SEMrush and AdWords spy games

I had a great time in India, and on the flight home my seatmate asked me if there was a way to spy on what keywords his competitors were buying. There is such a tool and we’ve been using it here for about four years.

It’s called SEMrush. Some of you already know it, and many of you have tried other products for spying on your competitors’ keywords, but this is the one I like to use.

Keep in mind that, like Google’s own tools, none of the results you’ll get here are 100% accurate. This tool uses robots and scrapes, and produces results using averages. Still, it can give you a surprisingly clear picture of what your competitors are doing.

After using SEMrush for four years now, I’m convinced that it’s extremely useful for competitor analysis. Do a search for your biggest competitor and you can find all the keywords they’re buying from Google Ads.

You’ll find the estimated traffic, plus a close idea of what your competitor is spending for each keyword. You can get a good idea where they’re wasting money, or you might even find a useful keyword you didn’t even know existed!

You can also find out where your competition isn’t advertising where they should. If you’re both selling a product, it makes sense to advertise in Google shopping to take advantage of the prime real estate at the top of Google’s page. If your competitor isn’t advertising there, you’ve found a niche you can exploit.

Another key use for this tool is to find keywords that are difficult to rank for. Find a keyword that’s got low competition that’s relatively easy to rank for and you’ve found where your next efforts should be aimed.

For more information, visit the StewArt website.

Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business  StewArt Media  has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.

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