How to find low competition, high ROI keywords

We all know the crucial importance of choosing the right keywords for our SEO and PPC campaigns. Targeted keywords mean targeted traffic, and that can clearly play a key role in the success of your business.

But here’s the rub; not all keywords are created equal! There are a number of variables to consider with any given keyword. Which other companies are trying to rank for them? How many people are actually searching for them? And how much will it cost per click to get those people to your website?

In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits of finding low competition keywords, which are most likely to deliver a great return on your investment — and talk you through exactly how to do it!

The problem with high competition

Many beginners, perhaps understandably, look firstly at the search terms with the highest possible search volume. It makes sense, right? More searches mean more traffic, after all!

So, let’s say you’ve just started a marketing company. Your starting point might be to try and rank for the keyword ‘Marketing.’ But there are two major problems with this approach.

One is that it’s a highly competitive area. With around 167 million results for ‘Marketing’ on Google, it goes without saying that you’re in for an uphill struggle to get anywhere near page 1.

The other is that it isn’t particularly targeted. Just think about how broad a cross-section of people might search for ‘Marketing’ as a keyword. They could be interested in anything from print marketing to social media. They might be looking for an agency, tips to help market their own business, the latest marketing news or some examples of quality marketing campaigns. Basically anything to do with ‘Marketing!’

This simple example illustrates why going toe-to-toe with established leaders in highly-competitive keywords isn’t always the smartest approach — it can work, of course, but in all likelihood, it won’t drive the best results for your business.

So what’s the alternative?

As you might expect, then, the starting point for identifying low-competition keywords is to really zero in on your particular niche. There are two directions to go in here.

One is to choose what we’d call ‘medium-tail’ keywords — slightly longer than ‘head’ keywords like ‘marketing,’ but still enjoying a relatively high search volume.

The other is what we’d call ‘long-tail.’ These are considerably longer search terms which are likely to rank for less popular subjects or niches. By definition, the search volume is likely to be less for these subjects, but guess what — if you choose the right niche, it also means that you can drive really targeted traffic to your website at little or no expense.

Long-tail SEO has established itself as an attractive strategy to businesses looking for low competition keywords.

Keyword Research

The only way to ensure you’re aiming for the very best possible keywords for your business is to do your homework, in the form of keyword research.

Keyword research is all about finding keywords that are highly targeted, have a good monthly search volume, and relatively low competition.

Of course, if this was easy, everybody would be rocking SEO, but they’re not always all that easy to find. SEO companies are quick to capitalise on this kind of keyword and aim to utilise them on behalf of their clients. So effective keyword research means you have to be thorough, and consistent.

There are a number of tools out there you can use to do keyword research, but — with the best will in the world — not many of them are particularly fun to use!

Keyword suggestion tools will fire out list after list of potential keywords, but they only really tell you part of the story. The keywords themselves are just the tip of the iceberg, and require a bunch of extra research which is often a tedious and time consuming task.

The visual approach

Of course, we’re slightly biased, but we reckon that our visual approach to keyword suggestion is just about the easiest way in the world to identify the perfect keywords for your business.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could tell, straight away, at a glance, how competitive a keyword was from a PPC perspective, as well as how much search traffic it commanded? That’s where our keyword suggestion tool can help.’

Let’s say, for example, we search for ‘Marketing.’ Keywords are colour-coded based on their competition levels — from red for high PPC competition, amber for medium and green for low. And the actual size of the font indicates how many Google searches each keyword gets per month.

keyword-suggestion

We’re looking for low-competition keywords (green) with high volume (large text) so right away we can see that the best options would be keywords like ‘marketing mix,’ ‘what is marketing,’ multi level marketing,’ ‘guerilla marketing,’ and ‘marketing mix definition.’

colour-mix

Keyword Eye also gives you the power to keep on top of what your competition is up to, analyse the keyword trends among top-ranking pages, a question finder to discover what questions people are searching for containing your keywords, and link analysis.

