Part 2 – Assessing Local SEO Competition

This is the second part of our Local SEO competition assessment series. In the first part we talked about the major factors in assessing your local competition. Be sure to read Assessing Local SEO Competiton – Part 1 before reading this second part.

We’ll continue with the example we used in Part 1 – Biloxi Seafood Restaurants. Using the Google Keyword Tool, we saw that there are over 33,000 monthly keyword searches related to our term. That’s significant traffic. The next step is to evaluate the top three positions for our example. When you actually perform this assessment, you will probably want to go at least 10 deep. If the competition is really strong, I would go out to 30 and more.

SeoQuake FireFox Plugin

The Firefox Browser is the browser used by many SEO specialist. It’s a great tool for small business SEO. The first step is making sure you have Firefox installed. If you don’t, go to http://mozilla.org and download it now.

The tool we’ll be using for our assessment in Part 2 is the SeoQuake plugin for Firefox. Go to http://seoquake.com and click the install SeoQuake button.

SeoQuake Install Button

You’ll see the following screen in Firefox.

install SEO Quake

Wait until the Install Button counts down and then click it. You may be asked to select whether you want parameter data to display automatically. Don’t select automatic, you don’t want the search engines hit every time you do a search; only when you want to analyze a page or site.

After the plugin installs, the Firefox Add-On Screen displays, click the Restart Button at the top on that screen.

Restart Firefox Button

When Firefox restarts, you’ll see the SeoQuake Toolbar.  I’ve shown only the left portion here. Let move on and start our analysis.

SEOQuake Tookbar

Top Three SERP Analysis

Let’s use the SeoQuake plugin to quickly look at the top three results on the Google search engine results page (SERP) for Biloxi Seafood Restaurants. I’m typing the term in without the quotation marks so that the Google Places results show.

Google Results Biloxi Seafood Restaurants

Let’s assess the first result – Biloxi » Restaurants » Seafood – Yelp. Click on that result to bring up the page. Now click on the Info Button on the SeoQuake Toolbar. A new tab displays with competitive information.

Yelp Result Parameters

There’s a lot of information on the page, but here are the factors where we will focus:

Page:

PR

Domain:

Google I (Indexed)
Rank (Alexa)

Backlinks:

Yahoo L (Links to Page)
Yahoo LD (Links to Domain)

Keyword Density

Keyword density is the number of time a keyword phrase in mentioned in the page title, page description and in the page itself. Keyword density is often expressed as a percentage.

First Result Analysis

Is the phrase targeted? The page has a PageRank of 2 from Google which is just a relative measure. For local SEO, PageRank means very little. I include is here because you will hear of its importance as you reseach SEO. In local seo, it’s not very important unless the competition is very high.

Under the Domain section, we’re interested in the number of Pages Google has indexed. In this case over 32,000,000 for Yelp. However this is for the entire site. It means this is a huge site, but we are not competing with the site, we’re competing with the page. This is the most important point to remember for local SEO. You can beat larger sites for specific pages with a more targeted page and targeted links.

The Alexa Ranking, under Domain, is another relative indicator. It shows where Alexa ranks this site among all the sites on the web. Yelp is rated by Alexa at 195 out of all sites. This means Yelp gets a lot of traffic, but not necessarily to this page.

Under Backlinks, we see Yelp for this term has very strong domain results, but weak page results. There are over 39 million links to the entire domain (entire site) but only 15 to the page. They are ranking number one because of the weakness of the competition, not the strength of their page.

Under Keyword Density, we find what we’re looking for, by not finding what we’re looking for. Looking at the top 3 word phrases, we don’t find out term, but we need to back to the Yelp page and do one more quick check.

Yelp Keyword Density

The last button on the toolbar is Keyword Density. From the Yelp site page, click that button. All the keywords used on the page display. Now press CTRL+F (PC) on COMMAND+F (MAC). In the Find: box, type biloxi sea. The display will turn red and you’ll get a beep if you have sound on. This means Yelp does not even include our term on its page.

The results for Yelp are:

PR: 2
Google Indexed: 32,100,000
Alexa Rank 195
Yahoo Page Links: 15
Yahoo Domain Links: 39,037,953
Number of Times Keyword Phrase Used: 0

Don’t be scared off by large numbers of pages and links to the site. Yelp is not specifically targeting this page. They have the number one ranking because Google’s algorithm gave it to them because of the lack of real competition.

Results 2 and 3

Result 2 Assessment Results:

SERP result 2 is Seafood Restaurants in Biloxi, MS on Yahoo! Local.PR: 1

Google Indexed: 29,400,000
Alexa Rank 4
Yahoo Page Links: 0
Yahoo Domain Links: 1,747,824
Number of Times Keyword Phrase Used: 0

Result 3 Assessment Results

SERP result 3 is Biloxi Restaurants: Read Biloxi Restaurant Reviews – TripAdvisor.

PR: 3
Google Indexed: 26,400,000
Alexa Rank 287
Yahoo Page Links: 39
Yahoo Domain Links: 29,429,411
Number of Times Keyword Phrase Used: 0

Local SEO Assessment Analysis

Looking at these three local SEO results, I would feel pretty confident in getting on the first page of Googles for this keyword phrase by optimizing on page factors and then assuring 20-30 good quality links point at the page with the anchor text “Biloxi Seafood Restaurant” and closely related terms.  The top three sites are ranking because of the lack of an SEO campaign for the term.

Note that you can also download a CSV file of the SEOQuake data and import it into MS Excel.

Summary

In Part 2 of the local SEO assessment series, we covered the use of the SeoQuake Firefox Plugin. If you are doing one page, or a few pages, this is a great tool. It’s also a great tool for quickly checking pages and sites. However, if you have a large number of terms that you’re after, there’s a much faster way. We’ll cover that in a few days in Assessing Local SEO Competition – Part 3.

Related posts:

  1. The Elements of Local SEO
  2. Assessing Local SEO Competition – Part 1

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Assessing Local SEO Competition – Part 1 Assessing Local SEO Competition – Part 2 [...]

  2. [...] behind the scenes. You can check a few sites following this method, but come back in a few days for Part 2 of Assessing Local SEO Competition. If you have questions or comments just type them in the comment box [...]

Speak Your Mind

*