Dominant Players in The UK Virtual Assistant Industry (and How to Beat Them)

virtual assistants uk competitor analysis
stock imagery of someone using laptop on white desk with peppermint tea and books strewn about

“Statista.com valued the global market for outsourced services at USD 85.6 billion in 2018. Another recent report suggested that the VA industry will grow at a CAGR of 4.4% between 2018 and 2022. The proportion of business people globally that work remotely for 2.5 days a week or more has now reached over 50%.”

– Virtalent.com

This is a featured snippet that tips the search results if you search for “virtual assistant industry statistics”.

Keyword virtual assistant page 1 on google

The owner of that snippet is virtalent.com.

Make a note of that website address because we will be coming back to it a little later on.

Here are the questions that are listed in the “People Also Asked” section of the search results:

People also ask on Google list
    • What industry is virtual assistant?
    • Is there a market for virtual assistants?
    • What is the demand for virtual assistants?
    • Is a virtual assistant worth it?

We’ve bolded the last two because out of the four questions, these are the ones with the most commercial intent.

Not to mention, we have a question of our own…

Which UK virtual assistant websites are answering those questions?

What is the demand for virtual assistants?

“virtual assistants are in demand….According to recent data, the average salary for virtual assistants in the US is $4,000. This is set to increase with the growing demand for more skilled VAs as businesses all over the world move online.”

–  spacecoastdaily.com

Is a virtual assistant worth it?

“If you estimate that using an assistant will free up more of your time for high-value work, like finding new clients or working on projects, it is worth the cost. … It would be well worth hiring a virtual assistant at $20 per hour so you can free up more hours for higher-paying work.6 Jun 2018”

–  benefitsbridge.unitedconcordia.com

Well…Space Coast Daily (answer number 1) “brings more than 120 years of collective experience in journalism to its rapidly expanding portfolio of high-quality, printed niche magazines and digital platforms.

So, not virtual assistance providers.

What about benefitsbridge.unitedconcordia.com?

Again, this website is owned by United Concordia Dental who say that “Dental insurance is what we do. Your health is what we’re all about.”.

So, again…not virtual assistant providers. 

Okay, what about virtalent.com, the website that provides the featured snippet at the top of search results for the search term “virtual assistant industry statistics”?

Virtalent website

Ah…that’s right on the money.

They definitely specialise in providing virtual assistance.

In fact, they are one of the few businesses that rank in the top 10 for all of the top 3 related keywords:

  • 1st – virtual assistant (Volume: 14K / CPC: $10.00)
  • 2nd – virtual assistant uk (Volume: 1.1K / CPC: $11.00)
  • 3rd – virtual assistant services (Volume: 350 / CPC: $13.00)

What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?

According to Investopedia

“A virtual assistant is a self-employed worker who specializes in offering administrative services to clients from a remote location, usually a home office. Typical tasks a virtual assistant might perform include scheduling appointments, making phone calls, making travel arrangements, and managing email accounts”.

As such, in this report, we will be taking a deep dive into the most dominant SEO players for VA keywords. And we’ll come up with an initial plan of attack for any newcomer looking to break into the VA industry.

Keyword Analysis: Virtual Assistant/Virtual Assistant UK/Virtual Assistant Services

In order to find the most dominant SEO players for the keywords: virtual assistant, virtual assistant uk and virtual assistant services we looked for websites that ranked for at least two of those keywords.  

We have highlighted the website URLs that appeared more than twice.

