View Full Version : How to evaluate keyword phrase and determine how competitive it really is.
10-17-2004, 03:16 AM
How to evaluate keyword phrase and determine how competitive it really is?Can anyone help?
10-17-2004, 08:00 AM
Welcome to the forums, argusz. I asked that very same question in my early days, and one of the most helpful answers I got was that the numbers don't tell it all.
Initially, it's a matter of researching the number of searches done, which isn't totally accurate, but it can give *relative* numbers, and then checking how many pages are returned for the search at Google (and now, Yahoo). Beyond that, one of the most telling is to look and see who the competition is. If there aren't very many SEO'd sites it generally isn't as difficult to compete as in areas where it's obvious that sites have had "professional" optimization done or are using aggressive techniques.
I personally use the numbers as the initial benchmark, but like to look at the sites themselves, and look around at the searches for different signs, to help in making the decisions on what to target.
10-17-2004, 10:49 AM
When I'm looking to measure the competition, I look at several factors. First I check out the general numbers on the search term. Then I'll do an allintitle:search phrase for the term and see how many pages out there actually have a focus on the term.
Next I'll do an allinanchor:search term to see how many sites are actively (or possibly are that good and relevant that they are passively) gaining links for the term.
I will also check out the bid prices at overture for the term. I never base solids on those however, because people can have different reasons for high bids. It could be a branding exercise and it could be that they don't know what they're doing. But, the number of bidders will usually give an idea of the interest in the term.
Then I'll also check out the serps and look for spam. Spammers are pros and the amount of presence they have in the serps can usually tell me how profitable it has the likelihood of being.
Now, this doesn't take into account the conversions of these terms. Once you start pulling in traffic, you'll need to look at conversions and figure out which terms are "truly" the most competitive for you to go after in terms of ROI.
I'm sure everyone has their own method they do in order to check out competition. The above works for me when I am really researching a term from scratch that I have no prior experience with.
10-18-2004, 03:47 AM
An allintitle / intitle is a good method to find the exact quantity of people directly targeting a phrase within their pages. allintitle:keyword phrase or intitle:keyword phrase.
10-19-2004, 04:54 AM
I'm afraid i need a systematic, complete and step-by-step guide because i knew the methods you've mentioned about and did a lot of research but still don't know how to evaluate accurately which keyword phrase is reachable. It's better if you can take some examples. Thanks in advance.
1. cheap laptop
2. home based business
10-19-2004, 05:45 AM
Well, we can't "do your homework" for you on specifics like that - that takes extensive *work* time on our part. But I can tell you right off the bat that those are killer-competitive keyword phrases in markets where the "big boys" play.
Google search for hotels (http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&q=hotels) - 203 million pages returned. At at Yahoo, competing with Yahoo! Travel to boot, on top of those.
If you're fairly new to the art of seo it'll be a long uphill climb to bucking the competition for those. A simpler route to profitability might well be to target some lighter weight terms in a less viciously competitive market.
10-19-2004, 08:40 AM
I'm afraid i need a systematic, complete and step-by-step guide because i knew the methods you've mentioned about and did a lot of research but still don't know how to evaluate accurately which keyword phrase is reachable.
Ok, without reinventing the wheel, as Marcia has already stated, this is a very time consuming exercise, so if you have a look in the forum for posts by a moderator here "orion (http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/member.php?u=25)", you will actually get the full semantic breakdown on how to analyse keyword phrases for best selection. I am warning you though, this is a science that many SEO's have to learn, thus we cannot teach easily, as we would have to write a novel on the subject, hence you will be reading when you find the post by orion.
It's better if you can take some examples. Thanks in advance.
1. cheap laptop
2. home based business
Marcia stated this, though I will give you the hard solid reality off it. If you want to target the words above, then you would need $200,000+ to even look through the door at hotels. If they are nothing more than examples, then good stuff. Yes, an allintitle / intitle search doesn't tell you much more than how many are directly competing. Competitive does not necessarily mean effective traffic. Here is a thread over at HR that Randy posted about click through stats: http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=10132. You can use this as part of your basic homework and analysis if you desire. Go into word tracker, find your phrases and take the search queried qty with the phrase, ie. how many times the phrase is being queried on a monthly basis. Organise your phrases in order of monthly query, most to least. You can use Randy's figures to then get an estimate on actual traffic delivery from each term. Compare with wordtracker if you desire. Now you have that, use the allintitle / intitle function or associated function depending on search engine to find how many pages are approximately competing for that term directly within the title. All good optimized pages contain the term in the title. You can then change your list to reflect the actual competing pages and decide for yourself which will be the best to commence with, ie. The least amount of work for the most amount of possible traffic. Then work your way through the list and perform your SEO and link analysis.
That is about the bare basic concept to achieving the desired aim. Honestly, it takes me on average, 8 hours on keyword research for the average SEO job. Your obviously aware where you need to spend your time....keywords. Good start.
I hope that shines a little light for you. As stated, if you want to get into the science of it, then you want to start at Orion's posts and semantic breakdown of analysing keywords for best term presence and so forth. You may also want to search for such terms as: keyword research science and other derivatives to possibly find scientific papers on the study and analysis of keywords.
10-19-2004, 09:27 AM
"because i knew the methods you've mentioned about and did a lot of research but still don't know how to evaluate accurately which keyword phrase is reachable"
I'm going to be very frank here. If you can't do the above, you are no where near being able to compete with the guys running in those serps. I suggest trying to find a smaller niche market to get your feet wet and come back to the big markets you mentioned when you have a little more experience under your belt.