Competition Analysis: SEO Strategy To Maximize ROI
Once you find the right keywords, the next step is figuring out the best way to approach the market. Each keyword will have a different ranking time, so it’s best to plan out both short and long term ranking strategies. There’s a lot of factors you need to take into account, but there’s a great free tool that makes this easy. A little bit of time and effort, and you’ll have a much better idea of the future work involved to take over the market.
Step 1: Install The SEO-Quake Plugin
I use Google Chrome as my main web browser, so I installed this on Mozilla Firefox. (It also works on Opera and Safari). It slows down the regular search slightly and will auto-load on your web pages, so I suggest not installing it on your main browser. Head here, http://www.seoquake.com/ , just watch the video on the home page to see how it installs.
Step 2: Search Your Term In Google
Just type in your first search term in Google, and watch it load. I suggest opening up Excel or Word to help keep you organized. You’ll be grabbing specific information from each keyword, so a spreadsheet program is ideal. Making a new page for each keyword, makes it even easier to stay organized
Columns In The Spreadsheet
URL/Domain Name: This is the site (www.TheRankingSite.com) that is ranking.
Title: If you look at the code, this shows up in the <Title> Tags in the <Head>. This is also what shows up as the blue text in a Google Search.
Meta Description: This shows up in the <Head> as well, and is the black text that shows up in a Google Search.
Google Page Rank: This is an authority scale provides by Google that ranges from (low) PR0-PR10 (high).
Links To Page: These are the total number of links from around the web pointing at the specific ranking page.
Links To Site: These are the total number or links from around the web pointing at the site as a whole.
Domain Age: This is when the domain was registered.
Those are the biggest factors you need to worry about. They let you see the site authority and how well the On Page SEO has been done on the site. You’ll be comparing these to your site later on.
Across The Top: SEO Quake Definitions
Info: This gives the full info on the page in more detail. You can just click it, and copy and paste everything right to your excel document. It’s best to do this individually, just to keep things organized and make things easier.
PR: This is the Google Page Rank
GI (Google Index): This is how many pages Google lists in their index, or how many pages can show up for searches from that site. You can type in site:YourSite.com and see all the pages indexed in Google from YourSite.com.
L (Links to the Page): This is how many links are pointing at that specific page.
LD (Links to the Domain): This is how many links are pointing at the entire site.
bI (Bing Index): This is how many pages Bing lists in their index. They don’t have anywhere near the amount of resources available as Google, so this number is often significantly lower.
aRank: Alexa.com Rank. This website ranks websites based on traffic, and can provide some interesting information about your competitors keywords, traffic sources, and visitor profile.
Age: This is the age of the website according to the first time it was stored in web.archive.com. This is different than the age of the domain.
Twitter/Facebook/Google+: This is how many links are found on those Social Media Sites.
Whois: This is the Who.is database that shows site owner information, such as name, address, phone, etc.
</>: If you want to check out the page source code, click this.
Robo: This is the Robots.txt file that allows/dis-allows search engines to certain pages on the site.
Rank/Price: This is SEMRush info, that I don’t use.
Links: This shows the links on the page, with the first number being ones that go into the site, and second number being ones that go out to other sites.
Density: This shows the keyword densitity. If a keyword is used 5 times in 100 words, that has a density of 5%. Don’t worry about density for SEO.
Diagnosis: This makes On Page Suggestions, that are often decent. Don’t worry about too many red x’s though, as it is only a software program, and a manual review combined with this is much more effective.
Things to take note of when looking at your spreadsheet:
Look at what sites in the competition took their time to properly do their On Page SEO. It’s surprising how often that even in a competitive market, you’ll find sites with no On Page SEO. I remember I signed a client a few years back, and with about 2 minutes of work on his home page; I moved him from position #13 (top of the second page), to #2 on the first page of Google. That’s a huge jump in traffic from such a small, yet effective change.
Other factors, such as domain name, age of the website/domain, and page rank you can’t really change (page rank, you can influence over time); but the goal is to get an overall better “score” with the Google algorithm. You don’t need to beat them on everything, just do better in as many areas as possible and start working on the Off Page.
Judging rankings times is quite hard to do, and at its best is just an educated guess. When you see how sites move over time based on the changing of certain factors or carrying out Off Page SEO; you can get a better idea, but it’s not an exact science. Look at how you measure up against the competition, and create a plan to move you in to a better position over time. Remember not to rush things, as you want to gradually build up your Off Page; as to not raise any red flags with Google.
Mix this with the keyword research techniques in the last post, and you can figure out what keywords would be the best to target. Take a look at the competition and search volumes, and also think about the commercial value. Then plan out your short and long term ranking goals.
Hope that helps. I took a few day break in between the writing of this, so the tone may have changed slightly.
Thanks. ~Ryan England – Executive SEO