Category Archives: Competition Analysis

How to analyze top 10 competitor on Google

Understanding how difficult it is to rank in the top 10 of Google for your chosen keyword is probably the most important skill you can acquire when it comes to building niche websites.  Unfortunately, it is also the most difficult skill to learn.  Bar none, picking keywords that are too difficult to rank for are the #1 reason why websites fail.

Most people just do not have the ability to effectively analyze the top 10 results in Google OR do not have the discipline to only go after low competition keywords. Luckily, this skill can be acquired with experience, serious study, and effort.  In my post today, I hope to shed some light on how you can effectively analyze how difficult the top 10 results in Google are for your keyword.

 

Here are the criteria that I look at to Analyze the Competition:

    1. Relevant Content.As we all know content is king.So main factor that will  clarify your primary possibly.
    2. Optimized Title Competition- Is the keyword used in the title and well optimized?
    3. Page and Site Links. How many links are there to the ranking PAGE and ROOT domain?
    4. Authority Site and Links. Are there .edu, .gov, DMOZ, or Yahoo Directory links?
    5. Google Page Rank. What is the Google PR?
    6. Using Keyword Root Domain or URL? Is the ranking page a root domain or a URL ?
    7. EMD. Are the site is Exact match domain.
    8. Site Age. How old the site is?
    9. Type of site. Is the ranking page a weak type of site like: article directories, forums, Yahoo Answers, other Q&A sites, social sites, or other user generated type sites?
    10. Existing sites.Site which is not ranking well on top 10 yet; i mean ongoing project to spy.

Here is one of my sample example of analyze top 10 competitor on Google

my competitor analysis sample

my competitor analysis sample

You could certainly go alot deeper and start looking at things like whether or not the ranking pages have links pointing to them that use the keyword in the anchor text, etc – but that gets pretty cumbersome.  And because I like to find ranking pages that have fewer than 10 links or even NO BACKLINKS many times, I don’t worry too much about the anchor text.  This is because I go for very low competition keywords.  If you are looking at more difficult niches, you may need to do more analysis than I discuss here; but most people will do just fine finding low competition keywords using the criteria I have listed above and will discuss further below.

 Importance of Relevant Keyword

You will notice that the first 3 ranking factors that I mentioned deal with relevant content on the ranking sites.  I stress the importance of determining whether or not a ranking site is actually targeting your keyword or whether they just happen to mention the keyword in passing.  The reason is simple, if a site is ranking for a keyword almost by accident (because they simply mention a keyword in their content) – then you can feel confident that you can outrank them with more targeted content and links.

Importance of Back Link

The next 3 items I discuss for analyzing the top 10 competitors in Google is links.  I look for less than 10 links to the page if possible (I look at the Yahoo Page Links).  Links to the page are MUCH more important than links to the root domain.  Each page of a site ranks individually, so the page links give you a better indication of how strong the ranking page is.

If the competitors in Google have relevant Titles/content and have lots of links to their pages then you shouldn’t be targeting the keyword.  You can determine on your own how many links is too many for you, but I like to find results with 10 or less links to the page.  Again, I don’t stress out about how many links are to the root domain, unless the resulting page happens to be the root domain.  In that case, a root domain that is optimized for your keyword and has lots of links built to it – is exactly what you want to avoid!  You will typically want to stay away from these keywords.

Most of the time you don’t need to worry about .edu, .gov, or DMOZ, or Yahoo Directory links.  I will typically look at these just to make sure the ranking page doesn’t have any.  Most of the time these type of links only become a factor when you are targeting higher competition keywords or looking at beating root domains.  So, if you see ranking pages that do indeed target your keyword with relevant titles and content, and they have lots of .edu or these other authority type links, you should probably just move onto something less competitive.

Google Page Rank

I won’t go into great detail about what Google PageRank (PR) is other than to say its a number assigned by Google from 0 to 10 that shows how much authority a page has.  Pages or sites can also sometimes have a dash (-) which simply means there is no page rank assigned (this is a good sign for you!).  I like to see ranking sites with a PageRank of 0 or – if they are targeting my keyword.

