Your competitors are ranking higher than you in search.

Woman angry at her rankings

So what do you do? You go to their website, you cringe at the stockphotos, you criticize it as confusing and out of date, then you ask your web team to emulate it exactly. Because if they’re ranking number one, they must also be raking in the bucks.

No, no, no no.

First of all, rankings do not equate with conversions.

Let me say that again:


Woman with moneyAssuming you’ve done careful keyword research and have a good reason for going after those keyphrases, rankings can be important. But believing that your competitor is doing better than you online is not based on facts.

For one, you don’t have direct access to their analytics, unless you’ve got a spy reporting to you from the backend. You don’t know how long people are staying on the site, where they’re clicking, how they feel about what they see, or how often they’re converting.

And a reminder:


Clients often ask us to make changes to websites based a knee-jerk reaction to what their competitor is doing. However, our years of conversion optimization experience informs us that what your competitors are doing sometimes, well, sucks.

Very Bad Web Design
(What’s happening on this site? Why is it so terrible?)

This isn’t always the case. We see beautiful and well thought-out sites all the time, and if we think someone has a great design idea, then we don’t see a problem in paying homage when it’s due.

A good website does the following:

  • It does well in search
  • It causes people to perform an action, e.g. to call you, email you, buy your product, etc.
  • It allows people to do what they need to do as easily as possible
  • It engenders trust and confidence

Have you ever walked into a store and immediately felt uncomfortable? Either the salespeople are too aggressive, the layout of the store is confusing and you can’t find what you’re looking for, or maybe it just smells weird.

Cluttered Store
Websites are like that too.

Rather than allowing your competitors to dictate your design, let user experience experts work with you to decide what people respond to well, and then implement that on your site. You should be concerned with earning your potential clients’ trust and making your existing network happy, not obsessed with one-upping your competitors.

About New Why

Web development, online advertising, and social media management for nonprofits and companies who want to make the world a better place.


New Why

Denver, CO

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