Best of all, you can sign up for your Keyword Eye account for absolutely FREE — and our Pro plan costs just £9.99 per month. If you’d like to find out more about how Keyword Eye can help your business then why not get in touch with us for a chat? We’d love to hear from you!

Keyword Match Types: Explained

When Google asks you to assign keyword match types to your PPC (pay per click) campaign, do you often just leave it on the default and move on?

You could be doing more damage to your campaigns than you realise.

If you’re left wondering each month why your budget runs out so fast, or why users aren’t converting, or why the keyword CPC (cost per click) keeps getting higher…..then this article may just have the answer – and it has a lot to do with the match type you use.

What are keyword match types?

When setting up a keyword for your advertising campaigns, you need to let Google know your intentions behind the keyword, so you can get the most out of your PPC ads and increase your traffic.

For example a person searching for the term ‘piano’ could be looking to buy a piano, or they could be looking for piano lessons. Sometimes it’s hard to know what they want, so Google asks us assign a match type to our keywords, in order to effectively target our ads to the right search query.

There are three different match types, that can help Google determine how broad or how narrow a users search query will match to the keyword.

The types are:

  1. Broad match
  2. Modified broad match
  3. Phrase match

Broad Match

A broad match will reach the widest audience and it is the default option in Adwords. If you decide to go with broad match, your ad will appear when a user searches for parts of your keyword, in any order, or similar phrases.

Say for example your keyword phrase is: boutique hotels. Your ad could appear if the user searches for ‘hotel stay’, ’boutique holiday’ or even ‘luxury break’. Variations of your keyword could also appear such as abbreviations, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings, and even misspellings.

Although on the plus side your ad will reach the largest audience, on the downside this could negatively impact your budget as it is not highly targeted. This means a user could click onto your ad, and click off straight away without converting, so tailoring the broad match option is advised — which brings me to the next option…

Broad Match Modifier

A broad match modifier is all about the + sign. If you assign your keyword with a + sign then you’re letting Google know that the search query must include that term. The good news about a modified broad match is that it can help you reach a wide audience, whilst narrowing down individual keywords.

For example if you use +boutique hotel, Google can only let the user see your ad if they have searched for boutique (or a variation such as a misspelling), somewhere in their query. So a person who searches ’boutique stay’, ‘country boutique manor’ or reviews for boutique hotels’ will receive your ad.

As you are targeting specific keywords, this can help improve your click through rate, with traffic that is much more likely to convert.

Phrase Match

A phrase match helps you better target your keywords by ensuring your ad will only show if a person searches for the exact phrase of your keyword, or close variations. It does allow for words to appear before or after the phrase, but not in between.

For example if your key phrase is ‘luxury boutique hotels’, then your ad will show if a user searches for ‘cheap luxury boutique hotels in north west’ or, ‘best luxury boutique hotels’ or even ‘luxry boutique hotel for couples’.

As you can see it must have the phrase in the right order, somewhere within the query, but it does take into account close variations of the words used such as the misspelling of ‘luxry’. Phrase match will again help you better target traffic, as you are giving the user an ad based on exact phrase that they are searching for.

What about exact match?

From September 2014, Google said goodbye to the exact match type — which basically meant that the user had to type in your exact keyword to see your ad. Although this did offer control over the quality of leads that come to your site, it also limited the amount of traffic you were likely to receive.

According to Google people are not great at spelling. In fact, 7% of Google searches contain a misspelling, which is why they probably feel an exact match type would not be beneficial to the success of your PPC campaigns. So they’ve made sure that each match type offers the close variation feature to go alongside it.

But what if I want to have more control?

If you are worried about the changes to ‘exact match type’, you can still be strategic in the way you optimize your keywords, and it’s something Google likes to call negative keywords.

If you assign a negative keyword to your phrase, for example the word cheap. A user who searched for ‘cheap boutique hotels’, would not receive your ad. This can help you weed out the people who are not interested in your product, whilst still targeting a wide audience.

