Golden Rule #3: How to Assess Market Competition
In this video we’ll be taking a look at the third Golden Rule of Keyword Research which is Competition.
Of all the Golden Rules this one is perhaps the most important. In fact the number one reason why people fail online is because they break this rule. So please take the time to watch this video carefully.
This video covers:
Front Page Ranking in Google
As you know by now, one of the best ways to obtain a steady stream of traffic to your website is to obtain a front page ranking in Google for particular keyword phrases.
The big problem is that there are only 10 listings on the front page of Google for each keyword phrase and there are often many websites competing for these 10 positions.
The Two Online Business Owners Fable
A good way to understand the nature of competition on the Internet is the story of the lion and the two online business owners.
The story goes that there were two online business owners traveling through the African jungle when they unexpectedly turned a corner and came face to face with a hungry lion.
As the lion began to circle them, the first online business owner sat down on a nearby rock, took off his hiking boots and started putting on a pair of sneakers which he had been carrying in his backpack.
The second online business owner looked puzzled and said, “What are you doing, you’ll never be able to outrun a lion”
The first online business owner looked up and replied, “I don’t need to outrun the lion, I just need to outrun you!”
The moral of this story is that in order to obtain a front page ranking in Google, you don’t need a perfect website, you just need to be a little bit better than your competition.
Amount Of Competition
There are two important aspects of competition that you need to consider.
The first is the amount of Competition. This gives us an indication of how many people are actively competing for a particular keyword phrase.
As illustrated in this diagram, some keywords have high levels of competition with a lot of people competing for the top 10 spots in Google.
Other keywords have low levels of competition with a smaller number of people competing for the top spots in Google.
Strength Of Competition
The second aspect of competition that we need to consider is the strength of the competition.
Imagine for a moment that you are standing in front of two boxing rings side by side.
You’ve decided that you are going to enter the boxing competition and you have to choose which boxing ring you are going to step into.
Luckily before you make your decision you have the chance to assess your potential competition.
As you investigate the first boxing ring you discover that if you enter this ring your competition will be a 270 lb professional fighter.
As you investigate the second boxing ring you discover that if you enter this ring, your competition this time will be a 120lb novice with no prior experience.
The question is - Which ring would you decide to climb into?
In this analogy it is quite obvious that you’d have to be crazy to climb into the first ring.
Internet Marketing Example
However, let’s now look at this in terms of Internet Marketing.
The two boxing rings, become two different target keywords.
For the first keyword, the top ten spots in Google are dominated by professional, highly optimized websites that have been around for over 10 years and have hundreds of pages of high quality content and thousands of backlinks.
For the second keyword phrase, the top ten spots in Google include simple websites that have not been optimized, are relatively new and only have one or two backlinks.
Clearly you should target the keyword phrase that is less competitive because you will have a much better chance to obtain a front page listing in Google which will lead to a steady stream of traffic and hopefully a steady stream of sales.
The Real Secret To Success Online
In our experience, the number one reason why people fail online is that they never take the time to assess the level and strength of the competition associated with the keywords they are targeting.
Instead, they just enter a niche market blindly and start creating content. They then hope that Google will somehow find their site and magically give them a front page ranking. Unfortunately, this rarely happens.
The really sad part is that many people work extremely hard to build a great website but still receive little or no traffic because they’ve entered a very competitive niche and the competition is simply too strong.
The real secret to success online is to learn to pick your battles carefully and only target keywords for which you have a good chance of achieving a front page ranking.
If you take this on board and assess the competition associated with your target keywords before you create your online business, you can save yourself months and even years of hard work and frustration.
Now let’s cross over to Market Samurai and take a look at how to assess the amount and strength of the competition in the real world.
Turning Off Market Samurai's Automatic Filters
In this example Iʼm exploring the photography niche and here are the keywords I’ve generated.
I should point out that for the sake of this example, I’ve turned off Market Samurai’s automatic filters to make it easier to explain how to use competition filters.
We’ll discuss Market Samurai’s automatic Golden Rules filter in a future video
You’ll notice here that the TAComp column is currently empty. This is the data we need to assess the AMOUNT of competition in this niche.
Title and Anchor Text Competition Example
TAComp stands for Title and Anchor Text Competition.
This is an indication of the number of pages Market Samurai has found that have the keyword phrase you're exploring in both the page title and in the anchor text of an external inbound link.
