How to Complete an SEO Competitive Analysis

Have you ever looked at a competitor’s website and wondered why they were ranking higher than you in search engines?

In this post, we’re going to walk through the process of completing a search engine optimization (SEO) analysis, a tool to help you better understand the competitive landscape of search engine rankings in your industry.

This SEO competitive analysis will provide a base of knowledge and a strategic foundation you can use to outrank your competitors in Google and other search engines.

Creating a List of Relevant Keywords

The first step to any effective SEO initiative is knowing what keywords you want people to search in order to find your business.

For example, if I owned a San Diego flower delivery service, I might use these variations of a keyword:

  • San Diego flower delivery
  • Who delivers flowers in San Diego
  • Flower delivery San Diego

A keyword list is what I like to call the “keyword portfolio.” — an organized file with the relevant keywords that you would like to rank for in search engines, where you currently rank for these keywords, and where your competitors currently rank for these keywords.

Your keyword portfolio will be an evolving list of keywords that you’ll constantly be adding to and subtracting from as your strategy changes.

If you don’t have a keyword portfolio already, you can easily create one with a simple Excel spreadsheet using the following three columns from left to right:

  • Targeted Keyword
  • Overall Position in Search Engine
  • Found by searching for the targeted keyword and making note of your website’s position in the results (1-10)
  • Description of Competitor Rankings
  • Where are your main competitors ranking for the searched keyword?

As you go through the process of setting up this spreadsheet, you’ll likely come across other keywords your competitors’ are using, which should be added to your keyword portfolio.
Link Analysis with Moz Open Site Explorer

Apart from strong use of relevant keywords, the number of links to you

In the next part of your competitive analysis, I recommend using the Moz Open Site Explorer to see the types of links your competitors have.

Doing so will answer three very important questions for you:

  • How many links do my competitors have?
  • Are there links my competitors have that I don’t, but that I can get?
  • Which of my competitors is most skilled at getting links?

In order to get started using the Open Site Explorer, let’s assume that we operate Allen’s Flowers, a floral shop located in San Diego, California.

First, type the website into the search bar:

Make sure you’ve clicked “Compare up to 5 sites” under the search bar.

Next, type in a few of your competitors (I’ll be using several other San Diego Floral shops):

Once you click “Compare” you’ll be taken to the results of the comparison:

The default results will have the “Compare Link Metrics” tab kept open. Here’s why this tab is important to you:

  • Total Links: This shows the total number of links pointing to your site, including internal links (links between your own web pages), and external links (links from other websites)
  • Total External Links: This is the total number of links from other websites. There are usually many links that appear repeatedly.
  • Followed Linking Root Domains: This will be your most important statistic. This section shows you how many unique websites (“linking root domains”) have links that Google counts (Google ignores “nofollow” links) for your site.

There are many other results and statistics listed on this page, but these are the most important ones to help with your SEO competitive analysis.

In order to get a more detailed look at what the links pointing at these sites look like, click on the “Inbound Links” tab.

Then, we can filter out some of the results to figure out which links are actually helping your site and the sites of your competitors.

Click on the filters to change them to say:


Now, click “Filter” to get your results.

Once you’ve gotten your results, ask yourself the following questions about the links:

  • Does the anchor text match my keyword? The displayed text of a link is known as “anchor text”.
  • Does the link come from a page with high authority? A link on a high page authority would be worth a lot more than a link on a low page authority (e.g. would have more page authority than a local news site)
  • Does the link come from a domain with high authority? This is similar to the previous question, but Google looks first at the page authority (popularity of a single page), before checking domain authority.

This exercise is intended to help you comb through your competitors’ link portfolios to see if there are any patterns you can detect.

Try to get as much information as you possibly can off of these reports. Remember, link portfolios are not the entire picture, but a large part of that picture.

The other factor that is a big part of where you’re ranked on Google is on-page SEO. If you have a website with many links and Google-friendly on-page SEO, you’ll climb to the top

3 Surprising Ways to Increase Visibility for SEO

In today’s search-driven world, people no longer consult books or magazines or even their friends to find the answers they seek – they go directly to their favorite search engine. Whether it is Google, Bing or Yahoo, each search engine has its own algorithms for pulling up search engine results, and the million-dollar question is, “How do I get to the top of the first page?” An entire industry has emerged in the past several years in order to answer this question including online reputation management and search engine optimization companies (SEO).

