Welcome to the SpyFu SEO Keywords tool!
In this video we’re going to learn how to use this tool to find strong SEO keywords in your niche, to help inspire all of your content needs, and attract more people to your site.
Let’s do this.
At its core, SpyFu is a competitive intelligence tool. When you’re looking for SEO keywords to leverage for your site, we recommend looking at larger domains in your space.
Domains that have had years of experience, the strategic teams, and the budget to perfect their keyword lists and the content built around them.
This takes the tedious and expensive trial and error period out of the equation for you! They’ve already done the leg work, you might as well take advantage of their success and use it for your company.
Let’s start by typing in a fairly successful SEO competitor of yours, so we can look at what keywords they are ranking on in Google.
We’re greeted by this overview page. It has a lot of information about this domain, but since we’re focusing on SEO today, let’s click over to the SEO Research tab.
This is the SEO overview of this domain, it will also give you a lot of good general information, but when working with SEO keywords I believe the best place you can go is… well… to the SEO Keywords tab!
What we’re getting on this page is every keyword that SpyFu has seen this domain ranking on organically since our last update.
Here’s the keyword itself.
And what URL this keyword will guide you to.
You can even click this little GoTo icon to see the actual web page itself.
This is the specific page that Google offers on the search results. It's the reason this domain ranks for this keyword
Here on the left you can filter and group these keywords, to better focus your current SEO goals. We’ll go more into that in a bit, but since we’re in the columns section, let’s take a look at the various metrics and what they mean.
ve searched this keyword on Google (during this past month). We blend data from multiple sources, including clickstream data and Google's stats, to give a truer snapshot of activity on this keyword.
When doing SEO, you want to look for high-search volume keyword terms, as these are the keyword terms that are getting the most action.
People are searching for them! They are currently… ‘hot’, essentially.
All things being equal, when you go after high-search volume keyword terms, you ensure that there are more chances for your own website to get clicked on.
The volume numbers given are for the keywords exactly as written, which actually gives SpyFu’s Volume metrics a big advantage over Google’s Keyword Planner.
The Keyword Planner can mess up when it comes to things like misspellings, plurals, or all having the same search volume. SpyFu’s data comes from a more realistic, practical, human view of Volume for each individual keyword.
These numbers may look a lot lower than what Google reports in its own tools. But because SpyFu gets our information from multiple sources, our numbers are actually far more accurate and much more useful at setting proper expectations for a campaign.
Rank & Rank Change:
The rank/rank-change metric is the current rank of this keyword for this domain.
Also how it changed since our last update, either moving up or down in the ranks.
For example, Behr.com is currently ranked 21st for the keyword “beige”, and they’re up 7 ranks from the previous month. Meaning they had the 28 th spot last month.
This shows how this domain is performing on certain keywords and topics, and can be indicative of their current SEO strategies. Are they rising in the ranks on unique paint colors, but are dropping on things like painting supplies?
Maybe their team is currently focusing on the former and ignoring the latter. These patterns can give you an idea of emerging trends. As well as reveal opportunities - to tackle content topics that the big domains are currently neglecting.
SEO Clicks is arguably the most important metric on this page.
It estimates how many clicks this particular domain gets for each individual keyword.
Unlike the standard Volume metric, which shows the total number of times this keyword was searched in Google. SEO Clicks is domain specific.
So basically, if you added all of these numbers up for each individual keyword you would see how many total SEO clicks this domain gets.
The total number of clicks are kind of the northstar metric for anyone doing SEO research. And we actually now use SEO Clicks as the default sort.
The change shows how those clicks have increased or decreased compared to the month prior.
Use it to discover which keywords are actively pushing different content to the masses.
Analyze which keywords are currently gaining or dropping in popularity.
You can use the same metric when examining your own site’s keywords.
If you notice that people are finding your content using keywords you weren’t necessarily targeting, consider making changes to the content itself. Maybe change the title and body of the text to include those popular keywords; thus leveraging them even further.
Keyword difficulty is a measurement of how hard it is to rank highly on this keyword.
If companies like Amazon, or Wikepedia are vying for this keyword, it’s going to be more difficult for you to rank on it.
For example, the keyword “paint” is pretty competitive amongst a lot of big domains, so it has a fairly high keyword difficulty.
Cost per Click
Cost per click or CPC is the average amount that advertisers pay Google every time someone clicks their ad.
It might seem strange that this metric is on the SEO Keywords tab, but it’s actually very telling. This is essentially how much money you could save the company, per click, by creating organic content around this keyword rather than spending that money on ads.
It's also probably the best way to gauge the buying intent of the keyword. Generally, advertisers are willing to pay more for keywords that have a higher likelihood of converting at a higher price.
