Content Performance Reading time
20 pages Length
Updated March 2019
This is our latest market performance report for sportswear & activewear retailers looking at the sector from 2018-2019.
Our sportswear industry reports provide retailers with raw data that benchmarks their performance against the top competitors in their industry. In this case, we’ve looked at 54 sports and activewear retailers.
In this report, you’ll find data on key metrics like SEO visibility, social scores and link authority as well as our analysis of the sector’s most competitive keywords and areas in which you can find the best opportunities.
As mentioned, we’ve included the top 54 sportswear & activewear retailers in the final report, but we can send across data including your company even if you don’t appear.
The following post takes the data provided in the sportswear industry report and uses it to give a fuller analysis of the industry. Who’s winning and losing? Which brands need to up their game and how can they do it? You can find the answers by reading on, safe in the knowledge that we don’t just put statistics into charts, we actually know your sector.
Everyone wants to be on page 1 of Google for the most competitive terms and dominate the UK sportswear market share. Organic visibility is usually at the top of the list when it comes to SEO strategies for most companies, and there are plenty of factors that can affect why some brands end up winning and some lose out on visibility. Here’s what we found for this market.
Sports Direct remains the market leader by a clear mile despite losing 6% visibility year on year.
Zalando has also managed to keep their 2nd place spot but need to up their game this year after losing 30% visibility.
Decathlon has had a fantastic run this year, increasing their visibility by a massive 40%.
M&M Direct is also one of the sector winners with a 21% increase.
Making up the top five is JD Sports who has gained 11% visibility YoY.
The rest of the top ten is a mixed bag of winners and losers:
If you’ve already looked at the sportswear industry analysis report, you’ll remember the keyword charts with the highest competition and best opportunity keywords. Knowing how competitive keywords can alter your SEO strategy for the better, especially if you optimise well for keywords with high search volumes that are much less competitive. It’s a way to gain quick wins and increase traffic to your site. Let’s see who’s already on the ball here.
Despite missing out in our top 10 for visibility, Sportshoes.com is ranking in position 1 for the top competition keyword, ‘sports shoes’. It would have been disappointing to see them ranking any lower than top 3 for this term, especially considering their URL is the keyword. However, it’s still a thumbs up.
There is a lot of competition in this market for the broader commercial terms like ‘women’s sportswear’ and ‘girls sportswear’ which are bringing up fashion retailers and department stores.
Sports Direct, M&M Direct and JD Sports are still managing to rank well for these terms and similar commercial terms.
Title tags are important here – remember that Google will semantically link words and phrases, meaning listings with ‘women’ in the title may still perform better for ‘ladies sportswear’, for example.
Well done to Ryderwear who is ranking in position 1 for the terms ‘gym apparel’ and ‘bodybuilding clothing’.
Four of the top opportunity keywords are for running shoes. Most of these searches bring up articles about the best kinds of running shoes.
The term ‘minimalist running shoes’ also has a featured snippet with an article from fitness site Very Well Fit. The post contains the best minimalist running shoes for different purposes including road running, budget and walking.
This is a fantastic article which just begs to be made into a featured snippet. The titles are numbered, highlight what the shoe is best for and each section has an image and shoppable button as well as a short paragraph about the shoes.
Google has pulled the information from this article out as the best, easiest to read answer for this query.
Featured snippets can increase traffic massively – one of our own clients saw a 250% increase after getting that position zero.
So, it pays to put the work in!
Sports Direct is topping the links charts but this is likely due to the fact that they are an international brand and are gaining links to pages for each country.
Decathlon is next in the list, gaining a high number of links per month of good quality.
They do have a blog/ guides & advice centre on the site called Play. This has a fantastic depth of content with sections for each sport covering everything from aqua fitness to yoga. However, it doesn’t look as though these articles are gaining links.
Rather than producing lots of articles, we find it usually works better to provide fewer high-quality articles rich in content. According to Search Engine Journal, the average content length for page 1 results is around 1,900 words.
Take this blog post on how to choose your yoga mat. It’s thin on content (it only has 2 points) and doesn’t click through to specific products. There is a shoppable button at the end which takes us to the yoga mats category, but this article could be so much richer.
The term ‘best yoga mat’ has a search volume of 2,400 and a featured snippet.
By adding specific examples, going into detail about why it’s important to choose the right yoga mat and adding shoppable links, this article could rank more highly and may even snatch that featured snippet.
The article currently in the featured snippet for this term has 50 links from 18 unique domains.
We love this asset from JD Sports about the most searched football clubs in the world.
It highlights the search data for different countries to analyse which football team comes out on top. This is then split into continents, giving publishers the option to use the whole asset or just parts of it.
The asset gained links from around the world including coverage in GQ France and Argentinian newspaper Clarin.
If you give journalists unique data, a visual asset and a ready-made story, they are more likely to use your asset.
Of course, a strong outreach strategy is important here. Without outreach, no one will ever see all your hard work.
Using social media is one of the biggest ways to enhance your brand reach and build up new audiences according to our sportswear industry trends. The likelihood is that you’ve checked social media at least once today. You might even be reading this from your smartphone. And your customers are no different.
JD Sports is top of the social scorers with an impressive number of brand searches per month and a high owned social score.
Stuff we love about their social channels:
Stuff we’d like to see more of:
Lulu Lemon has one of the highest owned social scores which is not surprising considering they are an international athletic apparel brand.
Their social feeds do promote products but also contain content which highlights events they sponsor, promotes wellness and body positivity.
They also respond to all social comments showing that they have the customers’ best interests as a priority.
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to download the report for the full data set. Get in touch if you have any questions or want to see how we could help you.