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  1. #1
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    Competitive Keyword Analysis, how do YOU do it?

    Ok, I should be working but I thought I'd get this subject going

    This is how I do competitive keyword analysis, I'm interested to see how other people do it, how I can improve it, what I'm doing wrong, what I'm doing right etc. Maybe together we can come up with a guide to add to the FAQs.

    Keyword count strength analysis

    1. Ok, I've done my keyword analysis and got my seed list of highly relevant keyword phrases from all the various keyword suggestion tools. There might be 200 keyword phrases on it, for example. I have them in a column on a spreadsheet.

    2. Wordtracker has the least skewed search counts so I use that as a rough guide to find out how many people are actually searching for my keyword phrases. I use to use Yahoo as well but it's out of date now. I add the search counts, actual and estimated in two columns to my spreadsheet.

    3. I get rid of all the keywords below a certain number of searches which will vary depending on how many searches the most searched phrases are getting. If some keyword phrases get low search counts but are very relevant and might convert really well, I keep them for the next phase anyway, I'm not just going for the big numbers, anything that might convert well and is competitive is a contender. I might be down to 60 or 70 phrases at this point.

    Keyword competition analysis

    4. For the remaining phrases I look at Google (because it accounts for 76% of UK daily searches) and I look to see how many pages return for each and every keyword phrase and enter that figure into the next column on my spreadsheet.

    5. Then I do an intitle:"keyword" search for every keyword phrase and make a new column for that figure.

    6. Then I do an intitle:"keyword" & inanchor:"keyword" (both together) for each keyword phrase. Any page that has my keyword phrases in both the Title and an on page link is likely to be optimised for that phrase so they're my assumed optimised competition, I'm hoping to see low numbers for this particular search (under 30 is good, under 10 is great, I'm not looking to go head to head with loads of optimised competition).

    7. I score each keyword phrase using an algorithm I made up that uses a logarithmic weighting for each of the values (search count, total pages, keyword in title pages, keyword in title & anchor pages) and gives each keyword a score (kind of like KEI, I just improved the original idea a bit)

    8. Depending on the scores, I carry through maybe 20 keywords phrases that scored the highest to the backlink analysis. The algorithm is design to score the phrases on their competitiveness so even low search count keywords can do well if there is little optimised competition.

    Competing pages BackLink analysis

    9. I Google each keyword phrase again but this time I'm looking at the top 10 returning pages and analysing the strength of their incoming links. I take each page and use Yahoo's Site Explorer to look at all their backlinks. What I'm looking for in particular is the use of the actual keyword phrase in the anchor text. I don't look at every single IBL, just enough to get a feel for whether or not they're optimised for that phrase in particular. Sometimes, I'll even look at the backlinking site's own backlinks but I don't usually have time for that depth of analysis, gotta keep the client's costs down....

    I also use Google's PR figure to get a very rough idea of what Google thinks of the quality of their IBLs. I add all the link numbers to the spreadsheet and average them out to get an idea of how competitive each phrase is for IBLs, are there a lot for this phrase or is the average quite low? It's just an general indicator of whether I can compete or not though and the important thing is the individual pages and their IBLs. I want to get into the top 5 minimum so those competing pages get the most attention usually.

    Choosing the keyword phrases to recommend

    I usually end up with a handful, 5-10 keyword phrases that have good search counts and a low number of optimised competing pages. From those I choose 3 or 4 that I think I can get the client a high ranking for and that most importantly, are likely to convert to a sale.

    All this usually takes about half a day, another half day to implement on-site changes and build up some relevant backlinks and a further half day to monitor, report and tweak over the next 6 months. I think that's pretty good value for money. I give the clients all the keyword analysis data so that they can see what they paid for and sometimes even to understand how I did it (except for the algorithm which is the only bit they couldn't get for free off any search engine).

    And that's it.

    [I haven't gone into much detail on why each step is important, I'm assuming a basic knowledge of how search engines work and the importance Google places on back links and relevance, I can't wait to see what people would change or add to this, get posting guys ]
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  2. #2
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    Hello.

    What would also be interesting would be for a number of keyword research experts (which I'm sadly not) to do their research for the same website and to compare the end result keyword lists.

    If the methods are diverse, so be it.

    What would really matter (to the website business) is that various methods identify broadly the same keyword lists to go with.

    However, if the final keyword lists are greatly different, then where does that leave the website business, their confidence in the quality of the research they've paid for, and the whole keyword research approach?

    How likely is it that different keyword researchers would produce broadly similar "best" keyword lists?

    Cheers,

    BG

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot Scrampy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgscotty View Post
    Hello.

    How likely is it that different keyword researchers would produce broadly similar "best" keyword lists?

