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Assessing Your Online Competition - GOBI | Atlanta Web Design | Georgia Web Design

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Assessing Your Online Competition

on Monday, 19 March 2012. Posted in GOBI Web Designs Blog

Use Smart SEO Techniques to Gauge the Competition


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One of the first things search engine marketing specialist will do is assess the strength of the competition for each keyword they are evaluating. Inexperienced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialists will look at the number of competing websites. For example if they are targeting "Cheap Dog Beds" they might see over 1 million competing sites, as compared to "Quality Dog Beds" with half that number. The assumption is that the latter has less competition and is therefore easier keyword for which to rank well.

My experience has taught me that for any keyword, I have 10 competing sites. Experienced SEO experts understand why. There are typically 10 listings on the first page of Google (you can modify this using advanced Google settings, but it is 10 for 99% of people). The amount of traffic you can expect to receive from search engines after the first page drops significantly. The goal of any competent Internet marketing specialist is to get to the first page of Google for their chosen keyword.

The best SEO technique to evaluate the competition is by looking at the authority and relevance of each page in the top 10 and then determine whether a keyword is worth targeting.

You could do some really time intensive research and calculate how trusted each site is being checking to see how many people link back to the site, the strength each of those backlinking sites, the quality of each site, to include content and number of related pages, etc. Fortunately Google already does this and more and after assessing the quality of each site they bestow a Pagerank or PR to each page. A PR denotes the trust Google has in a site and its authority. A page with a high PR can rank for any given keyword much easier than one with little or no Pagerank. As I am writing this post, GOBI has a PR of 3, respectable but I'm working hard to improve that. Whitehouse.gov has a Pagerank of 10 (the highest). If I could convince the Whitehouse webmaster to give me a few links for "web design" it would boost my authority and Pagerank considerably.

Another factor to consider is how focused on the desired keyword are the top 10 sites. If they are using the keyword in their title tags and header tags, they are actively working that keyword. If you have several high PR sites actively working a keyword, you could try to compete, but the amount of time and effort you put into doing so would be better spent on other easier keywords.

As you do the work of developing pages with quality content on your site, promoting the site, and creating backlinks to your pages by publishing articles, blog posts etc. You will over time increase your own Pagerank and authority. You will begin to rank well for words you have not even targeted based on this authority. Once you have gained a certain amount of Pagerank and authority, you can go back and compete for those keywords that were out of your reach before.


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