Test out your keywords

To run a successful campaign, you need to be testing various keywords to see which ones work for you. If you are struggling with the standard keyword tools then you could benefit from our keyword tool.

Not only will you find out the latest keyword trends, but you can discover what keywords and links your competitors are using, find out the phrases that your customers are typing into Google, and discover the links that people are using to come to you.

Get started with your 7-day trial of Keyword Eye Pro, today!

Win a 1 Year Pro Subscription!

Keyword research is a big deal, and you need the right tools to give you a competitive advantage. If you’re looking for a solution that can help you research keywords, analyse trends and keep an eye on the competition, then you’re in the right place.

And this could just be your lucky day. We’re giving away a 1 Year Pro Subscription (worth £9.99 per month) which includes the following great features:

  • Detailed Keyword Research – Get average cost per click and number of organic search results per keyword.
  • Competitor Analysis – Discover what keywords a domain or specific URL is ranking for within organic or paid listings.
  • Question Finder – Discover what questions people are searching for containing your keyword.
  • Content Analysis – Analyze keyword trends within the on-site content of trending or top ranking search pages.
  • Top Content & Influencers – Quickly identify what content is working well in an industry and who the major influencers are.
  • Link Analysis – Monitor what keywords (anchor text) is being used to link to you or a competitor.
  • No ads!

You can enter the contest below – we’ll draw one lucky winner at the end of the month. Good luck!


Learning from the Best: Building on Popular Content to Increase Search Traffic

Keyword research should be plugged directly into your content development process. By carrying out keyword research, you’ll be able to identify new opportunities to target keywords relevant to your business and drive quality traffic to your site.

Now, whilst keyword research should play a part within your content creation process, there’s a lot more data available to you that you can use to get the best possible results from your campaigns. One of these data sources comes in the form of existing popular content related to the topics that you’re targeting.

Having an understanding of the different components that make up a successful piece of content should be high on your priority list. I often dedicate a huge portion of my content development time to researching established content and breaking it down into the different elements that make that post a success.

Here’s my general process:

  1. Understand the overarching subject area that you want to develop content around (for example, web hosting).
  2. Research keywords related to the core subject and map out more specific queries that can be targeted (for example, where to buy web hosting).
  3. Identify existing content that has been heavily linked to and shared that relates directly to the keywords that you’ve targeted.
  4. Analyse the popular content to find trends and features that work well.
  5. Implement the findings of your analysis to develop content that has a dramatically greater chance of success.

content-research-analysis

Researching Keywords

Once you’ve decided upon a core subject that you want to build some traffic around, it’s time to look at the keywords that can be targeted through the search engines.

At this stage, you just want to look at broad search terms. For example, this could be relevant to your services, products, or brand. To make things easier, let’s use a company selling vegetarian food products as an example.

Some top-level keywords could be:

  • Vegetarian
  • Veggie food
  • Vegetarian meals

I could list more, but I’m sure you get this picture. This stage is just about identifying a few key themes that we can build upon at a later stage. If you’re not hugely confident in carrying out keyword research, you can check out this post outlining the fundamentals of keyword research.

Using a broad topic like vegetarian, you can use the Keyword Suggestion tool to find a flurry of relevant keywords that are related to this term. Here’s what the results look like:

vegetarian-keywords

Now that you’ve got a larger pool of search terms, it’s time to take a look at some of the popular content related to them…

Identifying Popular Content

Here’s where you can use one of my favourite features within Keyword Eye, the top content finder.

find-top-content

All you need to do is right-click on any of the keywords shown and then select the option named Find Top Content. Keyword Eye will then work its magic to find some of the most popular content related to that term based on social shares across each social network in the past month.

