Dixon Jones, Marketing Director at Majestic SEO and ‘UK Search Personality of the Year’, did an interesting presentation on how back link analysis can provide companies with valuable insights into their own and competitors’ global reach and, perhaps more interestingly, how this data can be used to identify missed opportunity in certain markets when adding social analysis to the equation.
Majestic’s recent incorporation of a map into its Site Explorer tool allows for a quick visualisation of your back link profile by geography, as shown below. In this particular case, dixonjones.com has the greatest reach in the UK and US, with a fair share of referring domains scattered across Europe as well.
Knowing in which markets/countries your content has the greatest impact is useful information in itself, however the analysis doesn’t end here. In order to discover and identify if any missed opportunities exist, one way to do this is by analysing your social following and then cross-compare the two data sets.
So when taking a closer look at Dixon’s following on Twitter (here done via Tweepsmap, but other similar tools are available too), his largest followings are, unsurprisingly, located in the US and UK and thus consistent with the back link profile of dixonjones.com.
However, Indians make up 6.8% of his total following, representing the third largest country group of all. The interesting thing here is that the previous data set showed that dixonjones.com had no incoming links from India.
So what does this tell us?
Basically that there seems to be an interest originating from India, however there’s little to no inclination to share content produced on the website. In other words, this could very well indicate an interest in the product or topic, but perhaps of lack of local relevance in the communication. Something which couldn’t have been identified by looking at the two data sets in isolation from one another.
Having said that, this is obviously a very simplified approach to identifying missed opportunity. Questions about the validity of this approach also arose during the Q&A following the session; as one delegate stated, the majority of Indians access the web from their mobile phones (primarily simple feature phones) and hence don’t have the same possibilities to share and link to content as compared to more developed internet societies.
Moreover, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks enjoy varying popularity and user numbers across countries. In this particular case it means that Twitter’s huge popularity in India should also be taken into account to determine the actual degree of missed opportunity. Could it be that 6.8% of the total following are from India simply because the country boasts a great number of Twitterers? In that case, it wouldn’t accurately reflect what at face value appears to be a relatively high degree of interest.
Nonetheless, when taking into consideration these other factors, this presents a quite quick way to identify missed opportunity. Remember, it’s entirely up to you how thoroughly you want to apply this approach. You can analyse the back link structure of as many domains and URLs as you find appropriate and then cross-compare it with social data for all the networks where you have a presence and have such data available to you.
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