Let’s consider the stages of a successful SEO campaign:
- Setting goals and defining where you’re going, and what’re you’re planning to achieve
- Research the competition and analyzing the market Analysis
- Keyword research, which means selecting keywords with the best search-volume-to-competition ratio
- On-site SEO, optimizing meta titles, creating correct robots.txt file, creating and submitting a .xml sitemap of your site, and a thorough analysis of your site’s content and structure
- Link building
- Results analysis
Now let’s look at those stages in more detail.
Competitive Research and Market Analysis
Be neither afraid nor ashamed of spying on your competitors and borrowing ideas from them. Surely you can create your own unique SEO strategy and stick to it, but remember that while innovation is adorable, it’s rarely successful. Statistics show that innovators only make use of around 2% of the total value of their innovations, the rest obviously goes to imitators.
If you look closely for a good technique or strategy to copy, there’s a good chance that you will surpass its inventor eventually!
The trick is to know whom to copy and on whom to spy. How do you do that?
To identify your true competitors and sites worth investigating, all you need is to type a couple of the most popular queries in your niche into Google, and the guys that occupy the top 20 positions in the search engine results pages (or SERPs for short) are worth studying and copying.
When you get those top 20 results for your query, make sure you’ve got SEO Quake plugin for Firefox installed and turned on. It makes the Google results look like this:
This plugin shows lots of useful information on a domain, but what’s most crucial is the Alexa rank. Alexa rank reflects the traffic to a site. The smaller the Alexa rank is, the better the site performs.
After you’ve found the sites with the smallest Alexa rank, go to Semrush.com and add your competitor’s URL. SemRush will give you the URLs of your competitors both in organic search results and in paid AdWords campaigns.
It’s a very helpful tool, because it gives you an idea of the traffic you can hope for if you get to top positions in Google, as it also shows how much traffic your competitor’s site is getting from organic top 20 results.