The Best SEO Keyword Tool of 2023
Updated: Mar 14
Understanding your competitor's SEO keywords can be a game-changer in your quest to improve your website's ranking. SpyFu's latest update on its SEO Keyword results allows you to access twice the number of SEO results, equipping you with actionable insights that can translate into higher click-through rates. But this is just the beginning as SpyFu promises to add more keyword results in the upcoming months.
This feature provides you with a comprehensive overview of a website's SEO keywords, assessed using state-of-the-art metrics.
Why search for a website's keywords?
One of the secrets to beating your competition is understanding the keywords they're prioritizing and those they're neglecting. SpyFu's new SEO Keywords feature allows you to view your competitor's rankings and gain insights that can help you improve your own website.
When you search for your competitor's domain using this tool, you'll receive practical tips on how to enhance your rankings and boost your standings. However, the best course of action may vary depending on your circumstances. That's why we'll guide you through how the results are structured, what customizations are available, and how to utilize this tool to its full potential.
Here's what you can gain from this feature:
Insights into your competitor's keyword priorities
Knowledge about your own rankings (this applies to your clients as well)
Since May 2021, SpyFu has made significant strides in providing more comprehensive keyword data. This leap forward is evident in two ways:
Keyword Breadth: Millions of additional keywords are now included in the search results.
Keyword Depth: The number of SERP results has doubled.
This upgrade results in increased accuracy and greater keyword diversity for a given domain. You'll also be able to identify more competitors, thanks to the broader keyword coverage. Furthermore, with twice as many results, you'll be able to detect changes in rankings earlier, even before they appear on the first few pages.
Twice as Many Results
SpyFu's expanded keyword results are now integrated into a new feature that takes search results to a deeper level. The latest system collects twice as many results as before, providing access to SERP rankings up to page 10.
Previously, SpyFu collected the top 50 organic results from the SERP, whereas the new system gathers the top 100. This enhancement yields two significant benefits. Firstly, when searching for a keyword, you can now view double the number of domains that rank for it. Secondly, when searching for a domain, you'll see it ranking for more keywords.
This expansion includes newly published content that might rank as low as #63, which was not previously shown as part of a site's SEO keywords. Now, this is a helpful "early warning" indicator that can assist you in determining where your content is gaining traction. For your own site, these lower rankings can serve as a baseline, allowing you to begin working on improving links to the page, both internally and externally.
For your competitors' sites, lower rankings can help identify emerging threats. If you don't currently rank for a keyword, it could be a topic to prioritize. However, more data requires more manageability, and so SpyFu has revamped the domain's SEO Keywords page to enable you to confidently act on the keywords you find. On-page filters help you decide which keywords make the cut, and each filter plays a crucial role in the segments we'll cover.
Filters and Topics
SpyFu's user-friendly approach is primarily attributed to its ability to identify the appropriate keywords that align with your requirements. This is where the filters and automatic topics prove useful. You can filter functionality by excluding certain URLs from the results and apply criteria based on next-generation metrics that we've incorporated into the SpyFu platform.
This section explores how you can benefit from using filters. If you're already familiar with them and want to jump ahead, you can skip to the "My Keywords/My Competitor's Keywords" section.
Compare My Site's Ranks
SEO Keywords have a unique feature that's exclusive to this tool and doesn't appear with the same filters in other tools. It allows you to enter your own domain to see your position on the same keywords that your competitor ranks for.
This side-by-side comparison is used in conjunction with keyword segments like Most Valuable Keywords and New Keywords, which we cover later in this overview. By comparing your site's rankings with those of your SEO competitor, you gain a better understanding of the context of your research. This makes opportunities more evident. However, the process is slightly different if you're looking at your competitor's new keywords or those where they've recently surpassed your rankings. In this related article, we delve into these situations in depth and discuss what you can do in each case.
