By using seoforum’s services you agree to our Cookies Use and Data Transfer outside the EU.
We and our partners operate globally and use cookies, including for analytics, personalisation, ads and Newsletters.

  • Join the best UK dedicated SEO Forum

    Provide or get advice on everything SEO, ask questions, gain confirmation or just become apart of a friendly, like minded community who love SEO and Online Marketing.


    Join 50,000 members!

Confused by competitor dominance in local results

W

websitesbymark

New Member
Likes
0
#1
Back in 2008 I set up my website and to be honest the site ranked well on Google. In fact we don't use anything other that organic Google to get work.

About 3 years ago we moved geographic location and since then we have had trouble keeping the rank we once had. Part of the issue is wanting to ranks for more locations geographically, but that in itself is not the issue.

According to Moz,IBP and SEO Profiler we should be killing the competition but we are not. We have also done things like remove global footer links and code cleanly in html5, still no effect. Cant see any penalisation from Google, its just no matter what we do, it does not really have any real effect.

Worse still the number one for our main search has a site which technically is weak and he has a poor back link profile.

The search phrase im interested in is 'web design dorset' for the uk and my website (websites by mark) is sitting on the second page of the results. If anyone has a few minutes, can they have a look and give me a clue what I have missed.
 
Community

Community

Administrator
Staff member
Likes
16
#2
Hi Mark,

What tools are you using to measure your positions ? I have just googled your desired search term and you currently sit at 4th or 5th place below the map packs.

websitesbymark.png

Obviously I won't be seeing your personalised or localised results, it would be interesting to see what tool you are using to report a second page placement. If you list a few other search terms you target I'd be happy to also run a report to see what ranking differences we show.

Couple of points id pick up on at first glance.

You have no Structured Data even though you are trying to target localised searches, The Map pack could greatly help your cause, you're loosing business without it.

Page speed insights, although your page reasonably fast id still improve a couple of those points but it will be minimal :

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=https://www.websitesbymark.co.uk&tab=desktop

Backlinks, you seem to be a bit top heavy with credit footer links. One site for example : therecycler.com you might be better just using branded anchor text instead of including keywords. Good practice would be to nofollow it as well but to be honest that's a decision you should make based on the quality of your backlink profile, I would almost certainly change it to branded though regardless given the size of that site.

I've only briefly looked at your site though, what competitor are you comparing your self to ?
 
W

websitesbymark

New Member
Likes
0
#3
Thanks for looking, re ranking im using seo profiler, but there is also incognito which i also use for a quick check. i know incognito is flawed, but if anything i would expect it to report better for me. Re google page speed, its advice would actually increase load times. (you would end up splitting the css, which would cause multiple files to have to load). Page speed should not be a massive ranking factor and to be honest mine loads quicker in pure speed terms. Dan Ashton is the site im interested in understanding. No idea how he is doing it. On the face of it, nothing special on page, and nonthing massive as in bounds... Take your footer link comment, except this would be what the other web designers are doing and i cant see any real links the others have, that are not this. So any ideas happy to look at, but i would just love to understand whats going on.
 
Community

Community

Administrator
Staff member
Likes
16
#4
Hi Mark,

In your case the page speed assessment will be minimal, but every little helps when your grasping at straws :) . Often forgotten is that both perceived page speed and physical can contribute to different things. Perceived is more important in terms of user experience.

With that said, I don't think anything on page is the issue, ( Although Dan's Mobile speed is pretty good which will lead him down a good path with the mobile index this year ).

Because other web designers do something is neither here nor there if you're looking at the competition objectively, there are too many variables to consider that one sitewide link is equal to another........because they are not, especially when localised results are in the mix.

Dan Ashtons backlink profile is simply better than yours for the purpose you are trying to achieve.

He's heavily focused on serving small businesses, most with small footprints, the majority of them are all real places, that have have real physical locations and his anchor text is either generic/branded or its relative to where the site is based.

