Like most startups, Linux Academy is in a competitive industry. They offer hands-on online cloud training courses on topics like AWS, DevOps, Linux, OpenStack, and more. However, they compete against popular sites that have greater brand awareness because of the broad mix of course topics those sites offer.
While the larger brands might have the benefit of brand awareness, Linux Academy is executing an effective SEO strategy that is giving them a competitive edge.
In six months, their organic traffic increased by 84%. The percent of their total traffic coming from search also increased from 37% to 63%. And with a 25% improvement in Alexa Rank during that time, they have strengthened their leading position against direct competitors who offer similar course topics.
Figure 3: Linux Academy is leading the pack of direct competitors that have similar offerings.
How they did it
How does a small brand with a niche focus stand out against larger competitors with broader appeal?
They did it one step at a time, by making incremental improvements.
Colette Wladyka, Linux Academy’s Marketing Director, monitors her bi-weekly Alexa SEO audits and tackles a few action items at a time. She focuses on the issues that will have the most impact and delegates those tasks to her development team.
“Before using Alexa, I was already well-versed in SEO. Learning best practices and implementing them wasn’t an issue. But Alexa made it so much easier and quicker to prioritize action items. The site audit drills down beyond high-level best practices and takes you straight to the issues that need to be addressed. It then tells you specifically how to fix them.”
Over time, she has watched these improvements produce higher organic traffic and improved site audit scores. “Tracking the impact your changes are having is so satisfying,” says Colette.
In addition to resolving technical issues uncovered by the site audit, the Linux Academy team uses the Competitor Keyword Matrix and Keyword Difficulty Tool to find new content ideas and target new keywords. These tools help identify the top opportunities for ranking highly with new content and keywords.
“Alexa is a great resource for improving your website performance. Our entire marketing team is using it in one way or another, from finding and fixing SEO issues to discovering new content ideas,” says Colette.
How are they performing against the larger competitors?
Compared to direct competitors with similar offerings, Linux Academy is a big fish in a small pond. While Linux Academy has the best Alexa Rank among its direct competitors, there is a large gap between them and the larger, more popular online course providers with a more diverse offering.
On the surface, it looks like their larger competitors are miles ahead of them. However, take a look below at how Linux Academy compares to the larger brands on their core topics. Linux Academy has 74.1% share of voice on keywords relating to “linux.” Two of the large competing brands have only 11.8% and 7.8% share of voice. Smaller, direct competitors have even less share of voice.
Figure 5: Share of voice for keywords that contain “linux”
On “DevOps” related topics, Linux Academy has 62.4% share of voice. The larger big brand competitors are nowhere to be seen. And smaller direct competitors have 20.2% and 17.4% share of voice on the topic.
Figure 6: Share of voice for keywords that contain “dev ops”
In six months, Linux Academy:
- Increased organic traffic by 84%
- Dominated the organic share of voice on their most important topics
- Increased the percent of total traffic coming from search from 37% to 63%.
- Improved their Alexa Rank by 25%
Linux Academy is reaping the compounding benefits of making small, continual improvements to their site. And by staying focused on core topics, they strengthened their foothold in the niche that matters most. Alexa’s tools help them to identify the projects that will have the largest impact, making the most of available resources. By taking one step at a time, and making each step count, Linux Academy has charted a clear path to success with the help of Alexa’s SEO and Competitive Analysis Tools.
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