Keyword Filters: Keywords - Include / Exclude
The ability to narrow down your list gives you the power to control what keywords you focus on. By using our filter system, you can hone in on specific phrases that are relevant to your needs. Additionally, by excluding certain keywords, you can disregard those terms that your competitors may be ranking for outside of your industry or even exclude branded terms that you may not be targeting yet.
For instance, if you are comparing yourself to larger retail companies, you may want to exclude the term "near me." This feature is just one of the many ways our filters give you more control over your SEO keyword research.
URLs: Include / Exclude
This feature is particularly helpful for streamlining your research and getting more targeted results. By using the URL exclude filter, you can remove specific pages from the search results that you may not be interested in tracking over time. This is especially useful when you notice that the same pages are ranking for multiple keywords, and you want to avoid seeing them repeatedly in your research.
Additionally, you can use the URL include filter to focus on a specific area of your competitor's website. For example, if you want to see all the keywords your competitor is ranking for on their blog, you can apply the URL include filter to only show pages that are part of their blog section. This way, you can get more focused insights and avoid distractions from unrelated sections of their website.
Adding search volume data to keyword research can be very valuable as it helps to measure the popularity and demand of a particular keyword. By understanding the search volume, you can better prioritize which keywords to target in your content strategy. It can also be used to compare the potential value of different keywords, even if they have similar rankings.
The search volume data provided by SpyFu is specific to searches conducted on Google.com in the United States or Google.co.uk in the United Kingdom.
The difficulty rating measures the estimated level of effort required to rank for a particular keyword. SpyFu uses a scale from 0 to 100 to rate keyword difficulty, with higher scores indicating greater difficulty. Keywords with a difficulty score of 0-30 are considered easy, 31-70 are moderate, and 71-100 are hard to rank for. By filtering keywords based on difficulty ratings, you can focus on keywords that are within your reach to rank for and avoid wasting time and resources on keywords that are too competitive.
By analyzing a domain's position changes in comparison to the previous month, SpyFu can keep track of movements in your competitor's content or your own rankings. This is highlighted by the "new" icon in the change column, making it easy to spot changes. Additionally, sorting the keyword list by a domain's rank enables a more focused view of page 1 results, and those that require more work to improve.
As an SEO professional, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement (or frustration) of rank gains, but ultimately, the goal of SEO is to drive traffic to your website. After all, what good is a high rank if it doesn't result in clicks? That's why measuring clicks is a crucial metric for assessing the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.
While clicks typically correspond with rank changes, there are exceptions, which is why we analyze this metric separately. It's important to look at clicks as a standalone figure because we've seen that a top position on one keyword may not necessarily yield the same return as another.
To provide further insight, Spyfu also displays the change in clicks from the previous month. This allows you to see how your click-through rate is trending over time and make adjustments to your strategy accordingly.
Even More Metrics
As a means of providing more insights into the keywords you select, we have included some cutting-edge metrics from the SpyFu Keyword Overview in our domain SEO keyword search results. By using these metrics, you can make informed decisions when choosing keywords.
Some of these metrics include:
SEO Clicks with changes
Mobile Searches Percent
Desktop Searches Percent
Searches Not Clicked Percent
Paid Clicks Percent
Organic Clicks Percent
Cost, Paid Competitors
Number of Homepages that Rank.
All of the keyword results come preloaded in a sortable grid with select metrics, with the option to add any of the metrics we've listed so far as columns for comparing and selecting your keyword choices. Furthermore, you can fine-tune the cost-related metrics to be based on phrase match or exact match rather than broad match-based cost estimates. By clicking the icon, you can customize your view to meet your specific needs.
In the world of online search, not all terms are created equal. Some keywords may be "not safe for work" (NSFW) and not align with your brand or marketing goals. SpyFu understand the importance of maintaining a professional image and protecting your brand reputation. That's why we've included a default filter to hide NSFW terms, which you can choose to display if you need to.
However, we also recognize that these terms can have value in some contexts, especially when it comes to negative match opportunities in PPC campaigns. That's why we're constantly updating and improving our filters to help you find the right keywords for your business goals.
