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Are you tired of your competition outranking you? Or even worse, seeing them rank for keywords that you don’t even show up for?

In this post, I will teach you, step by step, how to identify keywords your competition is ranking for and how to create content that will outrank them. This approach is so effective that by leveraging it on Quick Sprout over the last 12 months, I’ve been able to increase my search traffic from 160,773 visitors to 280,428 visitors a month.

That’s 119,655 more visitors a month. Or 74% more search traffic per month.

Before we get started, you need to create a list of all your competitors first. Once you have the list with the corresponding URLs, you can put those URLs into SEMrush.

SEMrush

For the sake of this blog post, let’s assume Quick Sprout is your competitor. You would enter www.quicksprout.com into SEMrush.

semrush
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In the left sidebar, click on the navigation option “Organic Research,” and then click on the “Positions” option.

export
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Make sure the graph is set to the “All” time period option, and then click the “Export” button. At this point, you’ll be given three options.

csv
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Click the CSV option. This lets you get a data dump of all your competitor URLs and the keywords they rank for.

Here is what the CSV should look like if you typed in Quick Sprout’s URL.

csv
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Once you have your CSV file, you are ready to start analyzing the data.

Analyzing the data

Open the spreadsheet, and delete all columns except keyword, search volume, and URLs.

csv
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Now that you’ve removed the unnecessary columns, you need to highlight all of the URLs in the URL column.

csv 1
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Once you select the URLs, right-click, scroll down to the “sort” option, and then click “ascending.”

csv 2
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You’ll get a “Sort Warning” popup on your screen. Select “Expand the selection,” and click “Sort.”

csv 3
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You’ll notice that the homepage URL and the keywords the homepage is targeting will be at the top. Delete the rows that contain the keywords for the homepage URL.

You are doing it because you want to go for long tail phrases as they will drive more total traffic, and they are easier to rank for. Typically, internal pages rank for more long tail phrases than a homepage, which is why you want to delete the rows that contain the homepage URL.

csv 4
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Now you want to select all of the content under the keyword, search volume, and URL columns.

csv 5
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After you have selected the content, scroll up, and select the “Data” navigational option. Then select “Pivot Table.”

csv 6
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You should see a screenshot that looks like the image below. Make sure the data is in the same fields and same order as in the image below.

csv 7
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Click on the blue arrow, then click “By value”, and then “Greater Than.”

csv 8
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Make sure you enter 3,000 for the amount as you only want to target keywords that have enough search volume. The last thing you want to do is focus your efforts on ranking for keywords that only get searched a few hundred times a month.

Keep in mind that search volume doesn’t mean clicks to your site. For example, if you rank number one on Google for a term that has a search volume of 10,000, you’ll be lucky if you capture 20 to 30% of those visitors.

csv 9
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You should now see a CSV file that looks like this.

csv 10
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Now, you see all of the internal URLs on your competitor’s site, the keywords it is ranking for, and the search volume for each keyword.

The keywords that SEMrush shows you are the only ones for which your competition ranks in the top 20 results on Google. These are the keywords you want to go after.

Create new content

Now that you have a list of keywords your competitors are going after, you should look at their content.

Once you do, create your own content, incorporating similar keywords.The key to this process is to make sure your content is better than your competitor’s. If it isn’t, you won’t generate more social shares, links, or traffic.

If you are having trouble with the content creation process, read the following guides:

A great way to ensure that your high-quality content gets seen is to follow the steps in this blog post I wrote. It will ensure that you are getting the exposure you need so that you can outrank your competitor.

Conclusion

It isn’t very difficult to outrank your competition and generate more search traffic than they do. All you have to do is follow the steps above, using SEMrush and the CSV file you export.

Once you do that, make sure you focus on writing and promoting high quality content. It works so well that by following my own advice, I have been able to increase Quick Sprout’s search traffic by 74%.

by NEIL PATEL

How else can you generate more search traffic through content marketing?

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