Competitive Keyword Analysis, how do YOU do it?

Ok, I should be working but I thought I’d get this subject going :rolleyes:

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 I use to use Yahoo as well but it’s out of date now.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

  1. 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.

  2. Then I do an intitle:“keyword” search for every keyword phrase and make a new column for that figure.

  3. 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).

  4. 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)

  5. 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

  1. 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 :)]

Wordstream and Market Samurai are the way to go if you’re willing to shell out a little money.

KeywordSpy is good for competitive analysis.

I use all 3 as they all have their own strengths and weaknesses.

I stay true to Google Adwords and SpyFu. I will say Google’s new keyword tool is not nearly as accurate or all inclusive as the old one, but it still works and it appears much better that others I’ve tried.

I also use competitive analysis when seeking keyword potentials. Always look at competitors because you may forget about a whole set of keywords you’ve not already considered.

@JJMcClure I have gone through your query and have a solution for you! According to my experience if you are going to select “keywords” or “key phrases” to get good SERPs then you should select and finalize them as:

  1. Always research according to your pages. suppose if your website is offering services of web design and development then start your keyword research from the Google tool i.e Google add words and etc. select the high search volume and less competitive keywords for your site.

keep it mind while selecting keywords:

• Keywords must be relevant to your website.
• Keywords must be targeting one niche so that search engines can figure out your purpose.
• Keywords can be phrases, which can back your other keywords effectively.

after this make three pair for each keyword and key phrases such as:

web designing
professional web design services
Professional web design services
affordable web design and development services
and then use them for off site Seo to get good SERPs for your website. Having the strong Onpage for your website is also very important because after doing on page you can move towards the Offpage SEO.

You should first know what keyword you’re going to use. Use the available keyword tools on the net and compare. I think it’s safe to use the keywords that are in the middle since there’s less competition in that area.

The main indicator is to perform a search on all search engines using the keywords I am optimizing for. An analysis of those results will help to determine if optimization has gained in the results or lost ground.

We are also use some good keyword analysis tools for doing seo for our clients please take a look and give us some suggestion if anybody know better keyword analysis tools in comparison of

Google Adwords
keyword Spy
Keyword Discovery

I really like to get feedback from you all.

Thanks for the tips, would you be able to PM me with any other article marketing tricks you have, and I could bounce my ideas off of you and hear what your take is on it?

Thanks again,

Great discussion and i want to add little about the competitive analysis is that always try to use the less competitive keyword with high searches… when you will use the less key phrase you can optimize that keyword or key phrase easily, Your strategy is also very important

I’ve been on the edge of purchasing the WordTracker Keyword Analysis tool…looks like it’s pretty nice. Guess it’s worth purchasing. Would make life much easier., has seo resources, the seo toolbox has some free tools. there is also a paid pro version.
I’ve not used it, so cannot comment. I’m going to check it out.

choose keywords with no less than 200 searchers and not more than 800,000 competitors

I have never heard of seo moz tools. What + Where are they at? How do you use them?

now a days many tools are available in the market through which you can analyse and choose the best and trending keywords for your site. You can use google adword for keywords search and seo moz tools to analyse the competitive keywords…:slight_smile:

We use keyword analysis tools like Google Adwords and Wordtracker. Have been reading this thread - interesting and useful thoughts shared by many. I am already enjoying my stay here.

This has changed big time!

Market Samuri and Google Keyword Tool are showing very different results. Sign in to your Adwords before you run a search on GKT, then compare.

Numbers are dropping, can not understand why. Going on this I set up a site hoping for 850 visits daily (MS showed 1300 exact daily), ranked #1 for the keyword and get like only 10 visitors! Then I check GKT and it shows 880 a month! whaaaaaaaaaaaa


Interesting, what you have posted are all very good points. But, what are the tools you used in searching the keywords?

The basic thing is , it all depends on searches. There should be searches on the keyword you are going to focus, no matter how much competition it has, you gonna come on top 10 if you work efficiently.

Yeah, i also think google’s kwd tool is not that good. It shows pretty shortend results(
I tried keyword spy, then switched to Serpanalytics tool. they seem to be intelligent enough.
I found many useful related keywords for my main organic queries.

google keyword tool analysis is the best but there was which was the best tool for analysing the top search in the market