Google is great for finding information. It gives accurate results in a fraction of a second.
But what if you want specific information? Like results specifically from your website or a competitor’s website?
Google can do that, too.
This guide will show you quick and easy ways to search a website for keywords.
What Is a Website Search?
A website search (or site search) allows you to find specific topics or keywords on a particular website.
There are a few ways to search a site for content. But the tactic you choose will depend on why you are searching.
Why Search a Website for Keywords?
A website search can help you find exact information on any website. Yours, your competitors’, or anyone else’s.
For example, it can help:
- Find a specific quote or statistic: Search for data or quotes that you read weeks, months, or years ago
- Find specific references: Search for mentions that need changing. Like seasonal offers, promotions, location updates, etc.
- Discover new ideas: Find topics and keywords you haven’t covered yet
- Track performance: Check which pages are ranking for specific keywords
- Find backlink opportunities: Search for relevant sites to include in your outreach strategy
- Analyze competitors: Study their content to see how they’re covering certain topics
How to Search a Website for Keywords
There are several ways to search for keywords on a website, including:
- Using Ctrl+F in the HTML
- Using Google search operators
- Using the website’s search function
- Using specific keyword tools
Let’s cover each one step by step.
1. Use CTRL+F in the HTML
Let’s start with how to find keywords on a page.
If you’re a marketer, you’ll likely have to search for something in a page’s source code at some point. Image alt text, meta descriptions, header tags, etc.
To do this type of site search, you need to:
- Install or open Chrome.
- Visit the website.
- Right-click on the selected page.
- Choose “View page source”
- Hold Ctrl+F.
- Type in your keyword and press enter.
Say you want to find a page’s meta description. Start by opening Chrome and visiting the page.
Then, right-click on any blank part of the page and select “View page source.”
When you see the page’s source code, hold Ctrl+F (Command+F on Mac). A search bar will pop up.
Type the keyword you want to find and hit enter.
In this case, let’s search for “description.”
The command will highlight every appearance of “description” in the page’s source code.
Notes: This tactic will only search the current page you are on. Not the entire website.
2. Use Google Search Operators
Google search operators are special characters and commands that extend the capabilities of regular text searches on Google.
In this case, for more granular results.
You can use search operators to limit a search to a specific website. In three simple steps:
- Open Google
- Type “site:” and then the website’s domain (eg, “site:www.semrush.com”)
- Type the keyword after the domain (eg, “site:www.semrush.com SEO audit”)
You can also put any keyword in quotes to force Google to match it exactly.
Let’s search the Semrush website for “Google Business Profile.” Here’s what that site search returns in Google:
The results only show pages on semrush.com that include the phrase “Google Business Profile.”
Notes: Consider the domain and subdomain when using search operators.
For instance, if you search “backlinks” on semrush.com and developer.semrush.com, you’ll get different results.
Here are the results for “backlinks” on semrush.com.
And here are the results for “backlinks” on developer.semrush.com. Definitely different.
The first shows results that include all subdomains, while the latter only shows results for the developer subdomain.
The same goes for the path, or what comes after the “.com” portion of the URL.
For example, searching “site:semrush.com/blog/” will provide different results than “site:semrush.com/academy/.”
Keep this in mind as you refine your site search.
For a list of all the Google search operators, read our ultimate guide to Google search commands.
3. Use the Website’s Search Function
Websites often have their own search bars.
And you can use them to search the site for a particular keyword. All you’ll need to do is:
- Find the search bar
- Type your keyword
- Click search/press enter
This method is by far the simplest. But not all websites offer this function.
If they do, they may not have their search bar configured in the most optimal way.
For example, their search function may only retrieve matches in the page title or URL. So, you’ll end up with a reduced list of relevant results.
You may not always know the exact keyword or topic you’re searching for. But you do know where you want to search for it.
This tends to happen when scoping out competitors or browsing for new content ideas.
In this case, a keyword tool is what you need.
Semrush’s Organic Research tool can quickly give you a list of all the organic keywords a site is ranking for.
Start by entering a competitor’s domain and clicking “Search.”
Then, click on the “Positions” tab. You’ll see all the organic keywords sorted by the percentage of traffic they bring in.
Check the box for every interesting or relevant keyword for your analysis.
And then click on the “Export“button and mark”Selected.”
We recommend doing this for your top competitors.
Compile a list of keywords, and then go back and use Google search operators to refine your search.
See how each competitor covers the topics you’re interested in.
- What is the format—long-form or short?
- Do they use lots of visual assets or plain text?
- Is the style casual or formal?
The answers to these questions about your competitors can guide your own content strategy.
Replicate what’s already working in a better or similar way.
Take It a Step Further
Now that you know how to search for keywords on a website, it’s time to deepen your knowledge. Here are some helpful resources to guide your next steps: