using is Ahrefs. It also has a Content Gap Tool that’s similar to Semrush to help you analyze multiple competitors at the same time to generate a list of keywords that your website should be targeting.

Download the SEO Keyword Research CheatsheetDownload the SEO Keyword Research Cheatsheet
Ahrefs Content Gap tool for keywords

7. See Keywords for Ads In Wordstream

If you want to get competitors keywords for easy uploading to your Google Ads or Bing Ads account for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, then Wordstream can help you with that. Use the free WordStream Keyword Tool to scan your competitors websites to get a list of terms along with their Google search volume, Competition Level, Cost-Per-Click (CPC), and Opportunity Score.

8. Check Keyword Website Opportunities With SpyFu

SpyFu is another popular tool for keyword research and competitive analysis to find competitor keywords. What makes Spyfu different is that it exposes the complete search engine marketing tactics of your most successful competitors, including organic keywords and paid SEO channels.

With Spyfu, you can get competitor keyword data and track the ranking history of any web page or domain. This gives you insight into how a Google algorithm change impacted the keyword rankings results for that competitor’s website.

9. Use Moz to Find Top Keywords & Competitors

Moz has a SEO Competitive Analysis Tool you can use to gain the following insights about your competitors:

  • Top Competitors: This displays a list of who your top SERP competitors are in Google.
  • Keyword Opportunities: This helps you find keyword gaps by understanding your competitors top keywords and the potential impact on website traffic.
  • Content Opportunities: This helps you see the top pieces of content your competitors are using to rank for important keywords.
Moz competitor keyword research tool

10. Check Popular SEO Keywords With BuzzSumo

Another good way to check your competitors keywords is with BuzzSumo.

However, with BuzzSumo you’ll be analyzing the social media sharing aspect of your competitors websites to find popular content. Then, you can reverse engineer the keywords that the content ranks for search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing using any of the other tools mentioned on this page. That way, you can uncover topics that have demonstrated interest and buzz in your industry, which can hopefully lead to a higher volume of organic search traffic.

How to see competitors keywords

How to See Competitors Keywords for Free

1. See the Website’s HTML Source Code

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

  • Right-click on the web page and choose “View Page Source”.
  • Use the keyboard shortcut command Ctrl + U.

Once you’re viewing the website’s source code, you can then look for the key on-page SEO elements like the meta title tag <title>, meta description tag <description>, and main heading tag <h1>. You should see a common keyword in those three places which indicate the SEO keyword the competitor is trying to rank for in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

In the example image below, you’ll see the phrase “best SEO tools” highlighted for this website which is obviously a keyword it wants to rank for in the SERPs because it’s in those important HTML locations.

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See competitors keywords for free in HTML source code

If you want some good tips on how to optimize these elements correctly for on-page SEO, then check out this other tutorial on how to add keywords to a website for SEO.

2. Check the Competitors Sitemap

Another easy way to see competitors keywords for free is to check their website’s sitemap file. The sitemap will show you a list of URLs for each web page. And if the competitor is using good on-page SEO practices, then the URL will contain the main target keyword.

There are three simple methods to find your competitors sitemap:

  • Manual Check: Add sitemap.xml to the end of the domain name so it looks like this: “domain.com/sitemap.xml”. Most website owners use the default sitemap string, making it easy to find.
  • Check the Robots.txt File: Almost all sites have a robots.txt which has a line of code directing search engine crawlers to the sitemap file. Add robots.txt to the end of the domain like this: “domain.com/robots.txt” and look for the line of code that starts with “Sitemap:”, such as this: “Sitemap: https://domain.com/sitemap.xml”
  • Use Google Search Operators: Google’s search engine allows special operators to help you find content that’s indexed in the SERPs. You can use this set of operators to find the sitemap file for some websites. Just replace “domain.com” with the competitors domain and TLD extension: “site:domain.com filetype:xml inurl:sitemap”.

3. Use Google Keyword Planner for Free

As mentioned previously in this guide, Google Keyword Planner is free to use for anyone with a Google Account. It’s part of Google AdWords which you can sign up for here.

After you’re logged in AdWords, follow these steps to use Keyword Planner to find a list of free SEO keywords your competitors are ranking for in the SERPs:

  • Click on the “Tools And Settings” icon.
  • Choose “Keyword Planner”.
  • Click on the “Discover New Keywords” option.
  • Select the “Start with a Website” tab.
  • Enter a competitors website domain or individual web page URL.
  • Choose the correct keyword searching option: “Use the entire site” or “Use only this page”.
  • Click on the “Get Results” button.

Google Keyword Planner will then display a list of keywords for the entire domain or individual web page URL along with the average monthly search volume and some pay-per-click (PPC) data.

Free Keyword Planner tool keyword ideas table

4. Download SEO Powersuite for Free

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

5. See Keywords With Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is another free way to see what keywords your competitors are using for SEO. Under the Ubersuggest Keyword Ideas section, you can use the “Search By Website” feature in Ubersuggest to check a domain or web page URL to find potential keywords you can also target for your website. However, keep in mind that you can only perform 3 searches per day without logging in.

Ubersuggest free keyword ideas feature

Find, See & Check Competitors Keywords Summary

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

As you discovered, there are many ways for how to check competitors keywords using both paid and free SEO keyword research tools. You can also see what keywords your competitors are using by analyzing the HTML source code, sitemap files, robots.txt files, and more. So just use the method you like most to get competitor keywords that you can also use to improve the search engine optimization strategy for your website.