One of the biggest flaws when it comes to SEO is not re-visiting your first task – identifying the keywords you want to appear for in Google. Many companies either invest little time doing this initially or they very rarely re-visit meaning competitors steal a march in the search results and most importantly grow their customer database and sales.
For our clients it is something we do monthly – ensuring we are always appearing for the most relevant terms and the content strategy mirrors what users are looking for.
No one tool will give you “the answer”, however there are a number of steps you can take…
Have you got that annoying competitor that is always above you know matter you search? It is likely they have done their research correctly first time and have continued to do so since then. There are a number of ways to analyse competitors –
There are a number of keyword tools available for looking at competitors, at Oakbase we prefer SEMrush and although paid for we find it very worthwhile. If you enter in a domain it will tell you what they appear in the top 20 positions and with a slight upgrade what they bid on through paid channels.
Other benefits of SEMrush
- You can download the data into a CSV file
- You can look at up to 2 years history of any domain
- You can study competitors ad-text in paid search easily to see what call to actions they offer
They also have new beta features which includes Video and Email.
2. Source code –
Whilst not necessarily a ranking factor in 2016 a competitors keyword tag (if they are organised) should have a list of keywords in it, to view this you need to access the source code (right click anywhere on the website and a box will appear and click “view page source”). You can then check the monthly search volume for these terms using the keyword planner.
A well-structured website will also have the main terms present in the title tag and description tag – both very important for ranking factors and CTR (click through rates).
SEMrush can be utilised further by accessing up to 2 years data – have you lost positions for a main keyword? We recommend going back in 3 monthly instalments to see the full potential in what has been lost. If you export each 3 monthly CSV and remove duplicates it will give you a comprehensive list that you then need to check A. where you rank and B. what the search volume is for these keywords now.
Plural Vs Singular:
A lot of companies (and agencies) forget about the plural Vs singular route. Every user and industry is different so it is important to see where you are positioned for each main keyword in both singular and plural format. Don’t forget from Googles point of view the written the plural also contains the singular so most of the time a simple “s” on the end can add a number of new keywords instantly.
Stay tuned for part 2 next week where we will discuss keyword planner, analytics and search console.