How To Analyze The Keywords Used By Your Competitors

In this post, we will review the benefits of and how you can analyze your competition’s keywords. Keywords are how search engines categorize or index or website, and they pull keywords from a variety of areas. The major places they pull keywords from is your Title tag, description tag, URL and content.  They are also there to either make it easier or more difficult for users to locate your site. How easy or hard it is for your site to be found will depend on a number of factors, such as how unique and relevant your keywords are to your website. Popular sites didn’t come about overnight, they put constant work in to their website and building their website’s authority (through external and internal link building). Rather, they invested a good amount of time selecting the best keywords that match their site’s description as well as analyzing their competitors’ sites. In reality, you will always have competitors and they won’t go away. Thus, it is important that you also find out what they are currently doing to stay at the top and generate traffic. Getting this kind of information can help you get an idea of what they are doing that is making them successful and this can also help you come up with new ideas that can possibly beat their position.

Things To Keep In Mind

Before getting started, there are some factors to consider. Always keep in mind that your successful competitors, who have been in the game long enough, have likely dealt with several failures and learned how to deal with them. On the other hand, just because your competitors have been going through the niche much longer than you have doesn’t necessarily indicate they are now doing everything correctly. Moreover, you should remember that simply copying your competitors will usually never result in you beating them, if you copy content, you can be penalized. If you don’t find a way to offer a better website, with better content and more inbound links, you will likely always trail your competition. What you need to do is to concentrate on discovering what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong, and build your campaign to overcome their strengths and weaknesses.

How It Is Done

Keyword research can be quite tricky. One way to successfully fine-tune your list is through trial and error. In this case, your competitor may have already tried the keywords and selected the best ones that produced quality traffic as well as good conversion rates. Thus, you shouldn’t depend on his or her keywords entirely. However, if you invest more time studying and comparing many of your competitors’ keyword targeting, you can improve your list considerably.  Often times keywords will be located in a variety of places on your competitor’s website. A good place to start is by looking at their HTML code for their Title tag, keywords tag and description tag.  Also look for keywords in prominent places within their content.

While researching keywords, you should also analyze the average page rank for the first page of results, as this can be a better sign of how much competition you’re actually dealing with and how much authority their website’s likely have.

Your next step is to analyze the optimization on competing pages. In this case, you should check if the competitor keyword is in the title, description and URL of their home page and sub pages. In this scenario you are trying to find out just how highly optimized your competitor’s site is for your keyword. Thus, you can try and include the keyword phrase into the title, description and URL and possibly end up a step ahead of your competitors.  Also, always use a keyword tool such as Google’s keyword tool to learn whether they are targeting the best phrases that produce a large amount of traffic and pick terms that you can likely compete for.

Finally, analyze your competitors’ page rank. Conduct your usual search in Google for your keyword. Check the page rank of each page in the initial 10 results. Sum up all the page ranks for those initial 10 results and then divide by 10. If the result is below 2.9, you have a higher chance of showing up on the first page of Google. If the average page rank is higher than your website’s page rank, you will have a lot of link building work ahead of you to rank for those terms.  If the phrase is uber-competitive, you may want to find more elaborate traffic producing phrases to initially target.

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