I thought it would be interesting today, to take a look at 2 sites in the highly competitive niche of “internet marketing”. One site sits in the middle of page one and the other in the middle of page two. Both ranking pages are the top level domains (TLD) so I thought it would be interesting to see why one site sits on page 1 and the other on page 2 respectively.
The two sites in question are:-
http://www.majon.com – This site sits on page 1 or SITE A for our purposes
http://www.hubspot.com – This site sits on page 2 or SITE B for our purposes
OK let’s break these sites down rather geekishly, looking at every aspect that could be causing one to rank higher and the other to rank lower. I always think showing key elements of SEO in this way is better than me telling you what to do without giving you some real life examples. Anyway let’s get started.
The keyword were looking at remember is “internet marketing”
In Title Tag
Site A= Internet marketing, search engine marketing, email marketing, web promotion
Site B= Internet Marketing | Hubspot
Already you can see that both sites have put full emphasis on the keyword “internet marketing” but site a has put more emphasis on “marketing” using it three times. There has been some debate about how sites that use multiple keywords in the title tag could be classed as spam. Not in this case eveyone! In fact it could actually be adding value.
Site A= 5%
Site B= 3.1%
Again Site A seems to have a higher keyword density, some question the effectiveness of on page factors under the current Google algorithm. This doesn’t particularly prove anything as there are far too many factors to take into account.
Just to clarify before we go into this one, keyword prominence relates to how close the keywords are to the beginning of a particular document, keyword density is simply the ratio of use, for example 10 keywords in 100 words would be a density of 10%. Hope this makes sense.
Site A= 60.7%
Site B= 61.9%
Both sites have a high keyword prominence which should suggest to all of us, make sure your major keywords are as close to the top of your page as is “naturally possible”.
Site A= 0%
Site B= 33.3%
Site A= 0%
Site B= 20%
Site B makes good use of headings yet it is not enough to put the page on the first page of Google. As I have suggested before it is good practice to use headings but on there own they have little impact, unless you are targeting low competition keywords.
Site A= 19.6%
Site B= 27.6%
Google no longer take into account META keywords, apparently. So why do all the top sites use them? Just for good practice? I don’t think they have a strong influence on relevance but I firmly believe they play a role. Try using 6 – 8 words in the tag, per page.
Site A= 44200
Site B= 19900
We see a massive difference in the amount of backlinks to the pages here, showing for a fact that link popularity plays a role as well as link quality. You should try to build both equally, quality and quantity, neglecting niether.
Hey….My favourite aspect. Let’s illustrate this with a few images to make this long post a little more interesting.
As you can see from the above images, Site A has far more emphasis on the targeted keyword with 18.5% on marketing and 7.3% on internet compared to 11.3% and 2.3% for Site B. This is a major factor in why one ranks above the other. If site a were to increase it link text optimisation I could guarantee that it would move up onto the first page.
I want to take a look at some of the metrics concerning the pages where the links are coming from, firstly looking at how the keywords are used on the pages and secondly the Page Rank of the relevant pages. This topic comes under “link quality” let’s see what the differences are.
acks in link popularity and the anchor text is not optimised, it is not in a position to trouble those on the first page.
The below shows the average PageRank of the pages linking in, or in other words the quality of the incoming link.
Site A= PR 3.2
Site B= PR 4
It seems again Site B has the better quality of links as a percentage but still does not get onto page 1, this proves a lot, in that link quality is not as important as link optimisation. Again if Site B had anchored their links with “internet marketing” a little more they would have been in a very strong position.
Site A= 12 years 4 months
Site B= 3 years 10 months
Again this plays a big role and a site that is optimised on page and has been around 12 years is always going to be hard to beat. However I still feel strongly if Site B’s links were optimised they would have already joined Site A on the first page.
Lessons We Can Learn
Here are a few points I think we can learn from the above bit of research.
- Your main keyword must have a strong prominence in your title tag
- On page matters only if your off page aspects back them up
- Heading tags are over rated and should be used to target lower competition keywords
- Use META keywords as a matter of good practice
- Link popularity is as strong as link quality if anchored correctly
- Strong anchor optimisation on a mature page will see you to the top of Google
If you are stuck on the second page of Google and don’t know where to go, make sure you test all of the above tips to make sure you are competing effectively.
I know it’s been a long one but I like comparing sites to show how SEO really effects rankings. If you want to read another guy’s blog who knows the effectiveness of SEO check out Griz’s Make Money Blog.
Until next time
Author: Tim (292 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.