Understanding Your Competition
|An on-line venture, new or seasoned, must always evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the competition. The same thing applies when choosing keywords. The main objective is to choose the best keywords which will produce a good ranking on the first page of the search engine results.|
It may be wise to avoid choosing a keyword phrase having high traffic potential and used on millions of web pages across the Internet. The reason for this is there may be many well qualified and optimized websites firmly embedded in the top search engine result slots. Penetrating the rare air in this environment may prove to be very difficult and resulting in very little traffic for you.
As mentioned in Website Optimizaton & Marketing - Why You Need It! The top slot in a search result has the potential of receiving 42% click through while the #7 slot has the potential of 3% of clicks with the remaining websites sharing in the remaining 1% to 2% of potential clicks.
This is important because having strong competition for your keywords may prevent you from seeing the top slots. Your competitors may have many well optimized pages with a good page rank and a large number of back links keeping them in those slots.
Not understanding your competition is often the number 1 reason people fail on-line. How well optimized are their websites for the same keyword you are targeting? How many relevant pages do they have on their sites, a few, several thousand, millions? If you mis-understand the strength your competition, they can literally block you out of the first 10 to 30 slots of a Search Engine's Results Page. You need to consider the strength of your competition if you want to avoid being in that predicament of sharing the 2% of clicks remaining as a result of being excluded from the main positions with hundreds of thousands and maybe millions of other websites using the same Keywords.
So your marketing plan should take into consideration the amount and strength of your on-line competition.
Chances are highly competitive keywords also have many bidding for the best placement and delivery times in their AdWords campaigns. You may choose to buy into a pay per click program only to have your link displayed in the extreme off hours. Unless your target audience typically uses the Internet during those off hours, you may have poor results from the program.
The other end of the spectrum is having keywords with little competition generating little traffic. You may rank well for these keywords and have zero traffic and visitors. In this case your competition is the improper choice of keywords.
The trick is to find a happy medium in keyword selection which produces a fair amount of traffic and a reasonable level of competition so you have a chance in attaining one or more of the top slots while remaining relevant to your product or service topic.
Assessing The Proper Competitive Balance
|As mentioned earlier, the main objective is to get a good placement, the top slots, in search engine results. So what has to happen to give yourself the best shot at good placement?|
In the Research Your Keywords section we pointed out why you want to avoid blindly picking your keywords out of a hat. Keyword research involves making a proper assessment of the keywords you choose based on in part relevancy, competition, and traffic.
When assessing your competition, you need to know what the key components are in making that assessment. Some of these components involve knowing the traffic typical for the keywords, how many pages are indexed with that phrase exist and the proposed revenue you could expect are things you need to consider.
It might be a poor choice to select a keyword because it has the potential to generate 9000 visitors per day. That same keyword may also have the potential to generate $1000 per visitor, looks good, but another component will add something to the mix. That keyword is also indexed on 115,000,000 web pages. 115 million web pages are an issue as this is the mountain of competition you need to face.
On the other hand, selecting a keyword with scores that are very low have the opposite effect, where you may rank well, but the number of people searching for that term may be minimal or non-existent. Thus traffic to your site will also be low.
Striking the proper balance using metrics producing a reasonable level of traffic with a indexed page count with a low-median to median value and still has the ability to generate income or results is a good place to start in your competitive assessment.
Find Out Why Top Ranking Sites Rank
|Once you have chosen the keywords based on your initial competitive assessment, you will want to see who comes up in the top slots and find out what got them there. |
Assume we are looking at the #1 slot for one of your keywords.
You would want to determine how many pages are indexed for the domain. You can use the Google search bar and type in the domain name to get a rough idea. Some of these results may return pages having return or back links. Many links may be from social media sites such as facebook, twitter, digg, etc... Each of these links are a vote for that domain or page from Google's standpoint.
In the Google search bar you can also use link:domain.com search command to see what Google is reporting as links to that domain.
Look at the structure of the #1 ranked site, does it have all the proper tags, how many times is the keyword used, what links are on that page and do they point to other pages, other sites and so on.
Find the page rank of the site and the quality of the links pointing back to the site. Sites with a higher page rank linking back carry some benefit.
The idea is to get as much fundamental information to see what could be placing them in the #1 slot.
You may want to run the same checks against the #2 and #3 position results to get some sort of comparison.
Once you have gathered as many fundamentals about your competition as you can, comparing those to the metrics of your own site (or including these components into your new site design) will show where you differ and what you need to work on to be more like them.
Avoid the temptation to copy content. You may get dinged as duplicate content.
|For more information or a free consultation call 603-425-2221.|
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|Friends of Kevin Radio Interview|
|Cirelle has been providing Internet based products and services since 1997, developing content managed systems before CMS was an acronym. In this interview, Search Engine Optimization is discussed with Cirelle CEO Greg Cirino on the Friends of Kevin Radio Program|
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