Guest Post by Aaron Wall: How to Hire a Dedicated Market Research Firm for $50

I admit it, I am in favor of the small guy. The independent webmaster working exclusively in his underwear. For the tech savvy small guy life just got a lot easier.

Why Life Got Easier for the Tech Savvy

If you work for and by yourself market research can take days or weeks to perform. Free tools like SEO for Firefox aim to simplify the equation, but most competitive research stats are just estimates of potential and traffic. They are not granular enough to provide the actionable data needed to give you immediate solutions.

And at the end of the day, even if you look at competing sites and have many of their marketing stats in front of you – like site age, link counts, and page counts – you can’t be sure how well they are doing.

With Search Analytics, you instantly know how well they are doing, and what keywords are their most important. Running a Search Analytics report tells you what keywords send them the most traffic, and a weighting of each word’s volume of their total traffic.

How to Use Compete Search Analytics to Dominate Competitors

Compare those traffic stats against the algorithmic criteria needed to rank for those keywords and you have a good idea how much effort is needed to rank and how much reward each keyword brings.

If you have an authoritative site you can look for top performing niche sites in your vertical and clone their success with little effort.

If your competitor has a large authoritative site you can still beat them by aligning your site to rank well for the most profitable keywords.

Why Life Just Got Harder for Lazy Publishers

All webmasters with a large pool of content have accidentally ranked for keywords that pay well. Your own stats are a great source of keywords, but now that services like exist you need to be aware that others are going to find your hidden gold. It is going to get harder to stay profitable while staying hidden.

If someone else who has a more authoritative site finds those secret keywords that are easy to rank for they will take them from you.

Balancing Links vs Content

If you already have a lot of content but limited link equity work on deploying effective link building strategies. If you already have a lot of link authority, work at picking off top keywords from weaker competing sites and weave them into your site’s structure.

Aaron Wall is the author of SEO Book. He provides search engine marketing consultations via Clientside SEM. He and his wife recently published the Blogger’s Guide to SEO.
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