How to Leverage on Doppelgangers to Find Competitor Keywords

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If you ever run out of content ideas for your website, then this article will be super useful.

By leveraging on doppelgangers to find competitor keywords, you will be able to:

  1. Build a list of keyword ideas for your future content;
  2. Be focused on content creation instead of wasting time researching;
  3. Help your niche site grow faster on Search Engines, thus quicker revenue;

And, you’ll never run out of content ideas.

But first, what are Doppelgangers?

It is simply competitor sites that compete with your niche site on majority keywords.

Or in case your site is new, then they are competitor sites that you want to compete with, in the near future.

Finding Doppelgangers is one of the steps I use to identify a profitable niche for affiliate marketing.

Now, instead of sharing with you several tips and tools on how to find competitors’ keywords, and have you figure it out yourself…

I am going to walk you through the process of actually finding those keywords for one of the WA members I am coaching.

So, without further ado, let’s begin…

Finding Competitors’ Keywords in the Guitar Niche

The person I am coaching has chosen the Guitar Niche for affiliate marketing.

So, to help her out, I am going to share the process finding competitor keywords and provide her with a list of keyword ideas to build her content.

1. Know Who Your Doppelgangers Are

Through the process of identifying a profitable niche, you should be able to identify several website Doppelgangers.

But just in case you haven’t identified them yet, here are the steps you need to take (assuming you know your niche):

  1. Research on the products and brands available to your niche on Google. I would search for keywords like:
    • “Best products/brands for…” – e.g. Best Guitar for beginners;
    • “Top products/brands to [solve a problem related to your niche]” – e.g. Top Microphones for Home Studios;
    • “Cheapest products/brands to [solve a problem related to your niche]” – e.g. Cheapest guitar effects to create distortion;
  2. Search for product and brand reviews:
    • “Product A review” – e.g. Gibson Epiphone Les Paul Special 2 Review
    • “Is Product A good/worth it?” – e.g. Is Guitar Tricks Worth it? – Guitar Tricks is an online guitar course
  3. Identify sites that are ranking for those keywords.

Product and Brand Identification Walk-through

I am entirely new to the Guitar Niche, so I want to know what are the best guitars, courses, sound effects, etc.

The first thing I did was to search for the keyword “best online guitar lessons for beginners”.

Finding-Doppelgangers-for-competitors-keywords

Now that I’ve identified the name of the courses, let’s search for each of their reviews.

By the way, guitarrepairbench.com may be a potential Doppelganger as well. We will go into this in the following steps.

Doppelgangers Identification Walk-through

I searched for “Guitar Tricks review” and these sites came up:

  • guitarfella.com
  • theguitarjunky.com
  • guitarchalk.com
  • deviantnoise.com
  • voicesinc.org

Did another search on the keyword “JamPlay Review” and these sites came up:

  • guitardomination.net
  • deviantnoise.com
  • guitarfella.com
  • guitarrepairbench.com
  • voicesinc.org

I’ll stop here with just 2 searches for the sake of keeping this article short. 

But, you can go through this exercise for your niche to identify as many potential doppelgangers as possible.

Verifying Doppelgangers Walk-through

What I am looking out for are “review sites”, because those are the sites that are targeting the “money keywords”.

“Money Keywords” means Keywords that will generate revenue; we’ll cover more in-depth below.

But, if you want to understand what makes those keywords generate revenue, you have first to understand the 5 stages of awareness.

So, as I visit each of those sites, I want to see that they are creating lots of product reviews.

And, in those reviews, I want to see that they are including relevant affiliate links.

Take guitarfella.com as an example…

When I visited their site, they have “reviews” on their navigation menu, which is convenient.

Identifying-Doppelgangers-to-find-competitors-keywords

Then as I visited the Guitar Fella’s Guitar Tricks Review…

I’ll scroll to the bottom to see if there is a button or link for me to click and buy Guitar Tricks.

Those links and buttons are usually at the end of the article.

