I also use Google’s PR figure to get a very rough idea of what Google thinks of the quality of their IBLs
I also look at TBPR, both of the backlink pointing to a competitor and of the linker’s home page. In some cases, a home page TBPR 0 is useful in filtering out scrapers and other low quality sites that are linking to a competitor.
Home page TBPR can be deceiving, however, (e.g. in cases where the home page TBPR dropped as part of a paid link penalty), so I also run a site:domain.com/* to approximate domain authority. Though this is also inaccurate (there are some quality sites with only a few indexable pages), in general, the numbers are decent indicators of the strength of a domain. And unlike the toolbar, the numbers are always fresh.
I must say I’m a little surprised at how little attention this thread is getting, particularly from the experts. If you take a search engine friendly page and actually optimise it for a particular keyword phrase you have to identify that phrase in the first place. Everything that happens after that is dependent on how well you chose that phrase so why is there so little comment or debate about such a critically important part of SEO?
Did I nail it so exactly that no one feels the need to comment? I’d like to think so but I doubt it so come on guys, let’s hear your opinions…
Interesting, what importance do you place on domain authority? If you felt that you could compete on everything but that would you move onto a different phrase? What importance do you think Google place on it?
JJ this is a very informative and useful thread you got going in here. Another one to add to your belt so to speak
What I basically do is use Google analytics to see which keywords refer more traffic, then check on the length of time the visitor stays as well as the pages he visited - this will tell me if I got a targeted visitor out from that keyword. The relevancy of that keyword would give me a go signal to optimize more for that.
I would definitely give your method a try. A bit tedious though but maybe worth the effort
Thank you sir I’m hoping that when Stymiee and Extraarm get done with their very interesting but a little off topic exchange, they’ll post their thoughts on the subject of competitive keyword analaysis
And yes, it can be really tedious sometimes but it’s a kick when you find a great keyword phrase…
Yes that’s one way of identifying keywords but if you have a list 300 long, how do you use them all to see which ones work? A good competitive analysis gets rid of 295 of those keywords and leaves the ones that will generate traffic that converts to a sale.
Wordtracker mostly, yahoo’s keyword tool when it’s working but only for related phrases not actual search counts, Google keywords suggestion tool, WEBCeo’s keyword suggestion tool, googling the main phrase to see what comes back… whatever I can think of basically. All I’m trying to do at that point is build up a big old list of terms related to the main niche phrase. The analysis comes after that.
My seed list is every phrase I can find that is relevant to the main niche phrase so it includes long tails, see above.
Then I winnow it down using the analysis from the first post until I have about 5 keyword phrases left (gotta set a limit cos the client is only paying me so much) and they get used whether they’re 2 word phrases or 5 word phrases. It’s all about traffic and competition for those phrases.
I try to come up with 3-5 good strong keywords and then use them in the appropriate places in a site, one phrase per page usually. I don’t do it for every single page on a site, that would be a huge amount of work plus it’s hard enough to find a couple of good phrases let alone loads.
Plus I want to use the best phrase in IBLs so only one page gets the benefit of those at first.
Suppose you use 3 keyword phrases on one page. They’d have to differ significantly or they’d look like 3 forms of the same phrase and that would be a strange way to write, plus your keyword research should have identified the best version of your primary keyword phrase. Since a keyword phrase describes the contents of the page you’d need to have 3 different subjects on the one page. Not great usability.
Next you have the problem of where to put your keywords. First place is the page Title, you want to have 3 keyword phrases in the Title? If you do, which order do you put them in? How many characters does Google actually read in the page title? You have the same problem in your description meta tag and then again when you start using your H tags.
Then you have the IBLs. You want to use your keyword phrase in your IBLs o boost relevance, it’s key. So now you have to get three different sets of IBLS, all pointing to one page. Instead of having 3 dedicated opportunities to rank, you have one, even if you manage to pull it off, it’s one page that ranks for three terms. I would always use 1 or maybe 2 keyword phrases on a page, never 3. I’d rather take 3 keyword phrases and use them to make 3 different pages rank well.
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.