This week we analyze a 9-year-old website in the parenting niche, ParentingForBrain.com. The site receives over 260,000 organic traffic per month according to the Ahrefs’ estimate.
What makes this site unique in the parenting niche is that all the content is based on science with a long list of references to peer-reviewed research papers at the end of each article.
The parenting niche is popular but competitive, so by focusing on science-backed recommendations rather than subjective opinions, this site established credibility, leading to links from many high-authority media sites.
In this teardown, we look at the strengths of this site and what we would improve upon to increase traffic and revenue.
This is what I cover in this report:
- Website overview
- Major highlights
- Competitor overview
- Easy wins to increase revenue and/or traffic
- Actionable takeaways you can apply
Let’s get into it!
✅ Website Overview & Highlights
The website has seen strong growth over the past two years, growing from 105k to 230k organic traffic.
However, there was a major traffic decline that correlates with Google’s August Core Update and the September Helpful Content Update. This is despite the content being very well-researched and well-written.
ParentingForBrain.com was started by Pamela Li, a Harvard MBA and Stanford graduate who wanted to share parenting strategies that are supported by the latest research in child development. Originally the site used the domain RookieParenting.com which was later redirected.
This site has been able to rank for a lot of health topics related to child psychology and childhood trauma, despite the main author lacking a medical background (her degrees are in electrical engineering and business).
While there are many parenting sites, there are only a few that are focused on providing information backed by peer-reviewed scientific studies. This helps increase the credibility of the site and helps readers trust that the information is accurate. This can be a good strategy to differentiate a site in a competitive niche.
The site has a simple and clean design that utilizes a large font for easy readability.
- 4,500 referring domains including many high authority links
- Over 300 highly researched articles
- Pinterest account with 32k followers
- 1 eBook (Calm the Tantrums) and 1 video course (How to Motivate Kids)
Why is this site winning?
- Lots of high authority links from sites like Wikipedia, Good Housekeeping, Psychology Today, and Newsweek
- A strong value proposition of parenting advice based on scientific research
- The articles are very well-researched and full of valuable information
Top 3 Competitors
Here are similar competitors targeting many of the same keywords.
- EmpoweringParents.com – A parenting help site focused on child behavior and offering several courses and online coaching (36k traffic Ahrefs)
- ParentingScience.com – A parenting site also focused on providing advice supported by lots of citations of academic papers (61k traffic Ahrefs)
- LittleOtterHealth.com – An online therapy service for children (11k traffic Ahrefs)
Let’s get into the easy wins to grow this specific website.
🔥 5 Easy Wins To Grow This Website
There are opportunities to significantly grow this brand. I break down the following easy wins:
- Build an email list
- Add affiliate product links
- Improve calls to action for the course offering
- Helpful content improvements
- Launch a link building campaign
Let’s get into it!
➡️ Win #1: Build an Email List
There was no evidence that we found of an email newsletter so there is a great opportunity to build one for this site.
Many parents would be interested in receiving a regular email newsletter that provides parenting tips or parenting hacks that are based on scientific research.
With hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors, many first-time visitors will never return to the site unless they are converted into email subscribers.
By investing in growing an email audience of people with a strong interest in becoming better parents, the site can unlock several revenue opportunities like selling courses, selling sponsorships, and promoting affiliate products. Since they already offer a course on “How to Motivate Kids” for $79, an email newsletter would help them make more sales.
An effective tactic to grow subscribers quickly is to add a popup call to action that offers a giveaway like a free email course, cheat sheet downloads, or promises valuable science-based parenting hacks every Friday.
➡️ Win #2: Add Affiliate Product Links
We didn’t find any links to affiliate programs on the site as they only promote their own course. However, there are many relevant affiliate programs that this audience would be interested in.
There are numerous parenting courses that the site could promote that deal with a specific parenting problem that is covered on the site such as improving child sleep and dealing with separation anxiety.
Additionally, there are several large providers of online therapy or counseling services that would be a natural recommendation for specific issues that are discussed such as child psychology or childhood trauma.
TalkSpace is a popular online therapy service that offers a $80 commission per sale through its affiliate program. Online-Therapy.com provides online cognitive behavioral therapy and offers a $120 commission per conversion.
➡️ Win #3: Improve Calls to Action for the Course Offering
We found just one call to action for their main course offering on the right sidebar that doesn’t draw the attention of a visitor. This CTA could be improved with a more appealing graphic that explains the benefits of the course.
Additionally, this CTA is moved to the bottom of page for mobile viewers which makes it very easy to miss. For mobile visitors, a popup or a notification bar with CTA button at the top of the mobile screen could increase clicks to the landing page.
A few articles have a call to action in the middle of the article. This CTA could be moved to above the fold so that more visitors would see it. A red button could also be added to increase the click through rate.
➡️ Win #4: Helpful Content Improvements
Since this site lost about 100k traffic in the past couple of months according to Ahrefs, it would make sense to work on content improvements that would help it recover from Google algorithm updates.
These improvements could include adding more on-page trust signals to help people understand that the content is written by experts with strong credentials. For example, the articles are missing an author bio, so the visitor does not see the background of the author unless they go to the About page.
Another tactic to improve sitewide content quality is to find content that is a few years old and make updates based on recent studies or newly published academic papers. Many sites focus on adding new content and ignore updating existing content that is already getting some traffic.
Lastly, look for pages that are receiving no traffic and no backlinks and consider deleting them. If a page is getting no traffic it may be considered low quality by Google so deleting it can improve the overall content quality of the site.
➡️ Win #5: Launch a Link Building Campaign
While this site already has 4,500 referring domains including many from large media publications, it can further increase its authority and trust by acquiring more links from trusted institutions like libraries, colleges, and government sites.
With a strong value proposition of helping parents learn about effective parenting techniques based on the scientific literature, they can reach out to educational and government sites to ask to be included on their resource pages.
The site covers some health topics that Google would consider a YMYL category (“Your Money Your Life”) so more citations from trusted sites like universities will help keep the site in good standing.
👉 Actionable Takeaways
Here are actionable takeaways that you can apply to your niche website today:
- Look for ways to provide relevant recommendations for affiliate products in your informational content.
- If your site appeals to an audience with specific needs, invest in building an email list to optimize the revenue potential of your traffic.
- If you have been affected by the Helpful Content update, focus on improving existing content and deleting any low-quality or thin content.
- If you have valuable content, don’t just sit back and wait for links to appear naturally. Instead, proactively reach out to high quality sites that would happily recommend you.