Verifying-Doppelgangers-for-competitors-keywords

When I clicked on that “Visit Website” button, it led me to this page.

Verifying-Doppelgangers-with-their-affiliate-link

This shows that the person who created Guitar Fella is an affiliate of Guitartricks.com.

So, we’ve identified, verified, and confirmed that Guitarfella.com is a doppelganger.

You can repeat the same steps to identify several more doppelgangers if you’d like.

The next step is going to be interesting…

2. Finding Competitors’ Keywords

There are 2 ways to find competitors’ Keywords:

  1. Going through Competitors’ Sitemap(s) – Completely Free Method;
  2. Using Google to Find Competitor Keywords – Completely Free Method;
  3. Extracting Keywords from Competitor Research Tools – Free and Paid Methods.

We’ll start with the Sitemap Method…

Method #1: Generating Keyword Ideas from Competitors’ Sitemap

Who would have known that the Sitemap will disclose so much information about a website?

And, best of all, this is free information.

To find the Sitemap of a website…

At the end of your doppelganger’s URL, add either “sitemap.xml” or “sitemap_index.xml” (for sites using the Yoast SEO plugin).

Using-Sitemaps-to-find-competitors-keywords

Click on the “post-sitemap1.xml” and you will see…

Sitemaps-for-keyword-ideas

From a glance on the Sitemap, you can quickly identify keyword ideas, because webmasters (site owners) who understands SEO, will optimize keywords through post or page URLs.

And, I can immediately spot some “money keywords” to target.

Now, you don’t only want to target the “money keywords”…

You want to target “problem keywords” as well because those are the keywords that help you build authority.

And they are more fun to write about.

Keywords Categories

Let me put these keywords into 2 categories:

MONEY KEYWORDSPROBLEM KEYWORDS
Gibson Flying V 120 Classic ReviewHow to choose Vibrato
Rowin Mini Guitar Digital ReviewWhat is Phaser Effect
Death Audio ReviewBoost Pedals Explained
Catalinbread Karma Suture Harmonic ReviewHow to use Tremolo
Wampler Velvet ReviewProperly Use Fuzz Pedals
Digitech SP7 ReviewAre Small Hands a Deal Breaker for Playing Guitar
Keeley Dynatrem ReviewHow to use Phaser pedals
Boss NS 2 ReviewWhat are EQ Pedals
Gibson SG Futura ReviewThings to Avoid when Buying Guitar
MXR M300 Reverb ReviewWhat makes good noise gate
Dean Electric Guitar Start Pack ReviewHow to use Guitar Capo
Recommended Guitar Humidifier BrandsHow Important Are Guitar Turners
Best Studio MonitorsWhy You Should Consider Using a Volume Pedal
Essential Guitar AccessoriesWhy You Should Have a Pedalboard
Best Electronic DrumsHow Long Does it take to Get Good at Guitar
GuitarTricks vs JamplayShould You Learn Music Theory
TrueFire vs JamplayHow to Use a Volume Pedal

Ok. I’ll stop here. Otherwise, it will never end. But, you get the idea.

Method #2: Using Google to Find Competitor Keywords

The second ninja trick to find Competitor keywords is through Google.

If you don’t know, there is this function on Google where you can find any sites’ URLs that are indexed by Google.

All you need to do is to type in Google “site:[competitor’s site URL]” without the http or https. Like this:

site:guitarfella.com
Use Google to Find Competitor Keywords

As you see, there are about 1,880 pages and posts of Guitarfella.com being indexed by Google.

And, as you navigate through the search results, you can immediately see what keywords the site is optimizing for on the Title and the Description. Isn’t it cool? Have fun with it!

Now, even though you have extracted the keywords and content ideas, it is merely enough. You need to do further research on those keywords, which we will discuss in Step 3.

Method #3: Extracting Keywords from Competitor Research Tools

Free Tool

After searching high and low for a free competitor research tool, I’ve found only one that is genuinely free.

It requires no account creation and does not restrict any of its features.

