Competitor analysis is one of the fundamentals of SEO. Knowing who you are about to compete against on the first page of Google shows you how long your page should be, how many backlinks it should have and whether or not it’s even possible for you to rank for a certain keyword. in this article you will learn how to find out number of pages and the amount of content the website has.
Money pages vs technical pages
When it comes to SEO, it is important to know that usually websites have the pages that they do want to rank and the pages they don’t. Examples of the pages websites want to rank can be:
- local business service pages
- affiliate website reviews pages
- e-commerce category/sub-category pages
On the other hand, pages that websites don’t intend to rank, are usually “technical pages”:
- About us
- Contact us
- Terms of services
They pages that you want to rank and get visitors for are often called “money pages” since they are the main source of your website’s income.
If you don’t want to rank a page, it’s best to “tell” Google not to add it to index. There are multiple ways to do so, however here are quick and easy ways that will work most of the times:
- add <meta name=“robots” content=“noindex, nofollow”> to the <head> section of pages HTML code
- if you use WordPress, install Yoast plugin, go to “Advanced” settings and set “Allow search engines to show this Post in search results?” to “No”.
How many “money” pages does the website have?
There are two simple ways to find out how many “money” pages the competitor has.
Advanced search operator “site:domain.com”
The first (less reliable) method is to use an advanced search operator ”site:domain.com’. To demonstrate this on a real example, I found a random affiliate website “perfectlyreviewed.com”.
Keep in mind: according to Google, index should only include the pages that provide value to the searchers.
As you can see, using “site:domain.com” isn’t really a reliable way to find out how many “money pages” the website has. It only shows how many total pages are in index. If the website is not well optimized for SEO, the index can be full of unnecessary pages.
Siteliner + Google spreadsheets combo
Let’s find out how many “money pages” the website perfectlyreviewed.com exactly has step-by-step.
Head over to siteliner.com, paste the website’s URL and click “Go”.
You will need to wait a bit till the service crawls the websites’s data. However, for such a small website it doesn’t take a long time.
Once the report is ready, click “Download site report”.
Open the report with Google spreadsheets and you should see this:
In this case, we will only need the URl, title and number of words on a page. So you should delete all columns except A, C, F and row 1. After that, sort the “Words” column in descending order. You should have this.
Now by looking at the URL structure, keyword-rich titles and big word counts you can clearly see the website’s most important pages. However, for this case we want to count how many total words the website has.
To do this, let’s get rid of unnecessary technical pages. Go to the bottom of the list and start deleting pages with the lowest word count, bad URL structure and not SEO-optimized titles. These are usually:
- paginated pages
- blog/category/author feed pages that include excerpt of blog posts
- archive pages
- about us
- contact us
You should keep deleting these until you reach pages with over 1000+ word count and SEO-optimized URL and title. In my case, I received a nice list of 41 URLs.
As you can see, the last URL has only 477 words, but that’s because it’s actually a page with an infographic (that you can tell from the URL and title). All the other articles are probably blog posts that provide topical relevance to the website. The pages with the biggest word count are obviously the main review articles that average on 2000-3000 words per article.
The last step is to sum up the total number of words these articles have and you will have a good understanding of how much content this website has.
This website currently has 41 articles and 93 280 words. Here is how this website looks like in Ahrefs.
How much would that cost you to order this amount of content?
If you are expecting articles in readable English, the very least price you can get is around $15/1000 words. From my own experience writers below this price will deliver bad quality and you will definitely have to edit or even rewrite articles. Services like Contenthero start with $20/1000 words.
So the very least price you will have to pay just for this content is $15 * 93 = $1395.
You don’t necessarily need that much content if you are just starting a new website. You could start with 20 000 – 30 000 words that would cost you $300-450.
This article is only a tip of the iceberg when it comes to competitor analysis. However it does answer some of the questions people often ask in SEO communities. Instead of asking how much content you need to start a new website, all you need to do is find a dozen of smaller websites and use siteliner to see how many articles they started with.
Let me know your thoughts or questions.