How to Find a Website’s Keywords (Organic & Paid)

Mateusz Makosiewicz
Marketing researcher and educator at Ahrefs. Mateusz has over 10 years of experience in marketing gained in agencies, SaaS and hardware businesses. When not writing, he's composing music or enjoying long walks.
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    Contrary to some advice on the web, you won’t find a website’s keywords by viewing its HTML code or using the “find” function. You will need an SEO tool for that.

    Dive in to see how to really find any website’s organic keywords (keywords that it ranks for in Google) and even paid keywords (keywords used to bid on Google Ads). 

    How to find any website’s organic keywords (yours, your competitor’s, and everyone else’s)

    As mentioned above, you need an SEO tool for the job. Here’s how to find any website’s keywords in seconds with Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. You can:

    1. Enter any website’s URL. Adjust the mode to see keywords for the entire domain, a path, or the exact URL.
    2. Hit search.
    3. Go to the Organic keywords report. And there you have it—all keywords the website ranks for in Google. 
    Finding any website's organic keywords with Ahrefs' Site Explorer

    Along with the keywords, Site Explorer will show you important SEO metrics like current position on the SERPs (search engine results pages), search volume, Keyword Difficulty (KD), and even the ranking history.

    Position history chart for a keyword

    You can also play around with filters to limit the scope of data. For example, you can view the keywords with low difficulty or look for a specific keyword. 

    Looking for keywords including the word template

    Where to go from here? Since you’ll likely discover a lot of keywords this way, it’s a good idea to learn how to choose the best ones for your website—and we’ve got a full guide on that.

    How you WILL NOT find a website’s keywords

    If you’re curious, here’s why you need a premium SEO tool. 

    An old method for finding keywords was to view a page’s HTML code and look at these two parts of the code:

    • <meta name=”keywords”> This is where SEOs used to put their keywords back in the day to tell Google what the page is about (and hopefully rank for those terms). Hardly anybody uses that now, so you won’t find much information there.
    • <title> This determines the title of the page. This can be a hint as to what the page’s target keyword is as intended by the page’s creator. This means that a) the page may not rank for the keyword in the first 100 SERP results and b) you can see only one organic keyword (without any SEO data) one page at a time.

    Another method is to use Google Keyword Planner. This solution is better but still not accurate. 

    GKP will show you a mix of keyword ideas based on a page’s URL, where you will find:

    • Some organic keywords that the page ranks for, but you won’t know which. And you will likely get overestimated search volumes for whole groups of keywords instead of just one (learn more in our study).
    • Topically relevant keywords that Google suggests you could run ads for. So not organic keywords a page actually ranks for. 
    GKP isn't the best choice for finding a website's keywords
    Our article on keyword research doesn’t rank for most of these keywords. Also notice how every keyword reported by GKP has the same range of search volume.

    Talking about keywords for search ads, let’s see how you can find those too. 

    How to find any website’s paid keywords 

    Some SEO tools allow you to see paid keywords (aka Google Ads keywords or Google AdWords). Here’s how you can use Site Explorer for that. You can:

    1. Enter any website’s URL. Again, simply adjust the mode to see keywords for the entire domain, a path, or the exact URL.
    2. Hit search.
    3. Go to the Paid keywords report. 
    Finding paid keywords with Ahrefs' Site Explorer

    Apart from keywords, this report shows you additional data like:

    • The cost of the keyword (CPC).
    • Search volume.
    • The estimated traffic a page gets from a given keyword.
    • The landing page for the keyword.
    • The ad for the keyword. 

    And more. 

    FAQ

    How to find good keywords for SEO? 

    There are a few methods for that: 

    • Look up your competitors’ keywords You can then try to rank for the same keywords or use them to find similar keywords. 
    • Use keyword research tools Keyword research tools uncover hundreds of keyword ideas, along with their SEO metrics, based on just one word or phrase. 
    • Study what topics resonate with your audience This way, you can discover untapped keywords, topics that you didn’t know about, or topics that are just beginning to trend. 

    Learn how to use each method in Keyword Research: The Beginner’s Guide by Ahrefs

    What is keyword difficulty? 

    Keyword difficulty is an SEO metric that estimates how hard it would be to rank on the first page of Google for a given keyword. 

    At Ahrefs, we measure it on a scale from 0 to 100 (the hardest), and it’s based on the estimated number of websites that link to the top 10 ranking pages. The more domains link to the top 10 pages, the more backlinks you’ll need to get to rank. 

    KD for the word "chocolate"

    That’s the basics. If you want to estimate your chances of ranking more accurately, you’ll need to count in a couple more factors, such as the authority of your website and whether you have the ability to match search intent. 

    Learn more about the topic in Keyword Difficulty: How to Estimate Your Chances to Rank

    How do I use keywords on my website? 

    Try to choose one target keyword per page—this will be the topic of the page. You will still be able to rank for many other relevant keywords (no need for keyword stuffing). Then craft your content with these SEO good practices in mind: 

    • Be relevant by aligning your content with search intent (content type, format, and angle)
    • Be thorough by including common subtopics searchers expect to see
    • Include the keyword in the title 

    Learn more about targeting keywords with content in On-Page SEO: The Beginner’s Guide.  

    Keep learning 

    Interested in learning more about SEO and keywords? Try our other guides:

    Got questions? Ping me on Twitter

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    • Monthly traffic 100
    • Linking websites 69
    • Tweets 29
    Data from Content Explorer