When to use these strategies: Competitive Analysis & Site Architecture Planning

In this lesson you will learn to run two reports that will give you an incredible overview of the structure of any website. Let’s put it this way… if you want to outperform a specific competitor’s website, wouldn’t it be nice to see exactly how that competitor has structured their site? To see how they have categorized and optimized their content so that you can ensure that your own site is offering everything your competitor does and more? That is exactly what we are about to do.

If you have already completed the Site Architecture course, then you should have already gone through this exercise, however, for those of you who simply jumped right in to keyword research, this is an incredibly valuable exercise that will yield some great information on keywords.

The reports you will learn to run in this section will allow you to quickly see what topics your competitors are covering on their site and how they have categorized that information. This can often give you great insight into keyword categories, niche markets and supplemental content that you may want need to include on your own site in order to become one of the top resources in your niche. In particular, the ScreamingFrog tool that you will learn about will actually show you the keyword strategy for every page on a competitors website.

This incredible tool actually crawls any website and gives you the following information about every single page on that site:

  • Address: The URL of every page on the site
  • Content: The type of content that is found at that URL
  • Status Code: If the page is valid and live, being redirected, a broken / error page, etc…
  • Status: Status of the page
  • Title 1: The content of the title tag for the page
  • Title 1 Length: The number of characters in the title tag.
  • Title 1 Pixel Length: How many pixels wide the title will be in Google’s SERP.
  • Meta Description: The content of the description tag for the page.
  • Meta Description Length: The number of characters in the meta description.
  • Meta Description Pixel Length: How many pixels wide the description will be in Google’s SERP.
  • Meta Keyword 1: The keywords in the meta keyword tag for the page.
  • H1: The contents of the H1 tags for the page.
  • H2: The contents of the H2 tags for the page.
  • Meta Data: Any additional meta data instructions on the page.
  • Canonical Link Element: The canonical URL for the page
  • Size: The file size of the page.
  • Word Count: The word count for the content of the page.
  • Level: The number of clicks you must go through to get from the homepage to each page.
  • Inlinks: The number of links pointing into the page.
  • Outlinks: The number of links pointing out from the page.
  • External Outlinks: The number of links on the page that point to other websites.

This data gives you so much of the essential information about your competitors site that it is essential to run against any site that you are directly and specifically competing against. Here is how you do it:

  1. Download the ScreamingFrog SEO Spider Tool: http://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/
  2. Install and open the program on your computer.
  3. Crawl competitors site
  4. Export the Report
  5. Format Report.

To make the report easy to read and work with, it helps to format it as follows:

  1. Delete any unnecessary information.
  2. Make the header row bold and highlighted.
  3. Freeze the panes for easy scrolling by selecting the cell just under the header in column A, then go to the Window menu and click “Freeze Panes”
  4. Make each column an appropriate width and format the columns for the Title,
  5. Description, H1 and H2 tags to “wrap” from the Format > Cells > Alignment menu.
  6. Copy and paste the sheet into a new workbook called Competitor Site Crawls.
  7. Repeat for each competitor.

PowerMapper is a visual sitemap creator. While PowerMapper does not provide the depth of detail about each page that the ScreamingFrog SEO Spider does, it puts every page of any website into a visual sitemap that allows you to quickly, easily and visually see how all of the pages of a website are structured into categories, sub-categories and supporting pages. You can quickly see all of the pages that are in every section of a site and quickly get some great ideas about how to most efficiently structure your own content. It may even open your eyes to entire areas of content that you have not yet considered.

  • To begin with go to PowerMapper.com this is a downloadable program that only works for PC. Buy, install and open the program.
  • Run the program. It can take a while for very large sites. Once it is done you can save the file and view it in a variety of visual formats.
  • Export as Excel Site Tree.csv
  • Format Report by making each of the columns an appropriate width and freezing the header row.

Now that we have these awesome reports...

Let's Use Them To Dominate!

Next In the next lesson you are going to learn some great tricks for identifying some of the most profitable markets in any niche. Now that you know how to make sure that your strategy is on the same level as your competitors, it’s time to show you some of the fastest strategies for capturing market share by