Since many days in fact since years I am monitoring SEO status of Byjus and which is not that great despite it being the big brand with at least 1.5 MN brand searches on Google and much higher number of searches across internet.
Before we move further on this let me brief you about Byjus and the good side of it,
- Byjus is one of the biggest e-learning platforms with at least 1 MN paid learners and many more millions of subscribers registered for free learning.
- Byjus has a great learning app and most of the delivery happens through this application.
- Byjus is USD 1BN (INR 6505 cr) valuation company as of March 2018
- Byjus recently raised USD 244 MN in the month of April 2018
- Byjus is funded by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), Sequoia Capital, Sofina, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Verlinvest, Aarin Capital and Times Internet
- Source Wikipedia- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BYJU%E2%80%99s
- Byjus registered name is Think & Learn PVT limited
- Byjus founder is Bjyu Raveendran
- Byju’s is a Bangalore based company
- Byjus has acquired other two big education providers such as Tutorvista and Edurite from Pearson
- Byjus has both website and application and the website traffic is around 6MN as of August 2017
All these sound very interesting to me and as a digital marketer when I look at their website I am trying hard in understanding the following,
- Are these 6Mn+ really happy with web experience
- Are these 6MN+ properly guided for the app download or any other objective of selling a course or leaving the information to sales team and more
- Would Google continue valuing Byjus website with the emergence of any new player with a better-optimized website?
- Are the upcoming generations going to trust Byjus website if Byjus stops branding activities?
In my opinion, Byjus can reap lot more than what it is now by addressing the following,
- Improving the webpage user experience
- By optimizing the pages for conversions
- By addressing the technical issues on the website
- By improving the look and feel of the website
- By having the right SEO strategies
I am a big fan of education provider businesses and especially for the businesses which are capable and has the potential to attract large audiences to their websites through organic approaches.
Byjus.com is one such which has huge scope/opportunity (with existing content/no additional content) to achieve lots of organic traffic, in fact, triple the organic traffic what it has now.
Exactly! this is what made me a bit more curious in finding the scope of improvement in improving the organic traffic (Google traffic) for Byjus.com and that’s when there aroused multiple questions as follows:
- What would I have done as an SEO head/consultant
- What would have been the support from Byjus for executing the SEO strategies
- Does Byjus really care about its SEO
- Why has Byjus SEO heads not paid attention in optimizing?
- Does Byjus team just trust/relay on content? And not in optimizing the website?
- Byjus don’t have supporting teams for improvising it such as technical team, product owners, content strategist and more?
These could be the possible questions from the SEO professionals if they look at their current SEO status as of 10th October 2018.
Anyways I know no SEO professional will be able to find the answers for any of these questions until they meet the right and authority people over there. Let’s continue with the audit.
And I started finding the details as follows:
Byjus Traffic Details:
Byjus total traffic to the website is 6.51 Million as of 10th October 2018 as per similarweb report.
Note: similarweb results are not 100% accurate and the difference is by plus or minus by 5%-20%
Think of this 6.5 MN traffic increasing by 3X times with the right SEO strategies? That’s equal to 19.5 MN organic traffic.
Looks like Byjus most of the traffic is just through un-optimized content and with the optimization of content and website there is a huge scope of improvement, probably this 3X growth might happen in 3-6 months of time.
Website Speed and Performance:
Byjus website Status from technical Perspective:
Google Speed test for Byjus
- First contentful Paint is 4.2s and which is very high.
- The optimization score is 38 out of hundred
The above image is a screenshot from tools. pingdom tool,
- The load time of the home page is 6.46s
- The Page size is 6.0 MB
- Number of HTTP requests are 207
- The performance grade is 76
I found the website is built in WordPress and this cannot be an excuse, as the basic optimizations are missing,
Browser caching is not enable and also the query string is not removed from the URL’s and this is the cause for the performance grade being at 76 and which actually can be improved by a lot up to 99 or achieve 100 by taking care of tracking pixels and design practices.
There are too many HTTP requests and this will impact the speed of the website. Its suggested to bring it down to as few as possible so that all the requests can be passed in a single connection to server, in case If the requests are still many after changing the design I suggest to move to HTTP2 implementation so that the connection requests will be passed in parallel to server instead of queue.
The page size is 6 MB and un-optimized images comprise a total of around 4.6 MB and by optimizing these image the page size comes down drastically and therefore there will an improvement in the page load times.
Byjus brand is been searched around 2Mn times on Google and this implies there is a large amount of traffic coming to the home page and there is a possibility of inconvenience to the user and hence they might quit due to too long wait time.
On the mobile internet the site will be loading much slower and its a bigger problem.
Also, from the above images, it's visible there are lots of scripts which comprises 27.5% of the total HTTP requests and 16% of the total content size. The script is around 1MB and which is too high, normally most of the websites limit it to a few KB’s probably between 50Kb -200Kb
Lets take a comparison between Byjus and Vedantu,
I took some internal pages of Byjus and Vendatu and the differences are as follows,
Vedantu has a clear win over performance and this would help vedantu website to place them a bit higher on search results as comparatively the user experience could be better than Byjus.
Soon or later Byjus might lose their organic traffic to Vedantu or any upcoming players.
Let’s consider few examples of the players who are in the education industry
Simplilearn is a professional course training and certification provider company and the site performance details of simplilearn are as follows:
Simplilearn Google speed test:
Simplielarn loads in less than 2s and which is at 1.81s, whereas Byjus load time is 6.46s, ideally the suggested load times are less than 3s for good experience. The longer load times are actually bad for websites search performance as well.
