SEMrush Keyword Analysis

Keyword Difficulty

The next step in keyword research is to assess how difficult a keyword is to rank for organically. You can use SEMrush’s Backlinks tool to determine how strong the competition is in your niche.

Although not all incoming links are created equal, two simple metrics are total backlinks and referring domain count.

To find the relative authority of each competitor, create a table listing total backlinks, referring domains, organic keywords and organic traffic. Then, sort by referring domains, largest to smallest.

keyword difficulty

Offpage Ranking Factors

Referring domains typically has a strong correlation with organic keywords ranking and total organic traffic. This metric is generally better than total backlinks because it does not take into consideration sitewide links. For example, in the case of Prestige Yachts, 1 domain may be providing 17,000 backlinks.

offpage ranking factors

Think of referring domains as the number of websites that have voted for you and number of backlinks the total number of votes. Typically 100 votes from 100 different sites is more trustworthy than 100 votes from the same website.

In almost every instance, the competition is stronger than Marquis Yachts. It will be easier for competitors to outrank the website for any given keyword and if everything else was equal, it will take more links for our website to rank because it has lower domain authority and trust.

One helpful, all inclusive metric that takes into consideration total backlinks, referring domains and the quality of links is Domain Strength. You can use this metric to simplify competitive analysis.

In the next video, you will learn how to find Domain Strength and measure the competitiveness of each keyword.

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