Over the course of the past few years, I have tried out lots of different keyword research strategies. In a nutshell, I think we are all looking for the same thing: how to find keywords that are easy to rank for as quickly as possible. One of the “bottlenecks” of keyword research is that you have to start your brainstorm process somewhere.
After all, no one is going to hand you a list of thousands of keywords and say, “Here, these are all easy to rank for”. Right?
Well, that's not completely true! You actually can pull up lists of keywords that websites are ranking for.
Yep, you can reverse engineer sites! At first glance, perhaps this doesn't sound too amazing; after-all, who cares what keywords the sites CNN.com or ESPN.com are ranking for? These are a couple of very authoritative sites and they are probably ranking well for keywords that you have no chance of ranking for.
How to Reverse Engineer Weak Sites
However, if you start to think, “What if I knew all the keywords that very weak sites are ranking for?” – then you might realize where I am going with this. You see, I always get excited when I see weak types of sites ranking in the top 10 results of Google for a keyword. These weak types of sites include:
- Article Directories
- Directories in general
- Yahoo Answers or other Q&A sites
- Many others
In a nutshell, I believe that if you can find the keywords that weak sites are already ranking for, then you should be able to rank for those keywords too with a little bit of effort! So, in the video below, I show exactly how I use SEMrush (affiliate link) to find those types of keywords, and then how I use Long Tail Pro to find even more keywords that I can target.
As you can see, looking at the keywords that an Article directory is already ranking for is a quick and easy way to brainstorm for some seed keywords. If you put a little thought into the process, you can find lots of other types of sites that you might like to “spy” on as well.
Overall, this is simply one keyword research strategy that I use. There are lots of other places that you can brainstorm for keywords, which I have documented previously here.
If you would like to check out the type of data SEMRush provides in a little more detail, you can get a sample report for Amazon.com right here. (Yes, this is an affiliate link)
What do you think of this process for finding seed keywords? Do you think it will be beneficial for you? Do you have any other process that you are using that you would like to share?