tstolber
tstolber asked
Member (98 upvotes)
over a year ago

What should be in an industry standard competitive assessment?

Hi Guys


Looking for your input, feedback and constructive criticism.


My goal is for my agency to be known as the people who defined the industry standard for competitive assessments. This is a lofty goal but it is our goal.


I am developing a highly visual score card that should enable anyone to at a glance get a feel for what will be needed for an SEO campaign to succeed in any particular niche.


Presently, here is what is in the assessment


Your site vs 4 competitors that you specify (thought here - many businesses don't actually know how their online competition is - not too sure how to handle that one)  




  • Link metrics (Number, referring domains, IPs, text/image, follow no follow, anchors etc) (working on a few custom cumulative averages and anchor specific vectors)

  • Content (Number of pages indexed, content length etc)

  • SERPs (number of keywords, SERPs features, keyword cost etc)

  • Traffic trend (which competitors strategy is working?)


What else would you add?


My goal is or this to be very low cost. It won't be fully automated and it will have a real set of eyes on it. The aim is for it to be such good value that it becomes the industry standard, again I know this is a lofty goal.


I would love to know your thoughts.


Thanks


Trevor


#links#seo#assessment
Avatar for member Matt1966
Matt1966
Moderator (245 upvotes)
over a year ago

"many businesses don't actually know how their online competition is - not too sure how to handle that one"

- For the link analysis, I assume you'll be using an API like Ahrefs/Moz/SEMrush or something? If so, pretty sure they can return the domains organic competitors, anyway?

If they don't provide this, you could use their API, look for 10/20 keywords they rank for... scrape them, and look for common domains which feature, the domains which feature the most will be their biggest competitors. Not airtight, but I presume this is how the large SEO tools figure out a domains competition.


If you're wanting to keep things low cost, make the most of the time you're on their site scraping their pages. 
I'm a bit of a schema geek, so I'd definitely add schema in there. An idea here, but it would require a bit of brainpower... but I guess you could use the API/your own inhouse logic to determine which genre their website is, then suggest which Schema to use also?

The other thing I would 100% add is Speed metrics, I believe the Lighthouse/PageSpeed Insights API is basically free... and the amount of useful data it provides (besides speed metrics) is honestly insane. https://developers.google.com/speed/docs/insights/v5/get-started

Good advice?
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tstolber Moderator
over a year ago
Thanks for the feedback. Yes planning on using an API to do a lot of this. I was planning on offering the option of putting up to 4 competitors in for the assessment, was not planning on finding their competitors, although that is an interesting thought. I like the light house suggestion - that tool is awesome. That would allow for automation of a speed an UX test to be part of it. I like it - thanks!
Avatar for member Matt1966
Matt1966
Moderator (245 upvotes)
over a year ago

"many businesses don't actually know how their online competition is - not too sure how to handle that one"

- For the link analysis, I assume you'll be using an API like Ahrefs/Moz/SEMrush or something? If so, pretty sure they can return the domains organic competitors, anyway?

If they don't provide this, you could use their API, look for 10/20 keywords they rank for... scrape them, and look for common domains which feature, the domains which feature the most will be their biggest competitors. Not airtight, but I presume this is how the large SEO tools figure out a domains competition.


If you're wanting to keep things low cost, make the most of the time you're on their site scraping their pages. 
I'm a bit of a schema geek, so I'd definitely add schema in there. An idea here, but it would require a bit of brainpower... but I guess you could use the API/your own inhouse logic to determine which genre their website is, then suggest which Schema to use also?

The other thing I would 100% add is Speed metrics, I believe the Lighthouse/PageSpeed Insights API is basically free... and the amount of useful data it provides (besides speed metrics) is honestly insane. https://developers.google.com/speed/docs/insights/v5/get-started

Good advice?
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Avatar for member Chedders
Chedders
Moderator (230 upvotes)
over a year ago

The biggest issue here in my mind is your first score (for want of a better word) Link metrics. 

This is arguably the most important metrics to look at but as we know just counting the quantity of links is foolhardy and can be very misleading. Each link needs to also be given a score, therefore only going down 1 tier could make this metric give false positives. 

But I agree where do you stop, it would be nice to go say 5 tiers down, so you produce a score on the referring domains / page as well, then do the same for them etc. That all sounds nice and simple but the problem comes with going down just 5 tiers could mean evaluating many millions of websites. So unless you have access to someone else's bot gathering the information to give that score a meaning could overpower the project. 

The old term not all links are equal really come into play here. Just knowing this site has x links is not enough, you need a score on each to determine the power of the profile overall. 

The other issue which cant be overcome is the links that have been disavowed by googles search console tool. This is 1 area Moz who attempt to produce such scores fall down. 

I know from bitter experience that as soon as you put a score on something people start using it without understanding its limitations. The amount of threads I have answered about my PA / DA is higher than X yet they outrank me, why. It's really hard to convince webmasters that these are just guides and require humans to give meaning to these scores. I know I would prefer 1 link from the BBC than 1,000 blog comments. But that is really hard to communicate when people are chasing SERPS. 

Good advice?
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tstolber Moderator
over a year ago
Yes, coming up with appropriate link metrics scores is challenging. I like the idea of going deeper with the link analysis through the sites that are linking. This starts to become more computationally intensive, but shouldn't be a show stopper. I hear your points on disavow and using an index that doesn't quite have the full picture. This is a lofty goal - and you have given me quite a bit to think about there. I like to quote from Michael Jordan (Data Scientist not Basket Ball player) - all models are wrong, but some are useful. I think its applicable here. Thanks for the valuable feedback. Cheers Trev
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