Here are the results for the term vegetarian meals:

top-content

At a glance, it’s clear to see that Facebook is the most popular social network for sharing content related to vegetarian meals. This in itself is a useful insight, as it means you can shift your promotion strategy to lean more toward seeding shares via Facebook. Before you even begin thinking about promotion, you’ll want to gain some more insights into the content itself…

Analysing Popular Content

I’d recommend gathering a good number of popular articles that focus around a number of relevant search terms related to your core subject. In this example, it could be vegetarian recipes, vegetarian meals, vegetarian meal plan, and vegetarian diet.

You’ll probably get some overlap in the popular content, but it will help you to also see patterns in content that is performing well over a number of subtopics. To make things easy for yourself, you may want to paste a few of the top-content URLs into a spreadsheet (I always find that analysis work is a lot easier in Excel).

Once you’ve got a list of popular content, it’s time to break down the content into a variety of different components. Here are a few of the elements that I tend to gather information around:

  • The format of the content (i.e., video, text-based article, infographic, etc.)
  • The length of the content (in words)
  • The length of the content headline and the types of language used
  • The ratio of image to text
  • The author of the content and where it was published
  • Length of the paragraphs (or length of the video if it’s a video)

These are just a few of the things that I look for to identify trends in the top content. Gathering this information is easy enough, and you can go through each article one by one to gather the result. You can then create a large comparison table of each of the best pieces of content.

Note: If you don’t want to gather all this information manually, you can use a tool like URL Profiler to go through and grab these data automatically.

From here, you may find that most of the top-performing pieces of content have a large number of images within them. They may have a word count between 300-400 words and headline length of 7-10 words. You may also find that the headline includes a number, for example, 29 Meat-Free Meals You Can Make Without Your Stove.

These findings are pure gold.

This is the kind of data that you can use to build out a template for the perfect article. I guarantee that you’ll see the benefit of this when you’ve done it once. If you want to see this in action, check out my content analysis case study.

Implementing Your Findings

At this point, you should have an idea of the key elements that make up a successful piece of content within your subject area. Using this information, you can create a piece of content that has a far greater chance of performing well. But it doesn’t stop there…

There’s one more trick that Keyword Eye has up its sleeve: influencer analysis.

top-influencers

Go back into your initial keyword research and right-click on one of the search terms that you used to find popular content. Instead of selecting this option, click on Find Top Influencers.

The top influencersare those that have been instrumental towards increasing the online reach of popular content. These are the social media accounts of people that have shared content relevant to your keywords.

Using this information, you can build a list of people that you want to get in touch with to share your content with. A single share from any of these accounts could result in a snowball effect of social sharing.

If you want to go even further with this kind of analysis, you can look at the people linking to the content and get in touch with them to see if they’d consider linking to your new piece(s) of content.

By following these steps, you’ll not only be able to identify gaps in your niche to bring in more traffic through, but you’ll also develop a deeper understanding of what content works.

TL;DR

  • Understand the overarching subject area that you want to develop content around (for example, web hosting).
  • Research keywords related to the core subject and map out more specific queries that can be targeted (for example, where to buy web hosting).
  • Identify existing content that has been heavily linked to and shared that relates directly to the keywords that you’ve targeted.
  • Analyse the popular content to find trends and features that work well.
  • Implement the findings of your analysis to develop content that has a dramatically greater chance of success.

Understanding the Fundamentals of Keyword Research

As a newbie to SEO, the infinite number of highly technical posts surrounding keyword research, content optimisation and link building can be very daunting. With SEO it’s particularly important that you learn to walk before you begin even considering a run – the fall that will ensue could be quite painful.

Consequently, the best starting point is to gather a basic understanding of keywords, the role they play in an SEO campaign and how you can conduct some basic keyword research.

Luckily for you, I’ve spent the past seven years improving and refining the process that I use for researching SEO keywords (amongst many other things!). Within this article I’m going to give you the answers that you need surrounding keyword research without overwhelming you with technical detail. By the end of reading this post you should have a grasp of the following:

  1. What keyword research is used for.
  2. The role that keywords play within an SEO campaign.
  3. How you can identify relevant keywords for your campaign.

