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The Top 8 Tips for Sizing Up Your SEO Competition

Discover how your content will fare on the web

Most successful online publishers understand that building a keyword universe is the foundation for digital success.

Another key document for digital success is an Online Market Audit. This process and resulting document alerts you to other websites in your market that are ranking well for your keywords and may help identify partnership opportunities.

And frankly, if you don’t have a keyword universe, you need to build one for the most efficient audience development online. A keyword universe will put all your keywords in one location and help with your SEO process. It will direct all of your organization members to the most important words associated with your online content. All online editors should have a copy of the keyword universe in front of them while planning and writing editorial content.

Follow these eight steps for creating an online market audit.

1. Determine primary keywords – Think of at least three main keywords that your site is about. Your primary keywords need to define and describe what your website delivers. They should play a major role in site architecture and have secondary keyword phrases associated with them.

2. Google each primary keyword – After you have your primary keywords selected, Google each keyword to get an idea of websites that are already ranking well on those terms.

3. Capture the list of top 30 web pages – This list will be your first glimpse of the competition you will be up against. We suggest taking the top 30 results, which are the first three pages of search results. Results beyond the top 30 won’t likely see a lot of traffic from searchers.

4. Classify each website by revenue model – How are these websites making money? Do they sell their own products? Do they sell other company’s products? Do they offer sponsorship opportunities or advertisements? Determine how these sites make their money and think about your revenue plan. Are they the same or do you have different revenue models in mind?

5. Quantify website traffic history – Compete is a great tool for discovering the website traffic history of your competition. From this point, you can determine the types of goals you should be focusing on with your content and traffic driving initiatives.

6. Capture website keywords – Compete can also show you the keywords used by competing websites. If any of these keywords aren’t in your keyword universe, you could add them if they are relevant to your audience and content.

7. Determine top 10 endemic neighbors – Out of the top 30 websites you surveyed, compile the top ten that have the highest traffic numbers.

8. Quantify key metrics for top 10 – Yahoo Site Explorer can be used at this step to determine total number of pages and inbound links for the top ten competing websites in your space.

Our  SEO Basics webinar shares more information on sizing up your SEO competition.

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