One of the most effective methods of finding valuable keywords is analysing your client’s competitor search terms. 

It is one of the quickest ways to discover keywords with the highest search volume that your client might have missed. 

All domains compete with one another in search results. 

And the only way to stay relevant is to win the competition. 

To help you get started, we’re going to show you how to use ahrefs to conduct a competitor keyword analysis.

It is one of the most powerful SEO tools that can help you with just about anything from finding search terms to backlinks opportunities.

Finding Competitors 

You can find the top competitors by using Google’s search results and ahrefs. 

To find the main competing domains in search engines, type in the keywords that your client is ranking for. 


Use Site Explorer in ahrefs to access a list of all the competing domains.

Just remember that ahrefs will show a list based on all types of keywords. 

If your client ranks for a large volume of keywords that are not relevant to one another or do absolutely nothing in terms of conversions, then using SERPs to find their niche related competitors is your best bet.  

competitor search terms

How to Use Ahrefs to Find Search Terms

Finding search terms is relatively easy. 

But you need to know how to analyse them properly if you want to find the best opportunities that can get clients the best SEO results. 

Luckily, ahrefs is super easy to use and makes the process simple.

And you can even download a report that will allow you to dig as deep as you want into the relevant search terms.

How to access the report:

  1. Go to site explorer
  2. Type in the competitor’s URL
  3. Hit the search bar
  4. Click organic keywords
  5. Click export 

competitor search terms

Once you click on organic keywords, you’ll get a list of all the search terms a domain is currently ranking for.

Depending on your client’s business and the niche they are in, going through the reports one by one can take a while. 

Another quick way to find keywords is by using the ‘Content Gap’ tool in ahrefs. 

The Content Gap tool lets you find the terms that competitors are ranking for, but your client is not. 

You can add as many domains as you’d like and compare the results against your client.

competitor search terms

Analysing the Search Terms

The keyword performance report that we previously discussed gives you several metrics to analyse.

These include:

  1. Volume – The average monthly number of searches
  2. Keyword difficulty – The number determines how hard it will be to rank in the top 10
  3. CPC (Cost Per Click) – The average price paid by advertisers for ads using the keyword.
  4. Traffic – The monthly organic search traffic to a competitor’s ranking page for that keyword.
  5. Position – The ranking position of the competitor in organic search results for that specific search term.

Each metrics can help you gain insight into how valuable a search term can be, so you can choose the most relevant keywords that promise a good ROI.

competitor search terms

When it comes to choosing the search terms, consider the following:

  1. Relevancy – How relevant is each keyword to your client’s business? Will it help with lead generation and conversion?
  2. Search volume – Finding several keywords with the highest search volume is great, but you also need to think about the user search intent. What is the main goal a user has when searching for that term? Are they looking to find information or they want to purchase products and services? Search intent can drastically affect your SEO results. 
  3. Traffic – It’s best to choose terms with high traffic potential, but it’s important to remember that it does not guarantee traffic for your client. For competitive terms, the higher a client ranks, the more traffic they are likely to receive. 
  4. Ranking difficulty – Several metrics affect the keyword difficulty including, the number of inbound links, DR rating, relevancy, branding and more. Each search term is different, and so is every client, but one crucial element is the number of backlinks.

Final Thoughts 

Bear in mind that many factors affect how your client would perform in SERPs for a specific keyword. 

But choosing the most relevant terms with the highest search volume and traffic potential can help you get clients the RIO they want. 

If you now have a few valuable terms that your client is currently not ranking for and want to know how to get them faster results, check out our post on how we pinpoint exactly the number of backlinks a client requires to reach number 1 for a keyword.