Let’s Talk Keywords…

On the most basic level, a keyword is something that is searched for within a search engine that will return a list of results. These results are made up of different webpages that have been deemed relevant to the term searched for.

keyword-research-definition

The idea is that if this keyword is relevant to your website, you want your site to be appearing highly within this list of results to increase the chance of the user visiting.

You don’t need to worry about how you will get your website ranking well in the search engines at this stage; you just need to understand which search terms you’d like to have an appearance for.

There are three major factors that make up the suitability of a keyword for your campaign. They are:

  1. Relevance.
  2. Traffic Potential.
  3. Competition.

1. Relevance

In order to ensure that you’re bringing the right visitors through to your website, you need to ensure that the keywords you’re targeting are relevant to the content that you’ll be displaying to them.

If a user has searched for the keyword ‘buy car paint’ and they land on a webpage that talks about the different types of car tyres available then this is a seriously negative user experience. Even if you were to bring in a lot of traffic by ranking well for this keyword, the majority of the traffic would instantly be lost due to it not delivering the result the user is after.

This is a very important point to bear in mind. Traffic isn’t everything – sometimes less is more.

2. Traffic Potential

Alongside the keywords being relevant to the content that you’ll be displaying, there should be a significant amount of potential traffic that could be driven back to your website as a result of ranking highly for it.

You will be able to see how many times a keyword is search for each month via Keyword Eye. Based on monthly search volumes, you’re able to predict potential traffic based around ranking in various positions in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

serp_ctr

Image source: http://moz.com/ugc/how-to-get-more-clicks-with-low-rankings

There have been loads of studies into the click-through rate of search results within the SERPs. In general, a good figure to go with is between 30-40% for ranking at the top of page one.

For example, if a keyword was searched for 10,000 times every month, you could expect between 3-4,000 visits to your webpage if you ranked at #1 in Google.

3. Competition

As well as ensuring the keyword is relevant and searched for regularly, you need to be aware of the competition surrounding it within the SERPs. By this I mean, how easy will it be to achieve good search engine rankings for this keyword?

As a general rule, the higher the monthly search volume of a keyword, the higher the competition. Now, there are exceptions here but this is generally the case.

You’ll need to be able to identify when a keyword is going have a high level of competition to rank for this in order to calculate your ROI effectively.

keyword-factors

Onto the Keyword Research…

The first stage of your keyword research is to map out some ideas for what it is that you’re trying to target. Forget about search volumes, relevance and competition at this stage, just focus on the basic – what is it you’re trying to bring people through to?

Let’s use the example of a consumer electronics retailer. Before they even begin looking at the likes of the search terms people are searching for, e.g. buy plasma televisions online, they would need to map out all the different products/services/themes associated with the business.

This could look like this:

  • USB flash drives
  • Plasma televisions
  • Consumer electronics
  • Surround sound systems
  • Home cinema
  • Keyboards
  • PC monitors

You get the idea…

Once you’ve mapped out an extensive list of the different products/services/themes of your business, it’s time to drill down into the search phrases associated with them – this is where you’ll need some help from Keyword Eye.

keyword-suggestion

The first step is to navigate to New>Keyword>Suggestion. You can then search for one of the terms within your list of products/services/themes. For example, USB flash drives.

Keyword Eye will go through and find any search terms that are related to the one that you’ve inputted and supply you with a ton of extra data surrounding them. For example, monthly search volume, PPC competition and the number of webpages shown in the results (a good indication of how competitive it is).

usb-flash-drives-cloud

You’ll also have a word cloud with all of the results so that you can visualise each of the suggestions in a way that is easy to break down. You can order the size of the word based on search volume so that it becomes easy to find any keywords that are searched for regularly.

