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Should I compare my page to pages that are ranking lower in the SERPs?

The quick answer is No, you shouldn’t, but it depends.

Google favors the pages that are ranking at the top of SERPs. It could be due to more authority, better backlink profile, but equally, it could be because Google sees its content as well optimized. That’s the theory we run with and has been proven to deliver great results.

Select relevant, like-for-like pages that are above your page and optimize. Read this comprehensive article about how to pick your organic competitors.