Keyword Research – Are You Still Failing?

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by Kevin

Disclosure – This article contains affiliate links.  If you have any questions please see my Disclosure page.

I have spent a lot of time and money discovering my own way to do keyword research and I’m still learning every day.  One thing I have noticed lately is that many people are still missing a critical component to success – competition research.  In order to be successful in niche marketing you must pay attention to the websites that are competing against you.  Opinions and training will vary slightly on the subject but in general, it boils down to two aspects – the amount and the strength of  competition.

The first thing you should be looking for is number of websites you’re competing against.  You have to be selective, especially if you are a beginner looking for that first few keywords to get you started.  It is important to understand and verify the number of websites that will be your primary competition for the selected keyword.  For instance, as of this writing, there are 462 million results for Internet Business, I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it is a really BIG number to overcome.  The cool thing is that it isn’t that hard to discover the number of websites your specific keyword is up against, simply go to www.google.com and type your keyword.

google-inetbiz-searchresults

Next, you need to be looking at the strength of those competing websites.  I think we all understand that getting on the front page (the higher the better) of Google search results will generate a steady stream of traffic for the right keyword.  However, if you are facing even a relatively small number of professionally built and highly optimized websites it will be an uphill battle.  If your using Firefox, determining the general strength of any website is as simple as installing SEO Book’s Free Firefox Plugin.  Once the installation is complete, head back to www.google.com and once again search your keyword without the quotes and you’ll notice some additional information in your search results.

seo-book-plugin

This information can give you a quick indicator of the strength of your competition.  I like to start with page rank because it is a fast and easy way to know the power of the pages displayed.  As you can see in the image above if we were targeting “Internet Business” our competition for the top three spots are PR4, PR4, and PR3, again these numbers aren’t insurmountable but it would not be easy.  Your business model will have a lot to do with the keywords that you target so keep that in mind when looking at the data.  There is a lot of information included in the SEO Book’s Free Firefox Plugin but if you are looking for something a little more advanced, try the  free SEO Book Firefox Toolbar.

Now as you know I’m a big fan of Noble Samurai’s product Market Samurai (my review is here).  So if you prefer to have all of this information, plus a lot more, available to you in one application, you might want check them out.  Although I haven’t used SEO Book’s entire program I do like their free tools and use them often so if you feel so inclined have a look at them as well.

If competition research has not been in your keyword toolbox then ADD IT, it will make a difference.  Adding this additional step upfront will get your Internet business more profitable now and in the future.  If you have comments, suggestions or theories post them below…let me hear from ya!

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