SEO Competitive Analysis

Many SEO clients are focused on receiving ranking reports for their keywords as a major deliverable associated with a properly managed SEO campaign.

But ranking reports don’t mean nearly as much as they once did. Search engine rankings change regularly, are different on various data centers, and won’t generate traffic to the Web site, much less generate leads and sales, especially if a site ranks well for keywords that aren’t often searched.

So, I preach to my prospects and clients that they should be focused on analytics and measurement of SEO much like they would (try to) measure any form of marketing effort. Is the SEO program generating qualified traffic to the site? Is the SEO effort generating phone calls (yes, you can track this)? Is the SEO effort delivering a solid ROI (for what I’m spending on these efforts, either in internal resources or outsourcing)?

Now, that’s not to say that a firm you’ve outsourced your SEO efforts to shouldn’t be delivering reports. They absolutely should. But, let’s try to focus on things that actually matter. These include things like solid keyword research, a competitive analysis, a site structure analysis and analytics reports that “mean something” (making sure that analytics programs are set up properly and tracking what matters).

Today, I’ll touch upon one of the most overlooked aspects of a successful SEO effort: the competitive analysis.

Determine Who Your Competitors Are

Many CMOs are quick to list off a number of competitors (those that they think of as competitors in the traditional sense). In the SEO landscape, we lean towards those “keyword competitors” — Web sites that are ranking for keywords we’d like our client to be found for.

A good example of this would be a client from my former life who sold “signs” (banners, billboards, etc.). One of their main keywords was (is) “signs.” At the time, the movie “Signs,” starring Mel Gibson, was released. Obviously, the movie isn’t a direct competitor for this keyword, but a page devoted to this movie ranks number one in Google for “signs,” and the movie still has several mentions in Google’s top 10.

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One Response

  1. Productive Internet marketing depends upon a reasonable budget. There actually is a good deal of truth to the old adage that you have to spend money to make money. By budgeting wisely, you will be able to get the greatest advantage from the money you do spend on marketing and promotion.

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