Running an online business is difficult. Just having a well designed website is not enough. As business owner, you need reliable webhosting, a suitable domain name and at least a little knowledge of search engine optimisation to succeed online.
Once your website is setup, the first step is to get ahead is using our Search Engine Essentials package to ensure that your business website is picked up (indexed) and visited (crawled) by the search engines. Then the search engine optimisation process takes place.
Boosting Sales With SEO
Search engine optimisation (SEO) involves a variety of techniques aimed at improving the visibility of a business website or a webpage in search engines via the “natural” listings. The higher a website ranks for keywords and phrases that are relevant to its industry/market, the more visitors it will get and more visitors means more potential customers and sales.
There are many elements to search engine optimisation. You need:
- A well built website,
- Optimised pages and internal linking structures,
- Regularly updated relevant content,
- Proper use of H(eading) tags, title tags & meta data,
- External links from other websites,
- Reliable webhosting,
- An old domain name (websites that have been around longer are seen as more reliable and trustworthy),
- An XML sitemap and search engine submission (see Search Engine Essentials),
- Much more…
Where would a business even start? Why not look at the competition and see what they’re doing?
That’s exactly what Competitor Insight does.
We analyse the competition and provide a detailed report on their website with data which can be put to use to improve your website SEO! Putting this information to good use could therefore increase your sales exponentially!
Keyword Phrases & Ranking On Google
Keywords are the main words and phrases which are valuable to a business as they are relevant to the industry. In most cases they will be the type of product or service you are selling. For our business, the main keyword is “Company Formation” but there are plenty of others worth targeting. For your business there might only be one or two main keywords which are relevant to your industry.
Targeting the main keyword can be difficult as all your competitors will be doing the same. This means that it will often be very difficult for a new business to get to the first page and top spot of Google for their chosen keyword. Unless of course, they happen to be in a very niche industry or are willing to pay lots of money to get to the top via Google advertising (Adwords).
So an important part of SEO is “targeting the long tail”. This is aiming for those other keywords which are still relevant to the business but are less difficult to rank well for because the competitors aren’t putting as much effort into targeting them. Usually, these “long tail” phrases have fewer searches per month and will generate less traffic than the main keyword, but are far easier to rank well for. So (long tail) keyword phrases would still be relevant to your business but far easier to target than the main keyword.
Targeting a variety of these keywords could lead to a similar amount of traffic from a variety of search terms, rather than a small amount of traffic from one main keyword. If the landing page (the page relevant to the search term) is good enough then that search traffic will be turned into sales and potential profit.
The first part of Competitor Insight is a keyword analysis. We run an analysis to establish the relevant keywords you should be targeting. This includes synonymous words and long tail keywords. You can use this to create new content for your website and potentially improve traffic in the long term (remember, websites and pages that are older are more trustworthy in the eyes of the search engines, so the longer a page is around, the better the ranking for it is likely to be).
Our analysis also includes data on the number of searches, the competition level, the value of the traffic and much more. A detailed explanation of the data can be seen in our example report available for download from our Competitor Insight page.
Main Keyword Competitors
Based on your main keyword, an analysis can be performed to work out who the main competitors are according to how they rank on Google for the keyword or phrase. This data is contained within the spreadsheet and also includes other information on the:
- Age of the website,
- The page rank (a measure used to judge the quality of a website based of a score between 0 and 10 with 10 being the highest).
- The internal links (how many pages inside the site lead to the particular page)
- The external links (how many pages link to the page on the website from other websites)
- Whether it is listed in DMOZ or Yahoo or has any links from important Government or educational websites etc
All of these elements (and more) can make a difference to how a site ranks for a particular keyword phrase. The information will also allow you to judge whether it is viable to try and compete with their competitors for that keyword phrase or whether it would be better to target long tail keywords instead (or as well as).
Competitor “Secrets” – Backlinks
Part of the Competitor Insight service involves supplying you with “secrets” about the competitors. This includes information on the backlinks the competitors have. These are EXTERNAL links to their website (or page) from other websites.
Part of the “page rank” (and SERP – search engine ranking position) is affected by the number (and quality) of links pointing to a particular website. The theory goes that if lots of websites all point to the same website then that website must be relevant and important. Therefore the links are counted as a “vote” towards that website’s credibility and the site will get a better SERP. The more links the better, but quality is more important than quantity.
Our Competitor Insight report lists competitors’ backlinks, including the page rank of the linking website (remember – the higher the page rank the better. A .gov.uk or .ac.uk website will typically have page rank 10 and if you could get them to link to you it would be potentially more valuable than 1,000’s of links from websites with page rank 0,1, 2 or 3.) and the anchor text used as part of the link (it is better to use the keyword in the link rather than “click here” or “my company” etc.)
With this data, you could potentially acquire a wealth of similar links and (in the long term) improve your own SERP. We recommend that you pick and choose based on higher page rank links, but lots of links could also be beneficial.
NOTE – Acquiring lots of links in a short period is seen as suspicious by the search engines, so it is better to have a long term link building plan in place. Writing great content for your business on your blog or website which might be linked to with no effort on your own part is far more beneficial as it is seen as a “genuine” link.
Competitors “Secrets” – Keywords
The next stage of analysis for each of the competitors includes a report of the top 100 keywords they are targeting and the respective value of each in terms of search engine traffic, competition, value and more.
This data will allow you to analyse which competitors are targeting which keywords, spot which long tail keywords are not being used and also potentially spot a niche in the market that isn’t being filled.
Both backlinks and keywords are analysed for the top 10 competitors for the main keyword.
Getting Ahead On The World Wide Web
All of this data and the easy-to-follow guide which is included as part of the service will allow you to make the most of your business website, boost your search engine ranking and improve your online sales. Yet, it’s available for a low cost and little hassle to yourself. We save you hours on painstaking research and investigation, delivering the data in a format you can easily customise and analyse.
For more information, visit our Competitor Insight page or speak to one of our business consultants on 0800 0828 727.
Please note, due to the ever changing nature of SEO and the search engines, this product is subject to change and amendment. See our website for more details. Information contained within this article is relevant at the time of posting, but is subject to change.