Search Engine Optimization Analysis – Part 2: Determining Competition
Here is the second in a series of articles designed to assist with the fundamental information required to begin a search engine marketing campaign. In Part 1 of this series: Brainstorm you have researched who your audience is, its demographics and how to reach them. You’re focusing on making the list of 5-10 search phrases or keywords. Now you need to assess the online competition for these phrases or keywords.
Once you have identified possible additions to your search phrase list, you need to research further to determine if there is a good chance you will achieve your prized top search engine ranking or if the competition for that phrase is already saturated. While it could be tempting to target only search phrases that are very well liked and searched hundreds of thousands of times in a single month, you have to also consider the likelihood of you being able to obtain a ranking higher enough to capitalize on all of that great traffic. Many, many search terms are so saturated by competitors that it might be highly unlikely that you would achieve a high enough ranking to reward your time and efforts. Therefore, it is often worthwhile considering those search phrases that may not have quite the same level searches each month, but likewise do not have as many websites targeting that term.
Both WordTracker and WordStream have tools that may help you to determine the competition for your target keyword phrases.
For those of you on a really strict budget, there is an alternative, though not nearly as effective answer. Enter each identified search phrase at Google, using quotations around the phrase (e.g. “discount computers”). Google will then show the search results for all pages that target that phrase exactly as entered. View under the search box and you will see the amount of results Google matched. This number shows the total number of web pages that Google has recognized as targeting that exact search phrase. This number signifies your competition. Make a note of this number for each of your identified search phrases and pretty soon you will be able to see which of your search phrases have the most competition and which have less competitors and as a result a better chance of obtaining top ranking.
To complete this series look for part three: Selecting Your Keywords
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