- Keyword competition metrics are available in the Wordtracker Keywords tool.
- Wordtracker has partnered with MajesticSEO.com, who have collected SEO data on over 1 trillion unique URLs.
Keywords with a high search volume and a low level of competition can bring search marketers quick profits. Wordtracker now helps you find these moneymaking keywords quicker, easier and more effectively than ever before.
To show you how, let’s take a quick example. Suppose you’re a weight-loss specialist and you want to educate people about nutrition. A search with nutrition in Wordtracker's new keywords tool returns you 1,000 different searches containing the word nutrition. The screen grab below shows the first seven results:
1 - A search for nutrition reveals 1,000 different keywords containing the word nutrition.
Great! Those 1,000 keywords are from Wordtracker's sample database of ~600 million real searches for the past year. The red arrow above points to their combined search volume of over 58,000 searches.
That looks interesting enough to investigate further. So you click on “Get additional metrics” and two new columns for two exciting new metrics are revealed (see image 2 below). They are:
- In Anchor And Title (IAAT) which measures the level of serious competition for each keyword.
- KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index) calculated with a new formula that finds the keywords most likely to give you a good return on investment. KEI considers both the number of searches (Popularity) for a keyword and the level of competition for it.
You can see some results for these new metrics in the following screen grab:
2 - Getting additional metrics shows you the level of serious competition (In Anchor And Title) for each keyword and how likely they are to give you a good return if you invest in them (KEI).
Note that in the above grab we are looking at just the first eight of 1,000 keywords. But even there, the following three keywords stand out as having a high number of searches and a low level of serious competition (In Anchor And Title): * mcdonalds nutrition facts * turkey burger nutrition * fruit nutrition fact
Finding the level of serious competition
Let's look at our measure of serious competition (In Anchor And Title - IAAT) a little closer. The number 61 next to mcdonalds nutrition facts above means that we have found 61 web pages on the internet which include this keyword within both their page title tag and the anchor text of at least one incoming link. Hence the catchy name: In Anchor And Title (IAAT).
These 61 pages are serious competition you must beat to get search engine traffic for mcdonalds nutrition acts. Let me explain why...
THIS IS IMPORTANT: An anchor text link containing a keyword is the most powerful single thing a page can have if it is to compete on search engines for that keyword. Plus, using a keyword in its page title tag is the most powerful single thing you can do on a page (an inbound link is off the page) to help it do well on search engines for that keyword.
So if a page has a keyword in both the anchor text of at least one inbound link and its page title tag, there is a good chance it is a page well optimized for search engines and hence serious competition.
Thinking of the internet as a whole, the number of times a keyword appears in the inbound links (“anchor text”) and page title tags tells us how much serious competition there is for that keyword.
So going back to mcdonalds nutrition facts with its low-looking IAAT score of 61 and high search count, it's a good plan to target that keyword, perhaps by writing an article for your website around mcdonalds nutrition facts.
The number 61 next to mcdonalds nutrition facts means that we have found 61 web pages on the internet which include this keyword within both the title tag and at least one of the incoming links to each page. This is your real competition and 61 pages looks very beatable for a first page ranking.
You can read more about our metrics here: 'What do Wordtracker's Keywords tool numbers mean?'
Drill down to find more keywords
So you’ve honed in a potentially profitable keyword—which is great—but that’s not all you can do with Wordtracker. Browse the results and you see that ‘facts’ is mentioned quite a lot—perhaps there’s more potential there? There's a great new Wordtracker feature that can help you find out...
At position 2 in the results, you see the keyword nutrition facts and right beside it, the word 'search' in brackets. Just click on 'search' to drill down and find keywords that contain the word nutrition and facts:
3 - Drill down with a further search on any listed keyword by clicking 'search'.
A brand new Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) that finds your most profitable keywords
Now let's test the power of the new KEI metric on our nutrition facts search.
Click on 'KEI' in the heading bar and your results are sorted by KEI—with the big hitters at the top. These are your most promising keywords because they have a high search volume to competition ratio.
4 - Sorting by KEI to find your most promising keywords.
Above we looked at our search results to find interesting keywords, but here we see how using Wordtracker's new KEI does this search for us. KEI finds many more moneymaking keywords quicker than a manual search ever can. All of these keywords give you ideas for content. For example, you can educate people on nutritional facts about fast food, then show healthy alternatives to McDonald's and target those searching with mcdonalds nutrition facts.
You’re attracting a market who is looking for nutritional information about McDonald’s food, and giving them exactly what they want. You are then taking a percentage of those people who might be looking for a healthier option in a new direction—your new direction.
As the late Gary Halbert would say, you’ve found a starving crowd, some of whom may be questioning their fast food intake and are looking for more healthy options.