Keyword: virtual assistant
Volume: 14K / CPC: $10.00
  1. https://www.moneymagpie.com/make-money/make-25-an-hour-as-a-virtual-assistant-2
  2. https://www.societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk/2020/08/17/top-10-tips-for-becoming-a-va
  3. https://www.thevahandbook.com/how-become-virtual-assistant
  4. https://annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk
  5. https://virtalent.com
  6. https://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/virtual-assistant-jobs
  7. https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/299695
  8. https://avirtual.co.uk/virtual-assistants
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_assistant_(occupation)
  10. https://www.fiverr.com/categories/business/virtual-assistant-services
Keyword: virtual assistant uk
Volume: 1.1K / CPC: $11.00
  1. https://www.societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk/find-a-va
  2. https://www.societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk
  3. https://www.virtalent.com
  4. https://www.theonlinepa.co.uk
  5. https://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/virtual-assistant-jobs
  6. https://annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk
  7. https://www.adminangelsuk.co.uk
  8. https://er-va.co.uk
  9. https://jhvirtualassistant.co.uk
  10. https://startups.co.uk/guides/how-to-become-a-virtual-assistant/
Keyword: virtual assistant services
Volume: 350 CPC: $13.00
  • https://desiretodone.com/list-of-virtual-assistant-services
  • https://www.thevahandbook.com/potential-virtual-assistant-services
  • https://www.selinajohnson.com/services-rates
  • https://www.virtalent.com/virtual-assistant-services
  • https://www.techradar.com/uk/best/virtual-assistant-services
  • https://annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk
  • https://www.alchemyva.co.uk
  • https://biz30.timedoctor.com/virtual-assistant-companies
  • https://biz30.timedoctor.com/98-tasks-you-can-outsource-to-your-virtual-assistant-from-3-per-hour
  • https://er-va.co.uk/

We found that 4 websites showed up in the top 10 rankings for the three analysed keywords.

virtual assistant virtual assistant uk virtual assistant services
  • societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk (2)
  • thevahandbook.com (3)
  • annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk (4)
  • virtalent.com (5)
  • societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk (1,2)
  • virtalent.com (3)
  • annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk (6)
  • thevahandbook.com (2)
  • virtalent.com (4)
  • annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk (6)
  • societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk
  • thevahandbook.com
  • annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk
  • virtalent.com

Now we have our most dominant players, we will begin by taking an initial look at their:

  • Domain ratings
  • Number of backlinks
  • Number of organic keywords
  • Amount of organic traffic

Initial Domain Analysis

backlinks and keywords virtalents
  • Highest domain rating
  • Most backlinks
  • Most referring domains

thevahandbook.com

backlinks and keywords virtalents
  • Most organic keywords
  • Most organic traffic

virtalent.com

backlinks and keywords virtalents
  • Average organic traffic, backlinks and keywords

annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk

backlinks and keywords virtalents
  • Lowest domain rating
  • Least backlinks
  • Least referring domains
  • Least organic keywords
  • Least organic traffic

Our initial domain analysis shows that societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk is way out in front with the…

  • Highest domain rating (70)
  • Most backlinks (18.6K)
  • Most referring domains (782)

Second place is thevahandbook.com with the…

  • Most organic keywords (2.8K)
  • Most organic traffic (4.3K)

And in the third position, we have virtalent.com.

At this point in the analysis, we can see that annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk is not at the same competition level as the other URLs. Because it has the…

  • Lowest domain rating (31)
  • Least amount of backlinks (76)
  • Least amount of referring domains (16)
  • Least amount of organic keywords (148)
  • Least amount of organic traffic (1.2K)

Therefore, for the remainder of this report we will focus on:

  • societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk
  • thevahandbook.com
  • virtalent.com

Okay, let’s get to know our three virtual assistant SEO players.

First up, virtalent.com.

Virtalent

Virtalent homepage

Homepage: virtalent.com

Virtalent have: 

“doubled in turnover and size year on year, growing the team to over 50 team members – using their own revenue, skills and by focusing on recruiting the best VAs they could find.”

And their domain, virtalent.com was registered in June 2014.

Overall the website has 6,351 pages.

But only 0.01% of these pages (68 pages) rank in Google.

And those 68 pages generate roughly 2,559 website visits. Which is the time of this report (December 2020).