The previously mentioned link ( That I recommended to be branded, I still recommend that ) but as an example, if it didnt have such a large footprint then I would have personally used a "Witney" Anchor text linking to your Witney Web design page. Rinse and repeat with all localised clients sites, matching the physical location on the clients site to the relevance of your service, making sure the client site is relevant to the target area. if its big site or focusing more on a national/international level ( like the recycler ) then you'd be better off using branded anchors, or as an alternative consider making decisions on diversifying with nofollow, link-less or indeed limiting your attribution to the contact page or homepage instead of sitewide.

Small, Local client sites that are highly related to the service area are what is driving his success, It's likely that you've probably drowned that out with trying to focus on authority and being bigger and better. With anchors which are likely to be saturating/confusing things, forgetting about diversity for the target market your aiming towards.

On that note though, you are both heavily invested in accreditation links. Some good editorial links in the mix wouldn't hurt either of you :)

Hopefully you are able to see what I mean when looking through his backlinks and the sites that he's got linking back.
 
W

websitesbymark

New Member
Likes
0
#5
Thanks for that. And to be honest apart from a few exceptions I do tie the witney sites into the witney page (as an example)... But you did bring up a more interesting point which I did not consider... What your saying is if a company is based in Witney (maybe supported by a Google maps listing) then having that link to my Wiitney page will have more weight then an 'London' site linking to the same page. So the difficulty becomes unless Im ranking for instance in Dorset, Im not going to get the work (as an example) and the jobs I am getting outside of Dorset wont really help my 'Dorset' landing page... Bit of a chicken and egg... So potentially I would need to do paid advertising within areas of Dorset, until I have enough Dorset sites for the site to stand on its own two legs.. So there also is not much point in me doing any sort of generic link building either? Would be interested in hearing from anyone who disagrees with this idea...
 
Community

Community

Administrator
Staff member
Likes
16
#6
Hi Mark,

Relevance is key and the more relevant the more weight it would carry. So yes if you done a website for a dorset butchers, they had their physical address on the website ( and as you mentioned we're verified with G-maps ) and you were linked to your specific location page from that website. It would carry more weight than having something less related or broader.

That's quite a narrow view you carry of chasing your tail though, it kind of highlights what I said above about your reliance on accreditation links. That isn't SEO, its just gaining a link for the sake of gaining a link.

Think outside of the box, do some content outreach asking businesses in your required area if you could write a one off blog post for them. Obviously not promoting your services, but a post which will help them and be useful to their visitor base........which just so happens to have an author bio at the bottom with your link.

There could be many things you could actively pursue which would gain good, sustainable backlinks from local sites which are FAR FAR better than sitewide accreditation links. Sponsorships, press releases on local news, travel reviews.

Creating a localised blog post of the local area on your blog and reaching out to possible local sites that may wish to link to said blog post from one of their tourism pages etc etc. Yes it's all leg work and there is alot of rejection or non-responders along the way, but it's worth it.

Id rather have one link from one page of a highly related localised website blog, than I would 30 sitewide credit links all day long.
 
SEO Powersuite Banner

Latest Products

  • [Rivmedia] Lazy Loader XF2
    [Rivmedia] Lazy Loader XF2
    Load images asynchronously on your forum, allowing images to be loaded only when they are in view
    • Rivmedia
    • Updated:
  • [Rivmedia] Guest Redirect & Profile unlink
    [Rivmedia] Guest Redirect & Profile unlink
    Forums which prevent member profile access for guests, redirction and unlinking for profiles
    • Rivmedia
    • Updated:
  • [Rivmedia] Simple Redirects
    [Rivmedia] Simple Redirects
    Simple redirects allows forum admins to make simple 301 or 302 redirects via their admin panel
    • Rivmedia
    • Updated:
  • [Rivmedia] Minimum Message Length
    [Rivmedia] Minimum Message Length
    Eradicate short, pointless posts with a minimum message length and improving content worth on a thre
    • Rivmedia
    • Updated: