Review Competing and Industry-Leading Web Sites

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Check out your online competition. The term competition is referenced quite loosely in that industry leaders with whom you may not directly compete are also included here. Look at the sites for which you have a record and look for sites in the major search engines using some of the keyword phrases you have gathered so far.

You want to see what sites are in the top ten positions and understand them. By reviewing top-ranking Web sites, you can look for themes and patterns in the sites that give you a good indication of what they are going after and how they are doing it. You can then turn around and apply this newfound knowledge to your own Web site.

When reviewing competing Web sites, you should look at the same general areas you would optimize on your own Web site.

By searching for your most important keywords and observing what the topranking sites are using with respect to their page content, title tags, description meta-tags, keyword meta-tags, and so on, you can formulate a good plan of attack. Remember that if you don’t appear in the first two or three pages of search results, it is unlikely that prospective visitors will access your site through the search engine.

To check your competition’s title and meta-tags in Microsoft Internet Explorer, you simply go to their site, then click “View” on your menu bar, and select “Source” from the drop-down menu. This brings up the source code for that page.


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