Golden Rule #3: How to Assess Market Competition
In this video we’ll be taking a look at the third Golden Rule of Keyword Research which is Competition.
Of all the Golden Rules this one is perhaps the most important. In fact the number one reason why people fail online is because they break this rule. So please take the time to watch this video carefully.
Specifically we’ll be covering:
(1) The nature of competition
(2) The two most important aspects of competition
(3) How to evaluate the competition in your niche using Market Samurai
The nature of competition
As you know by now, one of the best ways to obtain a steady stream of traffic to your website is to obtain a front page ranking in Google for particular keyword phrases.
The big problem is that there are only 10 listings on the front page of Google for each keyword phrase and there are often many websites competing for these 10 positions.
An Internet marketing fable
A good way to understand the nature of competition in the world of Internet business is the story of the lion and the two Internet Marketers.
The story goes that there were two Internet marketers traveling through the African savannah when they unexpectedly turned a corner and came face to face with a hungry lion.
As the lion began to circle them, the first Internet marketer sat down on a nearby rock, took off his hiking boots and started putting on a pair of sneakers which he had been carrying in his backpack.
The second Internet marketer looked puzzled and said, “What are you doing, you’ll never be able to outrun a lion”
The first Internet marketer looked up and replied, “I don’t need to outrun the lion, I just need to outrun you!”
The moral of this story is that in order to obtain a front page ranking in Google, you don’t need a perfect website, you just need to be a little bit better than your competition.
Amount of competition
There are two important aspects of competition that you need to consider.
The first is the amount of Competition. This gives us an indication of how many people are competing for a particular keyword phrase.
As illustrated in this diagram, some keywords have high levels of competition with a lot of people competing for the top 10 spots in Google.
Other keywords have low levels of competition with a smaller number of people competing for the top spots in Google.
Strength of competition
The second aspect of competition that we need to consider is the strength of the competition.
Imagine for a moment that you are standing in front of two boxing rings side by side.
You’ve decided that you are going to enter the boxing competition and you have to choose which boxing ring you are going to step into.
Luckily before you make your decision you have the chance to assess your potential competition.
As you investigate the first boxing ring you discover that if you enter this ring your competition will be a 270 lb professional fighter.
As you investigate the second boxing ring you discover that if you enter this ring, your competition this time will be a 120lb novice with no prior experience.
The question is - Which ring would you decide to climb into?
In this analogy it is quite obvious that you’d have to be crazy to climb into the first ring.
Internet marketing example
However, let’s now look at this in terms of Internet Marketing.
The two boxing rings, become two different target keywords.
For the first keyword, the top ten spots in Google are dominated by professional, highly optimized websites that have been around for over 10 years and have hundreds of pages of high quality content and thousands of backlinks.
For the second keyword phrase, the top ten spots in Google include simple websites that have not been optimized, are relatively new and only have one or two backlinks.
Clearly you should target the keyword phrase that is less competitive because you will have a much better chance to obtain a front page listing in Google which will lead to a steady stream of traffic and hopefully a steady stream of sales.
The #1 reason why people fail online
In our experience, the number one reason why people fail online is that they never take the time to assess the level and strength of the competition associated with the keywords they are targeting.
Instead, they just climb into a niche market blindly and start creating content. They then hope that Google will somehow find their site and magically give them a front page ranking. Unfortunately, this rarely happens.
The really sad part is that many people work extremely hard to build a great website but still receive little or no traffic because they’ve entered a very competitive niche and the competition is simply too strong.
The real secret to success online is to learn to pick your battles carefully and only target keywords for which you have a good chance of achieving a front page ranking.
If you take this on board and assess the competition associated with your target keywords before you create your online business, you can save yourself months and even years of hard work and frustration.
Now let’s cross over to Market Samurai and take a look at how to assess the amount and strength of the competition in the real world.
Select "No Filters"
In this example I’m exploring the dog training niche. To help emphasize what happens to the keyword list when we filter the competition data, I have turned off any default preset filtering by selecting the option "No Filters".
Click SEO Competition checkbox
As you can see I currently have my SEO Traffic, PBR, and Trends information showing. In order to assess the amount of competition in this niche, I need to go up to the Competition area and click the "SEO Competition" checkbox.