However, if they are not really targeting my keyword well (like in my “spencer likes honeycombs” example), then the PageRank really doesn’t matter.  So, don’t get too hung up with PageRank – unless its obvious that the ranking page REALLY is targeting your keyword.  If so, remember that lower pagerank is better for you.  You can certainly still outrank sites with a Pagerank of 3 or 4, but for the low hanging fruit you should really focus on the PR of 0 sites.

Other Important Factor

Root Domain or Subpage?

If the top 10 competitors of a keyword are all root domains, I would probably avoid this.  This usually means that their entire site is targeted and optimized for your chosen keyword.  However, if all the ranking pages are something like: domain.com/subpage1/subpage78/directory/rankingpage.html – this is what you want to see.  The long URL is a good sign for you when looking at the top 10 competitors.

Site Age

Older sites tend to have more authority.  I usually only worry about site age if I am targeting a more difficult keyword and need to do some more in depth analysis of the difficulty of ranking for a keyword.

Type of Site

As mentioned in my original list above, I like to see certain weak types of sites like article directories, forums, Yahoo Answers, other Q&A sites, social sites, or other user generated type sites.  The reason for this is that these types of sites are usually not very good at targeting a specific keyword.  Article directories might mention the keyword in their title, but they usually don’t have any backlinks to the ranking page.  Some of these other types of sites usually just happen to mention the keyword somewhere in the content, but don’t have an optimized page or any relevant links.  Hope that makes sense why these are types of listing you WANT to see in the top 10 (easy to outrank).

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My Keyword Research Strategy

In my whole seo  experience i have applied several keyword research method and learned best practice which i will describe through this post so that u can get the idea of my work process.I also described  the overview of keyword research method and my own thought.

So What is  Keyword Research and Why

I am sure all of know better from me.In Briefly i have to say,finding the most profitable  and most importantly low competitive  niche from millions of  seed keyword that suits your business.

In my point of view the main objective of keyword research is mainly three.I will be elaborating main purpose and process through out the post.

  • Target market and Traffic
  • Profit Calculation
  •  Competition Analysis

Long tail keywords for your Niche

Long tail keywords are the longer, more specific keywords that are less common and tends to get traffic that make high conversion.Moreover long tail also less competitive and actual customer driven.For your niche its important to figure out most profitable keyword and that’s where my expertise lies.

Target market and Traffic

You cant target the whole big term like -“android” because its not specific and very broad term.Or you cant also select ‘android apps for alien’ that’s not making sense at all.What i am trying to say is we should select target market which contains following ability.

  1. Your target market should want and need your product or service today and tomorrow
  2. Your target market must have the ability to provide money for you
  3. Your target market should be achievable ,easy accessible and low competitive
  4. Your target market should achievable by a time.frame
  5. Your target market should meet your profit criteria.

Profit Calculation

This part is really valuable part when we are talking about  any investment or seo activity; whether my risky initiative can give me smart amount of gain.Fortunately,I have learned and successfully applied a calculation for profit assumption.This goes below;

Situation One:For instance you are planing for some niche site that is mainly for adsense.Some info You might know;

  • Top 1st position will get 62% CTR, 
  • Average CTR for adsense may nim 7- 10 %  even more Appr.
  • Google pays average 60% of CPC

Strategy One:Estimating Keyword Income

To find do the math following

1) Multiply the Estimated Avg CPC by .60– We are presuming Google pays average 60% of CPC

2) Then multiply this amount by the monthly search volume (exact)

3) Multiply the amount by .62 (Top 1st position will get 62% CTR, )

4) Finally we multiply the running figure by .07 (Average CTR for adsense may nim 7- 10 %  even )

Strategy two:Find Search Volume (SV) That meets Profit criteria 

Here we have to know also previous data and then do following.

First,Search Volume x CTR=SV x 62%

Secondly,SV x62% multiply CTR of visitor =Google paying CPC

SV x62%x7%=60

Now SV=? (find it by calculating and you will find how many SV you will need)

Situation Two: If you are using actual products or affiliate network this principle is fundamental to figure out the basic info.I guess this can be workout for you also.

Brainstorm for keyword

Suppose you have selected your target market and its time to move on for picking keyword.Wait one sec I guess most of the entrepreneur makes mistake by jumping away from brainstorm.

