Alright, we’re back with Part 2 of the B2B SEO Strategy Guide. Last time (B2B SEO Strategy: Part 1) we talked about how to pick good keywords: run a PPC campaign and pick the terms that drive revenue, not just clicks. This time, we’re going to talk about how you figure out what it will take to rank for those keywords–competition analysis, in other words.
What I’m going to do in this post is demonstrate in detail what this process looks like for just one keyword. And the keyword we’re going to use is “buy caviar online.”
Step 1: See how many other people are optimizing for the keyword.
One of the first ways we can gauge the competitiveness of a keyword is by checking to see how many other pages have “optimized” for the keyword. We’ll talk more about how to optimize a page for a keyword in a later post. For now, however, all you really need to know is that two important ways you optimize for a keyword are including the full keyword in the title of the page, and including it in the URL of the page.
We’re going to use a couple of Google search operators to figure out how many indexed pages include the search term “buy caviar online” in their titles and URL’s. This will give us a rough idea how many other SEO’s are targeting the keyword. First, let’s find out how many are in titles. This really couldn’t be easier. We just head over to google.com, and enter “buy caviar online” into the search box. There’s only one other thing we have to include–the operator “allintitle:” before our keyword. Take a look at the screenshot below and you’ll see what I mean.
Now we just hit enter to see how many pages Google has indexed with “buy caviar online” in the title.
Next we’re going to find out how many indexed pages have the keyword in the URL. The operator we use this time is “allinurl:”.
So there you have it. 2,930 results for “allintitle” and 10,100 results for “allinurl.”
Of course, the more observant among you are asking yourselves what those numbers mean. Unless we have something to compare them to, they don’t give us any useful information. So let’s take some other data points for keywords that we already know to be high and medium competition.
One of the most competitive keywords out there is “payday loans online.” Allintitle for this one is 401,000 and allinurl is 201,000. So “buy caviar online” is less than 1/100th as competitive as one of the most competitive keywords online.
But how does it compare to something of moderate competition? For moderate competition, I’m going to choose a niche that local SEO’s might target for small business clients. There’s going to be a service-type component to the keyword and also a location component, something like “minneapolis wedding photographer.” That’s a keyword with enough volume to be on an SEO’s radar, but difficult enough to monetize that it won’t be the target of many MFA/affiliate sites. This keyword, which I’ll say is medium competition, has 19,300 for allinurl and 21,400 for allintitle. So “buy caviar online” is less competitive than even this medium-competition keyword.
Based on the above, at least in terms of on-page optimization analysis, “buy caviar online” is low competition.
But we haven’t taken off-page competition into account. Unfortunately, I’ve run out of time this week. We’ll have to look at off-page competition analysis next time.