Where does all this valuable competition information come from?
Wordtracker’s valuable new In Anchor And Title (IAAT) and KEI metrics come from studying inbound links and page title tags of almost one trillion URLs (web pages). Remember, these are two of the most important factors search engines use to determine which sites should come top of their results.
5 - Wordtracker now uses Majestic SEO's crawl of almost 1 trillion URLs to deliver incredibly accurate competition metrics about your possible target keywords.
Which is a lot!
You can see in the graph below how Majestic SEO has long surpassed all the other link building databases and is nearly on a par with Google’s last reported one trillion pages here:
6 - The purple line above shows Majestic SEO now indexes many more URLs than the competition. That gives you more accurate estimates of the competition for your keywords.
Majestic count every keyword in 115 billion pages' title tags
MajesticSEO.com have counted the number of times a keyword appears within the title text of 115 billlion web pages like this:
7 - An example of a page title tag.
Majestic count every keyword in the anchor text of over 1 trillion URLs
And they have counted the number of times a keyword appears in the anchor text of over 1 trillion links like this:
8 - An example of some anchor text.
Majestic count the pages with a keyword in both its anchor text and its title tag
The number of pages on which a keyword is used in both inbound links ('anchor text') and its title tags ('In Anchor And Title' pages) tells us how much serious competition there is for that keyword. You can verify this information at SEOMoz.org’s excellent Ranking Factors page.
And that is exactly what Majestic SEO counts for us. You can see those counts in the In Anchor And Title (IAAT) column in the screen grab below:
9 - Wordtracker’s new In Anchor And Title (IAAT) metric shows you the level of serious competition for a keyword.
Why keyword effectiveness index (KEI) is now effective
You can use keyword effectiveness index (KEI) to spot niches with the most potential for investment like this:
10 - Wordtracker’s updated KEI metric uses a count of the number of pages with the keyword in the anchor text of at least one inbound link (In Anchor).
KEI compares a keyword's popularity (Searches) with it's level of competition. The level of competition is determined by the number of pages with the keyword in the anchor text of at least one inbound link.
So KEI only considers real competition because (as mentioned above) an anchor text link containing a keyword is the most powerful single thing a page can have if it is to compete on search engines for that keyword. Those familiar with KEI will know this is a new, updated formula for the KEI metric: one only made possible by Wordtracker's partnership with Majestic SEO.
Let's be clear here: We've added these counts to all 200 million keywords in our database using the link and title tag data collected from nearly 1 trillion URLs on the internet.
This makes it much easier for you to use Wordtracker to locate profitable keywords with high search volume and little competition—in real time!
What happened to the number of competing web pages?
It’s simple. We’ve done you a favor and removed it.
The number of competing web pages was the “traditional” way that SEOs measured the level of competition for a keyword. Unfortunately, this statistic is no longer helpful by itself, because we’re not interested in the number of web pages that mention your keyword somewhere on the page—we're interested in the strength of the competition.
11 - The number of competing web pages for a keyword is a weak measure of the competition for that keyword.
Let's explore this idea in a bit more detail.
It doesn't follow that if there are millions of competing web pages that a keyword is hard to rank for. A keyword might have 5 million competing web pages, yet the top 10 competitors have a weak on-page/off-page optimization and so such a keyword would be easy to rank for.
But if you were only looking at the number of competing web pages, you might be put off from targeting this keyword, and that would sadly, be a mistake.
Conversely, a keyword may have just 20 competing web pages, but if the top 10 competitors have very strong on-page/off-page optimization, the keyword will be much harder to rank for.
What if you used valuable resources targeting a competitive keyword but you only had a chance of ending up on page 2 of search engine results pages?
To use an analogy a customer gave us: imagine you're in a 400 metres race and you can choose your competitors. Would you choose to run against 5,000 old ladies using walking frames, or 10 serious athletes? When we assess your potential competition to calculate KEI, we now only count the number of serious athletes and not the grannies.
So, in our updated KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index), we've dropped the number of competing web pages and use Majestic's In Anchor count instead. This new calculation also makes it much faster for us to calculate KEI, so no more waiting around!
There's more: a second KEI metric—KEI3—only considers the most powerful competition.
We've seen how KEI uses InAnchor text links to evaluate the competition. A second KEI metric—KEI3—uses the more powerful In Anchor And Title (IAAT) to consider only the most serious of competition.
To return to the 400 metres race analogy: counting Google competition (old KEI) is like finding how many old grannies with walking frames you have to beat; new KEI counts the serious athletes; and KEI3 only considers international gold medalists.
