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.