When someone asks a room of marketers how they find their keywords, it often turns into an echo chamber. The truth is, many companies rely on the same tried-and-true tools to determine which search terms they should be targeting. It’s undeniable that tools like Google Keyword Planner are crucial for determining search volume, cost-per-click, ranking probability, and conversion – and it’s much easier.

The catch? All of your competition also has access to this information and is likely targeting the same stale group of terms. This overcrowding effect makes it difficult for your brand to stand out and gain a higher search engine ranking. Likewise, if you keep targeting the same keywords, you risk yielding the same results and staying stagnant.

Luckily, your competition is also a wealth of inspiration when it comes to revamping your SEO strategy. Here’s how to analyze your rivals to find new keywords you haven’t thought of before, and how you can use your newfound knowledge to develop a solid new campaign.

  1. Review Their HTML Source

Did you know that you can find your competitor’s keywords hidden within their HTML source code? All Internet browsers offer users a way to view the source code of any web page. Using some light hacking skills, you can use this easy method to uncover new keywords:

  • Mozilla Firefox: Press Ctrl + U on your keyboard – or – follow Tools -> Web Developer -> Page Source on the browser’s menu bar.
  • Google Chrome: Press Ctrl + U on your keyboard – or – “click the Customize and control Google Chrome” icon in the upper right-hand corner of your browser and follow More Tools -> Developer Tools from the drop-down menu that appears.
  • Apple Safari: Press Command + Option + U on your keyboard – or – right-click on part of the web page to pull up a drop-down menu, then select Show Page Source.

Once the source code pops up, scan the title tag, meta description tag, and keywords tag for untapped search terms that your competitors are targeting.

  1. Use Google Keyword Planner Tool

Don’t just rely on Google Keyword Planner Tool for broad keyword analysis! Put this tool to good use by inputting your competitor’s URL into the “your landing page” field. Your search results will yield all keywords associated with their website, their average monthly searches and how they rank. You’ll often find more creative keywords and phrases to try using this method.

  1. Choose & Narrow Down Your New Keywords

Use the above two methods to analyze the web presence of your top five competitors and compile a list of 10 – 20 new keywords and phrases.

Next, identify the ones with the best competition-to-search volume ratio. These terms will have real search volume – meaning people are actually typing them into Google – but are used less often and will thus be easier to climb the ranks in. Finally, create new content that is optimized for your new untapped search terms, and watch your rankings grow.

It’s simpler and quicker to raise your rank using multiple, lower-ranking search terms than trying to vie for attention with a popular one. You’ll find yourself quickly getting ahead of the competition by using these methods to find search terms they pay little attention to.