How to find website keywords (organic and paid)

Contrary to some advice on the web, you will not find the keywords of a website by viewing the HTML code or using the “find” function. You will need an SEO tool for this.

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

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

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

  1. Enter the URL of any website. Adjust the way to display keywords for the entire domain, a path or the exact URL.
  2. Press search.
  3. Go to Organic keywords report. And there you have it: all the keywords for which the website ranks in Google.
Find any website's organic keywords with Ahrefs' Site Explorer

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

Location history chart for a keyword

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

Searching for keywords including the word pattern

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 pick the best ones for your website and we’ve got a comprehensive guide on that.

As you will NOT find the keywords of a website

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

An old way to find keywords was to view the HTML of a page and look at these two parts of the code:

  • <meta name=”keywords”> This is where SEOs used to enter their keywords in the past to tell Google what the page is about (and hopefully rank for those terms). Hardly anyone uses it 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 from the creator of the page. This means that a) the page may not be ranked for the keyword in the top 100 SERP results and b) you can only see one organic keyword (without any SEO data) one page at a time.

Another method is to use Google’s Keyword Planner. This solution is better but not yet accurate.

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

  • Some organic keywords that the page ranks for, but you won’t know which one. And you’ll likely get overestimated search volumes for entire keyword groups instead of just one (more in our study).
  • Topical keywords so Google suggests you may be running ads. So not organic keywords that a page actually ranks for.
GKP is not the best choice for finding keywords on a website
Our keyword research article doesn’t rank for most of these keywords. Also note how each keyword reported by GKP has the same search volume range.

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

How to find paid keywords for any website

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

  1. Enter the URL of any website. Again, simply adjust how to display keywords for the entire domain, an exact path or URL.
  2. Press search.
  3. Go to Paid keywords report.
Finding paid keywords with Ahrefs' Site Explorer

In addition to keywords, this report shows additional data such as:

  • 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.


How to find good keywords for SEO?

There are a few methods for this:

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

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

What is the difficulty of the keywords?

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

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

KD for the word "chocolate"

These are the basics. If you want to estimate your ranking chances more accurately, you will need to count on a couple of 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 of Ranking.

How do I use keywords on my website?

Try to choose a 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). So create your content with these SEO best practices in mind:

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

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

Keep learning

Do you want to know more about SEO and keywords? Try our other guides:

Do you have questions? ping me on Twitter.

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