It’s called Ubersuggest by Neil Patel.

To find your competitor keywords, all you need to do is enter the domain name of your competitor, and click “Search”.

On the following page, scroll to the bottom and click on the “View All SEO Keywords This Domain Ranks For” button, or click on “Keywords” on the left panel.

Ubersuggest will show a list of keywords your competitors are ranking for, together with its search volume, ranking position, and keyword difficulty.

Ubersuggest is an awesome FREE SEO tool. It performs what is required to find competitor keywords.

The drawbacks? Missing features like On-page SEO analysis, Rank Tracking, Backlink audit, etc.

But hey, it is an awesome free tool, what more can you expect?

Do you know of any free competitor research tool? Please share it in the comments section below.

Paid Tools

Honestly, you don’t need a Paid SEO Tool to find Competitor keywords.

But, having one will make your life a whole lot easier.

Here are 2 competitor keyword research tools that are worth mentioning…

Ahrefs

In my opinion, this is one of the best SEO tools around.

It performs many functions, but let’s only on its keyword Explorer. Watch this video.

The only drawback to Ahrefs is the cost. The cheapest plan starts at $99 per month.

They do not have a free trial, but they offer a $7 trial for 7 days. You can check them out here.

SEMrush

The SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool works similarly to Ahref’s.

The cheapest plan for SEMrush starts at $99.95 per month.

However, they have a free 7 days trial.

Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer vs SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool

The key difference between these 2 keyword research tools is the algorithm behind their “Keyword Difficulty Rating”.

To spare you all the details so that you can focus on picking the right keywords, here’s what you need to know.

Ahrefs

ScoreDifficulty Level
0 – 10Easy
11 – 30Medium
31 – 70Hard
71 – 100Super Hard

So, if you do use Ahrefs, you should target keywords that have scores of lower than 30.

SEMrush

ScoreDifficulty Level
Below 60%Low Difficulty
60% – 80%Medium Difficulty
Above 80%High Difficulty

In case you want to geek out on the Keyword Difficulty Scoring systems:

  1. Ahref’s Keyword Difficulty Scoring System
  2. SEMrush’s Keyword Difficulty Scoring System

3. Collecting Data From Keyword Research

Now, if you’ve extracted keywords from your competitor sites using Methods #1 and #2 above, it is time to do some research on them.

Who knows, you may be able to find more Doppelgangers and keyword ideas along the way. More Doppelgangers equals more keyword ideas.

So, to do proper keyword research, my preferred method is to use the following tools:

Alternatively, you may use Long Tail Pro or KWFinder in place of Jaaxy.

Keyword Research Walk-through

1. Enter Keywords Into Jaaxy

Let me use the keyword “Guitar Tricks Review” as an example.

Keyword-Research-on-Competitor-Keywords

I’ll put the AVG, QSR, and SEO data into a handy Google Sheet like this:

Google-Sheet-List-of-Keyword-Ideas
2. Check the Domain Authority (Optional)

In my opinion, the QSR and SEO data collected from Jaaxy isn’t enough.

I want to be sure that my new site will be able to rank on the 1st page of Google on that particular keyword.

That’s why we are collecting Domain Authority stats of the top 10 sites ranking for each keyword.

Let’s begin by searching for the keyword “Guitar Tricks Review”.

Domain-Authority-on-Competitors

Then, I will go to the Domain Authority Checker to verify the domain authority for each of those sites ranking for that keyword.

Upon typing “guitarfella.com” on the Domain Authority Checker, it will provide us with the following data. But, I will only record the “Domain Authority” in the same Google Sheet.

Domain-Authority-on-Competitors-Result
Recording-Competitors-Domain-Authority

I know, I know. The Domain Authority Checker method is a little tedious.

So, if you insist on using Jaaxy as the ONLY indicator, I’ll show you the best way below.

4. Select the Best Keywords (Making Sense of the Keyword Research)

In the above, I’ve provided you with 2 checks. One with results in Jaaxy, and the other, the domain authority checks on the top 10 search results.