If a page has a keyword in it’s title and that same keyword appears in the anchor text of an inbound link, there is a good chance that the page is actively competing for that keyword phrase.
In order to retrieve my TAComp data, all I need to do is just come up here and click the “Analyze Keywords” button.
Market Samurai then goes out to the Internet and gathers the data I need to assess the amount of competition that exists for each of my keyword phrases.
Apply a TAComp Filter of 30
Now that I have my TAComp data, I can apply a competition ﬁlter. This allows me to ﬁlter out the high competition phrases and zero-in on the more accessible keywords.
At Noble Samurai, we recommend that if you are just starting out you should use a TAComp filter of 30 to identify phrases that have acceptable levels of competition.
So Iʼll just come up here enter a value of 30 and when I click out of this field my data will refresh.
Identifying Keyword Phrases with a TAComp of 30
By using the TAComp competition ﬁlter I have now identiﬁed keyword phrases that have a maximum of 30 pages competing for the top spot in Google by including the phrase in the page title and in the anchor text of an inbound link.
What this really means is that if I target one of these keywords, I’ll have a much better chance of getting on to the front page of Google in order to generate a stream of on-going free traffic.
Two Important Aspects of Competition: 1) The Amount of Competition
But we are not done yet.
Youʼll remember that there were TWO important aspects of competition. The ﬁrst was the amount of competition..
2) Strength of Competition
and the second was the strength of competition.
The SEO Competition Module
These TAComp values describe the amount of competition but they do not say anything about the strength of the competition that exists for each keyword phrase.
In order to assess the strength of my competition, I need to make use of one of Market Samuraiʼs most powerful modules - The SEO Competition Module.
Letʼs take a look at an example.
Accessing The Competition of Particular Keywords
Looking through my list of keywords, letʼs say that Iʼd like to assess the strength of the competition that exists for the phrase ʻhigh fashion photographyʼ.
Finding a New Seed Keyword
To do this, what I can do is come across here and click this key icon
Your New Seed Keyword Tab
This will create a new tab at the top of the screen with high fashion photography as my new seed keyword.
Accessing The SEO Competition Module
To swap to this new keyword, Iʼll just click on this tab and now to access the SEO Competition module, Iʼll just come down here and click the SEO Competition button.
Generating SEO Competition results
Market Samurai then conducts a real time SEO analysis of the top 10 websites in Google for the phrase ʻhigh fashion photographyʼ.
Donʼt worry if this matrix seems a little confusing at ﬁrst. In a future video Iʼll be explaining each column in detail.
For now, Iʼll just describe the simplest way to use the matrix.
Understanding SEO Competition results
The more green squares there are in the matrix, the weaker the competition and the more accessible the keyword.
Orange squares indicate a higher strength of competition and red squares indicate a strong level of competition.
An Example Of SEO Competition Results
This ﬁrst SEO Matrix relates to the keyword “photography” and as you can see by the large number of red cells, the top 10 websites listed in Google for this keyword are all very strong competitors.
The second SEO Matrix relates to our example keyword phrase ʻhigh fashion photographyʼ. This Matrix is a lot less red and a lot more orange and green.
This means that the competition for the top 10 spots in Google associated with this keyword is not as strong.
I would therefore have a much better chance of gaining a front page ranking if I targeted the phrase ʻhigh fashion photographyʼ than if I targeted the keyword ʻphotographyʼ.
So let’s just quickly recap what we’ve covered in this video…
We began by highlighting the importance of competition in Internet Marketing. We saw that the number 1 reason why people fail online is that they do not take the time to assess the level of competition associated with their target keywords.
Next we identiﬁed that it is important to assess both the amount of competition and the strength of competition before deciding on which keyword phrases to target.
And ﬁnally we looked at how to assess the amount of competition and the strength of that competition using the keyword research and SEO competition modules.
More Keyword Research Lessons
- Introduction to Keyword Research
- Golden Rule #1: How to Find Relevant Keywords
- Golden Rule #2: How to Find High Traffic Keywords
- Golden Rule #3: How to Assess Market Competition
- Golden Rule #4: How to Assess Commerciality
- Golden Rules Case Study
- How to add your Google Adwords account details into Market Samurai
- How to Signup for a Google Adwords Account
- How to Use Preset Filters