    Cheers,

    BG
    I think this is a really interesting idea! I wonder if anyone's actually put this to the test? you know, among the elite etc

    Anyone want to volunteer?

  4. #4
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    I don't do, or buy into, the idea that volume of results returned is an indicator of competition.

    The fact is some common words might not be competitive at all, but they're common words and so appear on many pages.

    Allintitle and allinachor are better.

    Personally, I just look at the top ten or so listings, their backlinks, their pagerank, my own opinion as to their on page optimizations, and then decide if I can beat them. Not everyone could do this of course, you need to understand SEO enough to make good judgement calls, but it works for me.

    I don't care so much about how many sites there are on the topic, 99% of them are easily beat, it is the top ones that will either hold me down or allow me to be successful. So those are the ones I worry about.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen View Post
    I don't do, or buy into, the idea that volume of results returned is an indicator of competition.

    The fact is some common words might not be competitive at all, but they're common words and so appear on many pages.

    Allintitle and allinachor are better.
    Agreed.

    The general search I do is more just to see how many pages return for that particular phrase and it also gives me an indicator of how competitive that phrase might be. I don't use search operators or select my local version of Google because I don't believe that most searchers will do either of those thing initially, so I want to see what they'll see when they use that phrase. Another thing I look for but don't include in the algorithm is the number of PPC ads that return, that's a strong indicator of competition.

    I include the general search figure in the algorithm but I don't give it as much weight as the other factors, it's more of a dampening factor than anything else. Regardless of whether or not those pages are optimised for that phrase, I still have to beat them because they returned for that phrase. I start there and work down to optimised competition.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen View Post
    Personally, I just look at the top ten or so listings, their backlinks, their pagerank, my own opinion as to their on page optimizations, and then decide if I can beat them.
    You're only describing the second part of competitive analysis here, how do you get to the point of doing this search? By that I mean what keyword phrases are you using and how did you find them?

    The first part of competitive keyword analysis is identifying all the keyword phrases that you then go on to analyse the competition for, how are you doing the identification bit?
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  7. #7
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    Although many different keyword analysis tools are available, we mostly use Google's keyword volume tool along with searching for our competitors on Google to see what keywords they are targeting. We have also found the free version of Search engine optimisation software, WEB CEO to be quite useful as it can automate this process for you.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kronikmedia View Post
    Although many different keyword analysis tools are available, we mostly use Google's keyword volume tool along with searching for our competitors on Google to see what keywords they are targeting. We have also found the free version of Search engine optimisation software, WEB CEO to be quite useful as it can automate this process for you.
    Can you go into more detail on how you perform competitive keyword research? How do you choose which keywords to use?
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  9. #9
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    Nice post, question do you know any other keyword traffic estimator tool besides yahoo and wordtracker ?
    I write about tech web news and have a professional logo shop
    Also I learn a lot of Web design tips and tutorials

  10. #10
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    Interesting, what you have posted are all very good points. But, what are the tools you used in searching the keywords?
    The Click Depot is the leading Raleigh Internet Marketing firm.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the post. Find it really useful. I've been doing keyword analysis and selection research now, and have come across tons of tools. I think each tool has been built with a certain degree of understanding and logic to one's need.

    I can't point a finger on any particular tool as I select my keywords with different factors in mind rather than just search vol.

    Over the years i've used, WEBCEO, Google Set, Wordtracker, Keyword discovery tool.I lost my previous account so had to set up a new one. really a PAIN!



    Don't let you get entangle in the crunch.

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    Here's how i create KWs for my website:

    1) Using KeywordDiscovery.Com, i gather related keywords for a specific page.

    2) After gathering related KWs, using Google Insights, im taking a lok which KWs has a high search volume in my target market area.

    3) I list the KWs base from KeywordDiscovery and Google Insights.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fr@nc!z View Post
    Here's how i create KWs for my website:

    1) Using KeywordDiscovery.Com, i gather related keywords for a specific page.

    2) After gathering related KWs, using Google Insights, im taking a lok which KWs has a high search volume in my target market area.

    3) I list the KWs base from KeywordDiscovery and Google Insights.
    Great, that's the very first task and at the end of it you have your keyword phrase seed list. Then how do you do the Competitive Analysis bit?
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fr@nc!z View Post
    Here's how i create KWs for my website:

    1) Using KeywordDiscovery.Com, i gather related keywords for a specific page.

    2) After gathering related KWs, using Google Insights, im taking a lok which KWs has a high search volume in my target market area.

    3) I list the KWs base from KeywordDiscovery and Google Insights.
    Yeah, but now you have a list of keywords with high search volume (meaning high competition) - so you still have a really good chance of ranking low for them.

    What JJMcClure did here was find good keywords with LOW competition, make sure he ranks high for them...

