Monday, 18 April 2011

Know What Your Neighbour is Doing?

I remember growing up back then when we lived in a nice estate and we all knew our neighbours. It got even better when they had kids my age! We'd be great friends and hang out together and have loads of fun. Those were great times growing up. Now it seems people are more into themselves and busy with their own lives, or maybe its where I live now? Anyway, what has all this got to do with SEO? I'll say a lot! Do you know your neighbours and what they're doing? Or maybe I should call them competitors...
Image from

In business and SEO generally, like many things in this life, you're hardly the first and you'll most likely won't be the last to think up a business idea. There's always someone out there doing the same thing or at least something similar to what you're doing. This, in SEO is a good thing, trust me. Take for example, I've just created a new website for a hair salon business (I've been looking for hair salon website in Leeds that specialise in Afro Caribbean hair and it's been a bit of a nightmare...) and I realised no one is really visiting my website. Eventually I find out about SEO and realise I have to do some link building to get some more attention for my website. Where do I start? Start with my neighbours!

Now in SEO this is actually called Competitor Analysis and is a type of link building strategy. Once you've established your competitors have a look to see what they're doing. Now there are really two types of competitors: Offline and Online Competitors.

Offline Competitors are the competitors you know face to face, and not on the Internet, so say you know their office address and all. Online Competitors are found on the Internet. Sometimes this might overlap, having a competitor who visibly on the streets as well as on the Internet. For SEO, we're only interested in the Online Competitors.

How to Find your Competitors
One of the easiest ways to find your competitors is to use your main keyword. At this stage, you should have carried out some research into your keywords, so pick one of those terms and search on one of the search engines, find out whose most prominent in the top 5 positions and there, you have your main competitors.

Let me illustrate this. Lets say I were a full time SEO business targeting say - SEO services in Nigeria, I'll go online and search for terms related to this, e.g. 'SEO Nigeria', 'Nigerian SEO services', 'Search Engine Optimisation Nigeria', etc. Based on results, these are my main competitors:


I only picked 3 because I don't want to load myself with too many, however there a lot more, so by all means go for more than 3, but it would make the analysis process a whole lot longer. I'll say go with 2-3, if there's still time and you need more information, you can go for more competitors.

Since this post is getting too long, I've decided to split this into a couple of posts. So next week I'll have the follow up to this post. Stick around to find out what analysis I'll carry out with these 'neighbours' of mine...

I've also got my facebook fan page which is another way to get updates about my blog. So please 'like' my Tola SEO fan page or follow me on Tola SEO twitter, they both work! Thanks!
Welcome to the SEO For Beginners Blog.
If you're visiting my blog for the first time please sign up to my Rss Feed for regular updates!
And if you're interesting in learning more about SEO, I suggest you start out here. Thanks.