In the previous post of this series I used Google Adwords to do a very early stage keyword analysis. The Google Adwords Keyword tool is pretty slick, but it only tells part of the story: the paid traffic. I need to see what web pages I’m up against organically. More importantly, I want to learn more about the people behind these websites.
Analyze Ranked Pages Fast
To start my competitive analysis I’ll use the SEOmoz Keyword Difficulty Tool. Maybe it’s ironic, but I did choose keyword research as a supporting term for seo consultant, which I found via the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. I’m not as interested in the competitive score as I am the data the tool provides about the top 10 ranking pages.
SEOmoz allows you to export to CSV or Excel. Here’s mine: keyword-keyword research
Clicking on the magnifying glass will launch Open Site Explorer. Did you know that SEOmoz has their own index of the web and they use this data to evaluate link relationships? Ahrefs, Majestic SEO and other great tools index the web, too. This is why each tool may show different quantities of links when running reports, driving you or your clients bonkers.
Analyze Backlinks Quickly
Take my advice: take it one tool at a time. The image below shows the kind of data Open Site Explorer will return. You can see them all here: Inbound Links OSE
Before I exported the data as a CSV, I applied the following filters:
2 seemingly powerful links catch my eye immediately:
Uncover Real People, Not Links
Websites are run by people. Period.
The first post was written by Lee Odden, CEO of Top Rank Online Marketing. I’ve definitely heard of him, but I doubt he’s heard of me. I need to find out where he lives online and what he likes to read with the hopes of creating something good enough to be published on TopRankBlog.com. Because he’s an SEO he’s likely to see new links to his site from mine.
That’s my first touch point: Google Analytics
Lee has also posted some additional links and social media profiles in his Google Plus account. There might be some clues as to what he loves to read in his Google Plus and Twitter timelines.
His LinkedIn profile gives some insight into how he should be approached. “If you would like to connect with me here on LinkedIn, please include a reason, context for how we are connected. I cannot reply to generic requests. Thanks!”
Seems friendly enough, but he probably gets a lot of spam from nerds like me. But his blog seems pretty popular (and the posts are pretty damn good, too) so I’ll maintain course in this direction. It seems like stalking and maybe it is, but if a professional relationship is my end-game, I need to do my homework.
Find Local People
SEOs tend to hover more around the Twittersphere, so I’ll take a look at who he’s following using another SEOmoz tool: Followerwonk.
Followerwonk lets me zoom in to street level, showing me real, in-person opportunities to network should I venture into Philly, like, tomorrow. As a local SEO consultant I’ll use this to help my clients connect with other businesses in their area, both online and offline.
The next chart shows me the best times to send out a Tweet that Lee is likely to see…
… and the next chart shows what my Tweets should contain.
You can see the full exported list here.
All this for a link? Nope. All this for a relationship.
I highly recommend you give these applications a try. I’ll dive into the 2nd link in my next post. Thanks for reading!