Scottsdale Reputation Management Firm Reputation Maxx has been at the forefront of the online reputation management industry since it exploded five years ago. In order to assist both individuals and businesses in having their websites and content be more visible, the brand expansion consultants at Reputation Maxx are revealing these five tips.

1. Appear on Guest Blogs

One of the best ways to draw traffic to one’s own site is to appear on another blog that already receives a heavy amount of traffic. Doing so provides many benefits including: bringing credibility to one’s name as well as the website, driving traffic to that website or content and providing awareness that the content and/or website even exists. The best candidates for appearing on guest blogs are those people or businesses who are experts in their industry or who have something interesting and unusual to share with the world.

2. Start a Google Suggested Word

Another thing that both businesses and individuals can do is to start tagging their name with another word or words in hopes that it becomes a Google or other search-suggested keyword.

“If you tag Glenda’s Cleaning Supplies with Baltimore enough times, eventually, Google and other search engines will show ‘Glenda’s Cleaning Supplies Baltimore’ when people type in ‘Glenda’s Cleaning Supplies,” said reputation expert and CEO of Reputation Maxx, Walter Halicki. “It’s all about using the phrase enough times in enough different places that Google picks up on it.”

3. Start a Blog

As mentioned before, blogs get a lot of web traffic. By posting quality and interesting content on a regular basis, people and businesses can get noticed on search engine results. The more people that visit the site and share links to the content on the site, the higher the blog’s page ranking will be. Even starting a WordPress blog can become a great asset.

5 SEO trends that have emerged in 2014

It’s critical that every business with an online presence keep up with the latest SEO best practices. Search-engine optimization tactics change over time — some would say every time a Google exec sneezes. So with calendar year 2014 about halfway over, it’s a perfect opportunity to review how SEO has changed this year and to evaluate whether your business is staying current. Some aspects of SEO have changed dramatically, while other guiding principles have remained tried and true.

With that in mind, here is a list of five new SEO trends for 2014 that will help ensure your SEO efforts are top notch:

Go mobile first

Having a website optimized for mobile devices will provide more SEO value than ever. Google gives added value to websites that are mobile-friendly. This means companies that aren’t optimized for mobile put themselves at a great disadvantage — not only in terms of their website’s user experience but also in terms of SEO. By making a business’s online presence more powerful and increasing their website’s SEO value, good “responsive design” can help it stay ahead of its competitors.

Content is still king …

While Google has penalized some companies for purchasing guest blogging services, by and large, good content will always provide decent SEO value for a business. Although many people hear content and automatically think of blog posts or whitepapers, there are other components such as videos and infographics that can be used effectively to share information while earning high levels of engagement and adding SEO value.

… But don’t forget to be a good neighbor

Although obtaining quality inbound links has always been a focus point for SEO professionals, the practice has sometimes hurt the company’s branding efforts. Remember that both link building and effective branding need to complement one another in order to maximize their respective benefits. Buying a bundle of links is no longer an acceptable tactic. Reaching out — using tried and tested forms of PR to raise awareness of your website — is an important part of strengthening a business’ SEO presence, while letting it maintain control of brand image.

Social media is more important than ever

While the popularity of your business’s content on social media will not directly affect overall rankings, having positive social signals does help SEO. This is particularly true on Google Plus, where your content is more likely to be higher in an individual’s search result if they are in your circle on Google Plus or have +1’d your content. In order to fully leverage this, it is important that a website include social sharing modules so that content can be quickly and easily shared by the most users possible.

That’s right, we said Google Plus

Google Plus offers more value than just helping your content rank higher in search-engine results for the people who have you in their circles or +1 your content. While it isn’t something “new,” Google Authorship has really caught on recently and should be a part of any business’ SEO plan. This is particularly true if your business puts out a lot of interesting content on a regular basis. Correct implementation of Google Authorship adds a nice author visual that Google pulls from Google Plus — dramatically increasing click-through rate for content that features the image.

Selling Links In a Free Internet Market

Google penalizes sites that directly sell or buy links, but accomplices like link brokers and sites that run “Buy Links” ads are left unpunished while they enjoy their big commissions.

