How To Unmask Your Google Competition
One of the most common mistakes people make when they start an Internet business is to immediately begin working on a product or website without exploring the market first.
Unfortunately many people waste a great deal of time, effort and money because they don’t take the time to understand the demographics or buying behavior of the their target market.
In this video I’d like to show you some of the additional features available in Market Samurai that can help you to understand your market and your competition.
Specifically we’ll be looking at:
- How to use Google Trends to examine online search trends
- How to become an online detective and investigate who your competitors really are
- How to gain a powerful insight into the demographics of the market you’re targeting.
Create a New Project
For this example, I’m going to explore the dog training market. To begin, I’ll create a new project...
... I’ll add the keyword ‘dog training’...
Access SEO Competition Module
...and then come across and access the SEO Competition module.
Now to obtain a list of the top 10 sites in Google for this keyword, all I have to do is click the Generate Results button.
Access Site Analysis Tools
So here are the top 10 competitors for the phrase ‘dog training’.
Now lets take a closer look at the number one ranked website.
To begin my research I’m going to click on this small arrow to reveal an additional level of research tools.
Access Google Trends
The first tool we’re going to explore in this video is Google Trends. To access the Google Trends website all I have to do is click this link.
Market Samurai then opens a new window containing the Google Trends page associated with the website that I am investigating.
(1) Here I can see that this site has been gradually gaining more daily visitors over the last twelve months.
(2) I can also see that it is particularly popular in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
I can also dig a little deeper by clicking on one of these region links...
...and here I can see that this site is particularly popular in California.
This might give you a clue to also investigate related search phrases that contain the words 'California' or 'Los Angeles' in order to find some highly targeted traffic.
Google Trends is also useful for comparing websites. For example let’s compare the trends associated with the sites Facebook.com and MySpace.com.
This clearly shows that the use of Facebook is on a steady upward trend while the use of MySpace is on a slight downward trend.
OK, let me just close this window and we’ll get back to Market Samurai.
Access the WhoIs Registry
The next external service we can use to investigate a site is the WhoIs registry
The WhoIs Registry
This site contains the registration details associated with different domains.
So here are the registration details associated with the number one ranked website for the keyword term ‘dog training’.
In this case I can see the name of the site owner, his address, phone number and email address.
This is often a great way to obtain the contact details of people but of course you should never spam people or use this information inappropriately.
From this information I can also see that the owner of this site has used a product called Site Build It to create this website. Site Build It is a product developed by Ken Evoy which provides a step-by-step system for developing websites that are well optimized for the search engines.
So as you can see the WhoIs registry can offer some interesting information about your online competitors and their business models.
The next external service we’re going to take a look at is Quantcast.
Quantcast gives us a number of useful estimates.
First of all it reveals that the dog obedience training review website is receiving approximately 85 thousand visitors per month. Now this is not necessarily an accurate measure but it does give us some idea of the magnitude of traffic associated with the site.
Another useful feature of Quantcast is that it provides an easy way to explore the demographics associated with a particular market.
Just to clarify, the demographics of a website relates to the characteristics of the people who use the site.
If I click on the demographics option, Quantcast suggests that the users of this website are slightly more female than male.
These percentages show the distribution of ages of the site users. This suggests that the most common users are aged between 18 and 34.
The index graphs indicate how this site compares to the Internet Average. So this graph suggests that this site is more popular with teenagers than the average Internet website.
The next graph suggests that most of the users of this site are Caucasian but also that the site is also more popular than average amongst Hispanic users.
I can also see that the average user has children...
...is in a middle income bracket...
...and possibly did not attend college.
Once again, these statistics are not exact but they can be quite helpful.
For example, knowing that the majority of visitors to this site are middle aged females, the owner may decide to develop more articles to particularly target this core demographic.
Coming back to Market Samurai, the final external service you can use to investigate your competition is Alexa.
Alexa Traffic Rank
While Alexa provides a wide range of information, it’s probably best known for its Alexa traffic rank list. This is a list that ranks websites based on the amount of traffic they receive.
So here I can see that based on Alexa traffic levels, the website dog-obedience-training-review.com is ranked 68,470 in the world.
It’s important to note that the Alexa data is based on people using the Alexa Toolbar and is therefore not representative of all Internet users but it does give us a useful way to compare traffic levels of different websites.
The Contact Info tab provides me with contact details for this website and these are the same as those that were listed in the Whois directory.
Another useful feature is that I can use the Keyword tab to find out the top keywords that are driving traffic to this website, and as I’d expect the number one keyword phrase is ‘dog training’. This list also gives me some great additional keywords to explore using Market Samurai.
I can also click the Clickstream tab to see the upstream and downstream sites associated with the site I’m investigating. The upstream site is the site visitors came from and the downstream site is the site they move onto after leaving this site.
(1) This shows me that the vast majority of the traffic for this site is coming directly from google.
And finally I can gain a second insight into the demographics of the website’s user-base using the Demographics tab.
While these demographic indicators are not exactly the same as those from Quantcast, they do reinforce the suggestion that the main users of this site are middle aged females.
So as you can see, these external services provide you with a number of powerful ways to explore online trends, investigate your competition and obtain a clearer picture of the core demographic associated with different markets.
Using this information allows you to create content and marketing materials that specifically cater for the needs of your target market.