I often use this feature to get inspiration for new search terms. For example, within the above screenshot I can see that many people refer to USB drives as pen drives, thumb drives and USB sticks. This is really useful to know as you can add these terms into your main list of keywords.

The best process for gathering and analysing keywords is to go to the Grid View tab and then download the list of keywords to an Excel spreadsheet (via the Download button). I always find that it’s much easier to go through keywords once you’ve got them in Excel.

Refining Your Keywords

Once you’ve gathered a big list of keywords for each of your products/services/themes that you outlined, you need to go through and refine the list. This will include checking that they are relevant, that they’re searched for enough and also grouping them into categories.

spreadsheet-keywords

Once you’ve downloaded your keywords, they should look something like this (see above).

The first thing that I do at this stage is to go through all of the keywords and just remove any of those that are obviously irrelevant. For example, in the USB flash drives example, there were keywords like what is flash and portable office which are completely irrelevant for people coming through to buy these products. These would be deleted from my list.

Once you’ve done this, you need to separate the short tail and the long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are generally longer in length and more specific. Short tail keywords are shorter in length and are generally broader.

For example, a short tail keyword would be USB drives. An example of a long tail keyword would be what is a USB flash drive?

search-demand-curve

Source: http://moz.com/

You can see in the diagram above that there are many more long tail keywords than there are short tail (fat head and chunky middle). 70% of all keywords are long tail keywords and this is usually the largest source of overall traffic to a website. Individually they may not be searched for a lot, but ranking well for a number of them can bring in serious numbers of traffic.

You will usually have a base set of short tail keywords that you can then build out variations of long tail keywords to target alongside this. For example, with the short tail keyword, Plasma TVs, you could have a whole host of long tail keywords, such as:

  • 32 inch Plasma TVs
  • Where to buy Plasma TVS
  • Plasma TVs with free UK delivery
  • How do Plasma TVs work?
  • Are Plasma TVs better than LCD TVs?
  • Thin profile Plasma TVs

Starting to get the idea?

Once you group your keywords within your spreadsheet, you’ll make it a lot easier for you to select specific pages on your website that you want to focus sets of keywords to.

Alongside the fact that you can easily assign keyword groups to specific page of your website, you can also get an idea of the total monthly search volume for each keyword set. All this requires you to do is calculate the sum of the monthly search volume (which Keyword Eye provides) for all of the keywords related to one product/service/theme.

This will make it much easier for you to prioritise the keywords you’re targeting based on their potential ROI. Once you’ve got all this mapped out, you’re well on your way to getting a good understanding of the fundamentals of keyword research.

See, it’s not that bad!

TL;DR

  • Understand whether your keywords are relevant, have the potential to drive through traffic and that you can compete in the SERPs.
  • Map out a list of products/services/themes to identify keyword for.
  • Filter out irrelevant keywords from your master list.
  • Identify short tail and long tail keywords and group them.
  • Calculate the total monthly search volume for your keyword sets to estimate potential ROI.

Spying on Your Competitors – and Learning From Them

You can learn a lot from your competitors, and you’d have to be a fool not to stay on top of what they’re doing. Whether you’re looking to stay ahead of them in terms of SEO, social media or a general business perspective (which I’m sure you are nodding at all three!) then competitive research is a must.

I’m going to break down a simple approach to carrying out monthly/weekly/daily competitive research (depending on how obsessive you are!). First things first, let’s take a look at some competitive keyword research…

Competitive Keyword Research

Keyword research is an incredibly important part of any SEO campaign. Whenever I take on a new client, their competitors are my first port of call for sourcing keywords to target. This usually helps me find a load of long-tail variations and alternatives that I can work on for some quick wins, but it also gives me a good steer on industry terminology.

Carrying out competitive keyword research is easy and through using Keyword Eye, it can be done in a few clicks.

Competitor Analysis

Once you’re logged in, click on New (top-left) and then select Competitor Analysis. You’ll then be presented with a box (as shown in the above image) where you can type in the domain name of your competitor, select the search engine and then run the full report.