Such websites would not buy or sell links on their account for fear of Google ban, yet they yield to the monetary incentives of running link trade ads. These websites are confident that their Internet search ranking won’t be affected by running such ads, and they are correct.

But is it totally safe to turn your website into a link trade accomplice?
Why Not Punish The Link Sellers?

Google tells the Internet community countless times that it penalizes sites that sell or buy links that pass PageRank.

So why not do the same to their accomplices? Threats of anti-trust suits are preventing Google from banning link brokers and their advertising partners.

Just last year, Google faced its first formal anti-trust probe in Europe in response to allegations of unfair Internet search result ranking. And last month, the US Senate held its first hearing on allegations of unfair ranking system of Google following a subpoena issued by the Federal Trades Commission.

Any site can run its own search engine and display only the results that won’t harm its business interests. However, when this level of bias is seen in a universal search engine that controls more than 80% of the Internet search market, it becomes an anti-trust issue.

Banning or penalizing link brokers and their ad partners could be seen as an attempt to protect Google’s advertising business. Without link trade, SEO would become more expensive, forcing web publishers to pay for AdSense to promote their sites. Link brokers are in effect competing with AdSense by helping websites inflate their PR and thus their SERP ranking.
Search Neutrality & The Enemy

Google considers link buyers and sellers as its enemies. The introduction of AuthorRank, Report Paid Link and Report Scraper Pages campaigns and the growing demand for Search Quality Associates (otherwise known as human spam fighters) show the growing commitment of Google to cripple those who want to game its algorithm. Removing Adword publisher accounts is the most plausible action Google could take should it decide to punish the accomplices of link brokers.

Now that search neutrality regulation is gaining momentum, Google is under more pressure to improve its algorithmic detection of paid links. Link sellers accused Google of passing the burden of quality control to them by forcing them to “no-follow” sponsored links. Had Google been more effective in preventing PR flow from paid links, it doesn’t have to resort to preventive tactic of scaring link sellers. The inquiry held by the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights last month has raised legal questions concerning such policy. Google would find it difficult to justify its penalty on link sellers and brokers since ignoring the paid links of their clients would be enough to prevent manipulation of PR.

Will the future search neutrality regime favor link sellers or Google’s current system of preventing spam blogs? Anyway, link brokers and their ad partners can expect a growing market.Facing more anti-trust probes in both federal and state levels, Google is unlikely to penalize link trade accomplices. What if the government forbids Google from penalizing link sellers? It will definitely improve algorithmic detection of paid links, turning link trade and brokering into a more lucrative business.

6 Surprising Mistakes Many SEO’s Make

Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes — some more than others.

But that said, as SEOs we don’t have the luxury of making too many mistakes, or we wont have satisfied clients and a good reputation. And yet there are some mistakes most many SEOs tend to make, no matter how experienced they may be; in fact, the more experienced the higher the chance they will make a mistake. Old habits die hard — which brings us to mistake numero uno.

Mistake Number One, not staying updated or taking updates lightly.

We see this happen all the time. Search is a fast changing business to be in, there are always improvements, updates, new algorithms, you name it.

If we don’t stay updated we may miss something by a few days and keep doing out thing that can end up hurting our clients. On the other hand, even worse, knowing that there has been an update but still playing by the old rules.

Even though some SEO practices have been long dead, SEOs still reflect on them, I think my hair stands on attention every time I hear an SEO say keyword density, enough said, moving on…

Mistake Number Two, fast link building for short term clients.

Yup, that is a mistake. I understand that the clients is pushing, they want this many links each month. When a client is with you only for 2-3 months and you are forced to build thousands of links, what do you expect will happen when you start or when you stop with link building?

First there will be a huge spike in links, which sends a red flag to Google, then after a month or two there will be a huge fall. So when we look at the graph we will see that 90% of backlinks for a site 2 years old were made in 2 months

Yeah, there is a chance the links will be ignored by Google, so even if the ranks jump at first they will fall down and fall down fast.

We know how important link velocity is, so why do this “favor” for your clients, just think about. Not every client will come running back to you, most of them will think this is your fault; not good businesses, people.

Mistake Number Three, playing the numbers game.

