9 Ways to Check the SEO Strength of Your Competition

SEO for FirefoxIn the last article I showed you how to do keyword research and how to find how many sites are competing with you for those keywords. This article will cover ways to check the SEO strength of your competition.

What this means is that for any particular keyword, the top 10 sites in the search engine result pages will have varying degrees of competitive strength and very often by analyzing them against the SEO parameters that I will cover, you can get a good idea of whether you could take their place in the top 10 or not.

It is always smart to have enough data to wisely pick your battles. That way you can avoid wasting a huge amount of time fighting the wrong ones (as many do) and trying to compete for keywords that simply have no chance of getting you traffic.

So, what are the main competitive strength factors and how can you find out which ones a competing site is strong or weak in?

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Keyword Research For Free?

In the last article I explained why finding your correct keywords was so important to your success when using the Internet for promotion.

If you've ever looked into getting some SEO done you may have been startled by how much it can cost.

But what if you could do a lot of it yourself for free? Well, you actually can.

In this article I'm going to show you how to do keyword research yourself using a very useful free tool that you can use online.

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Why is Search Engine Optimization so important?

Many people don't realize this but SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the key thing that underpins all successful Internet Marketing campaigns. In fact, one of the biggest factors that determine whether you succeed or fail with an online marketing campaign is the keywords you target (see my "The 2 Biggest SEO Mistakes that Musicians Make" blog article for information on how this often gets messed up).

Why is this? Well, the basis of any Internet Marketing campaign is to get more traffic to your web site so that you can then build your emailing list, which is itself a major key to converting your fanbase to happily buying customers of your music and merchandise, and having the correct keywords can give you a very major advantage in this.

Many people don't realize that keywords should be used not only at your web site but in your blog posts, your on-line articles, videos, links from other sites and yes, even your tweets and Facebook posts, as well as anywhere you appear on-line.

On top of that, many musicians make the mistake of building their web site first and then end up having to rebuild it after they've done their keyword research because they didn't realize how important the content layout and keyword placement is.

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The 2 Biggest SEO Mistakes that Musicians Make

Facebook = Myspace
Image by Coneee via Flickr

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) involves discovering the key search terms (keywords) that people actually enter into search engines when looking for your kind of music. Many musicians figure out likely keywords but then completely miss the vital step of analyzing those keywords in terms of the competition.

Let’s take an example of this. Let’s say your musical genre is New Age – what most New Age musicians do is put “new age” in the keywords section of the code of their web page (called the Keyword Meta Tag) in the hope that people looking for New Age music will find them. But without doing a competitive analysis they completely miss the fact that, while 4,000 people a day do search using “new age”, there are also 28 million sites that use that term on them so the chances of being found using that keyword phrase are pretty much nil.

By using competitive analysis software tools they would find that 5,000 people a day search for “new age music” while 1.3 million sites use that term so there is a lot less competition if they use that keyword phrase. However, where the gold lies is in finding out that thousands a day are searching on such keywords as “calm music”, “yoga music”, “relaxation music” with competition as little as 40,000 sites.

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Free Virtual Drum Kit!

Virtual DrumsVirtual Drums is a free Virtual Drum Kit that you can download and play with your mouse either by itself or while listening to music. You can even do drum fills and rolls by using both mouse buttons. It’s fun 🙂

While you’re here, click the Community tab at the top of the page and get a sneak peek at the free beta community of musicians helping musicians where you can now create a profile page, make friends, upload your music, videos & photos, have your own blog, create groups, chat, create and be involved in discussion forums, post events and classifieds, network with other musicians, and much more!

You can download Virtual Drums PC version here and the Mac version here.  Enjoy your new kit!

What’s all the Fuss about Internet Social Media for Musicians?

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These days you pretty much can’t go anywhere without hearing about social media – Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Twitter, ReverbNation and an ever increasing number of social media sites and tools that musicians can reportedly use to bring them success.

What’s the real truth about this?

Well, the answer is that yes, it is indeed very possible for musicians to create tremendous success and a very good living by intelligent use of these and the many online tools springing up to help them do so, but is it a walk in the park? And can it all be done online?

The truth is that it really does take work researching and getting to the point where you know what you’re doing with these tools. Just like anything, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it and the more you learn about it, the more control you can have over your career.

And the truly smart acts combine offline promotion with their online promotion and they use one to feed the other.

A really successful online campaign must excel in three major areas:

1) Building the online fanbase for the musician or band and really being in communication with that fanbase
2) Building a database of emails of those fans and regularly sending them information that they value and that builds their loyalty to you
3) Converting that loyalty into money that is exchanged for your music and merchandise

There is a lot more than this of course but if only these three things were done and done well, an act could live very well indeed.

As this blog grows I’ll be going into considerable detail on the above and the many other ways that musicians can use social media to grow their brand. I’d also love to hear what you’ve found successful and unsuccessful.

Home Recording & Social Media Tips for Musicians

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The content on this site has now been copied to my new main site at http://tonyrockliff.com and all future updates will be occurring there.

The Music Business
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." - Hunter S. Thompson
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