If you know a little bit about search engine optimization (SEO), you'll know that there are two important factors that determine the viability of a keyword:
- The amount of search traffic a particular keyword receives; and
- The competition for that particular keyword.
Both of these factors are what we investigate when performing keyword research because a keyword that isn't being searched for isn't worth our time (generally speaking), and also one that has a lot of competition may be too difficult to rank for.
On the competition side of things, there are a lot of factors to consider:
- The total amount of other websites that mention the particular keyword.
- The total amount of other websites that mention the particular keyword specifically in the title.
- The off-page SEO factors of existing websites that are already ranking highly for the particular keyword, including domain age, page rank and quantity & quality of backlinks.
- The on-page SEO factors of existing websites that are already ranking highly for the particular keyword, including having the keyword in the title, url, description and header of those sites.
Luckily, Market Samurai has made finding all of this information extremely easy. And yesterday, there was an update to the software that added an additional factor to help us understand the competition surrounding different keywords: the URL Competition. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
URL Competition (SEOUC)
This factor goes one step beyond the number of websites that mention a particular keyword and shows us exactly how many other websites exist that have the target keyword specifically in the url, or web address.
This is a better indicator of the amount of existing competition because if you're building a niche site or creating a blog post, having the targeted keyword in the url is arguably the most important factor for search engine optimization. This can be illustrated by how in many instances, websites with the keyword in the url are ranking higher than sites with much stronger off-page SEO factors, as shown below for the keyword indoor pools:
How to Find URL Competition
In Market Samurai, finding the SEOUC is easy. Just enable SEOUC under the competition factors in the keyword research module, as shown below:
If you don't have Market Samurai, don't worry, you can find this number by typing in the following into Google:
Note: the numbers don't match exactly because of the different servers and geographical locations that are involved with the searches. The numbers are really close though, so the difference isn't really a factor.
How to Use URL Competition Data
The URL Competition data is important to understand because like I said, it'll give us an idea of how many competing pages exist that are also trying to optimize for a specific keyword.
If two keywords, for example, have the exact same on-site and off-site SEO data and one has less SEOUC, then obviously it would be better to choose the one with less SEOUC.
That said, don't spend too much time trying to analyze these numbers, because the most important aspect of SEO Competition is the strength of the competing pages that exist on the first page of Google.
There can be a billion webpages that have a target keyword in the URL, but if the top 10 spots in Google are weak, then I know I can overtake them.
It's always about the quality, not the quantity.
Let's look at my niche site duel keyword, security guard training, alongside the one we used in the above examples, indoor pools:
As you can see, it would be very easy to assume that the keyword indoor pools is the one that we should target because not only does it have more traffic, but it has an SEOUC factor that is less than half that of security guard training. This means that there are less than half the number of sites that are really optimized for that keyword. But, when we look at the SEO Competition Module for security guard training, we can see that the competition is weaker and there's a lot more room than there was with indoor pools:
Here, the PRs are much more manageable, as well as the backlinks too (see the Niche Site Duel for more information about how I ranked #1 for this keyword).
So, like I said, the SEOUC factor is good to know, but always make sure you check out the strength of the top 10 in Google first before making any decisions about a particular keyword.
If you don't have Market Samurai, you can still check the strength of the top 10 in Google without having to input URLs individually in different tools by downloading a firefox extension called Seo Quake, which adds a little toolbar that shows things like the PR, number of backlinks and other information underneath each of your Google search results, like this:
I just wanted to bring all of this to your attention since Market Samurai added the SEOUC factor into their data yesterday.
If you have yet to give Market Samurai a try I highly recommend it, whether you're looking for niches to build websites for, for keywords to use in your blog posts or what topics to write about for article revenue sharing sites.
You can download a free trial by clicking here and yes this is an affiliate link so if you do purchase Market Samurai through this link I do earn a commission as a result. Thanks to those of you who have already purchased through my link, I truly appreciate it! [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
Have a great weekend, and happy keyword hunting!