How to Check Keyword Competition?

Keywords play a crucial role in the success of any SEO campaign. However, not all keywords are created equal. Some keywords are highly competitive, making it difficult to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs). To ensure your efforts are focused and effective, it’s important to check keyword competition before optimizing your content. In this article, we will explore the steps to check keyword competition and provide insights on how to compete in highly competitive keyword spaces.


In the vast landscape of the internet, keywords act as the bridge between users and websites. When users search for information or solutions, they enter specific terms or phrases into search engines. As a website owner or content creator, your goal is to rank well for these keywords so that your website can be easily discovered by your target audience. However, the level of competition for different keywords varies, and understanding keyword competition is essential for developing an effective SEO strategy.

Understanding Keyword Competition

Keyword competition refers to the level of difficulty in ranking for a particular keyword. It is determined by the number and quality of competing webpages that target the same keyword. Highly competitive keywords are those that have a large number of websites vying for top positions in search engine rankings.

Analyzing keyword competition helps you understand the challenges you might face when trying to rank for a specific keyword. It allows you to evaluate the resources, effort, and time required to compete effectively. By assessing keyword competition, you can prioritize your SEO efforts and focus on keywords that offer a better chance of ranking well.

Factors Affecting Keyword Competition

Several factors influence the level of competition for a keyword. Understanding these factors can help you gauge the difficulty of ranking for a specific keyword. Here are some key factors affecting keyword competition:

a) Search Volume

Search volume refers to the number of times a keyword is searched for within a specific period. Keywords with high search volume usually have more competition, as many websites aim to capture the attention of a larger audience. However, high search volume also indicates greater potential for attracting organic traffic.

b) Relevance

The relevance of a keyword to your website’s content and target audience impacts competition. Keywords that closely align with your website’s niche and offerings tend to have more competition, as multiple websites cater to the same audience. It’s important to strike a balance between relevance and competition when choosing target keywords.

c) Authority and Backlinks

Websites with higher authority and a strong backlink profile tend to rank better in search engine results. The presence of authoritative websites targeting a particular keyword increases competition. Evaluating the authority and backlink profiles of top-ranking competitors can give you insights into the level of competition you might face.

d) On-page Optimization

The on-page optimization factors, such as keyword usage in page titles, headings, meta tags, and content, also influence keyword competition. Websites with well-optimized on-page elements may have an advantage in ranking for specific keywords.

e) User Intent

Understanding user intent is crucial for effective keyword targeting. Keywords with different user intents can have varying levels of competition. Some keywords may have informational intent, while others may indicate commercial or transactional intent. Analyzing user intent helps you tailor your content to meet the needs of your target audience effectively.

Tools for Checking Keyword Competition

To assess keyword competition accurately, various tools are available that provide valuable insights. Here are some popular tools you can use to check keyword competition:

a) Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool provided by Google Ads. It offers insights into keyword search volume, competition, and other related keywords. While it does not provide detailed competition analysis, it gives you a general understanding of the competitiveness of a keyword.

b) SEMrush

SEMrush is a comprehensive SEO tool that offers a range of features, including keyword research and competition analysis. It provides data on keyword difficulty, organic search volume, and the number of search results for a specific keyword. SEMrush also offers insights into competitors’ organic and paid search strategies.

c) Moz Keyword Explorer

Moz Keyword Explorer provides valuable data on keyword competition, search volume, and organic click-through rates (CTR). It assigns a difficulty score to each keyword, making it easier to identify high-competition keywords. Moz also offers insights into the top-ranking websites for a specific keyword.

d) Ahrefs

Ahrefs is another powerful SEO tool that provides detailed keyword analysis. It offers data on search volume, keyword difficulty, and backlink profiles of top-ranking pages. Ahrefs also provides insights into related keywords and their search volumes.

Step-by-Step Guide to Checking Keyword Competition

To effectively check keyword competition, follow these step-by-step guidelines:

Step 1: Define Your Target Keyword

Begin by identifying the keyword you want to target. Consider the relevance of the keyword to your website’s content and audience.

Step 2: Analyze Search Volume and Trends

Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Moz Keyword Explorer to analyze the search volume and trends for your target keyword. This helps you understand the potential traffic the keyword can generate.

Step 3: Examine Top-Ranking Competitors

Analyze the top-ranking competitors for your target keyword. Look at their website authority, backlink profiles, and on-page optimization. This analysis gives you insights into the level of competition.

Step 4: Evaluate On-Page Optimization Factors

Assess the on-page optimization factors of top-ranking competitors. Look for keyword usage in page titles, headings, meta tags, and content. Identify areas where you can optimize your content to compete effectively.

Step 5: Assess Backlink Profiles

Analyze the backlink profiles of top-ranking competitors. Look for the quantity and quality of backlinks. This analysis helps you understand the level of effort required to build a competitive backlink profile.

Step 6: Consider User Intent

Evaluate the user intent behind your target keyword. Understand the type of content and information users expect when searching for that keyword. Tailor your content to meet user intent effectively.

Step 7: Determine the Level of Competition

Based on the information gathered from the previous steps, determine the level of competition for your target keyword. This helps you prioritize your efforts and focus on keywords with a better chance of ranking well.

Strategies for Competing in High-Competition Keywords

Competing in high-competition keywords requires a strategic approach. Here are some strategies to consider:

a) Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that have lower competition. By targeting long-tail keywords, you can attract a more targeted audience and increase your chances of ranking well.

b) Niche Targeting

Focus on niche targeting to reach a specific audience segment. By tailoring your content to cater to their unique needs and interests, you can differentiate yourself from broader competitors.

c) Content Quality and Relevance

Create high-quality, relevant content that provides value to your audience. Focus on addressing their pain points and answering their questions comprehensively. Quality content attracts backlinks and improves your chances of ranking well.

d) On-page Optimization Techniques

Optimize your content for the target keyword and related terms. Pay attention to on-page elements such as page titles, headings, meta tags, and content structure. A well-optimized page signals to search engines that your content is relevant and valuable.

e) Link Building and Outreach

Develop a robust link building strategy to improve your website’s authority. Seek opportunities for guest blogging, influencer collaborations, and partnerships to earn high-quality backlinks. A strong backlink profile improves your competitiveness in high-competition keywords.


Checking keyword competition is a vital step in developing an effective SEO strategy. By understanding the factors affecting keyword competition and utilizing the right tools, you can identify keywords with better ranking opportunities. Implementing strategies to compete in high-competition keywords allows you to maximize your SEO efforts and attract targeted organic traffic. Stay vigilant and adapt your strategy as search engine algorithms evolve.


1. What is keyword competition?

Keyword competition refers to the level of difficulty in ranking for a specific keyword. It is determined by factors such as the number and quality of competing webpages targeting the same keyword.

2. How important is keyword competition analysis?

Keyword competition analysis is essential for prioritizing your SEO efforts. It helps you understand the challenges you may face in ranking for a keyword and allows you to focus on keywords with better ranking opportunities.

3. What are some tools for checking keyword competition?

Some popular tools for checking keyword competition include Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Moz Keyword Explorer, and Ahrefs.

4. What factors affect keyword competition?

Several factors influence keyword competition, including search volume, relevance, authority and backlinks, on-page optimization, and user intent.

5. Are there strategies to compete in high-competition keywords?

Yes, strategies for competing in high-competition keywords include targeting long-tail keywords, niche targeting, focusing on content quality and relevance, implementing on-page optimization techniques, and building a strong backlink profile.

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