Internet Marketing Toronto – Post 2: Competition Review

Clive Lobo

Internet Marketing Toronto Post #2: Competition Review

In our previous post we walked you through identifying the best keywords you need for your business and how they relate to ranking for a geographic location – in our case Toronto. This week we’re reviewing your competitors – specifically what information you should be tracking about the people who rank for your most important terms. This information lays the foundation for your own search engine optimization – the end result of which is to rank on the first page, if not first place for your most important terms.

The Spreadsheet!

The spreadsheet you produce should have the following columns of information in it. You can also expand this to include other data as you see fit – but these are the ones we recommend at a minimum.

  • Domain
  • PR
    The PR is not as important these days – you’ll see low PR sites outrank high PR sites for certain terms. However, you do want to grow this over time.
  • # of Backlinks
    The total number of links is not as important as the quality of the link, and the anchor text used on the link.The
  • # of Pages Indexed (Google)
    You only need enough content on your site to rank for the terms you’re after. So you don’t need thousands of pages but rather just enough to cover your keywords. Make sure that Google is indexing as many if not all of your pages. Those that are not indexed you can try linking to them directly from your home page and submitting an XML sitemap to Google through webmaster tools.
  • DMOZ (are they in the DMOZ directory?)
    DMOZ helps establish some authority for your site. It’s an old and well trusted directory.
  • Dir.Yahoo! (are they in the Yahoo! Directory?)
    Indicates to the search engines that you are serious about your web presence and your willing to pay to direct people to it.
  • BOTW (are they in the Best of the Web directory?)
    Same as Dir.Yahoo.
  • Google Local (are they appearing in Google Local at the top of the SERPS?)
    This helps Google realize your serious about ranking for this particular term and being found by people in this specific Geography. You’re also willing to invest the time to configure your profile properly.
  • Age of Domain
    The older the domain the better – but it’s not the only factor. You can make your domain miraculously older than some elses. Typically the older the domain the more trusted it is as it’s been around for a while.
  • PPC (are they running PPC ads?)
    This too indicates to the search engines that your serious about your website and driving traffic to it. Google claims they do not influence the search engine results pages with data from PPC but we’re not convinced. It may only have a minor weighting but it could very well help you rank better – leave this as a last resort.

You can compile all of this information fairly quickly using tools such as SEO For Firefox and Yahoo! Site Explorer. Once you have all of this information you’ll see the profile of your competition and you’ll know what your up against.

I like to store this information in the same excel work book as the keyword research – just add it in as another sheet. For convenience we’ve included a link to the sample spreadsheet below.

Download: Internet Marketing Toronto – Keyword Research With Competition Sheet

Up next: Post #3: On Page Optimization. Find out what changes you need to make to your website in order to improve your rankings for geo targeted terms!

Clive Lobo

Spark’s resident boss man, Clive possesses the very nature of an entrepreneurial spirit.

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