|Google page rank and Alexa ranking|
This work you are doing now will also allow you to zero-in on those keywords which you have researched. Those keywords you can later use to optimize your pages and to purchase advertising for.
As a next step we will use those keywords to research our competition.
You will need to download two tools.
1. Alexa toolbar.
Alexa toolbar will allow you to determine how much traffic the site you are visiting is receiving. You will be also able to determine their physical location, find their contact email and see other related sites. Once toolbar is installed this information is instantly displayed for you while you are browsing.
To get your Alexa toolbar access this link and once there click "Install Toolbar"
They also have toolbar for Firefox
2. Google Toolbar
Google toolbar will allow you to see page ranking by Google. Google ranks pages from 0 to 10 where ten is the highest. You can read about Google page rank here.
Access this link and install Google Toolbar. http://toolbar.google.com
You can also install SEO tools for Chrome here
I haven't really evaluated this tool yet, it appears to have some errors.
For Firefox you could install this add on.
If you don't want to install any add-ons, you can just use this web based page rank checker.
Once you have installed toolbars let's get to researching your competition.
Observe your Google and Alexa toolbars which are attached to your browser.
If you don't see Alexa and Google toolbars go in IE as follows
View--->Toolbars and then check Google and Alexa toolbars.
Access http://www.google.com and type first best keyword you have researched yesterday.
Google will bring you to the page with results. As you know Google will list most relevant results from the top down.
Visit the first site you see on the result page.
Google and Alexa toolbars will display new information.
Alexa Toolbar on Firefox will show in right bottom corner graph and number next to it. This number is a rank for the site. E.g. where I'm editing this article on blogger.com their rank is 49.
What this means is that Alexa is ranking blogger.com today as top 49 site in the world.
The smaller the number the more traffic this site gets.
You can click on this number on your toolbar and you will be taken to Alexa site where you can find more info about it, including traffic graphs, site linking to it, reviews and site history up to 1 year.
Google toolbar will show you a small indicator with description "Page Rank". If page has any rank green indicator will show you how much Google values this page.
Notice that Alexa is ranking the entire site, whereas Google is ranking the page.
In case of Google, the bigger the number that higher the ranking.
If you see a page with rank 3 or higher, these pages are worth looking at.
Your goal is to search for sites which score well for your keywords and visit them.
This is your competition.
The two toolbars will show you how important is the site.
The more importance this site has in eyes of Google and Alexa the more time you should spend on it.
This is your competition which does well and you need to pick up as many ideas as you can from their design and approach.
Notice what struck you when you went to the site. Was it easy to navigate and find what you would be looking for. Do they have newsletter. If they do, join it. In their newsletter they will tell you how to run this business.
If they have affiliate program, join it. They will tell you how to run a business and how to attract affiliates to it.
Have a nice weekend and research your competition.
Visit all sites from the first and second page of Google results.
You might also check sites which are on the right side of the Google pages from Adwords. These are paid advertisers which were bidding for your keywords. This is your most aggressive competition.
The more you understand success of your competition, the faster you will be able to get your business off the ground. If you have business already in that area, this will help you on improving it.
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