A hot debate could be started over the quality of UPS and FedEx's two delivery services but we are going to stay out of that chaos and look at how well their SEO strategies deliver.
Let's jump right in and look at how these two sites stack up when conducting a quick, high-level SEO audit.
On Page Factors Reviewed
Desktop Page Speed- According to Google PageSpeed Insights UPS and FedEx are tied with a score of 89/100.
Mobile Page Speed- The UPS mobile site was rated 61/100 versus 73/100 for FedEx. This one goes to FedEx.
Navigation- Both websites deliver user friendly navigation so this one is a tie between the two. One nice feature of both is the box located above the fold that allows users to enter package tracking numbers.
Content- Both sites have enough content on each page. The UPS Stores pages that link back to UPS have boilerplate content on them; encouraging individual locations to customize the content would be a good move. FedEx has the exact same problem and could also benefit from unique sites for local locations.
Blog- Both sites have a blog which is good. FedEx adds new blog posts on a more regular basis and the top few posts on the FedEx blog had more comments than the UPS blog. The UPS blog is linked to in the footer which is less noticeable than the main navigation link to the FedEx blog. The UPS blog is also not updated on a regular schedule, the time between posts ranges from a few days to a month. Both blogs are good buy FedEx wins in my opinion.
In case you are keeping track, that is 3 ties, 0 wins for UPS and 2 for FedEx.
Technical Domain Comparisons
Domain Authority- FedEx has DA 94 vs 92 for UPS. Both of these are excellent but FedEx just outdoes UPS.
Domain Rank- This metric is very close with UPS narrowly beating FedEx with a score of 79 vs. 78
Trust Flow- FedEx wins with a trust flow of 85 vs. 66 for UPS
Alexa Traffic Rank- UPS ranks about 50 spots higher globally and 19 spots higher in the U.S. than FedEx
Total Inbound Links- UPS has about 28 million back links compared to the 12 million FedEx has. UPS finally wins one!
Linking Root Domains- UPS leads again with 73K linking domains as compared to the 62K of FedEx. Make that two for UPS.
FedEx wins 2 and UPS takes 4, bringing the score to FedEx 5, UPS 4.
Social Media Presence
Twitter Shares- FedEx wins with 3.4K shares of the root domain vs. 1.5K for UPS.
Twitter Followers- FedEx dominates this category with 187K followers vs.93K for UPS.
Twitter Shares- FedEx wins with 3.4k shares, over twice as many as UPS' 1.4K shares.
Facebook Likes- UPS takes Facebook with 1.3 million followers vs. 936k for FedEx.
Facebook Shares- UPS just beats FedEx with 4.6k shares vs. 4.2K shares or the root domain.
Google + Shares- UPS is in the lead again with 22K +1s vs. FedEx's 17K.
Google + Followers- UPS has 13,300 compared to 10,500 followers for FedEx, close but UPS wins again.
Considering that UPS has about 400K more Facebook likes than FedEx, I was surprised to see that UPS had only slightly more Facebook shares. Perhaps FedEx has a better fan base on Facebook even though the numbers are smaller.
FedEx take 3, UPS takes 4, bringing the score to UPS 8, FedEx 8.
Looks like we need a tiebreaker and since SEO is done to rank a site higher for keywords, we are going to compare a few terms for these two sites. The home page title for UPS is "Shipping, Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain Management from UPS" and the FedEx home page title is "FedEx: Shipping, Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management". So let's see who ranks higher for the terms in their nearly identical title plus, "best shipping services."
Shipping- UPS ranks #2 on Google, FedEx takes #3 and 4.
Freight-UPS ranks #4 and #7 and FedEx #5
Logistics- Neither company shows up on the first two pages.
Supply Chain Management- Again, both are not listed on the first two pages.
Best Shipping Services- UPS ranks #4 and FedEx is not on the first page.
This brings the final score to UPS 9, FedEx 8.
UPS and FedEx both do a good job of SEO and integrating social media into the mix. At the end of the day, UPS gets more people to their website and that is the main goal of social and SEO. Maybe FedEx has a higher average conversion rate and they better capitalize on their traffic and maybe not, who knows.
A full audit of both sites would have taken numerous pages to cover but hopefully you have a little insight into how these two companies compare in key metrics.
Author Bio: Travis Bliffen is the founder of Stellar SEO, a search marketing and design agency located near St. Louis, Mo. Travis loves researching and writing about SEO strategies and implementing innovative strategies for his clients. Connect on Twitter @theseoproz.
I am fiercely competitive and passionate about SEO, which means working with myself and the Stellar SEO team will put you on the winning side. Nothing about SEO is guaranteed, but we make a habit of helping brands dominate, even in the most competitive of industries. Since 2012, my company, Stellar SEO, has become one of the most highly regarded names in Search Engine Optimization. Taking the unconventional route, my journey to becoming an SEO industry expert began after reading a magazine article with a "Best Business to Start" headline. Starting with no funding or prior business experience, I began researching everything I could about entrepreneurship and SEO. In the process, I personally tested every theory, piece of sales advice, and "proven" method to deliver effective link-building campaigns. I found that there is no one-size-fits-all method or magic guru tricks to link building.