You can trust the new Majestic keyword data
We're using Majestic SEO"s count of the web's anchor text links to estimate how much competition there is for each keyword when competing on Google and other search engines. So the more Majestic counts correlate with Google's equivalent, the better the metrics will be.
I’ll go into more detail in another post, but we’ve run several correlation tests and Majestic data correlates very well with Google. The screenshot below shows that for the top 100 single keywords, Majestic In Anchor correlates > 0.890 with Google AllInAnchor (using the Spearman rank correlation).
NOTE: Google’s AllInAnchor operator restricts results to pages containing your query terms in the anchor text on links to the page. More detail about Google AllInAnchor can be found in this Google guide.
In the screenshot below, the blue line corresponds to Majestic SEO In Anchor counts, and the red to Google AllInAnchor. You can see they follow a similar pattern:
12 - The red line shows Google anchor link counts for the top 100 keywords; and blue line shows Majestic's. We can see they correlate very well.
Wordtracker is therefore confident that Majestic keyword metrics data can be substituted for Google, which means we can return accurate results to you much faster than before!
You can do all this manually of course
Dan Thies of SEO Research Labs, a well respected Search Engine Optimization expert, was involved in the planning and design of the new Wordtracker competition metrics. In his excellent Keyword Competition Metrics blog post, he says:
"If we use Google’s advanced search operators, we can actually determine how many pages have the search term in their title tag, by using a search like:
which will tell us how many pages have both words (search and phrase) in the title.
The next thing any competent SEO practitioner will do, if they are serious about competing for a search term, is to include that term in the text of links, either on the site itself, within external (incoming) links, or both. We can see this on Google with the inanchor: search operator.
The intitle: and inanchor: searches can be combined, so that if we wanted to get a good idea of the real competition for “search phrase,” we could use a search like:
intitle:search inanchor:search intitle:phrase inanchor:phrase
to measure how many pages are using the search term in both the page title, and the text of links pointing to the page."
Source: Keyword Competition Metrics by Dan Thies.
So let’s fire up an Excel spreadsheet and get to work. Let’s go to Google and look up competition for the first keyword, nutrition facts:
13 - A Google search using intitle: and inanchor.
Then start adding the detail to our excel spreadsheet:
14 - Using a spreadsheet to manually collect In Title And Anchor scores for 1,000 keywords takes a long time.
We can do this for the 1,000 keywords containing nutrition that a Wordtracker search gives us. But it’s going to take a really, really... really long time.
Why there is a difference in the size of Majestic's and Google's link counts
There are two reasons why Majestic and Google show different numbers of links for seemingly similar searches.
The first is that the Majestic In Anchor metric shows a count of external anchor text (from other websites), whereas Google includes internal anchor text as well (from within a website).
Internal text is much easier for webmasters to control, and therefore easier to manipulate. External text is deemed more authoritative than internal text, because what others say about you is far more important (and trustworthy) than what you say about yourself. Wordtracker focuses on external anchor text.
The second reason is that Google’s AllInAnchor returns broad matches by default (the words mcdonalds, nutrition, and facts in any order), whereas Wordtracker uses the In Anchor phrase match count (mcdonalds nutrition facts somewhere within the anchor text).
Rand Fishkin points out in 17 Ways Search Engines Judge the Value of a Link, that "in [his] experiments (and from lots of experience), it appears that "exact match" anchor text is more beneficial [to ranking] than simple inclusion of the target keywords in an anchor text phrase."
I hope you can see now that bigger numbers clearly do not mean better numbers, and it’s important to realize that the Wordtracker In Anchor number will often be smaller than Google’s AllInAnchor (or InAnchor). Since Wordtracker focuses on phrase match, external anchor text, you get a much closer, more relevant picture of the serious competition for any given keyword.
With Wordtracker, it now takes under 30 seconds to get the kind of competition metrics about your possible target keywords that were previously only available to Google engineers. So you can immediately save time and money by choosing the right keywords for your business.
15 - Wordtracker’s new In Anchor And Title keyword competition metric.
Finding profitable keywords really did just get easier with the new Wordtracker Keywords Tool, and by clicking on the following you can try a risk free 7 day trial.
I've also created a 6 minute tutorial video which will guide you through the process.
Let me know what you think.
Here’s to your success!
You can take a free 7-day trial of Wordtracker's Keywords tool.
About Mike Mindel
Mike Mindel is CEO and co-founder of Wordtracker.
He is also the co-founder of Webventurer.com, a lead generation and niche e-commerce company.
Mike has over 14 years technical experience, along with keen interests in marketing and film-making; co-producing the the psychological horror film Don't Let Him In in 2012.
He has also helped develop and promote the Wam Bam Club - London's largest burlesque cabaret show.