If you want to learn more about how our extended filters can help you achieve better results with your keyword research, check out our resources page.
As you conduct keyword research, it can be overwhelming to review the metrics of one keyword at a time. That's where SpyFu's Topics function comes in. When you search a domain, SpyFu automatically sorts their keywords into similar phrases and topics, helping you identify trends and come up with strong content ideas.
For instance, instead of just focusing on the metric of "running shoes," SpyFu's Topics function groups related terms like "discount running shoes," "women's running shoes," and "best running shoes for trails" together, allowing you to follow the metrics for a broader topic. This saves you time and helps you avoid getting sidetracked by individual keywords.
In the "discovery" phase of keyword research, this tool is invaluable for generating content ideas around topics that have strong interest. You can use individual keywords to guide you toward subjects to cover within that content or create supporting pieces in a hub-and-spoke style.
With paid keywords, the automatic grouping tool helps guide your ad groups, giving you a stronger shot at tying together relevant ads and ad copy.
SpyFu's Topics function replaces the standalone feature, SpyFu Groupie, and is an integrated grouping tool that streamlines the keyword research process. As you find new keywords, it's helpful to save and track them for future reference. SpyFu's built-in project manager is a perfect spot to store the keywords you want to keep. Simply start a project, give it a name, and add keywords as you find them with the "add" button.
Working with My Keywords / Competitor's Keywords
To truly gain insight from a domain's SEO keywords, it's important to look at them beyond just a single list. At SpyFu, we organize these keywords into segments that are sorted by recent activity and their value to the domain. By doing so, we can help you identify areas of opportunity and track the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.
Here are the segments we use:
Most Valuable Keywords: These are the high-value keywords that are driving the most traffic and revenue to a domain.
Newly Ranked Keywords: This segment highlights the latest additions to a domain's keyword rankings, providing valuable insights into their SEO strategy.
Keyword Rank Gains: We identify the keywords that have seen the most significant increases in rank compared to the previous period. This information helps you identify areas where you're making progress and can double down on your efforts.
Keyword Rank Losses: Conversely, we also highlight the keywords that have seen the most significant declines in rank. This can be an early warning sign that your SEO strategy needs adjusting.
Keyword Click Gains: This segment identifies the keywords that have seen the most significant increases in clicks compared to the previous period. This helps you understand which keywords are delivering the most value in terms of traffic.
Keyword Click Losses: Similarly, we also identify the keywords that have seen the most significant declines in clicks. This can be a sign that your content needs improving or that you need to adjust your targeting.
Keywords that Just Made the First Page: This segment highlights the keywords that have just broken onto the first page of search results. This is a great opportunity to capitalize on these rankings and further optimize your content.
Keywords that Just Fell Off the First Page: Finally, we identify the keywords that have just fallen off the first page of search results. This can be an early warning sign that your content needs updating or that your competitors are gaining ground.
By breaking down a domain's SEO keywords into these segments, we can help you take action and make data-driven decisions to improve your search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your website.
Most Valuable Keyword
When analyzing a domain's SEO keywords, it's essential to do more than simply view them as a single alphabetical list. SpyFu breaks keywords into segments that are sorted by recent activity and value to the domain. These segments include:
Most Valuable Keywords
Newly Ranked Keywords
Keyword Rank Gains
Keyword Rank Losses
Keyword Click Gains
Keyword Click Losses
Keywords that Just Made the First Page
Keywords that Just Fell Off the First Page
Breaking keywords into segments can help you take action on your own keywords as well as your competitor's. When looking at your competitor's site, the sweet spot of SpyFu's original promise is to find the most valuable keywords they rank for.
To accomplish this, "shop" for good keywords that you can target, but remember to de-prioritize their branded terms. Use the filter list's additional options and check the box to "Exclude Homepage Keywords" to remove keywords where the targeted domain's homepage ranks, such as branded terms. This saves you future frustration and allows you to add new keyword ideas to your project manager, which is ideal for organizing and ranking updates.
