Your Competitors Affect Your SEO Strategy

I had an interesting message yesterday asking for a little light SEO help with this website, a home for the Brownies of Northwest London.

It’s a cute website, isn’t it?

They’d like to show up on searches for “Brownies London,” “girlguides London,” “girlguiding London,” stuff like that. Girl Guides, for those unfamiliar with the term, are the UK equivalent of the US Girl Scouts.

I had a look at their source code and their content, and then I went to and checked out the competition for the keywords they want to use.

Here’s what you find when you look for “Girl Guides London”: the World Association of Girl Guides followed by the official central office for the UK Girl Guides. Tough competition for a new local site.


“Brownies London” gets you the UK central office again — and brownies, the kind you eat. Tough competition, again. Not to mention the fact that your searchers might get distracted, veer off into looking at London bakeries, and never get back to looking up the Brownies at all.


“Girlguiding London” gives you lesbian bar information. I don’t know whether they’re tough competition or not, but they are the kind of neighbors that make people looking for a social group for their preschool daughters change their query.

So this particular website is up against an extremely powerful competitor, a completely irrelevant term that happens to sound like them, and a controversial neighborhood.

Usually, when you find yourself in one of these situations, you work around it. Go to some other, easier search term to begin with, and work your way up to the more challenging circumstances. Since all their terms put them in challenging circumstances, the West London Brownies can’t take that approach.

My recommendation for them:

  • Change the meta title to get rid of the phrase “girlguide london” and “girlguiding london.” They don’t need to end up on the same page with bars, regardless of their personal feelings about bars, because it’s not the association they want their customers to have with their product. And people searching for the Brownies probably won’t scroll down this page for them — they’ll just change their queries.
  • Add meta descriptions to all the pages, using the phrases “Girl Guides and Brownies.” Right now, they have no meta descriptions.
  • Since they’re not really in competition with the other Girl Guide organizations, ask for links at the major Girl Guides websites. Also get every little Brownie and all the parents to link them at Facebook, their personal web pages, classroom pages, or whatever other online space they can command.

Have you tried typing your keywords in at Google to see who’s sharing the page with you?






2 responses to “Your Competitors Affect Your SEO Strategy”

  1. Satya Avatar

    Great post! Many people don’t realize how important it is to actually become involved in the process. Great example of examining the context of your online position, and factoring it into your online strategy. Cheers

  2. Rebecca Haden Avatar
    Rebecca Haden

    Thanks, Satya!

Leave a Reply