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December 02, 2005

Yet Another Tool

This morning I was wondering what new tool I could find that would add value to the things I have already posted about. 
This tool is really great if you understand how to use it right.  What it will do is identify common SEO techniques for any term you are looking to rank. 
What you do is find a site that ranks well for a term you are looking to rank a page of your own for, enter the competitors site and the terms you want to rank for and click
"Analyze Page"
Now a lot of tools do this but what I particularly like is the data that is compared on one page side by side that allows you to quickly identify what I consider to be under utilized soft targets.  You see not only does it show the on page factors like key word density, tags, and even key word densities for the first 250, 500 and 1000 characters it also shows back links.  I know if you use tools similar you are thinking big deal right?
But wait go try it with a site you are familiar with and what should quickly jump out at you is the fact that you can identify four specific types of sites that rank at the top for a term or phrase
1.  Good on page factors (tags, density, etc) and good off page factors (inbound links)  - This means the term is most difficult to acquire as both sides need to be right to sit on the top of the heap
2.  Bad on page factors and good off page linking - This may actually be a harder competitor to beat in any event you know this term is driven highly by off site factors and that will be important to both how you go after it and IF you go after it depending on the number of links the number one and number ten ranked competitors on google have. 
3.  Bad off page factors but good on page factors - This is a relatively soft target because it is driven mostly by on page factors which you can analyze and better and off page factors are weak so a few good links can really push you to the top.
4.  Relatively poor off page factors and relatively poor on page factors -  If this type of phrase has traffic behind it you have found a nugget of pure gold!  It is a term you can just get a few good links for and adjust the page for density and tagging and simply take the top of all the big engines for it.  This is one of the key things we target for our clients at MasterLink. 
The key here is to understand that if you have a choice to rank well for a SINGLE term that will bring you 1000 visitors a month it will be competitive and you will have to stay on it heavy, one major update can tank it and you have to start all over to push it back up.  However if over time you can take good rankings for 50-100 niche terms that combine to provide you with the same 1000 visitors if you loose any of them in an update your liability is limited.  This can easily be compared to buying a mutual fund vs... a single stock to limit total liability.
The right way of course is to over time build a portfolio of rankings that include all four types of terms outlined here but the time to acquire and labor necessary to maintain each will vary by making sure you have a good mix you can build a lot of stability and more important a ton of steady traffic.  What I really like about this tool is it will quickly help you sort terms into one of the above 4 categories.
Jack Spirko
Search Engine Marketing Specialist
The MasterLink Group, Inc

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