I spend most of my time investigating what makes a website tick. If you want to achieve results being investigative is a requirement. One of my monthly priorities is to check the top 50 websites and try to identify the outlier.
If you remove the regular – Facebook, Google (times 10), Apple, Microsoft. What is left and how did they make their way to the top 50 most visited website? What SEO techniques did they use and what do they do differently than all the rest?
This time Parallels caught my eye.
I’ve never heard or used Parallels. Quite honestly I first visited their webisite for the purpose of this article and I was really impressed with what I saw.
Here’s a break down of what I think helped them enter the top most visited websites.
1) Update the content often with fresh information
Google loves fresh content and Parallels knows it. They update their content often with fresh information. Solutions for new issues why your Mac might running slow after a new version has come out.
2) On-page Optimization
Simple on-page optimization on their blog articles. It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to go through the entire article once it is finished to properly optimize it. And it pays off.
3) Long tail keyword strategy
Take a close look at the list below and tell me what you see. The heading might have given it away, but here what the title didn’t include. This one article is ranking for more than 3,681 keywords that have three words or more.
4) The 80/20 approach
Parallels provide 80-90% of valuable content to their users with a 10-20% promotional content. Most of the content provides links to authoritative sources such as Apple or Microsoft.
In many cases, they also provide 100% value with 0% promotional text. They are really setting themselves up as the authority around Mac related issues, tricks and making Mac user’s life easier.
5) Asking for a comment
At the end of every article, they ask their users to add their own issues so they can provide personalized solutions; or the way they solved their own issues. If properly moderated, user-generated content can be a powerful tool.
6) Technical SEO
They go beyond the on-page optimization and utilize proper technical SEO tactics. From proper markup to using the last guidelines on user-generated content, using the “UGC” tag on the comments section.
7) Performance is the key
Smashing the performance for a page with more than 110 requests, full with clear, large images. Performance is a key factor for ranking high. Take note of the Web Vitals that they already seem to be having under control.
8) Link Building
But wait, they must be building a ton of backlinks in order to be in the top 50 websites in the world. Think again…
But obviously with 80 backlinks from 28 referring domains they can’t rank for that many keywords on a single article. Well… think again.
9) Tech stack
This one is important. I have had plenty of my clients telling me that you can’t be rich with a WordPress website. Well, tell that to Parallels because they are in the first 50 websites globally and they use WordPress as their blog CMS and Typo3 as their company CMS. Both are free, open-source content management systems.
10) Internationalization (i18n)
Parallels offer their blog in 5 different languages. Is their i18n SEO top-notch? No, it is not. Have they paid attention to technical SEO for their international versions? No. Yet it worked fine for them so far and at the end that is what matters.
You don’t need to spend millions on tech stack to rank well. In some cases, you don’t even need to have the most SEO optimized website in the world to be one of the most visited sites in the world.
What is non-negotiable is the need to offer value to your users beyond their needs. Spend time on your content strategy and find gaps in your content and in your competitors’ content and fill them.
Give more than you are expecting to get back on each article. There are many examples of companies that utilize the 80/20 rule across their entire library of articles and some of them started doing 90/10 in order to provide a better user experience.