Continuing my key takeaways from my day of blogging at last week’s SEMpdx SearchFest, here’s what I got out of Todd Malicoat & John Andrews Competitive Intelligence session:
You know those tools you’re using for competitive intelligence? Your competitors are using them too. And you’re providing them with the data! John Andrews dug deep into techniques for improving your competitive intelligence – down to analyzing who Matt Cutts has Favorited on Twitter. We all love our online tools, and SEO & SEM would be very difficult without them, but Andrews pointed out that every time you use one, you’re adding to that tool’s data store, and in the process, giving any competitors using the same tools a little bit of the same information you’re trying to learn about them. His advice: be judicious in your use of those tools, and look hard for the nuggets of competitive intelligence that they may have missed.
KOB is the new KEI. I’ve never loved standard KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index) stats, in which keywords are rated according to the search volume and number of pages returned for a query — just because a query returns 10,000,000 pages doesn’t necessarily mean it’s competitive. The US Open of Golf isn’t competitive because it has hundreds of good golfers, it’s competitive because of Tiger (well, at least it used to be), Phil and the rest of the top 10 great golfers. Along this vein, Todd offered his formula for KOB, in which a keyword’s paid search CPC is used as a stand-in for organic competitiveness and an indicator of commercial intent — a great workaround to quit worrying about the 10,000,000 and instead focus your calculations on the 10 or so that really matter.
Look for the 3rd installment of my wrap-up tomorrow…