It’s not always easy to tell what separates one business’s results from another’s. On the surface, it might not be obvious why two incredibly similar businesses are performing differently. But we’re a search-led marketing agency here at Embryo Digital, and it’s part of our DNA to analyse and inspect performance and potential when looking at our clients. After all, it’s why we released the Embryo Index – we wanted to be able to clearly display business performance across several online and offline marketing metrics. That’s what makes it so interesting to examine the differences between two very similar recruitment agencies currently working in Manchester: Axon Moore and Oscar Recruitment

At first glance, Axon Moore and Oscar Recruitment have a lot in common. They recruit in different sectors (public and technology respectively), but they’re close in many regards. For a start, they are literally only around the corner from each physically, both based in central Manchester. On the Embryo Index, they are separated by a score of just 0.25 (Axon Moore scoring 155.25 and Oscar Recruitment scoring 155.00). Given that the Index currently ranks hundreds of Manchester businesses with scores ranging from 6.45 all the way up to 2226.18, this tiny margin definitely stands out. However, using the Index to examine performance across different metrics, we can begin to reveal that there’s more going on under the surface. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at both Axon Moore and Oscar Recruitment. Using the Embryo Index, we’re able to see how the two recruiters are similar, how they are different, and where both could invest in order to raise their performance. 

Nothing Much To Separate Them?

First of all, it’s worth noting in which metrics the two recruitment agencies have similar scores. After all, with overall Index scores separated by just 0.25, you might assume that means their performance in particular metrics is also tightly contested. 

As you can see, both recruiters score fairly well when it comes to their Customer Review Score. Scores of 55.5 and 57.0 put both businesses on an even level. While both have room for improvement and should look to improve these scores, these are generally quite good. This score aggregates reviews from a number of online portals, including Google Reviews, Trustpilot, Ekomi and more. Oscar Recruitment just about edges this one with a score 1.5 higher than Axon Moore’s, but there’s little to separate their performances here. 

Axon Moore and Oscar Recruitment score 1/100 and 2/100 for the Embryo Index Social Media Score respectively. This score shows us that neither recruitment agency is finding much success in gaining a foothold on social media platforms. Both businesses score low here and could find success by improving their social media presence. These scores indicate small audiences that are not engaging with the brand as much as they could. 

Where Does Oscar Recruitment Edge Ahead?

So far we’ve seen both businesses score very similarly, but we’ve also seen Oscar Recruitment just about edge ahead. This continues throughout a few of the metrics we use to score businesses on the Embryo Index, with the gap only increasing further. Here, we can see that Axon Moore begins to fall behind when it comes to the Web Authority Score – a metric that examines various online factors such as the quantity and quality of links and content, page speed, and on-page SEO factors. 

When it comes to the Inbound Links Score, yet again Oscar Recruitment just about pips it, scoring 7 to Axon Moore’s 4. Compared to the Web Authority Score, this one is specifically about the quality and quantity of inbound links to the business’s website. It assesses the quality of unique websites linking and sending traffic to both recruitment agencies – an important factor that affects rankings, web authority and visitor numbers. While both companies should consider off-page tactics to help improve these scores, once again Oscar Recruitment is just ahead. 

The Establishment Score calculates the number of links and the amount of traffic coming from high-value websites. Government websites, education websites such as universities and other public sector websites tend to have a lot of inbound links, giving them high web authority and increasing the value of links coming from these sites. Despite being a recruiter for the public sector, Axon Moore has a score of 0, showing a need to spend some time and attention on this aspect of their link building. Oscar Recruitment scores 5, nudging ahead of Axon Moore on another authority and link-based metric.  

How Does Axon Moore Pull Things Back?

So far we have seen Oscar Recruitment consistently score slightly higher across the metrics we’ve inspected. But going back to their overall scores, we can see that Axon Moore scores 0.25 higher with a respectable 155.25. Both websites can boast to having the Embryo Index ‘100+ Club’ trophy, and sit somewhere around the middle of all the recruitment sector businesses on the Index. But why does Axon Moore rate slightly higher than Oscar Recruitment, given they’ve been trailing in the metrics we’ve assessed so far? Let’s take a look. 

This one is interesting. As we can see, despite trailing in all the metrics we’ve looked at so far, Axon Moore is the clear victor when it comes to the Keyword Reach Score. Scoring 7.4 to Oscar Recruitment’s 0.5, this shows that Axon Moore’s website clearly has better keyword optimisation. This metric assesses both of the website’s use of keywords and key search terms, and how these terms are performing in SERPs. By extension, this suggests that Axon Moore will be receiving more organic traffic from search. 

The Web Traffic Score is particularly telling. Not only can we see now that Axon Moore has better keyword optimisation, but it also generates more web traffic than Oscar Recruitment in total – despite trailing in almost every other metric. This score is based on the estimated traffic each website receives based on a range of third party metrics. Here we can see just how important high-quality content with excellent keyword targeting. Despite ranking lower in most metrics, Axon Moore is able to generate more web traffic from organic search and keep visitors on-page for longer through decent content web content. We know that Axon Moore is ahead on the overall score, so it’s clear just how important generating web traffic with great content really is. Not only do they trail by some margin here, but the fact that Oscar Recruitment’s Web Traffic Score is lower than their Keyword Reach score also indicates that their content isn’t engaging visitors. 

What Does All Of This Tell Us Exactly?

Examining these two businesses back to back helps us see what both could do to improve their rating. On the one hand, Oscar Recruitment edges ahead on most of our metrics, and yet struggles to generate anywhere near the same web traffic as Axon Moore. This just goes to show the importance of content and keyword optimisation in generating organic web traffic and getting your website in front of users. 

So what could Oscar Recruitment do about this? Well, seeing as they score relatively well compared to a close competitor when it comes to the Web Authority, Inbound Links, and Establishment scores, it’s clear that the next best step for them is to invest in high-quality content. Despite everything they’re doing right, there’s a problem with their customer engagement with the content on their site – it’s struggling to both bring people to site with proper keyword use, and to keep people on the page when they do arrive. It’s easy to see that by taking the plunge and securing some effective SEO content, they could benefit better from their other decent scores and rise through the rankings, all while enjoying more web traffic and a bigger opportunity to convert them. 

What about Axon Moore? Clearly, they’re doing something right when it comes to their content and keyword optimisation – after all, they’re able to sneak ahead of Oscar Recruitment and benefit from more traffic overall. However, they clearly lack some web authority. Their Web Authority and Inbound Links scores lag behind Oscar, and they score a whopping 0 when it comes to the Establishment metric. Axon Moore should spend time focusing on generating inbound links from high authority and trusted sites – over time, that’s guaranteed to have a positive impact on their rankings. 

Interested?

Do you want to find out more about how your business currently ranks and what you could do to improve your ratings? Would you like to see your business added to the Index in order to quickly and easily compare yourself to your competitors in vital metrics, allowing you to put together an insightful and impactful strategy? You’re in the right place. Just get in touch with us today to discover more about how Embryo can help to optimise and improve your website.

Thom Whyte

Thom, our Content Executive, loves writing engaging and traffic-driven content that creates real results for our clients. Wanting to improve as a writer and learn more about digital marketing as a whole, he’s looking forward to perfecting his trade.