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    I found a NEW way on choosing a GOOD KEYWORDS, Im depending now on KEI. Its much scientific approach on getting a GOOD and COMPETITIVE website KWs. Here is the link on how you will compute for KEI:

    http://www.1stsearchranking.net/keywords.htm

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fr@nc!z View Post
    I found a NEW way on choosing a GOOD KEYWORDS, Im depending now on KEI. Its much scientific approach on getting a GOOD and COMPETITIVE website KWs. Here is the link on how you will compute for KEI:
    KEI is an old concept, originally nvernted by Wordtracker I think and I use a version of it in my analysis as I'm sure you noticed when you read my first post.

    The thing to remember though is that KEI shouldn't be used as anything other than a rough guide to how competitive or not a keyword is and it's for this reason .....

    Do a search for a keyword phrase using intitle:, inanchor:, inurl: or any combination thereof etc etc and look at the pages that return, then do a search for the same phrase without using any modifiers, how many of the pages that ranked well for the first search also rank well for the second? Not many is the answer because those factors are not the only ones that Google considers when it ranks pages.

    In other words, don't depend too much on KEI, just use it as a rough guide to your optimised competition but still look at the pages that return for the search without using any operators as the ones you need to beat.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  17. #17
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    We run a candidate list of keywords through an online dictionary/thesaurus, linked to a database of keyword phrases ACTUALLY keyed in by search engine users (a sample of top search engines) over the last 60 days (the DEMAND side of analysis). We then run up to 100 of the top count search terms against Google (and or MSN) to get a count of the number of ACTUAL result listings (i.e. competitor listings) satisfying each keyword phrase (the SUPPLY side of analysis).

  18. #18
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    Hello to all!

    I am new to this forum and a newbie in creating websites. Through the web I've optimized my website and with three keyphrases I'm on a first page on Google. For more than 5 years but it helped me so little to have more unique visitors. Though I am optimizing from time to time I see I need to do this work more frequently and on more professional level. Please advise me if is is a right algorithm as somebody on the net put. Search on Adwords Google a keyword with at least 500 searches per month and check this word in " " Google how pages use that keyword. It is desirable not more than 200,000. What if more than 500 people type that word what kind of proportion should be for the pages? Also of course those keywords should be in Title, description and keyword mata tegs. Plus in the beginning of the pages of our site. IS it all true? Please update some info regarding searching right keywords for free. I would really apprecaite your inputs, tips, and suggestions.

    WIth much love to all,

    Michael.

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    Thumbs up

    Your post is very informative. Thanks for all the details. We sometimes use WEB CEO also to automate the process.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Member mobilehomelender's Avatar
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    To find key words I'm using IBP Professional web site promotion. Axandra Axandra dot com
    Google serp top 3 postions in 48 hours with backlinks seo

  21. #21
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    Well,

    Something you may consider when developing a strategy for attracting traffic to your website would be through a blog. Blogs are getting really famous nowadays not only because they are entertaining but because of the various things people learn when they read. Considering the number of people who read blogs per day, you may consider wanting all of them attracted to your website. While that would seem right, the using a blog is indeed very effective in generating traffic.

  22. #22
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    Keyword phrases research is an important work in SEO services.You can use some free keyword research tools to find and test your keywords.
    1.Google Keyword Tool. It features a very high quality, clean and frequently updated keyword database, with estimated search volume. It is regarded as one of the best keyword research tools.
    2.Wordtracker. Their free tool has a limit of 100 results. If you want to see all keywords, you must pay. Its free database is very detailed, so mostly 100 results is enough.
    3.Keyword Discovery. This tool has a noisy database, so use it with doubt.
    4.SEO Book Keyword Research Tool. This tool gives exactly the same results as Wordtracker. What you will like about the SEO Book tool is all the extras that come on top of regular keyword research.
    Last edited by Dan Schulz; Jun 16, 2009 at 09:19. Reason: removed self promo link

  23. #23
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    For most site that is newly build and just starting a promotion or link building process, you need to set up a long tail keyword using a minimum of 3 words. In this way you can target 2 specific plus a major keyword. Don't attempt to go on a major one because your far beyond other old sites that gain higher rankings. Increase your backlinks and if you being crawled, that's the time for you to go for a short tail keywords.

  24. #24
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    Normally, Keywords' choice is very important for every SEOer, once in the first of web design. Many people do the analysis depand on the digitalpoint.com or other SEOer analysis tools semply.

  25. #25
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    I use market samurai for researching keywords and competition. I look for words that get 2000 searches or more and looking on Google for 150,000 competing sites or less. Then at this point I analyze the top ten results in Google. I look for 3 or more sites with PR3 or less and at least 2 sites with 50 back-links or less. And my last test is to Google the keyword phrase and see if this are people paying for clicks and to see if there is a commercial intent for the keyword search phrase.


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