Spotlight: CanIRank Helps Businesses Make Sense of SEO

Spotlight: CanIRank's SEO Analyzer Software Helps Businesses Make Sense of SEO

SEO can be an overwhelming and confusing concept for a lot of businesses. Sure, you can access analytics and site data. But figuring out what to do about it can be a whole other story. That’s where CanIRank comes in.

The company prides itself on providing actual solutions for businesses based on their online data. Read more about the company and its offerings in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides comprehensive SEO solutions.Spotlight: CanIRank's SEO Analyzer Software Helps Businesses Make Sense of SEO

Founder Matt Bentley told Small Business Trends, “CanIRank’s advanced machine learning analyzes your website and competitors to find keywords you can rank for, links you can get, and on-page optimizations that will move the needle. It’s SEO software that delivers specific growth opportunities, not just data. For every opportunity, get detailed instructions or delegate to a team of experts with just one click.”

Business Niche

Actually analyzing the data to provide you with real solutions.

Bentley says, “We collect data and metrics from other SEO services you know and love, then add a layer of machine learning intelligence on top to deliver actionable insights, opportunities, and personalized recommendations. Our goal is to help you spend less time collecting and analyzing data, and more time making improvements that will grow your traffic.”

How the Business Got Started

After analyzing mountains of data.

Bentley explains, “The idea for CanIRank was born from 50,000 rows of SEO data and the question: “I wonder what kinds of patterns we can find in this?” Answering that question (and others that followed) ended up requiring a multi-year journey through the amazing world of data mining, under an apprenticeship of sorts with one of the country’s leading data miners. After 2 years developing and refining the data models that would become CanIRank, we eventually realized that we knew more about what drives search engine rankings than practically anyone outside of Mountain View.”

Biggest Win

Creating accurate ranking models.

Bentley says, “After many years of research and refinement, our ranking models are now so accurate we can predict the ranking of 40 randomized Google results with 60% accuracy. That’s over twice as accurate as any other SEO tool. That greater understanding of what factors really drive search engine rankings is what allows us to identify which changes will lead to the greatest traffic growth for any website.”

Biggest Risk

Spending so much time developing the solution.

Bentley says, “Spending two years working on R&D for an extremely complicated problem that many others had previously attempted. In retrospect, I don’t think we would have built CanIRank if we had known how difficult it would be to build well.”

Lesson Learned

Focus more on real solutions over problems.

Bentley says, “One early issue we got wrong was misunderstanding how people would react to accurate Ranking Probability scores. As it turns out, when your tool is really accurate, it ends up telling a lot of people with small or newish websites that they’re going to have to do a lot of work before they’ll be able to compete for any valuable keywords. That may be factually correct, but it’s still frustrating to hear, and nobody will pay to use software that constantly gives them bad news. We ultimately solved this by reworking the software to focus more on recommendations for things you can improve to become more competitive. Some people still get frustrated, but at least we empower them with a clear path to improving their website – if they’re willing to put in the work!”

Spotlight: CanIRank's SEO Analyzer Software Helps Businesses Make Sense of SEO

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Improving the product.

Bentley says, “We’re still in the early phases of unlocking the full potential of AI applied to marketing. So most of our profit goes back into making the product more powerful, more accurate, and more useful, and that’s exactly what I would do with an additional $100K as well.”

Favorite Quote

“Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar” From a poem by the Spanish poet Antonio Machado.

Bentley says, “It roughly translates to ‘Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.’”

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Images: CanIRank; Top Photo — Founder Matt Bentley

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.