This week, we have an interesting site to analyze that stands out with a unique approach.
Launched in 2021, WorstBrands.com provides valuable insights into brands that consumers should avoid and the underlying reasons.
With an impressive tally of 680 posts to date, they have covered a wide range of topics, ranging from yeasts to refrigerators. Unfortunately, the site was negatively affected by the August 2022 update.
Nonetheless, we dive into the reasons behind this setback and propose strategies to reverse its effects, placing emphasis on boosting revenue through easy wins.
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 experienced a remarkable growth phase, reaching 120k in traffic according to Ahrefs in August 2022. It was during this time that Google released one of its helpful content updates.
In Google’s own words: “The helpful content update will target websites that have a relatively high amount of unsatisfying or unhelpful content, where the content has been written for search engines rather than humans.“
The website’s domain has been active since 2021, and its design has remained largely unchanged without any major overhauls.
Regarding the content breakdown, the website owners experimented with a few content silos.
The largest one is the reviews silo, consisting of 300 brand reviews. This is followed by around 100 articles highlighting the worst brands to avoid, 50 troubleshooting articles, and the remaining articles covering miscellaneous topics related to brands.
- Strong links from sites like Slashgear.com, Motorbiscuit.com, and Housedigest.com
- 680 articles published in a span of 2 years
- Ranking for more than 23k keywords
Why is this site winning?
- Unique approach by focusing on “negative” keywords such as “brands to avoid” and “worst XY brand”.
- Impressive level of content production, averaging nearly one article per day for the past two years.
- Standardized publishing practices supported by well-structured on-page SEO elements, including headings, table of contents, and internal and external linking.
Top 3 Competitors
Here are similar competitors targeting the majority of the same keywords.
- FarmFoodFamily.com – A similar site targeting “brands to avoid” keywords, 2,000+ posts to this date, 137k traffic according to Ahrefs
- UpgradedHome.com – Another similar site, also hit by the update, with 200k traffic according to Ahrefs
- DurabilityMatters.com – Focus on the durable brands, it seems that most of the competitors were hit by the update, with 74k traffic according to Ahrefs.
Let’s get into the easy wins to grow this specific website.
🔥 4 Easy Wins To Grow This Website
There are opportunities to significantly grow this brand. I break down the following easy wins:
- Prune stale content
- Improve Google E-A-T
- Add more affiliate links
- Double down on producing content that actually ranks
Let’s get into it!
➡️ Win #1: Improve Google E-A-T
This one should have been immediately after the August 2022 update. The website lacks a sense of authority. The only notable element contributing to E-A-T is the author boxes placed below the articles. To address this, let’s start with the basics:
Establish social media profiles associated with WorstBrands.com. Currently, we have only come across a weird-looking LinkedIn profile under that name.
Enhance the About page by providing more comprehensive information about the site’s history, the individuals behind WorstBrands.com, and finally the authors, accompanied by brief bios for each. Given that the site covers numerous niches, it would be best to seek out expert writers for prominent niches like technology, home improvement, and cooking.
Include links to the authors’ social media profiles, which will add an element of trustworthiness.
TWF’s about page
➡️ Win #2: Add more affiliate links
It’s astonishing that despite having over 300 brand reviews, most of them lack affiliate links. The rationale behind this decision is unclear, but it’s possible that the owners removed the affiliate links after the update.
However, reintroducing them could potentially improve affiliate revenue and increase overall profits by at least 25%. Here are some actionable steps to consider:
- Implement unique and visually striking calls-to-action (CTAs) within the “brands to avoid” articles. If these articles already include a section with recommended brands (some do), you can enhance it with attention-grabbing elements such as brightly colored product boxes highlighting the top pick. Emphasize why this particular product is superior to the brands being avoided.
- Enhance the review articles by incorporating a classic CTA setup. This can include engaging headings, descriptive text, image links, and traditional buttons to encourage users to take action.
- Integrate Amazon native ads into the website. These ads can seamlessly blend with the content and provide additional opportunities for monetization.
These are all easy wins I cover in my 120+ strategy database.
Lack of CTAs/affiliate links
➡️ Win #3: Prune stale content
It is evident that the site’s struggles after the August 2022’s update can be attributed to the quality of content.
Ahrefs data reveals that approximately 170 articles receive fewer than 10 visitors per month and have less than 10 ranking keywords per article.
To address this issue, it is recommended to conduct a basic content analysis. This analysis should include:
- Analyzing data from GA and Google GSC to gain insights. Start by exporting pages from GSC that are older than three months and identify those with less than 10 clicks or 50 impressions per month.
- Verify the rankings and backlinks of these identified pages using Ahrefs.
- Make informed decisions about whether to keep, improve, or remove the underperforming articles. In cases where the site was previously impacted by a content-related update, it may be necessary to be strict and remove as much low-performing content as possible. Conversely, if the site is performing well, it may be worthwhile to keep the pages and work on improving them.
- Conduct regular checks, ideally at least twice a year, or more frequently based on post-update analysis. This ensures ongoing monitoring and adjustment of the content strategy.
This is a service we provide as a part of our Content & SEO strategy package over at WebAcquisition.com.
➡️ Win #4: Keep producing content that ranks
This is particularly applicable to struggling sites. When facing the impact of a Google update, it is wise to prioritize the content silos that have demonstrated success.
In this case, the focus should be on the “brands to avoid” section, which has proven to rank well. Instead of pursuing new silos under the pressure of declining metrics in GA, it is more advantageous to double down on the existing content that has shown positive ranking performance.
Rather than risking the potential lackluster performance of new silos, redirect efforts towards optimizing and enhancing the content that is already successful.
👉 Actionable Takeaways
Here are actionable takeaways that you can apply to your niche website today:
- In 2023, having a site that lacks fundamental E-A-T elements is no longer an excuse.
- When your site has been impacted by a content update, focusing on improving existing content is a requirement. Merely publishing more content will not help.
- Always add affiliate links to articles receiving “enough” traffic (my threshold is 50 views/mo or more and the page gets optimized)
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