How to do SEO Competitive Analysis for Free

SEO firms charge a lot of money to do competitive analysis for your keyword phrases, we’re going to talk about how you can do a lot of this yourself for free. In our post and video a few weeks ago we talked about using Google keywords to find out how often the keywords you’re interested in are searched in Google. So if you’ve watched that then you’ve probably already brainstormed a list of keywords and taken a few minutes to type them into Google keywords tool to see how much search traffic each of the terms get. This step alone puts you well above most website owners when it comes to knowing which terms to optimize your website for.

Once you’ve got your terms and how much traffic they get, the next step is to find out how much competition there is for each of those terms. If you know how much volume to expect for each of the terms AND how hard it will be to get a good ranking for each of the terms you can make informed decisions about how to optimize your site. This will give you an advantage over almost all of the other website owners out there as most don’t do any form of competitive analysis at all.

If you’ve been reading my articles you know that if you’re trying to optimize a page for a term you really need to use that term in the title of that web page. Not only can you use this to optimize you’re own page, but you can use it to gauge the competition! How? By using a tiny trick in Google.

As I write this if I type “read free romance novels” into Google I see that there are over 4.5 million results for that term. That doesn’t help me much as I don’t want to know how many results there are, I want to know how many people are optimizing for that term. They are going to be my competition. So if I go back to Google and type in “allintitle: read free romance novels” I see there are 408 results. What did I just do? By using the allintitle: switch in Google I’m telling Google to only show me pages where the term “read free romance novels” is in the title of my page. With this info for each of my terms I can now figure out where to focus my efforts to get the best results. Is this everything that a SEO firm performing competitive analysis would do? Probably not, but it’s quick, easy, free and not many people do it. Below is a YouTube video I just made where I demonstrate this trick and talk about how to use it. As always, please feel free to post any questions or comments.

Maddy’s Oasis

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Lizzy Ford’s newest book “Maddy’s Oasis” is here!

Full length fantasy romance novel Maddy’s Oasis is now available for your Kindle, Nook, iPad/iPhone, eReader or Kobo.

With an ill mother in need of expensive surgery, Madeleine flies from NYC to the west Texas desert to take on the doomed Desert Oasis resort project in hopes of earning the bonus attached to finishing it on schedule. She soon finds there’s only one thing hotter than the desert sun: Jake, the infuriating Texan whose dislike of the fast-paced city puts them at odds at everything from her high-heels to her to-do lists. When the Oasis reveals its dark secret, Maddy finds she must choose between money and those she cares about. Contemporary western (sweet) romance novella.

The Warlord’s Secret

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The latest book from the author of Damian’s Oracle and Damian’s Assassin is here!

Full length fantasy romance novel “The Warlord’s Secret” is now available for your Kindle, iPad/iBookNook, eReader or Kobo.

Rissa, the tormented Warlord of Tiyan, struggles to protect her people and Tiyan’s magical springs against enemies led by the King of Landis and traitors within her own walls. She must also protect the secret of Tiyan’s magic and the source her ultimate doom: the parasitic demon lurking within her, which has awoken to kill her and choose its new host: Taran, a near-blind slave of Tiyan’s enemy.

Taran’s sole motivation in life is his patient pursuit of vengeance for his family’s death. Coincidence lands him in Tiyan and at the center of the kingdom’s power struggle. The strength of Tiyan’s army, the allure of the magical waters, and the endangered Warlord at first are nothing more than a means to an end, until he looks beneath the surface to find a world – and a woman – worth fighting for.

Damian’s Assassin

Damian's Assassin Cover

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The sequel to the smash hit “Damian’s Oracle” is finally here!

Full length fantasy romance novel Damian’s Assassin is now available for your Kindle, iPad/iPhone, Nook, eReader or Kobo.

Sequel to Damian’s Oracle. With the White God in Europe, Dustin is left alone in Miami to protect the Grey God, a man-god struggling with his identity, and the White God’s mate. One of the Black God’s vamps in Miami suddenly goes rogue and starts killing humans by the dozen. Dustin initially doesn’t think much of the ruthless, human-hating thug, Talon, until it becomes clear that the vamp is receiving help from otherworldly beings whose intentions are nothing short of destroying humanity. To make matters even worse, Dustin’s begun to dream of his dead sister, who tells him he’ll be seeing her soon.

