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I have just started to use some SEO tools for the first time to compare my best pages with those of my nearest competitors. I’ve had some initial success on certain pages that were lacking ‘obvious’ elements, but I’m a bit stuck for ideas where things are more ‘opaque.’
For example, I’m in 7th position in Google for a 2-word phrase. Interestingly enough, of the top ten listings, I ‘beat’ all my competitors bar two for PR; am way ahead on ‘repeats’ [as my product is the same name as the phrase (intentional)], so I’ve actually decided to cut back on its usage (less is more?), as none of those ahead of me have a single repeat!; I have a 2.33% density, whilst others have zero; and, bar the page in tenth position, I am the only one with any of the following page elements – %ages are thus for my page:
Title: 2 (80.0%)
Link: 2 (2.8%)
Kw: 2 (14.3%)
Desc: 3 (35.3%)
Bold: 3 (5.0%)
HTags: 1 (50.0%)
I am also ‘competitive’ on the use of each of the words that comprise my phrase taken separately, although I’ve picked up a few things I can tweak!
In other words, I have (unwittingly/instinctively/after learning) optimised my pages, whereas my competitors have not - and yet 6 of them are ahead of me for no apparent reason.
Am I missing something? On what other factors should I be comparing my page with theirs and where do I go from here to climb up the ranking?
Cheers as always,
* age of sites/pages
* age of links
* deep links
* anchor text of links
* internal link structure (including anchor text, clusters of pages on same or related terms)
* variety of inbound link sources i.e. not all from blogs or directories etc
* variety of anchor text
and no doubt many more that you haven't mentioned here?
The quick answer is NO. Although I'll now look into the points you've raised. However...
* age of sites/pages - we'd all give up if that was too significant, but I ake your point.
* age of links - ditto!
* deep links - Mine's a deep page - I'll see if there's is.
* anchor text of links - very time consuming? All I can do is look after my own, really?
* internal link structure (including anchor text, clusters of pages on same or related terms) Yes, I must look into this!
* variety of inbound link sources i.e. not all from blogs or directories etc - to be analysed.
* variety of anchor text - is this a good thing?
On the subject of the first two "aging" factors, I believe it is generally accepted that both are in play. Hopefully though, a six year old site does not have the same advantage over a three year old site as a three year old site has over a brand new site i.e. I would imagine the factor becomes less important as your own site ages. Besides, as with on-page optimisation they are not the only factors, and it should be possible to beat older sites with older links by doing better on other factors - on-site, quantity of links, variety of links, anchor text etc.