The content and the request breakdown is as follows,
There are 45 Images on the Simplilearn home page, but then the size of all these images is only 541 KB, whereas Byjus homepage has 87 images and the size of the image is 4.6 MB
On an average, the size of images on Simplilearn homepage are around 12 KB
On an average the size of Images on Byjus home page is 57KB, so its clear that Simplilearn has optimized the images and not Byjus
Let’s consider another player who is into education, the Knowledgehut.com
KnowledeHut is into professional courses training and certification and is providing services across 70+ countries.
Google Speed Insight of KnowledgeHut
KnowledgeHut load times are around 3s and are comparatively better than Byjus
KnowledgeHut’s content and the request breakdown is as follows,
Comparatively, there are fewer Image requests from KnowledgeHut home page, but then the size of these images are bigger than Simplilearn and are smaller than Byjus
Total there are 14 images and size of these images is 420 Kb, On an average the size of the image is 30Kb
Take away of website speed and performance:
Byjus website load times are very high and need an improvement, assuming the servers are great there is a necessity of optimizing the images and fixing the design issues, which would improve the load times
From the SEO heads of simplilearn perspective, SEO is not just content but also optimization of the website to its best performance, and that's how the SEO professionals should have the balanced move on the strategies or optimizations they build.
Getting Back To The Byjus SEO Performance,
A good design will fulfill the following or at least some of them,
- Fewer HTTP requests
- Limited external CSS files
- Limited external Js files
- No HTML errors- https://validator.w3.org/nu/?showoutline=yes&doc=https%3A%2F%2Fbyjus.com%2F
- Adding expiry
- Prioritizing the contnet over the scripts
- CDN enabled
The technical SEO plays and crucial role in improving the website performance on search engines, and the user experience plays an equivalently important role in holding the keyword positions on top of SERP.
In fact, a bad user experience would never make the website to rank up on Google first page and hence paying attention to it as an SEO professional is very crucial, especially when website has few millions of traffic.
Let’s look at what’s wrong with Byjus user experience and how is that affecting the organic performance of website on search engines,
Bounce rate varies with the source of traffic and every source traffic quality is different. Usually, the search engines traffic to the websites is considered to be as the most quality traffic when optimized for the right keywords and when web pages user experience is great.
The optimal bounce rate for most of the businesses especially which are into education is around 45%.
If the search engine traffic has high bounce rate,
- Either the web pages are optimized for low-quality keywords or
- The webpage user experience can be bad or
- Above may be both of the above
Looking at the traffic sources its evident that 80% of the traffic is from search engines, which includes both organic (SEO) and Search marketing traffic.
The display traffic and social media traffic are negligible, which are usually the high bounce rate traffic sources for most of the business except e-commerce.
Take away: This implies either the user experience is worse or the web pages may have been optimized for wrong keywords or both may be true.
Web pages optimization for the appropriate keywords is something which I would not prefer to speak especially when experienced professionals are working on the projects.
Anyways still the user experience can be looked into and let's understand more on the same.
Is a great way of collecting the details from users especially when they are satisfied with the information served and ready to find the contact details of the business or ready to provide their details to the business.
But, Byjus severs a pop up within less than a second or two, that’s even before user is trying to figure out where has he landed and meanwhile this may look very spammy to most of the users and hence they quit and this bad user experience conveys that the website is not serving the purpose and Google or any search engine for that case pushes it down.
Realizing the importance of user experience can be considered to be as one of the best and must practices for SEO professionals as said by the SEO community.
Seems to be like an interaction with the support to normal web browsers and hence the audience may try interacting with the call to action as ask a question, but the user experience is different. when the audience/customers are still may be in need of reading the content and in that case, the form fields on the same page can be considered to be of great user experience instead of redirecting to the new page.
A redirected user may face difficulty in navigating back to the previous level page.
I hope many people reading the blog are aware of header navigation purpose and from many designers or business owners perspective it is to create convenience to users in finding the priority categories or products and this doesn’t imply having access to all page types and in case if everything stands at priority the search box for the user is the most preferred experience.
I understand the SEO specialist concerns, some may have learned SEO bluntly and in that case, this should be fine.
User Experience Take Away:
Too many lead collecting forms and very less information and no impactful illustrations on the webpage.
- The above image is a complete web page view
- One banner with a call to action in the top
- 3 lead collecting forms to the right side
- one chat box to the right bottom
- And maybe no value created to the user/audience at the bottom.
There are many doorway pages created on the system just with a piece of content with an objective to generate traffic and collect leads forcefully and this kind of pages and bad user experience and may put the complete system in trouble.
I don’t say all the pages have bad user experience or the doorway pages, but then a large number of such pages exist on the system. Meanwhile, there are few pages which I do like and I appreciate those creative/young minds who are updated on the SEO happenings and deep understanding about the domain.
Here is an example of some good page, “.com/cat/cat-syllabus/”
There are few tens of things to point out on the user experience which the SEO professionals to be bothered about,
Note: There are two perspectives of user experience the usual one from the product/designers perspective and the other one from the SEO professionals/digital marketers perspective, here I am speaking about the SEO perspective of design which deals with content presentation, type of content, the pop up and their delays, the call to actions, the call out statements and more.
This article writing is not yet completed, check it back for more details on this topic.............!