You’ve probably searched for keywords when writing a new blog post or conducting keyword research for your website. Perhaps to identify keyword phrases that other top-ranking pages use and include them in your content.
- Searching websites for keywords is critical to identifying keywords that can enhance your content and help you rank higher.
- CTRL + F is not the most effective way to find keywords your competitors use on their pages. Keyword tools do a better, more complete job in less time.
- Use site searches to look for new topic ideas, research and data studies, quotes, and case studies that can back up your articles and build trust while helping you rank higher.
Researching your competitors and other websites for relevant keywords is essential to your keyword research strategy. You want to ensure that your blog post covers all relevant subtopics and keywords to increase your chances of ranking well. Not only that, covering related keywords in your content will signal topical depth in the eyes of Google.
This guide will walk you through several quick and effective ways to search for keywords on a website.
What is a website search for keywords?
A website search, also called a site search, is an approach to finding specific content or topics on a website. It is most commonly conducted as part of your keyword research process and to identify keywords your competitors use.
Why search for keywords on a website?
Finding keywords on other web pages can help implement a solid search engine optimization strategy for your website. Conducting keyword research will help you with the following.
Satisfy search intent
Search intent is a critical ranking factor for your web page to perform better in search engine results. Spotting the right keywords for your website will ensure that your pages align with user intent.
Cover topical depth
Google relies on finding semantically related keywords on your web page for context and subject relevance. Including organic keywords your competitors are already using in the SERPs can help ensure your blog posts cover the subject material comprehensively without the fluff.
Plug keyword gaps
Finding and inserting keyword phrases and references to topics or data you may have missed through SEO keyword research will improve your content's credibility.
Discover keyword ideas
Of course, when you search websites for keywords, you'll also find new keyword ideas that you can use to enhance your content or write new web pages.
And last but not least, searching for and using SEO keywords from your keyword research leads to improved search engine rankings and traffic.
How to find keywords on a website
The typical ctrl F method, while the most popular, there are better ways to search a website for keywords. Here are 5 ways to search a website for keywords, starting with the most effortless and efficient manner and heading to the least efficient.
1. Run a web page audit
Auditing a web page is the quickest way to generate a keyword list used in the page's content. Wouldn't you prefer to have a list of SEO keywords in minutes instead of identifying keywords one by one? Here's how to generate a record of the top keywords from your competitors.
- Head to Surfer Audit
- Enter the web page URL and your main keywords
- Select the country, device preferences and check the Sentiment box
- Click Create Audit
Wait for a few seconds as Surfer Audit performs the work of a keyword research tool in the background. You'll see a green tick when the report is ready. Click on it. Scroll down to the Terms to Use section of the page to view a comprehensive list of the best keywords for your search keywords.
For example, while creating our post about writing impactful meta titles for SEO, we searched for keywords on a top-ranking page using Surfer Audit. We were shown 288 search terms, a sum of 226 organic keywords and 62 phrases.
The most valuable part of this report is that it contains the specific keywords on the analyzed page and all the related keywords your competitors are ranking for in the top search results.
This allows you to run a single audit on any one of the top pages for your search term and be finished. You don't have to spend less time researching competitive keywords from the SERPs. You can even select the pages that you want to find keywords on.
To do this, scroll to the report's top and click on Select competitors. Then, use the toggle on the left to include or exclude pages in your keyword research.
Now head back to the Terms to Use report. Click on Export on the top right-hand side of the report. You'll now have a keyword list in a CSV file format that you can use to pick the right keywords for your website. The CSV file format will also show you how many times competing sites have used the given keyword, along with a recommended frequency under the action column.
While this is the quickest and most efficient way to research keywords for your content strategy, let's discuss other ways you can use to find keywords on websites.
2. Use Google keyword planner
The Google Adwords keyword planner is an underused keyword tool that you can use to scour the competition. A common misconception is that you need an active Google ads account, but that is not the case. Don't worry - you don't need to input a credit card.
