In this website analysis report, we’ll take a look at accountancy firm, Pearl Accountants.
We’ll analyse the Pearl Accountants website (including on-page SEO and content), its market and its main competitors.
In doing so, we’ll reveal how they obtained such huge growth. And we’ll identify how they can hold onto being 1st on Google for ‘Accountants in London’.
From Zero to Hero
In October 2020, there were an estimated 3,600 monthly searches for “accountants in london” in the UK alone.
And, the number one search result for this term was Pearl Accountants (pearlaccountants.com).
Here is the interesting point though: 12 months earlier, Pearl Accountants website didn’t even make the top 10 Google search results for “Accountants in London”.
This is rapid growth, which suggests that there was a fundamental shift that caused this meteoric rise.
An overview of traffic vs backlinks
Looking at a comparison of website traffic vs the number of backlinks obtained is an easy way to see whether it was one or two big events or an accumulation of lots of smaller events that caused this growth.
In February 2020, Pearl Accountants had 1,195 website visits, 5,866 backlinks from 190 referring domains.
One month later, they had an extra 4476 backlinks from 191 referring domains.
This one move shifted them to dominate the top end of the search results for the term “accountants in london”. Moving them from position 44 (Jan 2020) to 1st in four months (May 2020).
Assuming nothing else happened, by obtaining this backlink leap, Pearl Accountants also gained a corresponding traffic increase of 49%(1,195 to 1,782) too.
In this website analysis report, we will study the Pearl Accountants website in detail.
As such, we will try to identify the key contributing factors to their momentous rise. And what they will need to do to sustain their lead.
About Pearl Accountants
Pearl Accountants provides accountancy services in London and across the UK.
They have five offices in and around London: Hounslow, Canary Wharf, Covent Garden, Harrow, Kingston-upon-Thames. As well as one in Staines-upon-Thames in Surrey.
Overall, the services they provide include:
- Business & Tax advice
- Business Rates
- Bookkeeping Services
- Company Accounts
- Company Formations
- Personal Tax
- Reg. Address & Mail Forwarding
From here, we can see that Pearl has a standardised offering. In fact, there is nothing wild about their content which would have caused this dramatic shift.
For example: If Pearl were offering free services, over time it could bring more people naturally to them. As a result, this would start to weight rankings towards them.
The Competitive Landscape
Next, we’ll take a look at Pearl Accountants’ main organic competitors.
Organic Competitor Traffic
In August 2020, Pearl Accountants’ organic competitor traffic totalled 107,700 website visits.
However, Pearl Accountants received less than 7.08% of that traffic.
This is interesting. As it suggests that whilst Pearl Accountants are ranking for the particular keyword, they don’t have an overall content strategy.
If they did have one in place, then I would expect them to have a bigger share of the pie.
Either that, or they have:
- Smashed this one keyword area with a superb piece of content – unlikely
- Only begun with there content marketing (again this wouldn’t explain the rise for one area, this is normally incremental)
From our perspective, this is unlikely and means that something else is likely going on here.
So let’s check out where their traffic is going to.
In October 2020, Pearl Accountants website received 4,090 website visits.
And the firm received 50.51% of this traffic directly from its homepage.
Here are their key performing pages:
Overall, their top 3 pages generate 71.91% of the website’s traffic.
Therefore we can say that Pearl is creating content, but most of their traffic goes straight to their Homepage.
Considering ‘Accountants in London’ goes to the homepage. Again, this suggests that there isn’t an amazing piece of content marketing driving their growth.
Overall, Pearl Accountants have gained 5,967 backlinks in the last 12 months.
Transitioning from 5,231 backlinks in October 2019 to 11,198 backlinks in September 2020…a 114% increase.
In contrast, let’s compare this with Pearl Accountants’ top organic competitor, TaxAssist.
Interestingly, even though taxassist.co.uk had far more backlinks in October 2019 (157,579 backlinks), they’ve lost 26% of them (41,298 backlinks).
Next, we will conduct an in-depth qualitative analysis of Pearl Accountants’ 11,198 backlinks.
The uptick in backlinks
Coming back to our original report, the question is what happened here:
If we can establish what happened here, we might be able to explain the growth for Pearl Accountants.
Next, we’ll look at the referring domains:
This suggests that we are looking for a few domains with a lot of links.
If we look at Pearl’s backlinks, we do find two websites which not only provide a lot of backlinks, but were also spotted around the same period when we initially saw their increase.
So what are these links?
The first one is a directory for accountants…
Relatively useful, but the domain has a low authority. As such, it’s unlikely to have shifted the needle that quickly.
However, the second is much more interesting: Company Bug
And as soon as we look for links within Company Bug, we find what we are looking for:
Boom! Crowd goes wild.
Not really, but let’s continue.
Essentially, Pearl Accountant’s have paid for display advertising across a good content creator, Company Bug.
It is these backlinks which have driven the increase in performance for ‘Accountants in London’.
I would expect that this wasn’t intentional, based on looking at the rest of the site. But it is clear that the side effect of this advertising deal was an impressive position increase on Google.
And I bet their marketing department is patting themselves on the back too!
Obviously, I don’t know what they paid for their deal. But this one move has likely driven a huge amount of traffic and leads their way.
Clearly, if they are also getting leads from Company Bug, then it is a worthwhile investment.
Whilst it is great that Pearl Accountants have seen such growth, which is great, it is clear that they only have this one trick up their sleeve.
If they stopped advertising with Company Bug, it is likely that they would fall as quickly as they climbed.
Also, any other accountancy firm could copy this trick and get the same result.
This means that Pearl should take this opportunity to invest in their content and SEO to build on this momentum. Allowing them to be less affected if their main deal were to fall.
Considering I would have expected their leads and sales to naturally increase, the question is have they taken that opportunity to invest? Or are they just banking the sales as they don’t know how precariously they are positioned online?
Afterall, if they choose not to invest and grow rapidly internally as a result of this partnership. If Company Bug were to end this partnership, that could spell out a disaster for Pearl.
Obviously, we are not at that point. But this does spell out how important SEO decisions can be for a business.
For instance, if I were running Pearl, I would want to ensure that I was doing everything I could to build on their current success.
Being so dependent on one advertising external partner for your results is dangerous for long-term business.
Recommended action plan:
- Creating regular keyword optimised blog content
- Improve their services pages so they perform better
- Improve their content relationship with Company Bug so they have articles listed rather than just being an advertiser
- Implement a consistent backlink acquisition strategy which is more than just directories
- Build more partnerships with other similar blogs if possible to ensure less risk
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