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How to analyze your local business competitors

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It’s important to understand the online marketplace for your products or services. After doing your keyword research to find the best keywords to use on your local business website, a very critical step is to analyze your competition for each of those keywords on the first page of Google. The true litmus test of a good keyword is whether you will be able to rank for it easily in about 1 to 3 months. If a keyword is very competitive it could take 6 months to 1 year to see your website on Page 1 of Google for that keyword. Therefore, analyzing your competition will help you choose the best keywords that match your financial and time resources.

Here are some tips on how to analyze your competition for each keyword:

First of all install SEO Quake on your Firefox browser. This tool will give you important statistics on the each and every search engine result. SEOQuake can be added to Chrome, FireFox, Opera, and Safari browsers. http://www.seoquake.com/
Enter your keyword term in the search engine. It’s best to use Google since it has the greatest share of search engine users. Just type in the keyword in plain text and do not use any quotation marks.

Focus on analyzing the first page results and particularly the top 3 results since these get 80% of the clicks. After all, this is where you want to see your website ranking.
Check the Page Rank of the sites that are currently ranking on page 1 using the SEO Quake tool. If a majority of the sites, especially the top 3 have page rank of 4 or under, that is a green light. However, if you see Page Ranks of 5 and above, then that term is very competitive and can take your 6 months plus to get decent rankings.

Check the number of backlinks that each site has. If the sites have 100 or less backlinks that is a good sign but if the backlinks are over 500 or several thousand, then we may want to drop that keyword. Remember we are looking at backlinks to the page/article and not the website. A website can have many backlinks pointing to its domain or homepage, but not to the page that is currently ranking.

Finally, analyze these backlinks to see if they are from sites with high page rank. If you click on the backlinks link under the result, a new window will open that lists the backlink sources. Look through the list and take note of the page rank of each result. If these are from low page ranks such as 0 to 2, then that shows these are of lower quality and will be easy to outrank if you use better quality backlinks.

If this is too technical for you or your team, contact us today and we can help you better understand your local business competitors.

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Hi. I'm Vince, a web guy based in Tampa, Florida. I've been building web sites since 1996, and I have great passion for design and usability. I have a wonderful family and 2 great dogs. Feel free to say "Hi", and checkout my latest e-books.

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