I always expected keyword research to get easier over time. But my experience has been quite the opposite. Keyword research has only gotten more complex as search engines become more sophisticated and as I learn more about what it means to do great keyword research.
The challenge with keyword research isn’t in finding appropriate keywords to target on your site, it’s in determining whether or not you can actually achieve high rankings for the keywords. Great keyword research sets the right expectations for what needs to be done to get on the first page of search results for the targeted queries. This requires great competitive analysis.
Companies like Moz have made competitive keyword analysis a bit easier with metrics such as “Keyword Difficulty”. This provides some insight into the general competitiveness of a query, but because it is an absolute metric–one that does not take into account the specific page you’re optimizing–it doesn’t tell you much about whether or not your page can compete against the pages currently on the first page of search results. To better understand this, we need to look at relative keyword competition.
I couldn’t find a tool that provided this metric, so I decided to build it myself.
I hacked together the Competitive Keyword Analysis Tool using SEER’s Google Spreadsheets SEO Toolbox. Big shout out to Wil Reynolds and SEER for putting that together and making it available to the industry!
Click the button below to check out the tool. But first, a few quick instructions:
- Before you do anything, make a copy: File > Make a copy
- For the tool to work, you’ll need to first enter your Moz member ID and secret key in the “Settings” sheet. If you don’t already have this information, you can find it here after logging into your Moz account: https://moz.com/products/api/keys
- Make sure to use full URLs including the “http://”, and for home pages include a trailing slash, e.g. http://www.example.com/
I look forward to hearing your feedback and feel free to track me down on Twitter at @trungvngo for questions, comments, complaints, or all the aforementioned.