Take a second and think about the last thing you typed into a Google Search? Was it a word? Two words? A phrase? Was it a question?

We’ve all heard that SEO is dead. Probably more than once. In fact, every time Google makes an update a thousand articles claiming SEO is dead explode across the web, but in reality SEO is just evolving. Back in the day, you could jam your website full of your target keywords and some META tags and jump to the first page of the SERPs fairly quickly. Well, SEO has gotten much more complex and will only continue to evolve into a semantic search engine capable of much more than comparing keywords and backlinks on websites.

While title tags and META descriptions are still important, especially in the coding side of your websites, landing pages and blog articles, SEO is now almost exclusively concerned about the context of your content. Google has gotten exponentially better at finding the relationship between your content and your audience’s true needs, and it’s doing so by taking into account external influences like your social media activity, links to and from your website and especially other related pages on your website.

Therefore, it’s not enough to stuff a bunch of keywords into your landing pages, home page and blog articles. Now you need a comprehensive plan that produces ongoing, valuable content specific to your target audience. For example, if you’re an ecommerce platform specialized in selling vitamins, you can’t rely just on keywords using the word “vitamins”. You should be creating (and sharing) content about health, diet, natural remedies, exercise, nutrients, supplements and other healthy lifestyle-related topics. When Google sees that you’re a “thought leader” in this space, they’ll send you more organic traffic.

tracking competitor keywords - kompyteSince Google is searching for meaning not keywords, you’ll need to optimize your site for a specific meanings, not for specific phrases. In short, Google wants you to forget about keywords and focus on creating value for your target audience. Part of that value is to connect your audience with the information they seek as quickly and easily as possible, which is why site structure, speed and security are still important to SEO.

Furthermore, while the importance of the old school keyword strategy has fallen off a cliff in the SEO world, it’s alive and kicking in the PPC game. When Google came up with “not provided” count to restrict the keyword data they sent to us they began denying webmasters the basic data about how we are performing in organic search results.

However, in AdWords the level of competition for performing keywords and ad copy have never been higher. By creating a system to track and analyze your competitors’ ad copy, you can not only outperform them in paid search engine marketing, but you can also get great ideas for content to generate organic traffic to boost your SEO as well. Here are 4 reasons why you should use track your competitor keywords:

  1. Accelerate your keyword discovery process by stealing competitors’ keywords that perform well
  2. Find and strengthen the keywords that are performing well for you but are not yet targeted by the competition
  3. Uncover long-tail search terms that your target audience is using that you aren’t capturing
  4. Find out why your competitors are outranking you for certain keywords and long-tail search terms

A good place to start tracking competitor keyword data is the HTML Page Source right on their website and landing pages. Search the code for their keywords in the title tag, headers and meta description. Also, take a look at the title, alternative text and the descriptions they’re using on their images.

Another handy resource is Google Keyword Planner Tool. In the Keyword Planner section, click on “Find New Keywords” and select “search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.” Once you’ve started the form, enter your competitor’s URL under the “your landing page” field and hit “Get Ideas”. Google will then scrape their homepage or landing page and create a list of keywords that are related to that URL.

how to find competitor keywords - kompyteWhile the HTML page source and the Google Keyword Plannter are good starting points, they are static solutions – single, fixed data points that you’ll have to continuously repeat manually to stay on top of your competitors’ dynamic and evolving keyword and SEO strategies. To solve this problem, Kompyte developed an automated system that handles the data collection and analysis so you can focus on taking action.

By automatically tracking your competitors’ keywords and SEO strategy you’ll be able to discover new keywords, write ads that drive traffic, receive alerts when competitors move up/down SERPs and optimize your landing page conversions. With Kompyte, you’ll always have the most up-to-date AdWords campaigns, keyword strategies and SEO ranks for all of your competitors right next to your own KPIs.