If your budget is low you can use Alexa.com for free to do some serious competition analysis. A lot of marketers discard Alexa’s ranking system because it only counts traffic from users that have the Alexa toolbar installed. There is a lot more to it though.
Most affiliates go to Alexa.com just to check out the ranking and the graph of the website they are interested in but miss out on some of the other very important data provided.
For example, I can find out which search queries produce the biggest impact for my competitors and then create new or adjust my current content to target these key terms.
Let’s look at JohnChow.com Alexa stats:
Most people simply look at this graph and that’s it. They don’t notice the “High Impact Search Queries” table on the right sidebar.
When you click on “View the complete Search Analytics” link you will get even more data for free that you could use for your own blog or website.
So let’s take a look
Inside this table you get some powerful data and it’s quite accurate judging from some of my tests I have done.
The first column gives you the search engine query that his posts are ranking for in the serps. The second column shows the impact factor.
Here is what Alexa.com states on their site about the Impact Factor:
A high value indicates that “johnchow.com” is getting significant organic search traffic for queries containing these phrases, despite high advertising competition for these phrases.
Impact Factor is a combined measurement of the importance of a particular phrase to the site’s search traffic and the level of search engine advertising competition (QCI). The index is on a scale of 0 to 100.
This leads us over to the next 2 columns that give us the “Query Popularity” as well as the QCI value.
The QCI value according to Alexa indicates a number of ads running for a particular keyword phrase. The higher that number is the more advertisers are paying for that search term.
The smart thing to do would be to indentify well ranking sites in your niche and analyze their High Impact Queries from Alexa.com. Then plan your content to target these terms and try to monetize them.
Keep in mind that there are sites getting a lot of traffic from keyword phrases that cannot be monetized even if you tried. You need to pin point what they call “buyer keywords” and only target those.
In case of JohnChow.com I would probably try for these terms:
– WordPress service/services
– Free wordpress themes
– buy quality backlinks
Now let’s take a look at another site: PHPWeby.com
Their High Impact Search Queries reveal some powerful buyer keywords.
Notice all those “hostgator coupon” key terms and their “Impact Factor”. These keywords not only produce lots of highly targeted traffic but it’s traffic that is ready to buy Hostgator hosting.
Of course there are lots of paid tools such as SemRush that can give you a lot more data than what Alexa.com can provide, but hey this is free right?
So if you are trying to rank well in search engines, you want to find out what are the best key terms to go after. This is a very important step especially if you want to monetize your sites as quickly as possible.
You need to indentify the “buyer keywords” and get those first. Then while you are generating cash flow you can try for more competitive terms that are more broad to build up volume and brand recognition.
Alexa provides some valuable data for free. Traffic ranking of a website I am spying on is not as important to me as the search analytics I can get from Alexa. Using that data I can quickly find valuable keywords that would be worth targeting.