In addition, the website ranks for 274 keywords. With 21 of those keywords (0.07%) in the top 3 search results.

The VA Handbook

VA in UK content

Homepage: thevahandbook.com

The VA Handbook is a blog that was created and is managed by Joanne Munro. Munro set up her own Virtual Assistant business in 2008.

And, the domain thevahandbook.com was first registered in April 2014.

Overall, the website has 1,681 pages.

Similarly to Virtalent, only 0.04% of those pages (68 pages) rank in Google.

However, these 68 pages generate roughly 2,137 website visits. Again, this is in December 2020 (the time of this report).

In addition, the website ranks for 384 keywords, And 9 of these keywords (0.02%) rank in the top 3 search results.

Society of Virtual Assistants

VA site

Homepage: societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk

The Society of Virtual Assistants is:

 “run by volunteers, headed by Caroline Wylie, a virtual assistant since 2004 whose company www.virtuallysorted.com works with clients and VAs all over the UK.  Its mission is to help UK Virtual Assistants and their clients.”

And the domain, thevahandbook.com was first registered in May 2006.

Altogether, the website has 4,705 pages.

But only 0.04% of those pages (206 pages) rank in google. However this is far more than Virtalent and The VA Handbook. 

And these 206 pages generate on average 3,460 website visits. Yet again, as of December 2020 (the time of this report).

In addition to this, the site ranks for 491 keywords. However, much like The VA Handbook 0.02% (21 keywords) rank in the top 3 search results.

Domain Age

societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk thevahandbook.com virtalent.com
14 Years (May 2006) 6 Years (April 2014) 6 Years (June 2014)

Number of Pages

societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk thevahandbook.com virtalent.com
4,705 1,681 6,351

Number of Ranked Pages

societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk thevahandbook.com virtalent.com
206 (0.04%) 68 (0.04%) 68 (0.01%)

Organic Search Traffic

societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk thevahandbook.com virtalent.com
3,460 2,137 2,559

Organic Keywords

societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk thevahandbook.com virtalent.com
491 384 274

Organic Keywords in Top 3 Search Results

societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk thevahandbook.com virtalent.com
21 (0.04%) 9 (0.02%) 21 (0.07%)

What We Know So Far About The Main SEO Players In The Virtual Assistant UK Industry

So far we can see that only one of the 3 SEO players is a direct service provider: virtalent.com.

And Societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk is the oldest website with the:

  • Most amount of pages ranking in Google
  • Highest amount of search traffic
  • Most amount of organic keywords

Interestingly, virtalent.com has the highest amount of organic keywords in the top 3 search results.

Overall, two-thirds of our SEO players are not direct service providers. As such, let’s look further at annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk.

However, remember, this is the domain with the…

  • Lowest domain rating
  • Fewer backlinks
  • Least amount of referring domains
  • Least amount of organic keywords
  • And the least amount of organic traffic

Overall, these performance stats are in relation to the other SEO players. However, we know now most of them do not provide VA services. As a result, it makes sense to include Anna Burton to our report.

Anna Burton Virtual Assistant

anna burton virtual assistant homepage

Homepage: annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk

Anna Burton is a virtual assistant who works remotely from Kent, UK.

And on her site, Anna outlines her services as follows: 

“administrative support for all kinds of busy people in all kinds of demanding positions. My work has helped them to find more time in each day, relieve some of the stress that comes from overwhelming workloads, and save money by improving efficiency and providing assistance only when it’s required.” 

First, we saw that the domain, thevahandbook.com was registered in July 2017.

Interesting!

Although the website is less than 4 years old, it still ranks well in comparison. Especially when we look to the older websites in our pack of SEO players.

As a result, annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk may be “the newcomer” to study and watch.

Overall, the website has 29 pages. And it is a relatively small website (almost tiny) in comparison to the others.

And only 0.34% of those pages (9 pages) rank in Google.

Altogether, these 9 pages generate an average of 1,232 website visits (December 2020). 

