Chances are that you are not the first website around to focus on your specific topic. If you are, then that is great and you have a huge advantage. If you happen to be in a more common business such as Real Estate or Construction, then you have a lot of competition to beat out for your potential visitor’s attention.
While it is going to be harder since there are more people going after the same audience, you can use your competitor’s knowledge to give yourself a jump start. I am going to show you how to use free tools to find out what keywords your competitors sites focus on, what keywords they are ranking for in Google and where they are currently getting links into their site from.
There is additional information you should be gathering from your competitors such as What Calls To Action are they using, are they blogging, what are they blogging about, what do they provide their visitors for content and experience. For now we will stay focused on Keywords and Links though.
You can use this information in planning and executing your own website to get a jump start on your keywords and also to find great places to build links into your website.
Finding Your Competitors
The first thing to do is to find your competitors. I like to think of 5 common terms that I believe people would use when searching for my particular business. I then type each one of these into Google one at a time. Next, I take the top 5 results from each search and write down their name and web address.
Next go over to www.RavenTools.com and sign up for a free 30 day trial. You can accomplish a lot in 30 days but if it is in your budget, a $99 / month membership is definitely worth it.
Using Raven Tools
Once you are in Raven Tools, click on the “Research” tab and scroll down to “Websites”. Under Websites click on “Research Central”. Here you will be able to find out tons of information about these websites such as their Domain Authority, Are they using Social Media, How many links point to their site, what keywords they are ranking for and much more.
The first thing you are going to want to do is to type in your first competitor and hit “Begin Research”. While there is tons of information that we could dissect here, for now we are going to skip most of this and just focus on keywords and links.
On the next screen click on the “Keywords” tab and then click again on “Internal Keywords”. This will give you a list of every keyword that your competitor is currently ranking for in Google’s search in one of the top 20 positions. You can now export this into a CSV file for later use. To export this to CSV, click on the “Bulk Actions” drop down and then click “Export to CSV” and hit apply. This will give you a downloadable CSV that we will use for later.
Using your Competitors Keyword and Backlink Information
Next, we want to get their link information. Click on the “Backlink” tab and again click on the “Bulk Actions” drop down. Select “Export to CSV” and download the CSV.
You now have your competitor’s top keywords and a list of links linking into their site. Repeat this process for 5-10 of your top competitors to create a real thorough list of keywords and backlinks.
When you have all of your CSV files open them up and combine them into one master CSV file and label it “Competitor Back Links” and “Competitor Keywords”. This will make our next step in the research phase much easier.
There is a lot more of information that you can get from Raven Tools to help you with your SEO efforts, managing your website and keeping tabs on your competitors. They have a great blog as well as videos where you can learn much more.
In Part 3 of Month 1 we will be covering how to use Google Adwords to judge keyword competitiveness as well as getting more keyword ideas.
As always, if you are looking to hire a professional to run your Online Marketing efforts give me a call today at 612-460-1513 or email me at email@example.com