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Keying In With Online Tools

Match Your Keyword Collection to Competitors

You’ve heard the joke about the two friends in the jungle who spot a lion coming toward them. One friend starts lacing up his gym shoes, to which the other reacts:

“Why bother? You can’t outrun a lion.”

“I don’t have to outrun the lion,” his friends shoots back; “I just have to outrun you.”

In business, survival often depends upon outpacing the competition. This is especially true in the matter of search engine optimization.

Measuring your website’s SEO effectiveness requires know-how and a few web tools. Compiling data is simple; converting it into greater effectiveness a little more challenging.

Keywords are Key

One salient suggestion – An effective keyword strategy is paramount to online marketing success. Make every effort to examine and continually re-examine your use of keywords.

And – above all else — don’t let the competition out-keyword you, making you easy prey for the lion.

For simplicity’s sake, we’ll restrict this installment to effective use of keywords. Other factors impacting SEO – such as backlinks, keyword density, sitemap and page load times – will be covered in future installments.

Traffic Drivers

Hopefully, you’re clear on keywords that generate website visitors who swirl into your sales funnel. When you Google these keywords, who’s topping the charts organically?

Any problem identifying your key competitors can be remedied with Similar Web. Like just about every online tool, it offers a free stripped-down version in hopes of demonstrating $199 to $799 per month of value.

One-by-one, load in your URL and then those of three to five competitors. Similar Web provides traffic numbers and rank, both locally and globally.

Record the top three to five finishers on a spreadsheet. Now, find out what they’re doing better than you.

Two Tools For Keywords

There’s some overlap between two programs that provide keyword data for websites, Moz and SpyFu. Moz offers a 30-day free trial of its Pro version, but its “Open Site Explorer” is free, and extremely useful. SpyFu provides a limited version for free, with subscriptions starting at $79 monthly.

 

‘SpyFu also rats out the Adwords campaigns of your competitors, reporting even what they’re paying per click.’
SpyFu provides competitor information

Here is where these can be helpful.

Under the Research Tools menu on Moz, click “Open Site Explorer”, and then enter a website URL for analysis. Moz will show you the top incoming links. Click “top pages” within each website and analyze the content of these pages, which will reveal the inbound links and the keywords driving them.

Perhaps a competitor is highlighting a feature you’ve overlooked? Or a feature that you can add, given its newly demonstrated value.

Be sure to analyze the top three to five pages of the top three to five referring sites.

SpyFu

Entering a URL in SpyFu produces lists of both organic keywords and those paid by the click. You can see where your competitors rank for each. The free version restricts the results to the top five.

These lists are providing Google page rank based on a combination of content, inbound links, social buzz, and onsite SEO. Compare the keywords – and in the Google vernacular this includes phrases – of your competitors to your own.

SpyFu also rats out the Adwords campaigns of your competitors, reporting even what they’re paying per click.

Again, record, compare, and borrow any good ideas.

An effective keyword strategy is paramount to online marketing success. Make every effort to examine and continually re-examine your use of keywords.

And – above all else – don’t let the competition out-keyword you, making you easy prey for the lion.

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