Why is my competitor ranking better than me?
That’s a question we hear regularly at Fruition. To answer this question, the best place to start is with a SEO audit. A SEO audit will provide you with a snapshot of how your site compares on several of Google’s key ranking factors.
Start by gathering these metrics:
Domain Authority: Domain Authority represents a prediction of how a website will perform in search engine rankings. It scores the overall “strength” of your website.
Google Page Rank: PageRank is a metric Google uses to determine which pages of the site are most important. This metric is used along with many other things to determine if a page will rank well in a search.
Quantity of Indexed Pages: The number of indexed pages represents all of the pages Google has crawled on your site. In general, Google prefers larger sites over smaller sites.
Domain Age: Google generally prefers older sites to younger sites as it illustrates your longevity in the marketplace.
Keyword Density of Home Page:The ‘Keyword Density’ of the content on each page is the percentage of times the word or phrase appears compared to the total number of words on the page. Search Engines use this metric to determine whether if the page is relevant to the search term entered. Simple re-writes to unfocused pages, or adding new, keyword focused pages can make a dramatic improvements.
Total Backlinks: Search Engines analyze the quantity and quality of inbound links pointing to your site from other websites. This metric indicates the popularity and usefulness of your site. Backlinks from quality well known, industry specific, or geographically specific sites are best. Links from ‘bad neighborhoods’ (low quality sites, link farms, spammy sites, etc. ) can hurt your rankings.
Social Impact Search Engines use your social media activity (or lack of activity) to determine your engagement with the community and to verify your back link profile. Sites that are most important are Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest. Not all social platforms will be right for your business, but optimize the ones that fit your target audience.
Page Speed Score: Search Engines (and humans) like fast loading, high performing sites. We often find large images, non-compliant code and server configurations that hurt page speed. Most of these errors can be easily fixed, thus improving your score.
None of these individual metrics will make or break your site, but comparing all the data side by side can give you some clues. There are several free tools on the web you can use to gather this information. Alternatively, give us a call and we can gather the data for you.
Jeff Williams is an SEO Project Manager at Fruition. He uses his deep understanding of SEO and internet marketing to guide clients, optimize websites and ultimately improve search rankings. Jeff continues to focus on understanding the technical aspects of SEO factors that affect website rankings in the major search engines. He has recently found a passion in local marketing and helping business carry out effective digital marketing strategies, taking a lead role in developing Fruition’s local SEO services.
President & Founder, Tru Family Dental
Marketing, Dependable Cleaners
President, Frame Destination
President & Founder, Family Travel Association