SEO Competitive Research


Published on

Seth Besmertnik, CEO, Conductor, Inc.
Kristopher Jones, President & CEO, KBJ Interactive

Thursday, March 24, 2011

An essential component of any search marketing plan is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. This knowledge helps you comprehend what links to gain, ad prices to pay, content to offer and customers to seek. In this session, we take a close look at what tricks you can use with search engines to analyze your competitors' game and also what free and premium tools are available to deep dive into their strategy. Join us for a candid discussion as panelists reveal their secrets for monitoring competitive forces and threats while sharing tips that can be successfully applied to any business intelligence effort. After attending this session, you'll have the skills to easily discover what keywords your competitor is targeting, how much your competitor is spending on ads, and be able to identify opportunities your competitor is missing.

Published in: Technology, Design

SEO Competitive Research

  1. 1. Competitive Research Kristopher B. Jones Founder / CEO of KBJ CapitalFounder and Former President / CEO of Pepperjam Author, “SEO Visual Blueprint”
  2. 2. About Kris•  Founder of Pepperjam, a full-service internet marketing agency / affiliate network sold to GSI Commerce (NASDAQ – GSIC) in 2009•  Best selling author of “SEO Visual Blueprint” (Wiley – 1st ed. 2008, 2nd ed. 2010)•  Founder of KBJ Capital, an early stage technology angel fund (i.e. APPEK Mobile Apps,,,•  Internet Marketing Consultant / Overpaid Public Speaker; New Venture is Supposedly Imminent.
  3. 3. Why Do Competitive Research?•  Identify your competition; benchmark for SEO / PPC purposes•  Better understand your competition for purposes of optimal resource allocation•  Gain insights into trends; identify opportunities•  Save time; Create efficiencies•  Duplicate success; Avoid failure•  It’s fun!•  Sometimes too much fun!
  4. 4. Search-Based Competitive Research•  Helps you understand what, why, and how high your competition ranks for specific keywords•  SEM / SEO competitive research tools are a great source for keyword generation, as well as comparative analysis (How you rank for specific keywords versus competition)•  Provides insight into keyword popularity and serves as a measure of duplicating rankings•  Using the following “retail” tools will save you an extraordinary amount of time and resources
  5. 5. Trend Analysis with Google Trends•  Serves as a great resource for you to identify all types of trends; trends allow you to anticipate demand and take action before your competitors do•  Provides relative data on how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.•  Google Trends is a great place to begin thinking about competitive research; it gets the juices flowing•  DEMO -
  6. 6. Search Trend Data with GoogleInsights for Search•  More advanced version of Google Trends; Provides insights into the search terms people have been entering into the Google search engine.•  Unlike Google Trends, Google Insights for Search provides a visual representation of regional interest on a countrys map.•  It displays top searches and rising searches that may help with keyword research. Results can be narrowed down with categories that are displayed for each search terms.•  DEMO -
  7. 7. Keyword Research with KeywordSpy•  Allows you to perform keyword research based on what keywords your competition is bidding for on a pay-per- click basis, as well as what keywords your competition ranks for organically on major search engines.•  Offers real-time keyword tracking technology which allows you to easily assess the effectiveness of your keyword ranking, which in turn can influence your keyword research strategy.•  Offers limited free version; Prices range from $90 up per month.•  DEMO -
  8. 8. Keyword Research with KeyCompete•  KeyCompete is an online keyword research tool that identifies the keywords your competitors are using in their pay-per-click campaigns.•  KeyCompete also identifies the competition that is bidding on your keywords.•  Pricing ranges from $19 per day to $300 per yr.•  Popular tool with affiliate marketers
  9. 9. Analyze Your Competition withSEMRush•  Shows you how well you rank for specific keywords versus your competition (PPC & SEO)•  Provides estimates of keyword popularity•  Includes international competitive research data•  Offers limited free version / monthly plans start at $49.95•  DEMO –