Although this is old it’s back to mistake number one and two — many SEOs still rely on pure numbers when link building.

Oh, we need this many links to overcome the competition. Wrong! SEO is not a numbers game, you need to think of the quality of links, relevance, neighborhood of those links as well as anchor variations and tons of other factors. If it was a numbers game we would be doing only comment and forum links.

Mistake Number Four, one of the most common link building mistakes is link building using exact match anchors in massive quantities.

Why is it so hard to vary the anchor here and there, and what does it take to understand that if you have 90% of your links with a single anchor text that Google will see that?

Maybe you can get away with it in small niches, but if you are doing link building for a semi-competitive or a competitive market well you are done for.

Mistake Number Five, avoiding low PR pages and websites for link building.

Hmm, I’m going to skip this site, the homepage PR is 3 look at this one, offers a link on a PR0 page, pass again. Wrong!

Homepage PR is not a domain level metric and toolbar PR is not website authority. It does give us a hint, but nothing else.

High PR homepage is not a recipe for a good site; you need to check indexation speed, inner pages and their PR, as far as you know they could be poor.

Also, if a site doesn’t have PR, doesn’t mean its bad. Maybe its new, maybe it has a bunch of visitors but not too many links, hence the low PR, but the eyes looking at the site are definitely worth a link.

There are dozens of factors to consider when judging whether a site or a page is good for us to place a link there, and not just PR.

Mistake Number Six, the final straw, its related to link building again, link buying, network links, mass link exchange, linking to homepage only, linking schemes and unnatural links in general?

No, although these are all mistakes, I will not get into link buying thing, we are all adults here, the only difference is how you do it, smart or through India or other network sites.

The last straw and one of the most common link building mistakes is not doing regular link consolidation and going over created backlinks. If I build a link at a solid site, it looks great, has great influence, it doesn’t mean it will stay like that forever. Regularly going over created links is essential, in two months your bali travel holidays link may be surrounded with buy Viagra, online casinos, buy insurance and other similar links. It may be no-followed, replaced, surrounded with dozen of similar anchors or simply have too many outgoing links to be of any use.

Any SEO will sympathize with these; I’m sure at least one of these will ring a bell, if not more of them. We need to stay updated and stay smart. SEO, link building, is not a numbers game; its not that simple. It is our job to protect our clients and give them the best of our services, sometimes that means changing our habits and learning from scratch, but that’s just what we do.

How To Explain SEO To A 5 Year Old

As my son has grown the answer of “I work with computers” when asked what I do for a living just isn’t cutting it anymore. I had to put some thought into how to explain SEO to a 5 year old as most people my age don’t understand fully what it is that I do. On a trip to a local toy store I had an idea!

As my son and I walked into a busy toy store today visuals bombarded us. It was the perfect setting to explain what SEO is. I told my son he could have one toy from the store but to be careful and choose wisely.

My son has often hear me mention terms “local”, “organic”, and “paid Search” and this was the perfect chance to try to explain to him what these terms mean.
Paid Search

The first thing we saw when we walked into the store was a large display with a popular movie character cut out placed beside a shelf of products with movie related toys. I told my son that this is like the “Paid Search” area of the internet. The manufacturer of the toys promotes the the movie and its products and they are allowed to take up this prime spot to catch our eye.

It was easy to see how well this worked on my son; he was already sold on this product and wanted to get the action figure that was right in front of us.

After I encouraged my son to look a little further into the store as there might be something he would like we ventured past the “paid search” section of the store.
Organic & SEO

We saw a sign that laid out the different sections of the store. It was a toy store so all the sections were different variations of toys. As I read through the departments to see which department to go to first, my son was sold on the first listing “games”. It also happened to be the closest to the spot in which we were standing.

When my child and I went into the games department it became easy to explain Search Engine Optimization to him. We faced many products and while a lot of them were similar, their packaging and branding were different. Of course the items with the best packaging were most eye catching and to me this represented the first 3 listings in Organic. This is the part where we could spend hours looking at and comparing the games, much like in the first few pages of a Google Search results.

After my son weighed his options (and much better idea of SEO) he settled on a game that was from the same movie that was in the display at the front of the store. He was glad he didn’t pick the action figure. He likes the movie but he was much happier after looking around and finding a game that we can enjoy together! I didn’t want to get into how the “paid ad” at the start of the store had still influenced his buying choice. Maybe I’ll explain that in a year or two.

