Brands Featured

  • jdsports.co.uk
    jdsports.co.uk
    sportsdirect.com
    sportsdirect.com
    zalando.co.uk
    zalando.co.uk
    gymshark.com
    gymshark.com
    lululemon.co.uk
    lululemon.co.uk
    footasylum.com
    footasylum.com
    mandmdirect.com
    mandmdirect.com
  • prodirectsoccer.com
    prodirectsoccer.com
    sweatybetty.com
    sweatybetty.com
    lovellsoccer.co.uk
    lovellsoccer.co.uk
    kitbag.com
    kitbag.com
    urbancelebrity.com
    urbancelebrity.com
  • jdsports.co.uk
  • sportsdirect.com
  • zalando.co.uk
  • gymshark.com
  • lululemon.co.uk
  • footasylum.com
  • mandmdirect.com
  • prodirectsoccer.com
  • sweatybetty.com
  • lovellsoccer.co.uk
  • kitbag.com
  • urbancelebrity.com
  • scottsmenswear.com
  • sportsshoes.com
  • lifestylesports.com
  • dwsports.com
  • startfitness.co.uk
  • ryderwear.co.uk
  • prodirectrunning.com
  • runnersneed.com
  • usc.co.uk
  • privatesportshop.co.uk
  • lornajane.co.uk
  • pursuefitness.co.uk
  • sportpursuit.com
  • physiqapparel.com
  • vqfit.com
  • decathlon.co.uk
  • barringtonsports.com
  • oneathletic.com
  • gymwear.co.uk
  • greavessports.com
  • newitts.com
  • directsoccer.co.uk
  • anaxfitness.com
  • urbangymwear.co.uk
  • lillywhites.com
  • unisportstore.com
  • sportswarehouse.co.uk
  • sportshop.com
  • abcsports.co.uk
  • morrant.com
  • daviessports.co.uk
  • maudesport.com
  • tlcsport.co.uk
  • prodirectsport.com
  • directsportseshop.co.uk
  • aa-sports.co.uk
  • vypexapparel.com
  • gymproapparel.com
  • activinstinct.co.uk
  • therunningoutlet.co.uk
  • tca.fit
  • romanceusa.com

Show More Brands

What to expect inside

Latest insights

  • sportsdirect.com has the best Link Authority Score in the industry
  • urbancelebrity.com has a high volume of referring links, however the average link is of poor quality
  • Sites that have grown considerably in SEO visibility YOY are: decathlon.co.uk, mandmdirect.com and jdsports.co.uk
  • Sites that have lost visibility in the last year and have seen little to no online growth are: zalando.co.uk & sportsdirect.com

Content Performance Reading time

20 pages Length

Updated March 2019

The biggest market trends in activewear & sportswear in 2019...

This is our latest market performance report for sportswear & activewear retailers looking at the sector from 2018-2019.

Our 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.

 

Our analysis of online sports & activewear brands

The following post takes the data provided in the 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.

 

Sportswear & activewear retailers SEO winners and losers

Everyone wants to be on page 1 of Google for the most competitive terms. 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:

  • USC (-14%)
  • Pro Direct Soccer (-16%)
  • Scotts Menswear (+85%)
  • Foot Asylum (+29%)
  • DW Sports (+47%)

 

Keyword opportunities for sportswear & activewear retailers

If you’ve already looked at the 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’.

Race to the top

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!

 

Which sports & activewear retailers are gaining links?

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.

Data delivers results

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.

 

Sportswear & activewear on social media

Using social media is one of the biggest ways to enhance your brand reach and build up new audiences. 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:

  • Content unique to each platform
  • Product promotions
  • Competitions which encourage engagement
  • Coverage about lots of different types of sport
  • Use of personalised hashtags including #TrainwithJD on Instagram in which they repost customer images

Stuff we’d like to see more of:

  • Links to their blog content and assets
  • Hotspot shoppable links on Instagram
  • More Twitter polls, competitions and captions which encourage comments, shares and likes

Lulu Lemon has one of the highest owned social scores which is not surprising considering they are an international 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.

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