A Worthy Competitor

Overall, to be fair, annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk generates a lot of traffic with fewer pages.

Put simply, thevahandbook.com generates 2,137 visits with only 68 pages! And this means the content on Anna’s site is as good as, or a cut above the rest.

In addition, Annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk ranks for 74 keywords. And 4 of these keywords (0.05%) rank in the top 3 search results.

As such, do not discount annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk!

Even though it was bottom of the pile in a side-by-side comparison. Overall, Anna Burton’s individual site stats show that it is worthwhile to analyse and learn from.

Considering the website was launched online in 2017, there is a lot of potential here.

So, welcome back to the fray annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk.

Next we will conduct a backlink analysis for all four sites.

Backlink Analysis

On the whole, these are the backlink stats for our four SEO players:

  • societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk
  • thevahandbook.com
  • virtalent.com
  • annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk
Website Backlinks Dofollow Backlinks
societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk 18,653 7,516 (94%)
thevahandbook.com 1,787 831 (47%)
virtalent.com 1,661 885 (53%)
annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk 79 25 (32%)

First, we can see that societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk has the highest amount of dofollow backlinks (94%).

And Virtalent.com (one of two direct service providers) is in second place with dofollow backlinks (53%).

Top Backlinks

Next, are the top backlinks for our four SEO players. 

Overall, what we want to ascertain here is the backlink that provides the most SEO juice from the highest-ranking domain.

Society of Virtual Assistants

Firstly, below is the dofollow backlink that provides societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk with the most traffic.

uk virtual assistants

And this blog post is for people who are: “looking for the best work from home jobs in the UK in 2020”.

Virtual Assistant backlinks

Second, this link from deftfreefamily.co.uk. Overall it generates 696 website visits and was first seen in July 2020.

Altogether, the top five dofollow backlinks are:

  1. https://debtfreefamily.co.uk/genuine-work-from-home-jobs-uk
  2. https://va-uk.com
  3. https://www.moneynuggets.co.uk/best-jobs-for-stay-at-home-mums
  4. https://startups.co.uk/guides/how-to-become-a-virtual-assistant
  5. https://www.madeformums.com/school-and-family/income-ideas-for-stay-at-home-mothers

Overall, these five dofollow backlinks generate 1,579 visits.

The VA Handbook

Firstly, this is the dofollow backlink that provides thevahandbook.com with the most traffic:

Backlinking in the VA Industry

And broadly speaking, it’s a blog post for people who have “always wanted to start a business”.

Future Learn link to The VA Handbook

Clearly, this link from bplans.com generates a lot of website visits (1,621). And it was first visible in November 2017.

Overall, the top five dofollow backlinks are:

  • https://articles.bplans.com/26-businesses-you-can-start-for-free/
  • https://www.projectfinanciallyfree.com/genuine-work-from-home-jobs/
  • https://www.savemybacon.co.nz/blog/2020/02/16/Online-Business-Ideas-That-New-Zealanders-Can-Start-From-Home
  • https://www.projectuntethered.com/best-travel-jobs/
  • https://www.jasonfox.me/15-tasks-you-can-outsource-to-a-real-estate-virtual-assistant-to-grow-your-business/

Altogether, these five backlinks generate 2,364 visits.

Virtalent

Firstly, below is the dofollow backlink that provides virtalent.com with the most traffic:

Screenshot of Future Learn article

And this blog post is for those interested in how to: “keep earning from home, in the long and short term”.

Overall, this link from futurelean.com generates 5,547 website visits. And it was first seen in September 2020. Evidently, the high visits are due to the fact that Future Learn is a learning resource. Clearly, this is because it offers value and demonstrates expertise.