Dustin rescues Bianca and her troubled brother, a Natural whose mysterious talent makes him vital to Talon’s plans. Bianca, a woman as sunny and sweet as Dustin is hard and cold, has the rare Natural gift of healing. She can bring the recent dead back to life or turn a vamp back into a human. She can even reach Dustin’s heart, which he locked away long again after his sister’s death. Convinced he’ll be killed soon, Dustin won’t risk his heart or Bianca’s, despite their mutual attraction, and Bianca discovers even her incredible talent can’t save both the men she loves.

Updated ePublishing Figures and Tips

Everything that was discussed in our earlier post about ePublishing tips remains true, but I thought I would post some updated figures and a new site.

On January 24th Damian’s Oracle hit the front page of – that was nice! 🙂  It stayed on page one for five days and brought well over 100 visitors a day to our site. Our total visitors were over 200 every day during that five day period. Once Damian’s Oracle slid off of the front page the traffic slowed down, but even several weeks later, we’re still getting 30-40 visitors a day from the site.

I’ve realized that a good percentage of our sites traffic will be cyclical correlating to new book releases. I’m ok with that fact as long as the post peak plateau is higher than the pre-release bench mark. So far this model is holding true. Before getting on getfreeebooks, we were getting 40-60 visitors a day.  After the spike our slow days are still over 100. With all of the positive reviews and feedback from Damian’s Oracle, I can’t wait to see the traffic generated from the sequel. We have been getting visits to our site daily from readers searching for the sequel.

The one drawback to was the length of time (several weeks) from the time we submitted Damian’s Oracle until the time it appeared on this site. Upon further review, this may not be a bad thing, as it was posted to that site right as the others were coming off of their high points.  As I stated earlier, the traffic will ebb and flow, but I have no doubt that each baseline will surpass the previous mark.

Another source of steady traffic has been . I said in the original post that it was a small site run by an extremely friendly owner. While the site has a cozy small town feel, it gets big city traffic! The owner is one of the friendliest people I’ve met in my short ePublishing experience and the site is sending me between 30-50 visitors a day.

While I’m sure these traffic figures would make many web site owners cringe, I find them encouraging. For a small, start up site with an advertising budget of zero dollars and zero cents that is reliant upon word of mouth and sites which list free books, I’m happy with the slow but steady growth we’re experiencing early on. The growth isn’t fueled by purchased traffic, banner ads or forum spam; it’s fueled by people downloading quality books and coming here to say thanks or find more. If there is a better demographic than that I’m not sure what it is.

Early Results and Lessons Learned from our e Publishing

We started a few weeks ago with one main goal: discover the best practices for independent authors to expose their talent to the world via self-publishing and e-publishing, then share these best practices throughout the indie community. We’re figuring out these methods while self-publishing the works of indie author Lizzy Ford.

While we’ve only been at it a few weeks now, we thought it was time to post some early returns on the results we’ve gotten from posting Lizzy’s work on different sites.

Overall, a dream to work with. Smashwords lets you upload your work and type in a short description for the site as well as a longer synopsis for external sites.  Smashwords does a great job converting your story to several formats in a matter of seconds. Smashwords also submits your book to sites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and the Ipod and Ipad as well. Smashwords is a great service overall.

The downside of Smashwords is speed in getting your ebooks added to Amazon, Barnes and Noble and the Apple ebook store. As we write, it’s been two weeks since we submitted the free full length novel “Damian’s Oracle” to Smashwords and it still hasn’t been accepted on those sites.  Smashwords and Amazon are still working out the kinks for delivery, and others indie authors have said it can take up to 8 weeks for your ebook to appear in the Kindle store.

The Apple ebook store only accepts ebooks from a small handful of sources, of which Smashwords is one.  If you want to get your book on the Ipod, Smashwords is the way to go. Just submit and wait. For the Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble you can upload your ebooks on your own and have them available in 24-48 hours.   The downside of uploading your own to these two sites is that you can’t designate your book as free.

If you’re going to charge for your ebook, you’re probably better off opting out of those two distribution channels on Smashwords and uploading your book straight to Amazon yourself via Amazon DTP and to Barnes and Noble via Pubit. If, however, you want to make your book available for free in an attempt to build a fan base (as we’re doing with Damian’s Oracle), Amazon and Barnes and Noble force you to set a minimum price of 99 cents. Publishers (to include Smashwords) are allowed to price books for free, which is an extremely good way for new indie authors to maximize their exposure.

As soon as “Damian’s Oracle” navigates the Smashwords distribution channels and makes it to Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon, we’ll post our thoughts and results. So far, we’ve had over 1000 downloads on Smashwords in 3 weeks and we couldn’t be happier!!

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