Identify Keyword Competitors and Benchmark Performance

Understanding your digital competition is key to growing your digital traffic share. But when it comes to keyword competition, SEO and PPC managers have some "known unknowns" such as:

Who are your brand competitors vs. keyword competitors? Who's overlapping for keyword groups based on specific topics? And, even who's up to no good and bidding against your keywords?

Discover your keyword competitors and see who's leading in keyword search traffic by product category, type, and even characteristic. Learn how to use these insights to build targeted keyword lists that'll help you make the connection in the Hunger Games that is Google SERP. May the odds be ever in your favor!

Benchmark your search performance

Who is on the leader board when it comes to the highest volume search terms?

When it comes to benchmarking, there are several data points to discover and evaluate. We will start by seeing which brands dominate SEO vs. PPC based on the Top Organic and Top Paid search terms.

For this workflow, we'll be using tools and insights in the Competitive Analysis module.

  1. Benchmark keyword performance against brands in your competitive set.

    In the Competitive Research module, enter your website and click +Compare to enter up to four competitor sites. On the Website Performance page, scroll to the Organic Search and Paid Search sections.



    Key Insights: View the top Search Terms and the Group Traffic Split.

    The Insights Tiles identify trends and provide actionable insights to dig into, like Keyword Losses and Keyword Opportunities.

    yellowlightbulb.png Tip: Select an Insight Tile to jumpstart your keyword analysis in the Keyword and Keyword Gap tools. It's as easy as that.

  2. View top-level metrics for Organic Search.

    From the sidebar menu, navigate to the Search > Overview page.



    Key Insights: The Search Visits tell the story of the amount of organic traffic reaching the analyzed sites, while Organic v Paid and Branded Traffic metrics break down the type of traffic.


    In Search Traffic & Engagement, get visibility into the quality of traffic by looking at the Visit Duration, Pages per Visit , and Bounce Rate. Apply the filters to refine your analysis.


    Scroll down to view Search Traffic by Engines.



    Look at how much traffic the top search engines are driving to each website in your competitive set.

  3. View top-level metrics for Paid Search.

    From the sidebar menu, navigate to the Paid Search > Overview page.



    Key Insights: In the Paid Search Traffic & Engagement module, view PPC Spend and hover over the graph to view PPC spend for a specific month and the % Change from the previous month.


    Assess the ratios for Total Paid Traffic and PPC Spend across your competitive set. Who is driving the most traffic relative to the least spend (visits per dollar)?

Consider how Organic Traffic and Paid Traffic trends differ between brands. Note engagement metrics like Visit Duration and compare your performance against other sites. Keep this in mind as you research keywords and consider how effectively they drive traffic (or not).

Discover new search competitors using Search Overlap

Alright, so you've assessed your search performance against your brand competitors. But what about your keyword competitors? For this research, we'll be using the Search Overlap and Shared Keyword insights.

  1. In the Competitive Research module, enter your website. From the sidebar menu, navigate to the Organic Competitors page.



    Key Insights: Based on Total Traffic and Search Overlap Score, the Organic Competitors tool identifies and plots the websites most closely competing with you for organic search traffic. Hover over the graph to view details for each competitor.


    Tip: Customize your keyword competitor search by prioritizing the metrics that mean the most to you. Use the filters above the graph to change the X and X-axis, comparing Search Overlap Score, Shared Keywords, Organic Traffic, or Total Traffic.
  2. In the table, the competing websites are listed in order of Search Overlap Score.



    Key Insights: Scan the list of top competitors and focus on the % Shared Keywords and Total Traffic. Hover over a domain to see a Website Snippet with their Industry, Description, Ranks, and Monthly Visits.


    Apply the filters to refine your research by Industry, Website Type, and Search Type. Try selecting Rising Competitors and New Competitors to view up-and-coming domains battling for your keywords.

    yellowlightbulb.png Tip: Check the boxes to the left of the domains to Create a List for Web Industry Analysis within the Digital Research Intelligence solution. There, you can identify market trends and monitor industry players.

Once you've identified your top keyword competitors, choose up to four to add for further competitive research. From here on out, you can focus on your brand competitors or your keyword competitors. Choose your adventure.

Find which keywords are driving the most traffic for your competitors

Next up: Keyword gap analysis - the hunt for keyword opportunities. How can you expand your keyword strategy and discover more top-performing terms for your SEO and PPC campaigns?

For this workflow, we'll be using the Keyword Gap tool in the Acquisition Channels module.

  1. From the sidebar menu, go to the Acquisition Channels module.

    Navigate to SEO > Keyword Gap from the sidebar menu. Add your primary website and competitors for analysis.


    Click Opportunities and Losses in the right sidebar menu to find keywords you're missing out on.



    Key Insights: Use the tabs at the top of the graph - All Traffic, Organic, Paid - to see areas of overlap for each type of traffic. Hover over the diagram for data on shared Keywords and Search Visits.

  2. Click on any intersecting area in the graph to see the list of overlap terms and a full view of metrics.



    Key Insights: Take note of the Search Traffic, Competitive Traffic Share, CPC, and SERP Features insights. See which brand is in the lead and which SERP features are fueling top keywords.

    yellowlightbulb.png Tip: Bookmark terms for further research and monitoring by selecting them and creating a keyword list.

Investigate keyword opportunities by product and topic

Sometimes, it's not so much about the category -- it's about the specific product or even product attribute. See how you can use Similarweb to hone your keyword search and find the most relevant terms for your business.

  1. Return to the Competitive Research module.

    Navigate to the Search -> Keywords page and view the list of top keywords and search traffic metrics.

  2. Use the search bar to Filter Keywords or URLs. Enter a product type or a characteristic of interest to search for keywords specific to that item.


    Key metrics: View the list of Search Terms and the metrics for each. Pay attention to Competitive Traffic share, CPC, and Organic vs. Paid. Apply the filters to refine your research. Try looking at the Non-Branded Keywords for brand-agnostic keywords to add to your strategy.

    yellowlightbulb.png Tip: Save keywords of interest by creating a keyword list. Try creating multiple lists that focus on different product characteristics so that you can easily track, update, and analyze them to increase your brand's performance.

See which competitors are bidding on your brand

When people search for your brand, they should ideally see an ad for your brand -- not an ad for your competitors. Yet, that's precisely how competitors can divert valuable traffic away from you.

Find who is bidding on your branded keywords and how much traffic they are gaining from those keywords.

  1. In Competitive Research, navigate to the Search -> Keywords page.

    Set the table filters to Paid Keywords. And, use the search bar to enter your brand and other brand-identifying terms. For example, AllBirds Shoe Company would include "allbirds", "allbird", and "bird " in the search.

  2. Select the Competitive Traffic Share filter for an at-a-glance view of any competitors bidding on your branded keywords. What is the percentage?

    Review the Search Terms and the traffic metrics -- including Competitive Traffic Share, CPC, and Organic vs. Paid.

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