Market intelligence is the defining strategic advantage held by your competitors. Similarly, if you know where to look, what to look for and how to determine what causes proceed the effects responsible for producing a top 10 position in search engines, then you can reverse-engineer those results or create an economy of scale to reproduce a similar result.
Despite the misconception of SEO being a cure-all for a comprehensive marketing strategy, it is important to screen the metrics that work and minimize the duds that create noise when implementing a strategic, market or competitor analysis.
While there is no need to recreate the wheel, often you can reverse-engineer many of the effects competitors produce by assessing the trail of data they leave behind.
No matter how many people funnel or sift through your pages, there is no substitute for properly segmented traffic (based on factual keyword research), engaging content (to appease your audience) and a well structured value proposition to encourage them to take action and convert into customers.
With the millions of dollars being spent monthly by companies that understand the value of conversion and ranking for multiple competitive keywords, SEO by far is one of the most cost-effective methods for delivering visitors to your site (compared to PPC, banner advertising, cost per lead or cost per acquisition sales).
The reason is simple; the online real estate represented by the organic/natural listing on a search engine and the respective click-through-rate captured by that real estate is considered an invaluable resource.
Organic traffic is based on the social barometer from the collective web at large indicating that “this result is here because others endorse it” and “vote it up through citation” vs. someone paying for it. This genuine quality is the preferred search result of choice.
Unlike the sponsored segments of search engines (which are masked ads in disguise) organic traffic has the highest percentage of traffic (8 out of 10 clicks are on the organic real estate). What this means to business owners is simple; while SEO may take more time to yield results, once critical mass has been reached and your page or website has garnered enough trust to appear for specific keywords and variable key phrases, maintaining a higher ranking and relevant position becomes easier to produce as the site ages and gains momentum.
Similarly, the more related keywords your site appears for makes it easier to rank for alternative modifiers, misspellings or keyword variations based on the keywords root/semantic theme.
If you can properly gauge:
- The competitors occupying the top 10 positions
- The amount of content, pages or links required
- Their budget and the amount of time they have invested into reaching critical mass
You can scale your web property accordingly as a result of the cues they leave behind. With this in mind, you should not have high hope of ousting an authority site with a flimsy plan of attack (or have a steak dinner on a hamburger budget).
Most websites fail miserably in competing for market share as a result of underestimating the shear amount of layers involved in capturing a semi-competitive or competitive keyword. Competitive keywords can take 1 to 2 years to cement, others can fall in place in a few months (it all depends).
What is certain is, that websites do not just magically appear in the top 10 results. It requires on page optimization, internal link structure and link sculpting, relevant content saturation to produce the necessary on page signals that are precursors of authority as well as a democratic seal of peer review from other websites citing yours or linking to it – prior to it being considered a top 10 contender for a competitive keyword or vertical market.
With this in mind, the last thing you want to do is waste time or assets on targeting the wrong keywords – or worse yet, not optimizing the conversion funnels for the traffic you receive or intend to receive as a result of search engine optimization.
Trying to determine which is worse, getting traffic with no way to track, segment or convert them into visitors or not engaging the SEO process to begin with is double edged sword.
While the value of conversion represents something distinct and unique to each website (depending on what the objective of that traffic is), the fact that having a prominent position in search engines (through paid or organic positioning) is a necessity for business.
There are various traffic sources (some stronger than others), but regardless of how someone reached your website becomes less important if there is no direction once they arrive.
So, before you start an SEO campaign, you should be well aware of how competitive the space is, what the average tipping point is from the top 10 competitors holding down the space, what the reward is for owning a top 10 position and what kind of traffic and conversion you can expect once you get there (based on your conversion funnel).
To provide some layer of insight, for a limited time, SEO Design Solutions is providing a FREE Competitor, Keyword and Market Analysis to provide the framework for a new SEO campaign. Now is your chance to get off the bench and into the game and assess (1) your real competitors (2) what online assets they have acquired (content, links, clout) and gain an idea of what it would take for you to compete.
Take advantage of this offer before we pull the plug by requesting a keyword inspection for your website today.