In the car on the way home my son said to me “So mommy, you set up toys in a toy store on the internet”.

Yes son, I would say that’s close enough.

How SEO Tactics Can Improve Your Online Presence

SEO or search engine optimization is the web technique and activity by which a website is given a better page rank on search engine results. Actually SEO is an unpaid web activity however if you hire a SEO company India, it may offer you or advise you paid SEO packages also. SEO India is gaining grounds rapidly and SEO services India are much in demand now.

SEO is something which even school kids in India are fiddling with but business website promotion is no kid’s play. So if you are looking for some SEO push for your website, you better think of hiring a well established SEO firm India or SEO agency India with a blazing track record. SEO expertise is earned with a lot of practical hands on experience. No college degree or IT course can train you for SEO work.

You can say SEO services India is nothing but an Internet marketing strategy. An SEO company India tries to understand how a search engine like Google works, what technology it uses to select or discard a web content, how do net users search for content, what keywords do they normally use, which search engines do they mostly prefer etc. Based upon all this information and knowledge of search engine technologies, a SEO firm India proceeds to promote a client website. Some of the common tricks used by SEO India are as follows:

* Cross linking: SEO companies links different pages of same website to provide greater number of links to most important pages so that visibility of that page can be improved.

* Keyword research and analysis: This is very crucial aspect of SEO services India. Writing content which is frequently used in searched keyword phrases by web users, also adds to the visibility of a website. It involves finding out keywords which are most relevant and popular for the particular form of website. More relevant and popular the keywords used in content will be, the better will be the chances of page gaining traffic.

* Updating content: By frequently updating a website content, SEO Agency India causes the search engines crawlers and spiders to return back more frequently to the website as search engines are designed to give weightage to pro-active websites.

* Meta Data Keywords: Inserting relevant keywords in the site’s meta data, including the title tag and meta description, improves the relevancy of a website’s search listings which increases traffic.

* URL normalization: Another tool in the hand of SEO India professionals is URL normalization. It is a technique through which an SEO firm India modifies or standardizes URL into a normalized URL or canonical URL so that it is possible to verify if two syntactically dissimilar URLs may be of same website domain. By URL normalization, an SEO company India tries to reduce duplicate indexing of a website so that all versions of a website are counted towards the page’s link popularity score.

* Backlinks and inbound links: Another trick from the bouquet of SEO services India is building backlinks or inbound links for a website. Backlink or inbound links are created when one website links to some other website. The more are the backlinks into a site, the better its SEO score is.


SEM stands for Search engine marketing and it is a wider concept which includes both paid and unpaid SEO tactics. Unpaid or natural SEO tactics are known as organic Search engine optimization and paid or artificial Search engine optimization is known as inorganic SEO. SEO Services India may include both organic as well as inorganic SEO and it depends on the client which technique they want SEO firm India to employ. Organic SEO can have slow results and succeed in longer run. It is less expensive SEO method. The inorganic SEO tactics give instant results like high page rank and visibility but they may or may not be successful in the long run. Moreover inorganic SEO is much more expensive compared to organic SEO.

SEO Vs SMM ( Social Media Marketing)

SMM or Social Media Marketing is another tool that SEO India can use to promote your business website. An SEO agency India can launch social media presence of its client by creating its Facebook, LinkedIn, Tweeter account and post content and links which attract and divert Social media users to the website the SEO Company India is promoting.

SEO trends 2013

Some in the SEO industry to make even one or two thoughts on the latest SEO trends in 2013. What change Google, Bing and Co? Here are a few thoughts.

Link Building

Here, Google has already narrowed down the penguin and yes, it will tidy the room. It will arrive in 2013 on a natural link building, if you want to support its marketing efforts and your own website. Content
Content is King in 2013 in the full-text search engine. Thus Google can do more to clean up the gigantic library called the Internet and say exactly where something is located.


In this matter, I think that Google already will be more effectively. Just as a few years ago when the semantics of Google and some other things were still in its infancy, but it already has a huge in regards
to them.