However, the top five dofollow backlinks are as follows:

  • https://www.futurelearn.com/info/blog/how-to-make-money-during-the-coronavirus-lockdown
  • https://biz30.timedoctor.com/virtual-assistant-companies/
  • https://makeawebsitehub.com/make-money-online-at-home/
  • https://thewaryworker.com/best-virtual-assistant-jobs/
  • https://www.sidehustlenation.com/be-your-own-boss/

Altogether, these five backlinks generate 8,441 visits.

Anna Burton Virtual Assistant

Uh-oh!

Overall, Annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk receives zero traffic from its 25 dofollow backlinks.

Clearly, there is no current backlink strategy in place for the website so let’s move on.

Traffic From Analysed Keywords

In this next part of our analysis, we are going to see how our four SEO players perform. Especially in regards to the amount of traffic they get from these three keywords:

  • virtual assistant
  • virtual assistant uk
  • virtual assistant services
Website virtual assistant virtual assistant uk virtual assistant services
societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk 1,968 612 0
thevahandbook.com 1,279 0 44
annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk 748 205 18
virtalent.com 540 373 28

Keyword: virtual assistant

Overall, societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk receives the most traffic from the keyword “virtual assistant”.

However, Annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk is the direct service provider that receives the most traffic from the keyword “virtual assistant”.

Keyword: virtual assistant uk

Yet again, Societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk receives the most traffic from the keyword “virtual assistant uk”.

Although, virtalent.com is the direct service provider that receives the most traffic from the keyword “virtual assistant uk”.

Keyword: virtual assistant services

All in all, thevahandbook.com receives the most traffic from the keyword “virtual assistant services”.

Whereas the direct service provider that receives the most traffic from this keyword is virtalent.com.

However, societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk is the strongest non-direct service provider. Especially when it comes to traffic generation from the keywords “virtual assistant” and “virtual assistant uk”.

In comparison, virtalent.com is the strongest direct service provider for keywords “virtual assistant uk” and “virtual assistant services”. 

Our final analysis will examine the top pages for each of our four SEO players.

Top Pages

Overall, we’ll look at each competitor’s top page in as much detail as possible. First, we’ll begin with societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk.

Top Page: Society of Virtual Assistants

The top page for Society of Virtual Assistants is a blog post. Which is entitled: Top 10 Tips for Becoming a Virtual Assistant.

Content examples in VA industry

Top Page Stats

  • Published in August 2020*
  • 440 words
  • Generates 2,336 visits
  • Generates 68.2% of all website traffic
  • Ranks for 50 keywords
  • Top keyword for this page is “virtual assistant”
  • Page ranks in 3rd for the keyword “virtual assistant”
  • 34 comments
  • 51 social shares
  • Most shares on Facebook (47)
  • Receives 12 backlinks

*The website states that the post was published in August 2020. However, this is very likely a republish date. Due to the date of the first comment: 8 September 2020.

Reply to Comments

Top Page: The VA Handbook

Similarly, The VA Handbooks top page is a blog post. Not only is it about VA careers, but it has a similar title too: How to become a Virtual Assistant.

The VA Handbook homepage

Top Page Stats

  • 2,939 words
  • Generates 1,445 visits
  • Generates 78.4% of all website traffic
  • Ranks for 47 keywords
  • Top keyword for this page is “virtual assistant”
  • Page ranks in 4th for the keyword “virtual assistant”
  • 78 comments
  • 377 social shares
  • Most shares on Facebook (352)
  • Receives 73 backlinks

Top Page: Anna Burton Virtual Assistant

As expected, Annaburtonvirtualassistant.co.uk top page is its homepage.

anna burton virtual assistant homepage

Top Page Stats

  • 548 words
  • Generates 1,113 visits
  • Generates 90.6% of all website traffic
  • Ranks for 64 keywords
  • Top keyword for this page is “virtual assistant”
  • Page ranks in 5th for the keyword “virtual assistant”
  • 0 Social Shares
  • Receives 56 backlinks

Top Page: Virtalent

Unlike the first two, for Virtalent, the top page is its homepage.

