Shory: under the SEO microscope

Another local UAE startup that’s making headlines is Shory.

You may have noticed their bridge advertising on Sheikh Zayed Road near Downtown Dubai.

I’m sure there’s ads elsewhere, like Abu Dhabi where they’re based.

But what’s piqued my interest in Shory is their SEO.

I heard about Shory a while ago when a recruiter talked to me about a potential role with them.

At the time, their site was a bit wonky but I believe it was partly due to them not being fully launched.

That being said, they’re now live and ready to help with insurance – specifically, car insurance.

Naturally, I had to run an SEO audit of the site, because that’s what I do as an SEO consultant. (I also audited, the newest digital bank in the UAE recently).

It’s also because I love to see how much attention startups like Shory pay to digital marketing. Unsurprisingly, the budget is skewed heavily towards offline marketing when it should really be digital heavy.

This is what the site overview looks like in ahrefs – they’re investing in PPC (as they should to build awareness) but there’s some organic growth too: ahrefs site overview

Lots of activity in the last few months, clearly: ahrefs traffic overview

And as the site has grown and become more well known, it’s beginning to rank for more keywords: ahrefs organic keywords is actually OK. But there’s a lot of money left on the table that they really shouldn’t have.

The clean, minimal design is a nice touch but as you go through the site, you notice that it’s just a lot of white space, some whimsical designs and there’s a general lack of words – this is problematic if you’re trying to make a dent in a competitive market.

That being said, they’ve got a lot of the basics right… like having an HTML sitemap along with XML sitemap (which is referenced correctly in the robots.txt which also happens to be setup just fine). Score!

But when you get under the hood, that’s where things get interesting. And if I was involved in the marketing of Shory, I’d be taking notes furiously about now. 

Keep in mind Shory isn’t an insurance provider. It’s a marketplace for insurance (sort of). So it’s in the insurance comparison game (sort of). So it’s up against not just insurance brokers but anyone in the insurance game. Right now, Shory is all about car insurance.

But if you squint at the footer, you’ll notice there’s other insurance options. Only thing is, everything other than car insurance is greyed out and they’re not linked to anything. footer links

This tells us a few things:

  1. Shory is going after other types of insurance (no timeline though)
  2. Shory is missing out on ranking opportunities by not having pages for these other insurance types.

See, SEO takes time. And Shory does not have first mover advantage. So Shory will be playing catch up when they eventually start branching out to offer other types of insurance in the UAE.

(NB: There may be some legal and regulatory implications for why Shory has done this – but if you put that aside, my recommendations are solid. But naturally, I’d never recommend anyone skirt the law, let alone break it).

So if it were up to me, I’d recommend they create pages for these other insurance types BUT make it clear that it’s not available yet AND to give people an option to get notified once that changes. This way you build a nice email list AND you get the added SEO benefit. So when the time comes to open the doors and service other insurance needs, Shory will hit the ground running. This is perhaps my biggest tip for Shory right now. 

Oh, in addition to setting up a huge content bank – because there’s only so much work the actual product pages can do.

Now, let’s dig into other things for Shory to look at if it wants to make a splash:

SPEED is slow. Like real slow. Desktop Shory gets a 56 and Mobile Shory gets a woeful 26. desktop page speed mobile page speed

This is not ok under any circumstances. Slow sites kill your business. PERIODT.

I certainly hope Shory’s team looks at this with a mobile-first approach to address the glaring speed issues at hand.


Ok so I’m always a fan of writing creative meta descriptions but the more Google messes with the SERPs, the more I recommend spending your resources elsewhere. It’s a time sink and doesn’t pay off like it once did (in terms of influencing CTR). Still though, for small sites like Shory, there’s no reason to give it a miss. I think the meta descriptions are fine as is though.

Page titles need some work. Given how small the site is and how there’s only 1 insurance product on offer, it shouldn’t be hard to write relevant page titles that aren’t a bit of a mashup.

Also, I used to like using pipes | in page titles but I find that using hyphens – instead makes it look and work better. Also, Google tends to add the business/site name into page titles most of the time (sometimes either side of the page title) so I would say to Shory: pick a syntax and be consistent with it. page titles


Under the Car Insurance section (/car-insurance/), there’s pages for Shory’s car insurance partners. Including car insurance in that part of the URL seems redundant: url structure

I’d recommend something leaner for a cleaner look, eg.


It’s great (and important) seeing offered in both English and Arabic.

Arabic URLs have /ar/ in them to differentiate them from the English URLs which in this case, do not have /ar/ (or /en/ for that matter).

I’m a stickler for convention and would have recommended they go with /en/ for English URLs. I don’t know if this makes the world of difference as long as the correct hreflang tags are used – which in Shory’s case, is the case: hreflang

Other errors:

There’s a GTM error to look into: gtm error

There’s also a canonical tag error in the code on the About Us page: canonical tag error

And there’s instances of a few English words on some Arabic pages (not the hugest issue though).

In Summary…

Overall, is not a bad attempt at an online presence for an insurance comparison site. I think they could have opted for a different colour scheme to really stand out but they have an interesting brand name which stands out. It’s not like yallacompare or insurancemarket (nothing wrong with those but Shory as a name is far more unique).

If you’re the SEO person at Shory or in charge of the website, let’s talk! I’d love to talk more about making the best place to buy insurance in the UAE.

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