Google+ – Social Media

Facebook likes and shares. Shares in public profiles on fan pages, etc. are normal links – no more, no less. Social media is, in my view particularly interesting to make itself less dependent on search engines and is thus responsible for the relaxation ranking. Which means, the more I get good traffic from social media (or other channels), so relaxed I can look at my rankings. Similarly, I can see it on Google+, only here that Google owns the data sovereignty, therefore rely on the web for more, and better understood. Who shares / reads what content is, an expert on any subject, etc.


2013 is structured in terms of SEO and Google will bring more order to the Wild West. Thus, it is for one or the other “ranking bandits” even harder to make his cut and for one, or the other SEO agency. Exciting, especially on how well the results will be all the action at the end, and what will bring Google for updates.

Social Media Monitoring: How to measure the success of a Facebook page?

Here are collected the 7 most important indicators to evaluate the performance of a professional Facebook page. How do I measure and compare the success of a Facebook page? The decisive factor is the choice of key performance indicators (KPI). As an indicator of the success of his own Facebook page, a long time was the number of generated fans.

For the analysis of strengths and weaknesses of their own side, also are essential six other indicators. In addition to the current number of fans and, speaking about it ‘, it is also the other indicators of any Facebook page and calculate the possibility of such an offer the performance of a Facebook page for a certain period to determine or compare it with others.

• Fans
• Talk about it
• Activity
• Growth
• Interactions
• Response rate / time
• Posts

What exactly is hidden just behind the individual indicators?

Fans: How big is the potential reach of the Facebook page?

The best-known indicator in measuring the success of Facebook records the number of all generated fans and shows the potential reach of the Facebook page. Statements about interactivity and social performance can be with this value not only meet, because it can be easily manipulated, for example, through advertising campaigns or competitions.

Talk about it: Are you talking about our own content on Facebook?

It is about capture all the interactions of the last 7 days, with a Facebook page. The value can be driven up through an advertising campaign.

Activity: Your Facebook page as a social attraction?

This value is critical to the social performance of the Facebook page. Larger sites usually achieve a lower value, as gathered around the active core of the community a more passive mass.

Growth: How strong is the Facebook page in a given period?

This indicator measures a percentage, Facebook users within a specified period. The growth indicates act as attractive content and campaigns to people who do not interact with the Facebook page. If the growth is low or negative, the site’s content is not viral enough to reach new users.

Interactions: What and how many interactions are executed on the Facebook page.

The sheer number is already indication of how much the fans of the Facebook page are involved.
Response rate / time: Are you ready for dialogue your Facebook page?

This indicator is detected, how often and how quickly received by the community managers on contributions from fans.

Posts: How fans participate with their own content?

The evaluation is performed in two steps. First, the number of posts, I like ‘, comments and shares the fans. This is followed by a qualitative assessment of the documented rich content and mood of the posts. This indicator gives an idea of the mainly positive and negative relevance of the Facebook page in the daily life of the fans.

Social media strategies: Participate in the Social Web

This should be changed in the second part of the social media strategy.

Theory and Practice

Do companies really a target group analysis? Thought about why companies should consider this point especially for their marketing activities. Also for the social media of course. In the best case, a company can already draw on a target group analysis, and this may be relevant only fill out social media data. If this is not the case, you take the opportunity to set yourself apart with your target audience. It will pay off not only for your social media activities.

You now have a picture of your target audience, you segmenting further. Do you want to reach your entire target population or only part of it? Especially for small businesses, which may a broad product portfolio and appeal to different audiences, this question can be crucial. Here is my advice. Take for a start, not from too much. Does your company have different audiences? Then look to see if and how they can find the common denominator. Start with the most promising target group.

The most promising target group can for example be constitute the basis of the answers to the following questions: Which target group is about social media channels best reach you? In addition, what is their quantitative number? Which target group is particularly active in the social web? The question you should ask yourself in addition is this, for the quantitative accessibility.

Although the majority of my target group A part in the social web is rather passively. Part B is my target group numerically inferior now part of Target Group A, but active. Of course, it is more willing to write your own contributions. Social media is particularly successful when I was with my target audience can enter into a dialogue. This fundamental dialogue is very important.

Provide interesting content

The content strategy in itself is only just the next step. Therefore, it makes sense to throw even at this point a brief look at this topic.