Virtalent homepage

Top Page Stats

  • 2691+ words
  • Generates 806 visits
  • Generates 31.8% of all website traffic
  • Ranks for 25 keywords
  • Top keyword for this page is “virtual assistant”
  • Page ranks in 6th for the keyword “virtual assistant”
  • 0 social shares
  • Receives 766 backlinks

Top Page Averages

All in all, across the four top pages, these are the averages:

  • 1,655 words
  • 1425 visits
  • 47 keywords
  • 227 backlinks

In addition to these averages, we estimate that a newcomer would need backlinks from 18 – 47 websites. Especially if they want to rank in the top 10 for the three keywords:

  • virtual assistant (volume: 14K / CPC: $10.00)
  • virtual assistant uk (volume: 1.1K / CPC: $11.00)
  • virtual assistant services (volume: 350 / CPC: $13.00)

Summary

In conclusion, the VA industry is huge. And it is still in its infancy.

Despite this, according to a blog post on societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk:

“Author of the 2-Second Commute Chris Durst is credited with having founded the Virtual Assistant industry in her home in rural Connecticut in 1995.”

However, the online market is wide open.

Because a quick analysis of related keywords to “virtual assistant” uncovers 27 keywords. And combined this is a total search volume of 3.9K.

For example, here are a sample:

virtual assistant keyword list

And these keywords have the following characteristics:

  • A maximum keyword difficulty of 20 out of 100
  • Minimum 100 monthly searches
  • Exclude the word “jobs”

As a result, this means it’s anyone’s game. While VA has been a round for some time, it’s only just seeing growth. Which means, a new VA player can shake things up easily!

The Most Dominant SEO Players In The Virtual Assistant UK Industry and How to Beat Them

Overall, the most dominant players (as in any industry) seem to be websites with enormous blogs. And this is likely because they rank for more and more keywords.

However, those in the VA industry who want to beat their competitors need to beat: 

  • societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk
  • thevahandbook.com.

And this is because these are not direct service providers. 

As a result, any newcomer that implements a long-term content marketing strategy can overtake them. Especially a strategy similar to them. Because this will attract even more customers without the need to be in direct competition. Which is often hard to do as a new business.

Content isn't enough...

Of course, heaps of content is not enough.

To break into and to dominate the search engines results for keywords related to “virtual assistant” you need to create content that demonstrates expertise.

Which is precisely what the most dominant SEO players in the VA industry do.  

Again, content alone is not enough. 

For instance, a newcomer will need to demonstrate authority too. Which they can achieve by building a reputation among other experts and influencers in the industry.

And this means they will need to gather reviews, references, recommendations, news articles, and other credible information from expert and influencer websites.

Finally, the newcomer will also need to demonstrate trustworthiness.

As such, the newcomer website must state who is responsible for published content, have sufficient contact information and support information. As well as ensuring they publish all reviews. In addition to citing trustworthy sources in their content.

To conclude, content is key. But it needs to show expertise, authority and be trustworthy as Google places emphasis on these attributes when ranking pages.  In fact, it’s known as Google E-A-T and it’s a surefire way to ensure your content is top notch.

Need Help To Beat Your Competition?

Whether you’re a new virtual assistant company. Or you provide a VA service but don’t have time to create content – we can help! 

Our expert team has over a decade of experience in content and SEO. As a result we know what it takes to outperform and outrank your competitors. 

For instance, we can conduct an in-depth competitor analysis to help you see your position within your industry. And then set you up for success with a comprehensive strategy, one that’s right for your business. 

Alternatively, you may have your strategy down but need some help to craft stellar content that generates leads. 

Get in contact with us today to find out what we can do for you, we’d love to hear from you!

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    About Murray Dare

    Murray Dare is a Marketing Consultant, Strategist and Director at Dare Media. Murray helps UK businesses find better ways to connect with their audiences through targeted content marketing strategies. Please follow Murray on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.