  10. 10. Analyze Your Competition•  Allows you to analyze your competition, including the keywords your competitors rank for on search engines, as well as how Web site users interact with your competitors’ Web sites.•  Compete’s large data set is made possible through the distribution of the Compete toolbar, which collects information as a user surfs the Web•  Limited free version; Costs $199 and up per month•  Learn more at
  11. 11. “Other” Research Tools that DeserveYour Attention•  Google Keyword Suggestion Tool -•  Wordtracker Keyword Suggestion Tool -•  SEObook Keyword Suggestion Tool -•  Facebook / Twitter / Delicious / Reddit / Digg
  12. 12. Building Links: Evaluate PotentialLinking Partners•  One of the most effective ways to find potential quality link partners is to mimic the efforts of your most successful competition.•  However, not all links are created equally, so you should evaluate each potential linking partner for quality. This can be accomplished by analyzing numerous link-quality factors.
  13. 13. Determine Link Popularity and AnalyzeBacklinks with Open Site Explorer•  Provides high level data on a range of metrics, including page authority, domain authority, linking domains, anchor text distribution, and a range of other important link analysis data•  Free version provides limited data; part of the SEOmoz premium family of tools; offers a 30-day free trial and plans range from $99 per month up -•  DEMO -
  14. 14. Enterprise Competitive Research Tools•  Enterprise tools are used primarily by large corporations and agencies. Tools range in price from a few thousand dollars per month up and include competitive intelligence on the internet’s most popular Web sites.•  Enterprise tools are derived from very large data sets and tend to be highly functional versus retail tools.•  Enterprise examples include ComScore, HitWise, Adobe’s Omniture, and Conductor
  15. 15. Other Competitive Research•  Google Analytics – mine your own data!•  Google News Alerts -•  FlipBoard (for the iPad) and other news aggregators•  Neilson helps media companies better understand viewers, listeners and the industry as a whole.•  Industry conferences
  16. 16. Now what?•  “Its not what you know, its what you do with what you know.”•  Competitive research is fun, but you can suffer from Paralysis of Analysis or over-analyzing (or over- thinking) a situation, so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.•  In short, my recommendation is to take action in baby steps; Understanding that solid, actionable competitive research is integral to your success, but shouldn’t dictate your every move. J
  17. 17. Thank you!•  Stay in touch with me!•  I blog @•  E-mail - (I answer all emails)•  Twitter @krisjonescom•  Facebook -•  Linkedin –•  My book “SEO Visual Blueprint” is available in all major bookstores, online, and digitally on the Kindle
  18. 18. Seth BesmertnikFounder / CEO of Conductor Inc. Tweet @conductor
  19. 19. Founded in 2005 Most Widely Used Enterprise SEO platformOptimizing Over $3 Billion Worth of SEO revenue Powering SEO for Over 100 Leading BrandsLargest SEO Technology Company in the World Tweet @conductor
  20. 20. Tweet @conductor
  21. 21. ”…who are my search competitors?”Understanding who your traditional and non-traditionalcompetitors are is the first stage of a long term competitiveintelligence strategy Google Operator SEMrush Tweet @conductor
  22. 22. Tweet @conductor
  23. 23. ”…where is my competitive keyword overlap?”Determining the competitive overlap is a sure fire way tobegin identifying new opportunities and tracking yourcompetitive progress SpyFu Kombat Tweet @conductor
  24. 24. ”…why are my competitors outranking me?”Intelligence into the search strategies of your competitorsgives you the power to make accurate business decisionsand stay ahead of the curve. Yahoo SiteExplorer Backlink & Anchor Text Analysis Tweet @conductor
  25. 25. Tweet @conductor
  26. 26. Tweet @conductor
  27. 27. ”…can competitive intelligence help me get investment for search?”Analyzing how much your competitors invest in search andresources they have will help you build a business case forsearch.Conductor Share of Search Report Linkedin (Free Resource) Tweet @conductor
  28. 28. ”…how do I balance my natural and paid competitive strategies?”Integrate your paid and natural platform to maintain highrankings and keep the edge in search while yourcompetitors use up resources and budget. Google AdWords Keyword Paid & Natural Integration Research Tools Tweet @conductor
  29. 29. Download All Todays Material From Got a Question? Twitter @besmertnik or Call 1.888.9CONDUCT Tweet @conductor