In case you are “lazy”, and you want to skip the Domain Authority Checker method, then know this…

With Jaaxy

INDICATORSTATSOUTCOME
Search VolumeAnything Above 30GOOD
Keyword Competitiveness (QSR) Anything Below 80 GOOD
SEO Score Anything Above 95GOOD

With the Domain Authority Checker Method

KEYWORD DIFFICULTYDIFFICULTY LEVEL
3 or More Sites Lesser Than DA 30Low
1 – 2 Sites Lesser Than DA 30Medium
0 Sites Lesser Than DA 30High

Putting Them Together

SEARCH VOLUME SEO DOMAIN AUTHORITY CHECKER PRIORITY
Anything above 30 95 & Above 3 or More Sites Lesser Than 30HIGH
Anything above 30 95 & Above 1 – 2 Sites Lesser Than DA 30MEDIUM
Anything above 30 95 & Above 0 Sites Lesser Than DA 30LOW
Anything above 30 91 – 94 3 or More Sites Lesser Than 30HIGH
Anything above 30 91 – 94 1 – 2 Sites Lesser Than DA 30MEDIUM
Anything above 30 91 – 94 0 Sites Lesser Than DA 30LOW

Note: The above are just indicators. In the end, it boils down to how well your article is written and whether or not it serves the readers. Your site can have a DA of 15, and still, you will be able to beat a site with a DA of 40 or more.

Let’s Pick the Right Keywords to Target

Ideally, we want to write content on all keywords our Competitors are targeting.

But, the reason we are not using just any newfound keywords is that you want to get ranked at the top, as quickly as possible.

So, it will be prudent for new sites to first target keywords that will give the best possibility of 1st-page ranking.

Let me give you an example of how I would put everything together into a nice looking spreadsheet.

Pick the Right Competitor keywords to target
Click on the image for the spreadsheet

What I did above was to use method #2 mentioned above to find competitor keywords. You don’t need to use all the 3 methods.

Then, I put those keywords into Jaaxy…

And, on top of getting the stats on that particular keyword on Jaaxy, I found more keyword suggestions, and I did the same research on them (Jaaxy and the Domain Authority Checker method).

I’ve put those stats in the spreadsheet, calculated the number of sites with lower than DA 30.

Sort them accordingly and rank the keywords in terms of the following priority (you can see the example in the spreadsheet):

  • High – Keywords New sites should target
  • Medium – Keywords that are a little harder to rank
  • Low – Keywords that are super competitive and should only be tackled when your site is more authoritative

Remember, your content is the first step to good ranking. Even if you target non-competitive keywords, your article may not get ranked if it’s not good enough.

Finally, one more advice I would like to give you is to target on Money Keywords first (out of those high priority keywords).

Because our main objective is to earn money as quickly as possible, and targeting Money Keywords will get you there sooner.

Final Words

I hope that this 4 step process to find competitor keywords is useful to you.

The key for this guide is to help you find content ideas and select the keywords that will get you the best results.

The truth is, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on expensive SEO tools, though they are convenient.

With a little more hard work, you can find extremely profitable keywords.

So, let me wrap up this guide:

  1. Know who your Doppelgangers are – Find relevant competitor websites
  2. Find Competitor Keywords (there are 3 methods):
    1. Generate Keyword Ideas through Competitor’s Sitemap;
    2. Use Google’s “Site:” Function;
    3. Extract Keywords from Competitor Research Tools;
  3. Collect Data (Search Volume, Keyword Difficulty, etc.) from newfound keywords;
  4. Pick the right keywords and start writing your content

Like this Ultimate Guide to Competitor Keyword Research? Share it!


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2 thoughts on “How to Leverage on Doppelgangers to Find Competitor Keywords”

  1. Awesome training Jack. Loved the spreadsheet. It’s a little labour intensive but worth the effort to narrow the field as to what to write when.

    thanks so much for this post. Heaps of great tips.

    Lily

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