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Are Your Competitors Beating You With SEO? 8 Easy Ways To Tell

Posted by Priyo Mukherjee on Friday July 9, 2010
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Search engine optimization is a popular way to increase online business, and for small business organizations it’s become mandatory. Almost every small business owner with an online store or website has started to use SEO strategies.  Although it is challenging to conclude whether or not your competition is using SEO because SEO is complex (there are more than 100 artistic & natural ways to promote a website) here are a few basic strategies.

Do you know the current position of your company in the SERPS?  Do you know the position of your competitors?  How can you determine whether or not your competitors are using SEO or implementing SEO strategies on their website?  To find out if your competitor is doing SEO for their website, you can check the following:

  • Current Ranking: Use Spy Foo, to find out if your competitor is ranked well on search engines with industry leading keywords in organic or paid advertisements.  If they are ranked with industry related keywords, they might be using SEO.
  • Web Traffic Tracking System: If your competitors employ SEO, they will definitely use some measures to track web traffic. Try to view their HTML source code and identify if the website uses any effective web traffic tracking systems. Most reliable tracking systems add a tracking code just before the </body> tags. For example, your will find Google Analytics tracking code on the bottom of that page, just before the </body> tag.
  • Page Title: Have a look on the HTML title of your competitor’s website. Try to determine whether or not they composed this text using industry related keywords. Are all the HTML titles unique throughout their website? If the answer is yes, then they might be doing SEO for their business.
  • Meta Description & keywords: Most SEO practice includes effective Meta Description & keywords tag optimization. Are the Meta descriptions & keywords tags properly composed using industry related keywords?  Are the Meta descriptions & keywords tags unique through over the website?
  • Robots Information: Try to find the robots.txt file on the root of the server. The ideal location of this file is www.example.com/robots.txt. The Meta tag syntax for the same is:
    <meta name=”robots” content=”robots-terms”>
    robots.txt.  “Robots” Meta tags are used to inform search engines which pages they should access and which should not. Good SEO practice includes effective robots optimization.
  • 404 Error Page: Write “/qwerasdf.html” after the domain name in your browser address box and hit enter. If you see any Error pages then they might use a SEO service. Most SEO services include “404 error page” optimization.
  • Internal Linking: Try to find out if the website has maximized internal linking using keywords. Do they use keywords for linked internal page? If so, then your competitor might use SEO.
  • Back-Links: Looking at back-links will not help you to identify whether or not your competitor is doing SEO directly, but it’ll provide an idea as to how many back-links your competitors have. More links are better for SEO. To get an idea of numbers of Back-links, you might want to use Yahoo! Site Explorer.

As I mention above, SEO is complicated and includes more than 100 techniques, but these are some of the techniques used to identify whether or not a competitor is doing SEO for their website. To learn more, contact Boomtown Internet Group for a detailed competitor analysis.  For further details, you may contact Sue McCrossin at 888.454.3330 or by email at Sue.McCrossin@boomtownig.com.

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