spy on a web site to search out key phrases

This SEO tutorial introduces two key concepts:

  • What exactly is an SEO competitor?
  • How do I find keywords that this competitor uses?

The answers will surprise some beginners who should get support to have an overview of search engine positioning factors.


Understand what a real competitor is in terms of SEO

For optimization natural referencing His website requires the integration of the following realities: Your online competitors are not necessarily the same as in real life. Let’s see why.

Example 2 competing companies in the same business

There are two companies in the market that sell the same type of product or the same type of service to competitors. They address the same customer profiles.

A logical example: SalesForce, Zoho CRM, Axonaut and Teamleader are all CRM software vendors.

All of these companies therefore have an interest in publishing content optimized for Google search engine in order to attract their potential customers to their websites.

In all consistency, these CRM publishers strive to position the pages of their websites by the same keywords (more or less) on Google.

These websites are competitors. We also imagine that each publisher strives to position itself on a leading keyword: “CRM software”.

You can easily check this by typing “CRM software” on google.fr…

Conclusion: These companies competing in this business are also competitors in terms of SEO.

However, you will become aware that SEO competition can be broader, at least very different from what we can a priori imagine …

Example 2 competing pages by keywords only!

Let’s do another search: Let’s knock “sales techniques” on google.fr.

Focus on two websites that are positioned in Google results, SalesForce and Technique-de-sales:

page referenced on Google

SalesForce is a publisher of CRM software: The company sells subscriptions to its software. CRM is mostly used by vendors.

Technique-de-vente’s business is the sale of commercial training, ie training to become a better salesperson.

These two websites therefore seek to attract a similar customer profile: an emerging salesperson or who wants to increase their skills, become more efficient.

We notice that:

  • These two industries are not competitive because they do not sell the same thing.
  • Business websites are competitors by keyword “sales techniques”.


A competitive website is not necessarily a competitor in the same activity: SEO competition exists in terms of keywords.

Identify your true SEO competitors

But then how do you find your real competitors in terms of keywords? Don’t panic, you’ll see, it’s very simple.

Identify a high-search keyword

This first step consists of finding a generic keyword that is strongly related to his business, or, more precisely, a general topic that is the center of interest of his customer.


  • In B2C, for an ailurophile person (who loves cats), the generic keyword of the topic can be e.g. “maca mjau”with 22,200 searches per month.
  • In B2B, for project managers, the generic keyword of a business theme is “project management”with 12,000 searches per month.

To find the monthly search volume for a keyword, you can use tools such as:

  • Google Ads Platform Keyword Planner
  • SEMrush software,
  • Yooda Insight software.

These SEO tools tell you the monthly search volume for a word or group of words.

This makes it easier to check whether the term you came up with is really a keyword or not, or for which there is a volume of monthly searches.

SEO tool

SEO software

Find competing sites positioned on this keyword

Let’s say our business is selling cat products.

Let’s focus on the key phrase “maca mjau” which interests our potential buyers ailurophiles (not cats, but owners of course).

Let’s knock “maca mjau” in google.fr.

The location pages found on this keyword are shown in the results:

identify competing sites on Google

We now have a list of spying sites!

Spy on a competing website with SEMrush

Among the sites that are on Google, let’s take the site vetostore.com and spy on it using the SEMrush software.

Goal : Find keyword ideas related to cats.

Get relevant keywords

In the card “Domain review” enter the domain name vetostore.com and click on “research” :

Spy on a website

Click on the card “organic search”to get a list of keywords on vetostore.com:

Spy on a competitor's keywords

In the review of keywords below we see the problem: The page is positioned on keywords related to dogs, while our activity applies only to cats. what to do?

Find keyword ideas

The solution is to use this feature “Filter by keyword” :

keyword search filter

So we fill in the word “cat” to filter keywords and get only terms that include the term “cat” :

Keyword Ideas Results

Here is a nice list of keywords searched by ailurophiles!

The keywords found reflect the areas of interest of potential customers. These topics need to be translated into content in order to attract our target to our website.

Watch the keywords that drive the most traffic

We can also spy on the sites that generate the most traffic on the vetostore.com website.

To do this, simply activate the column “traffic” :

high traffic sites

Logically, there must be a correlation between the volume of monthly searches and the intensity of traffic.

Warning: some keywords may correspond to seasonal sales! The volume of monthly searches can therefore fall, leading to a drop in traffic!

Can cats get seasonal illnesses? Absolutely: It is easier for our cat friends to get leeks or cat flu during the winter season …

Observe pages that are positioned on several keywords

We can also spy on vetostore.com pages that are positioned on several keywords.

To do this, simply go to the card “page” :

Spy on websites

By spying on these pages, we can observe which keywords need to be grouped to translate the content of a page so that it is positioned on several keywords in Google.

Optimizing the content of a single page with a few keywords multiplies traffic opportunities: several different searches on Google, so many opportunities to attract your target.

Here’s an example of what I can gain by positioning a page on a few keywords:

a page positioned on several keywords

And then?

This SEO guide is useful, but does not replace an SEO strategy.

With our keyword research, we now need to:

  • Make sure you expect the expected information behind each keyword,
  • Keep only interesting keywords,
  • Build our semantic tree structure,
  • etc.

Of course, we think according to the specific activity and precise profile of the user.

Other natural referencing techniques and factors should also be considered: bookmarks, internal connectivity, web writing, popularity, etc.

Here is a picture to review:

SEO pyramid

Do you fully understand the terms indicated on this pyramid?

Do you understand the details?

Do you give your tongue to cats?

Do you have hope that you will be accompanied by pedagogy?

Contact the author of this article, also coaches and trainers.

In short: a good teacher, objectively of course 😉

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