Outdoor Retailer Search Visibility Results for May
Another month rolls by and it’s time for Resonant’s unique DigitalCrux outdoor industry metrics to look at the May numbers, which display more change (yet again) than is probably healthy for a well-distributed consumer goods sector.
If you’re a new visitor, the chart below shows data for specific dates a month apart (in reality, we track these much more often), the last index having been taken just this morning.
Outdoors Retailers Google Visibility
This month continues the theme of AlpineTrek and Blacks suffering from the loss of traction on very high volume keywords, particularly brand-based search terms. However, we have to add to this an unusual feature of the outdoor retail category at this time - the rather obvious volatility of the major players, when compared with the smaller ones - this isn’t the pattern one normally sees in a mature online sector. Amongst the ‘big boys’, only Cotswold is exhibiting some consistency in its visibility across its critical traffic-driving search terms.
This suggests that two possible dynamics are in play. Firstly, that key online retailers are not ‘managing’ their websites and backlinks in a manner that protects their visibility on high-traffic search terms. Secondly, that the increasing reliance of some players on paid traffic (Google Adwords, Google Shopping and Showcase) is leading to a move of resources away from organic traffic-building. Detailed analysis shows that both of these factors are at play, just to differing degrees.
It’s worth commenting on the dramatic improvement in Decathlon’s visibility and the reverse performance for Go Outdoors - it looks like it might be related at first sight. However, it’s not! It’ll be no surprise that the 50 top search terms for Go Outdoors are very different to Decathlon’s, from both a product descriptor and brand perspective. The chart above, which shows data for specific time snapshots, also hides the fact that Go Outdoors have been in fairly steady decline on the these search terms for several months, whilst Decathlon’s search performance over time is better reflected in the chart.
The one distinctive aspect of Go Outdoors’ search visibility over the past month has been the broad base of it’s rankings losses, in contrast to it often being limited to a few high-volume brand terms - 25 of the 50 monitored terms saw falls over the month, with everything from ‘rucksack’ to ‘camping chair’ to ‘outdoor shop’ in decline - this points to a systemic issue with SEO or technologies.
This is the only similarity with Decathlon’s gains, as they are also systemic, rather than being related to very specific search terms, with 23 of the 50 terms showing rankings gains. If I had to make an educated as to the reason for this success, this month’s audit of their site contains some very good clues - the amount of cleaning-up that’s been done in some key areas (e.g. xml sitemap, page descriptions and anchor text) will have significantly improved Decathlon’s on-site SEO performance and it would be no surprise to see Google rewarding this work.
Note About this Index
If you’ve not seen this index before, the chart above shows the visibility in Google UK for the top 50 organic search terms driving traffic for each website i.e. the specific terms that are most important to that retailer website. A score of 100 would require top ranking for all 50 search terms. The data shown above is for the 1st of each month (DigitalCrux actually captures this data at least every 3 days to eliminate anomalies and highlight trends).
If you have any questions about the data, please get in touch.