A favourite question among beginners making money online is this: can my site rank top in google?” A lot of times, this boils down to your keyword competitiveness. This is not an easy thing to understand.
Many seo blogs or money making blogs will advise on some simple rules for beginners to check the keyword competition. Such common advice include:
- Check the PR of the top sites
- Check your keywords in ‘quotes’ and see how many pages are there in Google. There is even a blog post I read recently that says you need to click on the last result to see the true competing pages. Most of the time, that article claimed, the number of actual competing pages is lower than what is shown. Yes, all good seos know this. It is known as the supplement index where all unworthy pages go to. : )
- · Check the backlinks of the competitors using yahoo explorer, which no longer exist : )
I used to say such nonsense as well when I started out (check out my old post where I give really bad advice on how to check your keywordcompetition). As I learn more and experiment more, there is actually more in-depth competitive analysis you need to do to learn whether you can really rank for a keyword.
Let’s take a step back to understand what we mean by keyword competitionVery simply, keyword competition means whether there are people competing with you on a particular set of keywords. It may sound stupid but most people lose sight of what we mean by competition.
Is there a company or an individual out there trying to rank for the same keywords?
Keyword competition is not about some pages that happen to rank for the keywords because of their domain authority or internal links. It is someone doing everything they can to SEO those keywords high in the search engines.
So, how do we know whether there is somebody competing with me on the same keywords?
This is what I do.
For any accomplished SEO, he or she will do everything possible to get his or her site up in the ranking. That means the keywords:
- will be in the title
- will be in the urls
- will be in the content
- will be in the backlinks used to link to the site.
Knowing the above, this is how I do keyword competitiveness analysisStep 1: Learn to use the following Google operators in the google search bar:
- intitle: "keyword" to check whether keywords are in the title page
- inurls: "keyword" to check whether keywords are in url
- intext: "keyword" to check whether keywords are in content
- inanchor: "keyword" to check for whether keywords are used in backlinks
Step 3: Pick low competition keywords which to me means, no more than 3 sites are actively competing for the keyword. If your keyword research shows there are 10 sites that always appear in the search reuslts when you used those search operators, you know they are very active on the SEO front.You are competing against the pros and whether you can win them depends on your resources and your level of understanding of how SEO really works.
The above is what I do to pick low competition keywords. It is not a simple matter of saying whether the top sites in the search engines have high PR, backlinks etc. It is knowing whether there is an intention on the part of the websites to compete for that keyword. If there is no intention, you typically can beat them regardless of how high the PR and low many backlinks the sites have.
In my future posts, I will talk more about advanced competitor analysis. where you need to know what are the weakness of your competitor and how to exploit that fact to your advantage.