Competitor Mystery

by @arandazzo88 (165), 2 years ago

Can someone help me do an analysis? I've been trying to outrank my competitor for a long time and can't ever seem to do it.

My site: Their site: knoxvillecpr .com

Here's what I've done and don't understand how it's not made a difference.

  1. We have hundreds more quality backlinks
  2. All our landing pages are 2,000 words
  3. Readability is good (large font, short paragraphs)
  4. Decent CTR, bounce rate and dwell time

All the above is opposite of what my competitor has and yet they still have a strong first place position. If you read their content, it's even border-line spammy. Can anyone give me some guidance of what is going on?

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by @shane (651), 2 years ago

There are a variety of reasons.

Backlinks are mostly irrelevant. The people who tout backlink profiles also happen to be selling services or software that performs that function. It's not important anymore.

Length of content isn't a strict requirement either. The most important aspect of your content is how it addresses the users' query. You could write a novel and not answer their question.

Readability depends on the audience. Styling has more to do with mobile usability.

Interaction stats are probably the most important thing after relevance to the users' search intent but you can't optimize bounce rate directly. You optimize content and size structure to benefit your bounce rate.

Their content is not spammy. They are a business who is selling a service. Maybe your content is objectively better but is your business? When considering Google business listings, Google maps, other real-world data, plus your web presence, who is better?

Google's algo is a black box. We can deduce certain ranking factors but without knowing exactly what is going on it is impossible to truly compete with another website directly.

You can aim to build the best website in terms of structure and content while also building up a strong customer focused business and end up ranking #1. Or you can try to find the shortcut to outrank someone else.

The former is what one does when they are building a business, the latter is what get rich quick schemes are made of.


Site structure matters. Everything should make sense and follow a pattern. Computers understand patterns better than context or content. People like patterns whether they notice them or not.

by @arandazzo88 (165), 2 years ago

That's a really helpful analysis. I need to digest what you've pointed out, go back to the drawing board, and see how we can improve on those areas.

I've already got several ideas going through my head. Thank you for taking the time to help me dissect this.

by @brucejonesseo (35), 2 years ago

What keywords are you trying to rank better than them, are they included in your home page title tag?

by @arandazzo88 (165), 2 years ago

Well, that's the difficult piece. We usually try to rank for these keywords [product name] [city name]. However, being in 4 cities, it's difficult.

Currently we have a landing page for each city and then we have our generic product pages. This makes it difficult to rank when someone is searching for a product in their city.

I'm considering a restructure, though. Maybe keeping our city landing pages, but then creating a city specific page for each product. So if we have 6 products and we are in 4 cities, that would mean 24 product pages total. What do you think about that?

by @ms (2482), 2 years ago

Being 100% honest with you @arandazzo88 gotta say I like knoxvillecpr a little bit more. Just my first impressions, but seems more consistent and easier to read for some reason. Can't really compare content, but that could be also another point of view to consider.

Having dedicated city&product pages should definitely help as long as you can keep up the quality and amount of the content. Also, it's questionable, how different would such a product page be for each city... I'd stay away of it if means the same content, just replacing [city name]. Otherwise, should be positive change.

by @arandazzo88 (165), 2 years ago

I really appreciate the feedback @ms. ItIt doesn't hurt my feelings. Just gives me a leg up on what I need to work on. I wish I had more of a design eye for UX. Like you, it's hard for me to put my finger on things like that.

Creating unique content will be difficult but I think it's possible by using "past clients" section, testimonials, staff bios, etc. I'll have to play around with it and see if I can be creative enough to make each product page unique yet standardized.

by @ms (2482), 2 years ago

Didn't mean to say that the user experience on your site is entirely bad, not at all. The site looks OK to me, but I can find room for further improvement quiet easily.

For example this page: /classes/cpr-instructor-course/ is text heavy. There are no dividing elements, seems like a whole lot of text, that no one really want to read. It's bulky and obvious tldr;

I'd suggest using more visually appealing elements like images (illustrations, charts, ...), embedded videos, tables, highlighted text (quotes, verses) etc. Something that will keep your reader interested and focused, so they read through all of that content. By doing that, time spent on each of your content pages should increase and we know that these metrics do help.

Keep pushing your content, getting good references (backlinks), use social media if your audience is there and I am sure it will help in the long term.

by @arandazzo88 (165), 2 years ago

@ms yeah I'm totally tracking with you. You're not the only one recently that's said it's too much text. I think I think to move that text to blog posts, improve the readability, and have internal links pointing to my product pages which are more lite and to the point (purchasing). I appreciate the input. It's been enlightening.

by @ms (2482), 2 years ago

You're welcome @arandazzo88.

Please, keep us posted about changes on the site and your rankings over the time. I am sure it will be interesting to watch!

by @matthewsstephen12 (192), 2 years ago

Wonderful @shane you nailed it.

Hi @arandazzo88, Can you please tell me about your keywords. have you checked your keywords visibility? Your backlinks are working properly or not?

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