By popular demand we developed a new report in SEO Effect tools to keep a better eye on your SEO competitors.
See what your competitors are doing. Learn who is eating away your traffic. Assess who is advancing in the rankings.
Improved visibility index replaces the old competition index
To start things off, we developed a metric to compare your overall score with your SEO competitors, both for the current situation and how things move over time.
For that purpose we introduce the ‘visibility index‘. This is an improved version of the old ‘competition index‘.
The old ‘competition index’ showed how your website (or competitor) scores on average with all keywords in the rankings.
The recent improvements are based on a weighted average based on search volume. So, the higher the search volume, the more a keyword contributes to your score. This new visibility index is calculated using:
- all words from your “campaign keyword list”
- that have a score in the forst 10 pages of the rankings of your primary search engine profile.
- from which we discard all “branded” keywords, such as your brand or product names .
Below you can read more about what advantages this index can bring you for your SEO efforts, but first lats take a look where to find this information in SEO Effect..
Where can you find the ‘Visibility index’ in the tool?
You can find it under SEO performance > Rankings, and under: SEO performance > Rankings > Competition you can see how thing have progressed through time.
You can find data up to one year back, provided your campaign runs that long. Being able to look back in time allows you to see trends and see who is moving through the ranks and deserves a closer look!
Note that the ‘competition’ tab is new and that your trusted rank data has moved one tab further. Everything is still there! Also on the overview tab things have changed a bit to accommodate for the new information.
Replacing the ‘Competition benchmark’
So why have the ‘visibility index’ replace the old index ‘competition benchmark’. To be frank: the old index wasn’t good enough because it let you score equal points for any keyword on a given ranking despite it’s search volume.
That could give you a bit of a scare, seeing your score drop by this amount! But don’t worry, nothing has changed in Google!
Example calculation for the old index ‘Competition benchmark’
Suppose you had 10 keywords that you are tracking your rankings for and 9 words score a number 1 position. The tenth keyword however scores a positie 98. In the old index ‘Competition benchmark’ your score would be 90% visibility.
Example calculation for the new ‘Visibility index’
Now the same situation, but with the knowledge that those first 9 keywords are not very popular and only have 10 searches per month. The tenth keyword has only a ranking of 98 but also has a search volume 9900 visitors per month!
Because that single poorly ranking keyword has 99% of the search volume, the weighted average will give it much more influence on your score, giving you a visibility index of a mere 1%. This is much more in line with the actual situation.
We’ll leave the old index in the overview tab for a couple of weeks so that everybody can get used to the new situation. But it will disappear in the near future.
Nerdy details about competition numbers
- All keywords in defined as ‘branded’ in your campaign settings are excluded from the competition visibility index to allow for a fair comparison. It is nearly impossible for your competitors to get a decent score on these keywords. So to get a good measurement, please make sure your branded keywords are properly listed!
- The visibility index of a competitor can’t be calculated back in time. So if you add a competitor today, the index will be empty. Only after the next weekly update, the index will get data for this new entry.
- Please note: if you are missing rankings in a weekly update, this will influence the index. If this concerns one ore more high volume keywords, the influence can be huge! If rankings are missing, you’l see a warning above the table on the overview tab.
- Please note (again): the index is relative to all words in your keyword list, so if you add or remove keywords this will change the visibility index. So this change is not good or bad but only a reflection of the actual keyword set.
How do I improve my SEO with the visibility index?
In the example you can see that the dutch site ‘Kieskeurig’ had a severe drop in the set of monitored keywords somewhere around februari. The site ‘bcc.nl’ had a jump to the top. Note that we are looking at the segment ‘Visibility index page 1’. We divided the visibility index into 3 segments:
- Index total: the entire score for all keywords in the top 100 of your primary search engine.
- The contribution of all words scoring on page 1.
- The contribution of all words scoring on page 2 and further (page 2+).
The condensed table on the overview tab is meant as a quick indicator, showing the changes from last week. In the detailed report (for paying campaigns only ) found in the tab ‘competitors’ you’ll find much more:
The movements of the index of you and your competitors through time.
You see can see the rise and fall for each site. And because it is based on a weighted average, it is now also a measure for how much traffic they get from the set of keywords that you are tracking in the campaign keyword list. So to get a better view of your competitor’s succes, you might create keyword research list with your competitors website as input and add the relevant keywords to your campaign keyword list.
Check in the Total index how you are doing relative to your competitors. Better, worse? If you or a competitor is climbing, check the page 1 and 2+ index to see where that happens.
- SEO competitors that do well on the first page are eating away your marketshare. Review their site and compare rankings, content strategy (e.g. do a page scan on one of their pages) , and what they are doing to grow their link profile, copy what you can, add your own mojo to do an even better job.
- SEO competitors that you can’t see growing in the top 10 can be on the rise in the top 100. Keep an eye on those and find out with what words they are progressing and what kind of PR or other actions they are doing to grow their link profile.
The beauty of course is to spot a competitor doing some serious link building by seeing their progress on the 2+ pages, and beat them to the punch by countering their efforts.
You would want to assess that link profile and add the relevant link opportunities to the link prospect list in the link building tool to feed your own PR efforts And that is exactly what is on our roadmap! So please stay tuned via this blog or via our newsletter. Or create an account, if you have not done so already, and try the visibility index yourself!