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Keyword Competition

Your keyword competition isn't just about the quantity of competing web pages.

How relevant are those other web pages to the keywords? To find out, go to Enter as a search term the keyword or phrase you're considering.

Start at the top of the search results because that's where you need to be. Most of your search engine traffic comes from searches where you're on the first page, preferably near the top.

Look at each listing. Do the keywords appear in the domain name or the file name? What about the page title?

Pay close attention to where the keywords appear in bodies of text. For optimum keyword relevancy, the words will be identical to the search phrase. That includes the words appearing in the same order.

"Competing keywords" and "keywords competing", for example, would not be as relevant. You can test this for yourself by transposing any two-word phrase. You'll get different search results for each.

Keywords should appear early in the document. Besides being deemed more relevant, here's another reason: The search engine spider might stop after reading only a portion of your page. So, only that portion of your page will be indexed for searches.

Frequency is important, too, but don't overdo it. Excessive use of keywords can count against you.

Keywords sometimes have more than one meaning. Let's suppose someone searches using the keyword "spiders". They may be interested in learning about search engine spiders. Or, they may be looking for information about black widows.

If your site is about search engine spiders, sites about the other kind of spiders won't be competition for you, obviously. So, this is just another example of how the numbers don't tell the whole story.

Here's another case where your keyword competition may be less than you think:

Even if the keyword meaning is the same, the purpose of a search may be different.

For example, someone enters the search term "technical writer". They may be interested in hiring one. Or, they may be interested in becoming one.

This is where the description of your page can help you get the click through to your site. And it's one more thing to look at when analyzing other websites for the key phrase you're considering.

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