Keyword Research Word Cloud

Once you’ve ran the report you’ll get a nice big word cloud that you can order by search volume or their search ranking (amongst other factors). This helps you to quickly highlight where your competitors are bringing in search traffic from.

If you then navigate to the Grid View tab, you’ll get a breakdown each keyword complete with search volume, keyword competitiveness, your competitor’s organic ranking, the URL that’s ranking and the number of organic results for each query.

This data is gold.

On top of this, you can drill down to find long-tail variations for each of the keywords that you’ve found from your competitors. To do this, navigate back to the Keywords tab (the word cloud), right-click any of the keywords and select Find Questions.

Find Questions

Keyword Eye will then pull in long-tail variations of the short-tail keyword that you’ve selected to find more informational queries related to this. For example, this could be, What is social media? How many people use social media? Or, How to use social media for business.

The search volume and keyword competition score is also provided within these results. Awesome!

Exported Keywords

My next step is to repeat this process for a number of competitors (3-5 to begin with) and the download all the data and collate it into a .csv file.

This data in itself can be used to get a good idea on the types of keywords that you may want to start targeting, but I then take this a step further by adding each of the ranking URLs of my competitors into Google’s Keyword Planner Tool to find other semantically related keywords and add them into my spreadsheet.

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to uncover low-hanging fruit this way.

Competitive Link Research

Like with keyword research, link prospecting is a staple part of any SEO campaign. Links add a huge amount of weight towards ranking well in the SERPs (I don’t need to tell you that, I’m sure!), so finding quick wins can have a big impact on the results of your campaigns.

I carry out competitive link research for each of my clients at least once a month. There are a number of tools that you can use to do this, each with their own pros and cons (which I’m not going to go into – check out this post from Matthew Woodward if you’re interested.)

For the purpose of this article, I’m going to use my most favoured tool, Majestic SEO (paid tool). For the competitive link research that I do, I combine the power of Majestic SEO with the functionality of the SEO Tools plugin for Excel (free).

The process is really simple, so all you need to do if follow these steps:

  1. Open Excel and navigate to the SEOTools tab (this is assuming you’ve installed the SEO Tools plugin.
  2. Select Majestic SEO and click the login button within the left-hand pane. Use your Majestic SEO login details to sign-in and grant the SEO Tools plugin full access.
  3. Once logged in, select New&Lost Backlinks from the Select Command: drop-down.
  4. Insert your competitor’s domain into the URL field.
  5. Select the interval as Last month.
  6. Select the mode as New.
  7. In the Fields: box, tick SourceURL, TargetURL, AnchorText, FlagNofollow, SourceCitationFlow and SourceTrustFlow.
  8. Set the Max Results to 1,000.
  9. Select the Fresh radio button from the Datasource field.
  10. Click the Insert button.

SEO Tools Plugin

You’ll then be presented with a big juicy list of the links that your competitor has gained in the past month, accompanied with metrics on the power of those links (Citation Flow and Trust Flow).

The next step is to filter the data by Citation Flow (largest at the top) and work through the list to find if there are any opportunities that you could capitalise on. Typically, these are some of the things I look out for:

  • Mentions of my competitors within the press.
  • Guest post content written by my competitors.
  • Links to images or video content they’ve produced.
  • Directories or useful links pages.
  • Links to their product pages (if applicable).

Upon finding each of these, it’s a case of following the paper trail back and trying to form a relationship with the linking website that can result in you acquiring a similar link.

Alongside this, I find that it helps me identify any new approaches that I could take to link building and replicate any success that my competitors have had. It also gives you a bit of an insight into how you can try to build links that make it tough for your competitors to replicate because I’m sure that they’ll be doing the same thing to your link profile.