Switching to Topics provides a 30,000-foot view and helps you focus on broader topics rather than specific keywords. Reviewing the topics can help you optimize existing content for new related keywords you've found and gain clicks and impressions. Use the project manager to track your weekly ranking performance and stay on top of changes without getting caught up in the minute.
Remember to track clicks as the ultimate measure of your ongoing growth and success, and keep a spreadsheet to monitor any changes you make to your content, such as updating titles and meta descriptions. If you change titles, keep track of the old title so that you can take action by reverting anything that has unexpected, negative effects.
More Action on your Keywords
In order to improve your Google rankings, it's important to incorporate these practices into your keyword review routine, applicable across all segments. Don't let these practices get buried - ask yourself these next questions and look for opportunities.
Can I combine multiple pieces of content into a group?
If you don't have a content management system in place, SpyFu's "include" keyword filter can be used to narrow your results to a targeted keyword or phrase. For instance, if you have three different pages that rank for a matching keyword, use the filter to return them together. From there, you can look for opportunities to internally link to each other or even combine the articles. If you choose to combine the articles, remember to redirect (301) the smaller article to the larger one, or use the canonicalization option to ensure the appropriate piece receives authority.
Does the H1 title of my content include the highest volume keyword that it ranks for?
While targeting high engagement and potential click keywords is ideal, it's also beneficial to work with the momentum you already have. After your content starts ranking, it's important to note what other variant keywords it ranks for. For instance, "carhop.com", an automotive repair site, aimed for "get rid of car rust" initially, which appears in both their URL and their H1. A keyword search shows that rust removal phrased keywords are searched more often than the "get rid of" versions. In this case, "carhop.com" should update their H1 to "How to Remove Rust with Coca Cola" to take advantage of this ranking momentum.
What do people ask about this keyword/topic?
This question is a great starting point for generating new ideas. Click through on a target keyword from your list to open the Keyword Overview, which has a "Questions" section built around that keyword. Take note of how many searches are being done for each question and how well you can answer it fully. Return to this section frequently as you work through the other segments.
Newly Ranked Keywords
As you strive to improve your website's search engine rankings, it's important to keep a close eye on your competitors and your own website to determine what's working and what could be improved. Here are some key actions you can take to stay ahead of the game.
Competitor's Site: It's always beneficial to keep an eye on your competitors and the SEO strategies they're implementing.
Keep track of any new trends or keywords with high search volume and clicks. Consider using your competitors as a guide to help identify areas you may want to target in the near future. Take note of them in a reference project for future use.
Take a closer look at any newly ranked pieces of content from your competitors. Is the content itself new, or has something changed from before? If you're unsure, try using the Wayback Machine to compare.
Review any pieces of content from your competitors that rank for keywords you're also targeting. If their content outranks yours, add it to your workflow for improvement.
Your Website: It's equally important to analyze your own website's performance and identify what's working and what's not.
Consider filtering out your homepage as described in the Most Valuable Keywords section.
Use your filtered Newly Ranked Keywords to identify any recent changes that have led to improvements in your rankings. For example, have you recently published new content or optimized an existing page? Learn from what worked and apply those lessons moving forward.
Look for traffic gained from individual keywords and determine the potential for growth in those areas. Use the click counts to determine where you should focus your efforts to improve your rankings.
Switch to the Topics view and click on a keyword in one of the subgroups. Review the URL results that rank for those keywords. If you have multiple pieces of content, consider options such as canonicalization, internal linking, or redirection to make them work together.
No matter which strategy you choose, be sure to make a note to yourself so you can review your decision later on as your rankings change.
Remember to stay on top of your website's performance and continue to improve your rankings by harnessing the momentum you've already gained.
