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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Want to Drive Business From The Web? Know Your Enemy!

If you're serious about driving business into your organisation using the web, you need to understand what it's going to take. This means reviewing your competition and once again, it's surprisingly straightforward.

Following on from our article about reviewing the keywords you want to rank for, this time I'm going to show you how do some basic SWOT analysis using another free1 SEO tool, Moz.

Once again we're going to use our fictitious wannabe wedding photographer, Sally. If you remember she's in the process of turning her hobby into a business and thanks to our last article she's decided against spending all her money on a website. Sally, you owe us one!

Why Bother?

Some businesses might argue that once they've decided to open up it makes no odds what the competition are up to, it's not going to stop them. That's fair enough, if a little fool hardy, but to us it makes sense to know what you're up against because not knowing doesn't actually make it easier…

What's more, this little exercise isn't like traditional market research (long winded and expensive) it's very quick. In no time at all you'll have a very clear picture of what it's going to take to create a customer magnet website. So let's crack on.

Find a Search Phrase


In our last article we used the phrase wedding photographer London and we established it's a phrase people actually use, it's a phrase worth ranking for. Armed with this and staying with the tool we used to find and analyse the phrase, SEM Rush, we can see the top 25 sites ranking for this phrase.


We now have a list of the top 5 sites (and more) in Google UK for the search phrase wedding photographer London and we can put them into SiteExplorer in Moz to get some metrics that will show us why they rank. You'll need to create a trial account to do this then you'll get something like this.


For the purposes of this article I'm showing the root domain stats not the stats for the individual pages. I'm doing this because page level stats can be misleading if the page exists on a strong domain.

The two simple take aways from this table are the Domain Authority and External Followed Links.

That said, links are not just a numbers game as can be seen by the fact that the site with only 24 external links is ranking higher than sites with many more links. You often see these anomalies when doing this sort of research, gotta love Google.

Ignoring the anomaly site Sally can clearly see from this table that her new website has some work to do to match the sites already ranking for the phrase she wants to rank for. Her Domain Authority will be zero as, in all likelihood will be her link count - although as I keep saying it's not just a count.

What this shows is that Sally is going to have to give a put a lot of thought into how she's going to improve her site's chances of ranking. How is she going to improve its authority? What kind of content is going to encourage people to link to her site? However, by carrying out this simple research she now knows that simply building a website and waiting for the phone to ring isn't a recipe for success.

The Sales Pitch

And finally the sales pitch. If this article has given you food for thought and you're thinking you need some help with your web strategy, website development project or search marketing exercise then call us on +44 (0)1224 443551, email us or use this short form.

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