Brands & Retailers Competing for Search Visibility

Lara Vogel
February 5, 2014 1 Comment

 

In our first Women’s Luxury Shoes post, we uncovered that High Heels are the kind of shoes that generate the most Facebook engagement. But what about the High Heel Category in Search? Are the top luxury shoe brands ranking at all, or is there an opportunity waiting to be taken? And who is getting the most Search Visibility in the shoe category? We have investigated the situation for you.

Brands vs Retailers: Who Ranks Higher?

High Heels Brands Vs Retailers In Search

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The HooshRank tells us that US and UK Top 5 competitors are all retailers (with the exception of Ebay.co.uk, the famous consumer-to-consumer platform.) This data was retrieved from the HooshRank on February 4th. 

It’s interesting to point out that none of the luxury shoe brand domains we have introduced in our previous Women’s Luxury Shoe post, (such as Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, etc.) ranked as Top Competitors on the HooshRank. Are luxury brands trailing behind retailers in other industries? Or are they optimizing on a different keyword set? In a previous jewelry post, we discovered that online retailers (such as Hsamuel.co.uk) tend get more search visibility than luxury brands, who seem to have a hard time competing in search engines with the top 25 most searched and competitive generic keywords in their category. We found out, however, that big luxury brands such as Cartier & Tiffany can be market leaders  in some countries. To understand the search visibility issue a little bit better, we dug into the brands and retailers’ marketing strategies.

Search Marketing Strategies – Organic Visibility vs Buying your Traffic

It is well-known: popular websites that are talked about rank higher in search engines, thanks to good SEO, great content (such as videos, visuals and blog posts) and good linking. Retailers love organic traffic and work hard to get it. But creating great online content that will generate organic visibility takes much more time and effort than simply buying your traffic.

To expand our Brands vs Retailers research, we went further than the High Heels Category and considered the Shoe Category. We looked at the 5 highest ranking domains in the Industry Top 250, in the USA and the UK, and guess what? They are all retailers as well, some of which we already saw in the Top Competitors in the High Heel Category.

Clothing & Accessories Industry Top 250 USA and UK

In the interest of understanding brand and retailer Search Marketing strategies, we selected two retailers and three brands as an industry sample. Take a look at the Visibility Matrix below. What do you see? Retailers, such as DSW.com and Shoes.com, both generate a large amount of Organic Visibility; however, the three brands in this industry sample seem to generate a bigger share of visibility in Paid Search at the moment. In this sample, the distinction between the brand and retailer search strategy seems clear; however, it is not always the case, especially since this is just a snapshot; retailers also invest in Paid campaigns and brands can generate Organic Visibility (like Cartier.it, for example, who generates a lot of organic visibility).

Brands Vs Online Retailers Organic Or Paid Search

 DSW.com and Shoes.com both generate a large amount of Organic Visibility, compared to the three brands in this industry sample, who currently buy their traffic. 

A Closer Look at Asos

As read on Marketing Week, Asos has increased its marketing activities in 2013, especially digital (such as pay per click and affiliate marketing), focusing on country-specific campaigns. According to Gemma Lovelock, director of promotions marketing agency Lock-In Marketing, Asos became very powerful online, thanks to its accessibility wherever people are, and whatever device people are using. Asos is also doing great on social media, answering personally to all tweets and creating engaging content on Facebook and other social media platforms. Our InsideIndustry graph below shows us that the main drivers for Search Visibility for both the Shoes and High Heels categories in the UK are Organic results, meaning that domains like Asos spend a lot of time and effort to create great content that helps them rank higher.

Shoes UK Visibility Drivers

This chart shows the main drivers for visibility for the Top 5 in the Shoes and High Heels categories (orange) and for Asos.com (blue), both in the UK.  Asos gets their visibility from Organic results. This data was retrieved on February 5th.

What do you think of the Brands vs Retailers Search Visibility issue? Have you witnessed the same situation in a different industry?

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  1. How Top European Clothing Giants Overpowered Search Marketing | February 20, 2014

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