Competitive Analysis Concentrated on Ranking Factors for SEO
With more than a 100 factors that are used in determining website rankings, you could spend a lot of time analyzing your competition and deciding upon your marketing strategy. However some of the ranking factors have more importance than others, so in the interest of time, we usually focus on just a few key items.
The measurements are:
- Google Page Rank: 0/10 – Google scale is 0-10. This number is based on a number of factors and Google periodically changes how it is calculated. The higher this score, the more likely you are to be found in a Google search. You can use the http://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php to check page rank.
- Alexa Ranking: Alexa ranks every website based on the amount of traffic it receives. The lower the ranking the better – the more site traffic you have in comparison to other websites. (Google is ranked #1, Facebook is ranked #2, Youtube.com is ranked #3, Yahoo is ranked #4). To see this ranking use thehttp://www.alexa.com website.
- Google/Yahoo/Bing Index: This refers to the number of pages that are indexed for your site in the Google, Yahoo & Bing search engine. The bigger the score the better. Search engines have determined that a website can be an “authority” site if it has many pages of quality content. An example of this is Wikipedia, a site that has millions of pages and almost always shows up in a web search. To find the number of indexed pages, go to the search engine and type “site:www.sitename.com”.
- Social Media Appearance: Social Media is a growing trend online. These sites can increase your brand image, link popularity, and products or services online exposure. Search sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace to see whether your competitors have taken advantage of social media. You may consider posting a Google Alert on your competitors names to see everything they are doing.
- Links to Home: This refers to how many sites link to your home page the more links the better. You can use the Yahoo site explorer tool to check these links.
- Links to other pages (deep %): This refers to the percentage of total links to the site which are to pages other than the home page. These links are usually very specific for a certain keyword phrase and are very important. The higher the percentage, the better.
- Links to Whole Site: This refers to how many sites link to your whole site including home page the more links the better.
- Dmoz ranking: This refers to how many entries your site has in the open directory, DMOZ.org. These entries are very important because they are highly ranked by the major search engines.
- Creation Date: This refers to the date the domain was purchased and the first pages hosted online. The older the site, the better the search rankings. Buying an older domain saves you a great amount of time because it usually already has links pointing to it.
If you review these ranking factors before starting an SEO project, you will have a better understanding of the steps you’ll have to employ to rise above the competition on search rankings.