TL;DR

  • Don’t ignore what your competitors are doing.
  • Use link analysis tools in tandem with Excel to easily identify competitive link opportunities.
  • Monitor your competitors’ rankings to uncover new keyword opportunities.
  • Expand on your competitors’ short-tail keywords with long-tail question variations.

Find trending content and influencers for your keywords

We’ve added a couple of exciting features to Keyword Eye Pro which will allow you to quickly identify what content is working well in an industry and who the major influencers are.

This adds an extra dimension to your research which I hope you will find useful. Here are just a couple of ways in which you could use this to your advantage:

  • Find out what content in your niche gets the most shares. Discover what makes your audience tick.
  • Find out who the influencers are in specific topics and analyze their sharing activity.

To access these new features simply login to your Keyword Eye Pro account (if you’re interested in upgrading to Pro please click here) and generate a keyword report like you’ve done before. Right click on any keyword to view a menu like this:

Clicking ‘Find Top Content‘ will return popular content for your keyword in the last month sorted by the total number of social shares. You can view the number of shares on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ that each piece of content has received. Clicking on any of the titles will take you directly to the content.

Clicking ‘Find Top Influencers‘ will return the top 5 influencers for your keyword sorted by relevancy. View their follower numbers as well as reply, retweet and URL share ratios.

That’s not all!

We’ve expanded our content analysis tool to incorporate this fresh content data. Let’s say we we want to analyze keyword usage within trending content for the term ‘world cup’. We will add this as the keyword and choose the ‘trending’ option.

After clicking ‘Run Report’ we were able to generate the following keyword cloud (keyword size reflects frequency in this case):

It looks like ‘France’ and ‘Ronaldo’ are getting a few mentions as we speak!

I hope you find these new features useful. If you’ve got any questions or feedback please leave a comment below.

How to generate reports using your own keyword lists

If you’ve used Keyword Eye before you will know it returns keyword suggestions related to or including a keyword or phrase.

What if you could generate a report for just a list of keywords you enter? Now you can. This is how you do it.

  • Login to your Keyword Eye Basic or Pro account. In the ‘New’ drop-down menu click ‘List’ under the ‘Keyword’ item (‘Suggestion’ is where you will find the traditional keyword suggestion tool).

  • Enter a list of keywords in the new dialog (one per line, maximum 100 keywords).

  • Click ‘Run Report’. That’s it! You’ll now be able to visualize average search volume and competition metrics for your own keyword list in a matter of seconds.

This new report is available to both Keyword Eye Basic and Pro users. Basic users are limited to 10 reports per day. Pro users get additional insight by returning CPC (cost per click) data per keyword.

At this stage the data is limited to Google US but we’re looking to expand this in the near future.

If you’ve got any questions or feedback about this new report please leave a comment below.

Using Reddit to find trending keywords

There are literally millions of people on Reddit discussing every topic you can think of. If you browse through a few of the discussions using the advanced search you will find a number of trending keywords that you just might not find using a keyword tool (Keyword Eye included).

We’ve added a little feature to Keyword Eye which we hope you find useful.

Simply right click any keyword in a keyword suggestion report (or competitor analysis if you’re a Pro member) and click ‘Reddit’ to open up an advanced Reddit search for the keyword in question.

You’ve now found a keyword research goldmine!

Visualize Keyword Frequency within Top Ranking Websites

We’ve just added another cool tool to Keyword Eye Pro.

The ‘Content Analysis’ tool gathers the clean content (eliminating navigation, ads etc) of the top 3 ranking URLs for a given query within a selected search engine and displays the results in an image based word cloud.

The example below was generated for the query ‘digital agency’ for Google UK.

The size of individual keywords reflect the frequency of which they appear within the gathered content.

This is very useful for looking at on-site keyword trends for top search engine ranking pages, whether for SEO analysis or just from a messaging point of view.

The generated cloud is an image too so you can save it to your computer or embed it in a presentation or proposal very easily.

We’re going to be launching an additional interactive version of the content analysis tool in the next week or so.