Keyword Rank Gains
Competitor's Site: While these aren't new rankings, it's worth noting that your competitor has made progress and moved up from where they were last month. This gives us an idea of the direction they're taking with their SEO strategy.
Your Website: By continuing to optimize your existing content, you're hoping to see an improvement in your rankings.
Here are your best actions:
Approach this in a similar manner to how you dealt with Newly Ranked Keywords for both your competitor's site and your own.
However, there's one crucial difference to keep in mind. Gains in rankings (as opposed to new rankings) could be a result of recovering from previous rank losses.
Therefore, it's essential to take note of any algorithm changes that might have caused a dip in rankings across the board. If you observe widespread drops from the previous month, consider the "gains" to be a return to normal.
Keyword Rank Losses
Competitor's Site: These are keywords that your competitor used to rank for but have lost their positions.
Your best actions:
Determine the cause of their loss, especially if it's due to someone else's gain. If you started outranking them, analyze what you did right and consider doing it again. If another domain has overtaken them, add that domain to your competitor list.
You can add the new domain as a project in your project manager for frequent keyword rank updates and ongoing reference.
Your Site: These are the rankings that have dropped since last month.
Your best actions:
First, check whether the drop is due to a rebound from heavy work you did the previous month. Occasionally, new content spikes can cause such drops. Alternatively, a surge in promotion and traffic may have earned you new links, resulting in a peak.
Next, review the age of the page that dropped in rankings. Google values fresh and relevant content, and sometimes refreshing your content can give you a boost.
You can update old metrics, clarify explanations, or add more details to the content. Remember to adjust the date, too. Any of these actions can steer you back in the right direction when your content is outdated.
Also, check for technical updates in the "Keywords that Just Fell Off the First Page" section for more information.
Keyword Click Gains / Losses
In the world of SEO, there's a clear correlation between rank gains and keyword clicks, as well as between rank losses and keyword losses. As we discussed earlier, your best course of action is to follow the same steps we've already covered.
However, there are a few situations where this correlation might not hold true. For instance, you could see a drop in clicks despite maintaining your rank, which could be due to new Featured Snippets on the page. Alternatively, sometimes Google provides enough information on the SERP that a searcher's question is answered without the need to click through to a website.
To optimize your click count, it's crucial to have a clear and compelling title and meta description that reflects the content of your page. These elements can help persuade the searcher that your website is the best place to find the answers they're looking for. So, keep a close eye on your click count and make tweaks to your title and meta description as needed to improve your click-through rate.
Keywords That Fell Off / Just Made it to the First Page
Your Competitor's Site: This list comprises their content that ranked on the first page in the previous month but slipped from those top 10 results. In case they recently jumped to the first page from lower ranks, we'll include those as "just made it" keywords.
Your best course of action:
Primarily focus on the "just made it" keywords and add those to your workflow. While this may include newer content, as we explained in the "Gained Ranks" section, it could also be older content that they optimized. Look for specific updates they made that bumped them onto Page 1. If they updated their content, try to find out what they did so you can apply that to your own work.
Your Own Site: With "just made it" keywords, these are your recent victories that validate the efforts you put into optimizing your content. The "just fell off" keywords are an early signal that you need to take action.
Your best course of action:
Celebrate your wins and continue the work that got you to Page 1 for a search. When it comes to losses, act promptly. Losing Page 1 status leads to a more significant loss in clicks and impressions than other rank losses.
Refer to the advice from the Keyword Rank Losses section and focus on updating your content. Check for broken links on your page and resolve any issues that harm the user experience on your site.
If you observe a drop in your rankings across your site, this could be an excellent opportunity to conduct an SEO site audit.
By examining SEO keywords, you have numerous choices and chances to increase your ranking. It's crucial to monitor both your own site and your competitors. Our latest modifications introduce actionable items and fresh metrics to the arena, enabling you to obtain relevant insights with straightforward next steps. SpyFu provide you with all the tools you need to uncover useful information and take the appropriate measures to enhance your SEO performance.
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