Know where you stand in terms of visibility, search engine placement and cost effectiveness in comparison to your competition. There is a long year ahead and you'd rather be busy generating sales without any surprises from competitors.
These online tools may help you:
Google AdWords Keyword Tool
The Google AdWords Keyword Tool was designed to help users of the AdWords program design more effective pay per click ads, and can be used to analyze keywords regardless of whether you are using their program or not. Simply enter a word or phrase that you think your target audience would enter into a search engine along with your web site address, and Google will provide a set of results that include keyword ideas, the competition rating for that search, global monthly searches for those search terms and - an important statistical column for businesses with a physical location - monthly local searches.
To dig even further into these results you can mouse-over any given search term in the list of results and click through to another Google tool called Google Insights which will provide you an in-depth report on that specific search phrase. Results include interest over time, regional interest, top searches and rising searches.
Webmaster Toolkits Keyword Analysis Tool
The Keyword Analyser from Webmaster Toolkit will read the page you specify and give a report on what words are used, and how many times they are used. This tool can be used for comparing your web site keywords to a competitor. By entering your web site address into the system, it will return a list of the words that appear on your page ranked by frequency. You may then try entering the site address of your competitor and compare the results.
For example, I was recently assisting a friend with the carpet and floor cleaning web site he set up for his business. By comparing his results with the results from dalworth.com - who reside in the top three results of the SERPS - we were able to decipher which keywords were making Dalworths site more effective in the search results and add them to the copy within his web pages. And once again, discover keywords that were missing as he had not considered users entering those unique terms or phrases such as “grout” and “removal”.
Webmaster Toolkits Keyword Research Tool
Another great tool from Webmaster Toolkit will help you research appropriate words and phrases to include in your webpages. Simply enter the search term or phrase you’d like to be found under into their Keyword Research Tool, and the tool will suggest some additional words and phrases you might consider using. The tool also allows you to run the search through individual search engines including Altavista, Excite, Google, Yahoo, HotBot, MSN and a few others.
Site Comparison Tool from SEO Mastering
The Site Comparison Tool from SEO Mastering allows you to compare two web pages or web sites and compare some of the most important elements on yours as opposed to your competitors. This tool includes keywords, links, bold and italic texts, Meta data information, page titles, headers and the most frequent two and three word phrases between two pages. It will often give you hints how to improve your site should the tool see any suggested criteria. This is a great way to see how your site compares to any competitor side by side on one page.