It might not be a big deal for just one single keyword. But when you do a rollup of dozens to thousands of keywords and their variants, it really shows the value of SEO work in terms of actual dollars - as opposed to just clicks.
The default result is for Broad Match, but you can click the columns button to change the Cost and or CPC to Phrase or Exact matches instead.
This metric is the percentage of people who searched for this keyword on a desktop - as opposed to a mobile device.
Whereas mobile searches tend to lean toward people who are more willing to click on an ad at the top of the SERP rather than scrolling. People who search for something on a personal computer frequently have a bit more time and larger screens. Allowing them to quickly scroll past the ads and research organic articles and product pages.
This can help optimize your individual pages. If something is more popular on the desktop, optimize those pages for those users. If it’s a low percentage, consider optimizing for mobile users.
If you click on the columns dropdown you can also choose to see the mobile percentage of this keyword, as well as many other next generation metrics.
Let’s cover one of these before we move on.
‘Not Clicked’ is extremely handy when it comes to identifying when someone types a query into Google, but doesn’t actually click on any of the results.
This can happen if people are simply curious about a name or a product. Or if they have a question that Google answers automatically in the SERP.
This metric isn’t exclusive to a domain, which makes sense because no one clicked through to a domain.
Instead it measures the percentage of not clicked across all Google searches.
There's a whole segment of SEO that is basically ON-SERP optimization where you optimize your content so that Google uses it for featured snippets, etc.
Combining these different metrics will give you a greater understanding of how keywords actually perform on the SERP, as well as how they have been trending recently.
For most people, you want to look for keywords that have high SEO Clicks or Volume numbers, but a relatively low Keyword Difficulty. Essentially, popular keywords that you have a greater chance of getting a high rank.
The other metrics are there to further help guide your specific SEO goals.
Of course, there’s a way to expedite this research even further, and that is through - Filters.
Filters quickly eliminate the noise and get to the actionable stuff.
You can choose the keywords and URLs that you would like to include or exclude in the results.
Are most of the keywords you’re seeing from a weird subsection of the site, simply eliminate that url from the results.
Want to focus on just one part of a site - like the blog? You can simply type the word “blog” into the URL field to find the keywords that are leading people to that part of the site, and take action from there.
These simple filters allow you to dig deep into a specific keyword or piece of content. Or conversely, to hide the keywords and content that you don’t want to focus on at the moment. Again, this eliminates the excess data, so you can better focus on your task at hand.
This little Exclude Homepage Keywords checkbox, might not look like much, but it’s one of the more actionable items on the page.
When you’re looking at your competitor’s website it’s more difficult and fairly useless for you to gank their homepage and try to make a better “their homepage” for your site.
What you can do is go to their blog, or product pages and improve on those. So eliminating the keyword noise that is generated from their homepage can help you find those smaller areas of the site that are more beneficial to spy on.
When you are looking at your own website it’s harder to affect the keywords your homepage ranks on rather than other parts of your site. The homepage generally has more to do with authority, rather than content, and it’s better to just filter it out.
If you’re focusing on a broader scale, you can set minimum and maximum limits on certain data sets, rather than keywords themselves. Or do a combination of all of these different filters until you get closer to the information you want.
Right next to Filters is the tab for Topic Groups.
Topics, help you find big opportunities faster by working at the topic-level.
Topics group this domain’s keywords together automatically, letting you focus on the higher level subjects that are guiding people to this site.
**SpyFu automatically rolls up volume metrics for every keyword in that topic, so you can get a quick view of the most popular keyword categories. These are based on the individual volume of every keyword contained in that topic cluster, and then prioritized by the highest overall volume.
As you click on the different topics and subtopics you’ll notice the keyword results on the right adjust to fit within those categories.
When you work with keywords in terms of topics, you can find actionable insights quickly.
You can build better content and strategies when you work with keywords that stem off of a topic. You can even drill into subcategories and use the list of keywords to build focused articles, ads, and e-mails.
The topics work hand in hand with the filters as well. So you can get as granular as you’d like on keyword topics and keyword parameters.
You might notice that above the Filters and Topics tabs there is a general “Sort” dropdown that can give you a broader prioritization of the type of keywords that you’re looking for.
The default is “Most Valuable Keywords” but you can always adjust that to your current goals.
Sort is the fastest way to get to the meat of your research. SpyFu uses a combination of metrics including ranks, clicks, and month to month changes to determine a variety of keyword categories that you can take action on.
These include things like this domain’s Most Valuable Keywords, Newly Ranked Keywords, Gainers, Losers, and many more.
We’ve been working hard to make SEO Keyword research as simple and useful as possible.
Check out multiple domains in your industry to find the very best keywords to guide your content, and attract new and qualified visitors to your site.
We are excited for all of you to up your SEO game, and destroy your competition.
As always, thank you for watching.