Click the Analyze Keywords button
Market Samurai then displays an empty column with the title SEOC.
In order to retrieve my SEO competition data, all I need to do is just come up here and click the ‘Analyze Keywords’ button.
Market Samurai then goes out to the Internet and gathers the data I need to assess the competition that exists for each of my keyword phrases.
Definition of SEO Competition (SEOC)
The SEOC values that come back show me the total number of webpages that mention the associated keyword phrase in the same word order.
Apply a competition filter of 100,000
Now that I have my SEOC data, I can apply a competition filter. This allows me to filter out the high competition phrases and zero-in on the more accessible keywords.
At Noble Samurai, we recommend that if you are just starting out you should use a competition filter of 100,000 to identify phrases that have acceptable levels of competition.
So I’ll just come up here and click the plus sign next to the SEOC field, and enter a value of 100,000 and press the 'Enter' or 'Return' button on my keyboard.
By using a competition filter I have now identified keyword phrases that have less than 100,000 competing webpages.
But we are not done yet.
Investigate strength of competition
You’ll remember that there were two important aspects of competition. The first was the amount of competition, and the second was the strength of competition.
These SEOC values describe the amount of competition but they do not say anything about the strength of the competition that exists for each keyword phrase.
In order to assess the strength of my competition, I need to make use of one of Market Samurai’s most powerful modules - The SEO Competition Module.
Let’s take a look at an example.
Looking through my list of keywords, let’s say that I’d like to assess the strength of the competition that exists for the phrase ‘puppy obedience training’.
To do this, what I can do is come across here and click this key icon. This will create a new tab at the top of the screen with puppy obedience training as my new seed keyword. To change focus, I’ll just click on this tab.
Access the SEO Competition module
Now to access the SEO Competition module, I’ll just come down here and click the SEO Competition button.
Click the Generate Results button
Then to generate my SEO competition matrix, all I have to do is come across here and click the ‘Generate Results’ button.
Examine SEO Matrix
Market Samurai then conducts a real time SEO analysis of the top 10 websites in Google for the phrase ‘puppy obedience training’.
Don’t worry if this matrix seems a little confusing at first. In a future video I’ll be explaining each column in detail.
For now, I’ll just describe the simplest way to use the matrix.
What we’ve done is to color code the SEO matrix to give you an easy way to conduct a quick visual assessment of the strength of the competition associated with a keyword phrase.
The more green squares there are in the matrix, the weaker the competition and the more accessible the keyword.
Orange squares indicate a higher strength of competition and red squares indicate a strong level of competition.
Here’s an example that will show you what I mean.
This first SEO Matrix relates to the keyword ‘dogs’ and as you can see by the large number of red cells, the top 10 websites listed in Google for this keyword are all very strong competitors.
The second SEO Matrix relates to the keyword phrase ‘dog training degree’. This matrix is a lot less red and a lot more orange and green.
This means that the competition for the top 10 spots in Google associated with this keyword is not as strong.
I would therefore have a much better chance of gaining a front page ranking if I targeted the phrase ‘dog training degree’ than if I targeted the keyword ‘dogs’.
As I mentioned, I’ll be discussing the SEO Matrix in a lot more detail in a future video.
In this video, we discussed the nature of competition in Internet Marketing. We saw that the number 1 reason why people fail online is that they do not take the time to assess the level of competition associated with their target keywords.
Next we identified that it is important to assess both the amount of competition and the strength of competition before deciding on which keyword phrases to target.
And finally we looked at how to assess the amount of competition and the strength of that competition using Market Samurai.
More Keyword Research Lessons
- Introduction to Keyword Research
- Golden Rule #1: How to Find Relevant Keywords
- Golden Rule #2: How to Find High Traffic Keywords
- Golden Rule #3: How to Assess Market Competition
- Golden Rule #4: How to Assess Commerciality
- Golden Rules Case Study
- Finding Long Tail Keywords
- Understanding Match Type Data
- How to Avoid Targeting the Wrong Keywords
- How to add your Google Adwords account details into Market Samurai
- How to Signup for a Google Adwords Account
- How to Use Preset Filters