So, you’ve gathered a list of potential keywords and tested them for traffic. By now you’ll have culled and culled again so you’re ready to write. Right? Wong! Before you get all gung-ho, check your competition strength. After all, there’s no point hitting a bunch of SEO keywords hard if there’s zero chance of getting a leg up.
Basically you need to try and judge how much action there is around your keyword or key phrase list. In truth, there’s much more to the competition SEO firepower than just keywords. Off page factors like inbound links and domain age come into the picture too. But those are for another day.
Since I’m only talking about keywords here, let’s take a sec to think about why you’d go through this process. Simple. Reviewing search traffic volumes and checking the competition strength, you’ll identify something really important …
where online search is robust but the competition isn’t.
Going it alone
Now, with so much help out there, you might not choose to go down this path. It’s pretty arduous for every keyword on your list. But it pays to remember that a lot of online tools use this basic data as an indication of competitor strength.
- Keyword page occurrences
hit your fave search engine, search each keyword and take note how many pages are returned
same as above except you’ll need advanced search. Choose ‘page title’ from ‘where keywords appear’ and take note again
- Domain age
you can check this at WebConfs
- Inbound links
Yahoo have a handy tool for this
Now take your search results. There are lots of proprietary equations and formulas for making this calculation. But the fact remains that, in any SEO campaign, one of first ports of call is writing or rewriting page titles and descriptions. So by cross checking the number of page occurrences against the number of title occurrences, you will get an idea of how active your keyword is in the SEO space.
The easy way
Alternatively, you can head over to one of the search marketing companies like WebCEO or Market Samurai and download a free software trial. If you aren’t doing this for a crust, the abridged version may be enough to help out with the SEO campaign you’ve got on the go.
The advantage of using software is it’s much faster and checks your competition strength for multiple keywords at a time.
Pay per click action
One final factor you might consider before honing down that keyword list again is PPC advertising. It’s not a definitive science, but checking the competition and cost for some of your main keywords will provide a bit of insight into how actively other SEO campaigns may be targeting your term.
Now you’ve completed this step, what’s left is to map out your campaign around strong, relevant SEO keyword targets. And to do that, you’ll need to choose wisely.
3 take away tips
- Checking competition strengths helps identify SEO opportunities.
- Competition can gain strength from off page SEO factors.
- PPC advertising is an indicator of keyword activity.
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