When I was speaking with the Mendoza College of Business School at the University of Notre Dame Marketing team the other day, we did some quick analysis of their site to see how they ranked vs. their competitiors.  Now I’m not going to show you their stats, but I am going to show you nd.edu vs. some of our competition and how I would do it quickly just to set a benchmark.

There is much more in depth analysis you can do but this is down and dirty and gives you a snapshot.

First, I head over to Compete.com.  Now depending on how much traffic your website gets, compete.com can give you a pretty good reading of your website.  Now this is not based on internal analytics so it’s not perfect but for a quick analysis, it’s fine.

Here’s nd.edu vs. stanford.edu vs. duke.edu and bc.edu.  Interesting results that aren’t really far off from our internal analytics.

nd-edu-compete-analysis

So why is our traffic down here.

Well, let’s look at inbound links via Yahoo Site Explorer to see how many IBLs they are finding.

If you head over to seomoz.org, they tell you what really matters to the search engines in their expert opinion and inbound links are still the best thing out there for the search engines to base your rank on.

So here’s us.

nd.edu – 543K pages indexed, 905K inbound links.

stanford.edu – almost 4 mil pages indexed, 8.3M inbound links.

duke.edu – 1.6 mil pages indexed, 2M inbound links.

bc.edu – 262K pages indexed, 500K inbound links.

Now we have a benchmark of what to improve – we need more pages, more inbound links and more inbound links outside our domain, if we want to have more traffic to our website and more recognition on the web.

In my old positions in the retail world, lots of clients would say “make me number one in Google” and I would say, “That’s pretty tough to do.”  How much content do you have and how much are you willing to make?

Because content is more important than currency – in fact, according to Chris Brogan, it is currency.  When it comes to the benchmarks, I believe it is.

More pages creates more opportunities for more inbound links especially outside your own site.

We’ve got some work to do here.

What do you think?