By Norann Oleson • 10/04/2012
Knowing keyword competition is one step to a great keyword strategy
There’s an article you want to write, and you’re diving into your Keyword Universe - a giant spreadsheet that’s filled with columns of keywords. Unfortunately on this day, there are keywords you want to use, but you have no idea how much competition is out there.
Fortunately, you can easily determine the competition on these keyword phrases. Go to Google.com and search for your keyword in quotes. Below the search box, Google will deliver the number of pages that are competing for that keyword.
What you really want to know though, is what the heck you’re supposed to do with that number. Typically the lower this number the better, and for new or unknown sites we recommend targeting keywords that have less than 100,000 competing pages. If they have less than 10,000 keywords and a substantial amount of search volume, that’s typically what we call a blockbuster keyword phrase.
Blockbuster keyword phrases are typically saved for free white papers and other products that we can build landing pages around. We save these great keywords for these pages/products because our main goal is to build an email list, so we want to send the most traffic to those list-building pages.
To really determine which phrases would be “blockbusters”, we look at the Keyword Competitive Index (KCI). The KCI is a simple formula that takes the potential annual search volume for a keyword phrase and divides it by the amount of exact Google listings for that keyword: Annual Search Volume/Exact Google Listings.
The higher the KCI, the better chance you have of ranking on the term. If you can find keyword phrases with a KCI of one or higher, it means there’s more search volume than exact Google listings. These are the type of keyword phrases worth targeting, especially if they are highly relevant to your audience and have high search volume. Typically our blockbuster keywords have a KCI of one or much, much higher.If you want to learn how to do keyword research and discover statistics on your competition, download our FREE Google Keyword Tool Basics white paper.