If you own a business for selling products or providing service than thinks it as consumer,What people will use as search on Google.Here is some idea to gather keyword suggestion and brainstorm.

  1. I Use my sense.Look around myself,shopping list,magazine,or blog about my niche
  2. Search it to Google  and follow related result.Use related search or * parameter.
  3. http://ubersuggest.org/ is another great tools that i found useful for gathering random keyword suggestion..
  4. Modifying keyword with different types of keyword action word and other category.Like-‘ buy android apps for alien’ or  ‘summer android apps for alien’ (seasonal) and many others.
  5. I sometimes use Google trend and instant.http://www.google.com/trends/hottrends gives me idea whats going on around hot.
  6. http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers and http://listings.ebay.com/  also gives thousand of seed keyword idea and people are actually buying.You can use it for your target market also.
  7. https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool I am big fan of it personally.It will provide most of required info and valuable keyword information by filtering.
  8. http://www.seocentro.com/tools/search-engines/keyword-position.html  also gives some useful sugestion according to your search

Now you need to save all keyword suggestion on word document and save it for  further use.

Filtering Keyword 

After collecting all the suggested keyword its time filter them.Drooping weak one putting potential one is main purpose of filtering.You have to consider these things for filtering keyword.

  1. Satisfactory number of searcher,It depends upon business size and capability.Very low serch volume must have to avoid because it will not be profitable.
  2. For niche site 2000 exact match is minimum value many internet marketing professional  recommended.I described all about niche site strategy on another post.
  3. High competitive keyword should be avoided because it will difficult  for ranking.

For doing i usally use https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool because its easy to use.Now copy these keyword suggestion and paste some to keyword tools box.Now for filtering some step have to take that is following.

  1. Select the exact instead of broad.It will let you know exact monthly search volume.
  2. Suppose you want to avoid low search global under 2000 ,local 1500 ,approximate cpc under $1 and you want high competitive keyword and local region at US.Then
  3. Go to advance option and filter and and set all them.Here is the screen shot of it.Now all set up and press search button to go.
  4. Google adward on use

    screen shot of adword

  5. Finally You will get all the keyword that meets your requirement and all are profitable, demanding as well.You can sort column.
  6. Now mark them all and save as CSV file.You can delete or add column  before download.Now need to move next step.

 Competition Analysis

As a seo professional ,I hardly believe that most of the small and medium business fail for this.I wrote a complete guide line and my strategy about competitior anlaysis over here.

Why competitor analysis is important

Some important issue for doing competitor analysis.

  1. Letting you know competitors strength and weakness.
  2. Is is possible to demote them and grab the 1st ranking
  3. How much time it will take
  4. Spy on them and their activity.
  5. How much effort  it will take to compete with them.

Factors of competitor analysis

I figured out some vital issue here and described lot more about this here. Understanding how difficult it is to rank in the top 10 of Google for your chosen keyword is probably the most important skill for keyword analysis. Luckily, this skill I acquired with my experience, serious study, and effort.For some reason, people still type their keyword into Google and look at the number of competing pages to judge how difficult a keyword is to rank for.  This is ridiculous!I gave one example of my work so that you can understand how analyze competitor.

my competitor analysis sample

my competitor analysis sample

  1. Relevant Content.As we all know content is king.So main factor that will  clarify your primary possibly.
  2. Optimized Title Competition- Is the keyword used in the title and well optimized?
  3. Page and Site Links. How many links are there to the ranking PAGE and ROOT domain?
  4. Authority Site and Links. Are there .edu, .gov, DMOZ, or Yahoo Directory links?
  5. Google Page Rank. What is the Google PR?
  6. Using Keyword Root Domain or URL? Is the ranking page a root domain or a URL ?
  7. EMD. Are the site is Exact match domain.
  8. Site Age. How old the site is?
  9. Type of site. Is the ranking page a weak type of site like: article directories, forums, Yahoo Answers, other Q&A sites, social sites, or other user generated type sites?
  10. Existing sites.Site which is not ranking well on top 10 yet; i mean ongoing project to spy.