SEO Evaluate Your Competition

By Mireille Green. Filed in Search Engine Competition  |  
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What you don’t know can hurt you!

Search engine optimization is like a puzzle but it is not a game. At least if your business and the bottom line is not something to play with.

What do you need to know to place well?

I have already talked about Keyword Research, today we will see what information can be gathered about the competition and how it can help you.

The graphic below shows a little research done on the keyword “your market”.
SEO Competition Analysis

SEO Competition Analysis

On the left you can see the URL of the top 10 results in google for the search on that keyword. The information that I gathered on these 10 websites follows in the columns on the right. Every bit of information is important, but let’s concentrate on the first four columns as they are really telling a story that you must know in order to compete.
The first column indicates the age of the domains competing with yours. That is somewhat a factor in Google’s placement, as Google will consider that a site that has been around for a long time has probably more credibility than a new site. But with a little time and some search engine optimization your site can acquire as much authority on your chosen field as an older site. 
Then we see the PR or page rank. Not to be confused with the placement in the search engine. A page rank of 0 can be first in the search engine placement if it has a key phrase that no other site has, and that is the exact phrase the searcher typed. Page Rank is a powerful element of placement and rarely will a site with a low PR rank higher than a higher PR for the same keyword. Page rank is given to you by the search engines and may vary from engine to engine but for the purpose of this blog I always refer to Google as the engine of choice. Google has a formula for assigning a PR and will check constantly to see if your site deserves to be moved up, but updates will only occur every three of four months. This information about the competition is crucial as is the information in the following column. 
We now move to back links. Back links are the votes other sites have given to yours. It is the electronic age “attaboy” for your business. This number is of extreme importance. First because Google’s formula for PR takes the number of links to your site as one of its conditions for approval. Acquiring backlinks to your site is very important in optimizing a site for search engines. Not only  will you want to know how many sites are linking to yours, but knowing what your competition has is very useful.
The fourth column is again about backlinks as this is such an important factor for placement. It refers here to Domain back links. A Domain could have a very large number of backlinks but the page containing the keyword we looked for may only have a few backlinks. Since search engines evaluate pages more so than domains to return the results of a query, it can be useful to know the details on the domain as well as the page. Some sites like Wikipedia have a tremendous authority to the domain as millions of links point to their site but if you are looking to buy a product you will not go to Wikipedia, regardless of domain authority. 
These are the important factors to know when trying to place your small business in the search engines. Can your small entreprise compete with the big boys? Absolutely! It is all in the research that you can do and the optimization that you can muster. Your SEO specialist is probably the best person to help you, not a website designer.
If you would like more information or want to see how your site is ranking please contact me or request your Free Ranking Report.

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