You gotta love the guys at SwissMadeMarketing with their ninja updates. I didn't get any announcements about this update, but it seems that SECockpit's top 10 competition analysis screen now includes social indicators. Things like Facebook Likes, Facebook Shares, Tweets, and Google+ votes now appear.
I first noticed it this morning when I was analyzing a batch of keywords for my next 50 sites. This is what the screen looks like now:
This is yet another added benefit of a keyword research tool that already works great. You'll now be able to see how your competitors leverage the social aspect of their marketing strategy and will be able to develop your own to counteract it. Those of us who already have sites on the first page and are having trouble moving from 5th to 1st position, for example, can use this new data to see if the competition is weak for this type of marketing.
SECockpit - Time Saver
Once again, SECockpit (affiliate link) shines again on delivering results that save me time investigating competition during keyword research. Now, I don't have to browse each of the top 10 sites to see if they have Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ campaigns going. I haven't noticed if there is any speed decrease when searching keywords now. It seems just as fast as it always was.
Remember that when you do keyword research, it can return up to 800 keywords based on the seed keyword that you use. In the background, SECockpit has already done the top 10 competition analysis and produced screens like the one shown above for the passive income keyword.
So, in the search above, I got 173 results for "passive income" in SECockpit. How long would it take you or your virtual assistant (VA) to look at the top 10 competition of just 20 of those keywords? Likely an hour or so, and maybe more if you hate doing mundane stuff like I do. All of the new social marketing data was already analyzed behind the scenes in SECockpit for me, so I don't have to do it now. Further, this is one more thing that you can leverage on your VA if you are outsourcing shortlisting for keywords. Nifty, huh? If you're still using desktop software for keyword research, try comparing with SECockpit and check it out here (affiliate link).
Does Social Marketing Even Matter For Niche Sites?
If you're a student of SEO like myself, you've probably come across the importance of social marketing somewhere. I don't know if this necessarily applies to niche sites, since the vast majority of my competition doesn't use it or has sites where the number of Facebook/Twitter/Google+ votes is zero all around. In addition, I don't have a problem outranking niche sites that DO use social services with my current backlinking strategy. Based on that, I currently don't believe that this is critically important when you're looking at the low-hanging fruit of the Internet in terms of easy keywords to rank for. From personal experience, if you can't get into the first few pages after a month or so, then you've got bigger problems than worrying about how many times your competition has tweeted their page.
Where I think this matters most is for authority sites and niche sites that have turned into authority sites. It's at that point that I think you need to use every single tool available to you to get ahead of your competitors. What better way to find out how you're doing against them than to check to see if they're using Facebook for example? Then, you'll know exactly what your next plan of action will be.
Undoubtedly I think that Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ have probably helped you with your personal blogs and authority sites. But, have they helped your niche sites? Do you have case studies where you've only used these services to outrank a competitor? Let's hear it!