Video 29: Keeping an Eye on Your Competition Part IV – Speeding Up Competitive Research for Insurance Sites
Hi, it’s Aaron Kassover here talking about insurance agent websites, of course. I spent the past couple of days talking a bit about ways you can do some research on your competition to look at how they’re driving traffic to their website. I talked about using the link qualifier and search terms and some tools like Compete and Alexa, and then also some strategies for going and essentially sort of stealing from their backlinks to get them back toward your site. So I have a tool today I want to show you that will just help speed up this process. It’s a really quick thing you can download and it automates all the work for you.
It’s a plug-in for Firefox. If you don’t have Firefox, you should go ahead and download it. It’s a great browser. It’s really handy for doing things like web development, SEO research, and a lot of other stuff because of all the extensible plug-ins you can add to it. This is one we’re going to use today. It’s put out by a company called SEO Book and they’re a training website for search engine optimization. They have a lot of really good content, so if you’re interested in really taking a deep dive in this, you might give them a look.
Let’s go ahead and just look at the browser. If we do a search for SEO for Firefox in Google, we’ll find the first result is this link to the SEO Book page. This will take us to download the browser plug-in. Now, you do have to register to get the plug-in and they require you give them an email address and they email you a password to download it. In my experience, they send you some emails when they get your information, but they keep it very educational focused. They are all about SEO. They’ve got good content, so I haven’t been bothered by them. You can always unsubscribe if you don’t like it.
So grab the plug-in, get it installed; you’ll need to restart your browser. Once you’re back up and running, you’ll notice that in the lower right-hand corner of your browser this little SEO button appears. You can toggle this on and off. When this is turned on, you can now do something really cool, which is if you go to Google, we’ll go back and look at the same search for Colorado Health Insurance, a whole bunch of extra stuff shows up. So here under this colohealth.com, the first result, we see this blue box and they have a whole bunch of stuff like links to the Google cache of the page, the SCM rush data for the page, the age of the domain. You can go back and look at the web archive and see previous releases of it, if there is Delicious link bookmarks, if the sites been dug on Digg, and then of course, if you look a little more, you’ve got things like Yahoo links. So go ahead and take a look at those. Just by clicking on this link, it launches us right into the site Explorer, so we can go through and look at all the backlinks to this site. They also separate out things like dot-edu links. So we can go look at the dot-edu links that this page has and here’s one. That’s pretty cool.
Gov links and the links to the page and some other stuff like Alexa, which we talked about, linking straight to this page, is Alexa results or Compete.com, we can jump right to there, so here’s the Alexa page, the Compete.com page. So you can just see how this just sort of streamlines the process. It takes away a lot of typing, a lot of cutting and pasting – just a couple of clicks, so you can just really go through quickly and look at this search and get some data on all the different sites in just a few seconds.
There’s something else that is pretty cool that it does which is if you’re just browsing the web, as opposed to being in a search engine, and you go and you right-click, it’s going to show you this SEO for Firefox option in your menu now. You can just select to look up this page and that’s going to pull up that same data in this little window so we can see the page rank, and we can see the traffic value, the age of the site, Delicious bookmarks.
If we want to go and look more into these things, we can just double-click. So we’ll double-click on the Delicious page bookmarks, it’s going to go ahead and just open up the Delicious bookmarks for this page, so here we are, the two bookmarks and the tags there. It’s a really handy tool. It takes a couple of seconds to download. I use it all the time. I recommend grabbing it and just sort of keeping it in the back of your mind that when you’re looking at a site, looking at some keyword research, you’ve got this extra tool in your toolbox to help you speed up competitive research to look at your competition and to get some more data about what to optimize for and what’s working and what’s not.
So that’s what I have for today. I will, of course, have more tomorrow. Thank you very much.