Back in part 1 we starting talking about the basics of how to do keyword research and what makes a good keyword.
If you haven’t seen that sesh yet you, can check it out now.
You may have what seems like a good keyword, but we need to dig a little deeper to see if we can actually for rank it.
We can do this by analyzing the competition.
There are a few things we need to find out about them to know if we can easily beat their ranking or not.
This is the staple of basic keyword research.
Analyzing the Competition
Older sites appear to be more favorable in Google because they will usually be more trusted. If the top 5 search results are something sites like Amazon, you may not stand as good of a chance of ranking as well as they do.
This isn’t true in all cases and there are always cases where you can rank above older sites.
A site’s page rank also determines the amount of trust a site has with Google on a scale of 1-10, of course with 10 being the best.
Social sites like Facebook and YouTube have page ranks above an 8 because they have a ton of user interaction every day.
You want to look at the page rank of the top 5 search results and make sure that none of them have a rank of a 3 or higher, because they will have more authority than us.
You can use free tools like SEO Quake to check a site’s page rank.
It will be hard for someone starting a new blog to go up against a site with a lot of backlinks of links from high PR sites. If a site has either of these it can be hard to beat them without an equal or greater link profile.
You can check a site’s link profile with Majestic SEO.
Advanced SEO Strategies for Checking Keyword Competition
Now that I have told you about some of the basic signs of a good keyword you should take a few extra steps to ensure our ranking ability.
You don’t actually have to be advanced with SEO to know what these strategies are all about but being aware of them will give you an edge over the average marketer.
If you are really trying to rank well for a keyword then these are some strategies I would recommend adding to your search routine.
Plus, it’s a great way to find niches that barely scrape the competition, helping you rank even faster in some cases.
We are going to need to do a little bit of spying on our competitors so put on your black gloves, que the James Bond music, and let’s get to it.
Here are some of the more advanced signs you want to start looking for.
TYPE of Page Already Ranking
If you do a Google search for a keyword and a bunch of social media sites, forums, and see random pages show up that’s a really good sign of low competition.
This generally means that the pages that are ranking aren’t optimized and the search is pretty wide open and there for the taking.
Optimized Anchor Text
If you aren’t sure, anchor text is the clickable text that you see on websites and other blogs.
The anchor text on an optimized site will mostly be set to the targeted keyword of a variation of it, so if the keyword is dog sneakers the anchor text will be something like:
-Sneakers for dogs
-Sports Sneakers for dogs
This one’s pretty easy eh?
If your competitor’s keywords look something like that then there’s a strong chance their page is optimized.
If there’s no sign of any anchor text at all or it looks something like click here or has any other random word, there is probably little to no optimization on the page.
Optimized URL Slug
One of the most obvious things you can look for when looking at your competitors is whether or not the URL slug is optimized.
I’m talking about the information you see after the domain in the URL of a post.
If a URL looks something like this:
… it’s pretty apparent that nobody has it optimized.
Try to avoid making this mistake by remembering to add the keyword you’re trying to rank for at the end of your URL
Exact Match Domain
This doesn’t mean you have to go actually go through with buying the domain, but if you can find an exact match to your keyword it pretty well means the niche is wide open.
If you look at most of the better known niches out there, the EMD will most likely be taken.
People are always on the lookout for exact domains and love to snatch them up when they’re available.
Optimization of the Website That’s Ranking
Last but not least, we want to look at how well the site is optimized for ranking.
To do this, simply right click on your competitor’s page and click ‘View Source’. If you’re on a Mac, the selection should be under the View tab in the menu of Safari.
We need to do this to see whether or not the site’s title, description, and meta tags are optimized with targeted keyword so look for something like this:
Keyword: How to do keyword research
Title: How to Do Keyword Research for Dummies
Description: You are learning how to do keyword research.
If you can identify the keyword in these 4 locations then that post is more than likely optimized to rank for it.
While this doesn’t pose a huge threat, it’s still not what we wanna see. Especially if the top sites ranking are authority sites as I mentioned earlier.
We want to see something like this instead:
Keyword: tips for good keyword research
Title: Tips for Finding a Good Keyword
Description: I am showing you how to determine if a good keyword is competitive or not
Notice the how the second example doesn’t have the keywords structured the same as the first one?
This is ideally what we would like to see when scoping out the competition.
So now that you know what to look for in a keyword I dare you to go out and find 5-10 good keywords using this checklist, then create a piece of content for each keyword.
While you’re still here, remember to like and share this post with someone you feel may benefit.
Thanks for sticking with me until the end.
Until Next Time,