- Create an account in Google Ads
- Follow the prompts on the screen until you get an option to switch to expert mode
- Click Create an account with a campaign
- Confirm your business details
- Under Tools and Settings on the top panel, find Keyword Planner
- Click on the Discover new keywords card
- In the new panel, select Start with a website
- Enter the URL of the page you want to analyze
- Select from the options and click Get results
For example, if I input the homepage of Optin Monster, a popular WordPress plugin and select use the entire site, the tool displays a list of 243 keyword ideas from their website. Unfortunately, the displayed monthly search volume is a wide range and so not very helpful, but you can use the Keyword Surfer Chrome extension for exact figures.
3. Use Google search operators to search within a single website
The next most user-friendly way to find keywords on a website is to use "site search" in the Google search bar. This will help you search an entire website for specific keywords on Google. Here's what to do.
- Type site:yourdomain.com search term in Google search
- For exact match keywords, use quotation marks and type in site:yourdomain.com "search term"
- Hit Search
Note that you must replace "yourdomain.com" with the URL of the website on which you want to search keywords. And enter the keyword you're searching for in place of "search term". If you're looking for a keyword on a subdomain, you'll get better results by entering the subdomain like blog.yourdomain.com instead of the parent domain.
Using the "site:" operator ensures that Google will only show you results from that specific website and not from across the web.
Best practices for using Google site search
A good approach for site search is to start with a broad search and gradually make it more specific. By doing this, you're more likely to find what you need while avoiding narrowing your search.
For example, let's say you are a SAAS-based app analytics business and want to search a competitor's website for related content. Start by using "app analytics" in the search term and draw a general idea of their rankings and content.
From here, you can dive deeper into subcategories like "user onboarding", "user engagement", and "user feedback", etc, to research these pages for keywords that you can compete against them for.
4. Use the website's search function
You can also use the website's search bar to find potential keywords on its pages if you prefer something other than keyword tools. All you have to do is visit the website and find the search function - it's usually in the navigation bar at the top. Then, enter your target keyword to see the results.
This isn't a particularly efficient method because some websites don't have a search bar, and not all that do are optimized for the best results. For example, the search function may only look for keywords in the page URL or title tag and not have the best relevance.
5. Find keywords in the page source
You can also use the popular Ctrl + F method to find a keyword on a website. But instead of using these keys on the site, search for keywords in the page's HTML source. You can do this on any browser. Here I am demonstrating these efforts using Google Chrome.
- On the page you want to search for keywords, right-click and select View Page Source.
- Hit the ctrl and F keys simultaneously
- Type in your keyword in the box that pops up
The keywords you want will then be highlighted in the HTML of the page source. I'm not a fan of this approach because it's time-consuming and easy to make mistakes.
What to find using site search?
Keywords are a good starting point to look for on other websites, but here are a few other things that can help your SEO strategy. Look for these if you're trying to increase organic traffic and write better content for search engines.
Search for data studies
Backing up your claims with data can allow users to verify your claims and enhance your content's credibility. Perform a quick search on relevant websites when you create content that will benefit from a reference to a study. The proper use of data will also help you stand out from a competitor's site.
Search for quotes
Your SEO efforts will also gain from using expert quotes on your pages. Look up recognized faces and their interviews from your industry when you write content. Simply inserting a quote won't help drive traffic but seeing familiar faces help build trust.
Search for case studies
Similarly, many websites publish case studies and use cases as part of their keyword strategy that you can use. These are especially helpful if you don't have your own but want to demonstrate your point for a greater impact.
Search for new topic ideas
And, of course, finding keywords on other sites will give you ideas for new topics.
As you can tell, finding keywords on other websites is a critical part of your content strategy and should be conducted frequently. Using site search techniques can help you monitor your content and SEO performance and give you an idea of what your competitors are doing. These methods take little time and effort yet have the potential to benefit your website's growth greatly.
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