How to Evaluate the Competition
Evaluating Your Online Marketing Competition
Accurately assessing the volume and intensity of competition is a crucial element of online marketing for home builders. Home builder search engine keywords are largely seasonal and competitive. Some keywords have high search volume, but intense competition. Other keywords have moderate search volume, but easy competition. To succeed in online marketing and SEO, it is crucial to carefully choose and pursue search terms that can be won.
This article demonstrates how to check home builder keyword competition in 3 quick steps. Put simply, you will find out who your competitors are, what they publish, and who links to them.
Search in unbranded product terms
The first rule of war is commonly known as, “identify your enemy”. Likewise, identify other home builders who are strong competitors for your keywords. Studying the content and backlinks of a competing home builder will equip you with the online marketing strategy to win against other home builders.
For example, an Austin home builder might use terms such as, “Custom Homes Austin, Build on Your Lot Austin, New Homes Austin” to see which home builders are ranking well in the search results. When conducting competitive analysis, remain focused on your core home builder products and services. Choose 3 or 4 keywords essential to your online marketing for examination. Under each keyword, limit yourself to the top 2 or 3 competing home builders. Make a list of the best home builder websites in each search term. You should have 10 to 12 home builders to examine. Keeping the list short will help keep your research focused and actionable.
Once a list of competitors is established, add depth to the research by examining what competitors are posting, and how websites link to other home builders. The next steps of competitive research are highly actionable for your online marketing efforts.
See what is on another home builder’s site
A beautiful aspect of online marketing for home builders is that a little hard work yields significant benefits. Particularly in SEO, rich website content is an important element for both home buyers and search engines. Examining a competitor’s content that is indexed by Google can demonstrate what areas your home building group is competing well, and which areas other home builders are beating you.
The process of seeing what content is indexed by Google is very simple. Enter “site:sampledomain.com” into the search field and hit enter. See the example figure below.
In this figure, the Forthea team entered: “site:jeffwatsonhomes.com” into Google. You can see from the results, this home builder has over 400 pages indexed. Some of these pages appear to target a non-brand keyword such as custom homes and custom home floor plans. At a glance, it seems Jeff Watson Homes has a done a good job creating content. Furthermore, it appears he is additionally targeting the Georgetown geographic area.
Take the time to scroll through the search engine result pages. After reviewing several results pages, the Forthea team found this home builder could be losing rankings and customers due to heavy usage of Flash galleries. In 30 seconds some key strengths, weaknesses and opportunities were identified for this home builder. Try the “site:” search with your website and see what appears. Is it what you expected?
See who is linking to other home builders
Another important element of online marketing for home builders and SEO is the links pointing back to a home builder’s site. Each link is like a testimonial, demonstrating the credibility of your website to others. Both quality and quantity of links pointing to your home builder website is a good indicator of trust and authority of your website. Like checking site content, checking backlinks to a website in Google is a simple process. The screenshot below displays the results of a “link:jeffwatsonhomes.com” search.
Above, you can see Google has found only two results for this search. However, this search is still useful. When there are no or few results, it can be an indicator that your home builder website needs more authoritative links that might be discovered by Google. In addition to the number of backlinks pointing to a home builder, it is useful to analyze the subject matter and quality of the pages linking to your website.
These 3 simple steps should not take longer than a few minutes. However, competitive research is only a first step of online marketing for home builders. Developing a competitive strategy to outrank and out sell other home builders is a complex next step. Partner with the Forthea team to amplify your online marketing efforts for home builders.