10 minutesReading time
Updated January 2019
We’ve produced a 2018 Alcohol Retailers Market Performance Report.
The report enables industry leaders to gain a greater understanding of how they measure against their competitors in the digital landscape.
This new report looks at the top websites within the industry and produces an analysis that ranks the best performers against each other. The report gives a qualitative score on each individual brand’s performance across 9 key performance metrics. Metrics like Brand Reach Score, Link Authority & SEO visibility change year on year.
The report now only includes data from the best performers in the industry, but don’t worry if you can’t see your company, we source data across the whole industry to produce this report. Just ask and we’ll be happy to send you through the data that includes your company.
We’ve spent time and effort collating data and making charts… but all that goes to waste if nobody analyses the information. The best way to read this post is alongside the report – that way you’ll have immediate access to the tables and can see where you sit within the mix. Here are our highlights from the Alcohol market this year.
The aim of everyone’s game in the online alcohol retailers’ market? Improve Google rankings year on year. That’s because better visibility often means more conversions, more sales and increased revenue. So, who’s been smashing it this year?
The Whisky Exchange remains the market leader after a 6% increase.
Waitrose Cellar and Majestic have both stagnated YOY.
Fortnum & Mason has lost 8% of their visibility but still remain in 4th place.
Making up the top five is TheDrinkShop who has gained a massive 71% visibility, moving them from 9th to 5th place.
The rest of the top ten have had more success this year:
So, we all want better visibility but how do we get it? Keywords, and knowing which ones you should be concentrating on, play a big part in this. We’ve put together a list of high competition keywords which are the ones you should be aiming to rank for but are usually much more difficult to attain. We’ve also put together a list of great opportunity keywords. These are less competitive but still have high search volumes, so optimising your pages well for these should see quick results.
(Check the report for the full chart)
The highest competition keyword is ‘prosecco’ which is unsurprising considering the festive period. According to Google Trends, the search volume for ‘prosecco’ has been on the increase since October.
Supermarkets are performing well for alcohol keywords, but well done to Majestic who have made it into the top 5 for ‘prosecco’.
They are also ranking position 1 for ‘wine’ – a huge win.
The Whisky Exchange is ranking in position 1 for both ‘whisky’ and ‘whiskey’, firstly with their homepage and then with their Irish Whiskey category page.
Just for fun, we searched ‘whisky or whiskey’ to find an answer, and Master of Malt has produced an article to answer our query. A perfect example of content marketing which we’ll discuss a bit later.
With one of our opportunity keywords being ‘best single malt scotch’, providing answers to these questions is clearly important.
Again, Master of Malt has made it onto page 1 for this keyword with their scotch whisky category page.
The keywords aren’t all product based – ‘buy alcohol online’ is one of our opportunity keywords too.
31 Dover has snatched the P1 for this term with a title tag that says, ‘Buy Spirits Online’.
Remember, Google will semantically link phrases which it knows are related. A way you can check whether Google has linked keywords is by checking which words are emboldened in the listing.
Just because Christmas is over, don’t think you’ve missed the boat on alcohol gifts.
‘Wine gifts’ and ‘whiskey gifts’ are two of our opportunity keywords.
If you don’t have a ‘gifts’ section on your site, we’d advise adding one. Whether you specialise in one alcohol or sell them all, having this section on the site with enhanced copy including all the ‘gift’ keywords will help you to rank for these terms and, hopefully, make more sales.
In competitive markets like alcohol retail, links are super important. Why? Because they’re one of Google’s primary ranking factors. Having high-quality sites linking to your site builds up your link profile and authority. All good things.
Master of Malt is taking the lead in links for our alcohol retailers gaining the highest average number of links per month of a high quality.
Most of their links are going to product and category pages.
They do have a Blog and a Guides section, and the posts are gaining some links. However, updating the pages with more relevant content and images could improve these massively.
The Whisky Exchange are next on the list and these are gaining a lot of links on their blog. One blog in particular has over 800 backlinks – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016 – The Winners.
This is a summary post about all the Whiskies featured in the Bible with links to products.
They could make this post evergreen by taking the date out of the URL and updating it every year with new content. This would ensure that the post remains relevant but keeps the link authority from previous years.
Gaining high-quality links isn’t a walk in the park. There are certain content pieces which often perform better than others because they have more to give.
We love this series of infographics from Laithwaite’s which explores which regions could be used for growing wine in Britain. The main infographic is then split into maps for different grape varieties.
Offering multiple graphics gives journalists a choice of which one is most relevant to them and also appeals to regional newspapers and publications.
Unique data pieces such as surveys and studies often do well because they give publications something to talk about. Statistics make good headlines and, when backed up with evidence, give journalists a story without them having to do much research.
When outreaching to your chosen journalists, offering them an exclusive might be a way of getting featured on their site. Read this post about content outreach mistakes to avoid for your best chance of nabbing those coveted links.
This post gained backlinks from the likes of The Guardian, Time and UCL.
Having a strong content marketing campaign is one of the best ways to gain these high-quality links. In doing so, you’ll increase brand awareness, fulfil the user intent and hopefully improve your rankings and conversions. Putting the effort in here should have huge positive repercussions across the site.
Another way to improve your brand reach is through social media. It’s hard to go anywhere now without seeing someone scrolling through their phone, and social media is an integral part of most people’s day.
Tapping into the power of social is a no-brainer, especially for a market like alcohol.
Naked Wines is topping our social chart with by far the highest number of brand searches per month.
They have some lovely elements to their social pages including:
They also have captions which invite users to respond, comment or share the posts. This is a fantastic way of widening your brand reach and expanding your audience.
User-generated content on Instagram has a 4.5% higher conversion according to Sprout Social:
‘When a consumer sees a photo from a person rather than a brand, they have a 4.5% higher chance of conversion.’
So, reposting customer images might be one of the best ways to improve your social feeds this year.
According to Hootsuite, 72% of people have bought a product they saw on Instagram.
Instagram’s hotspot functionality now allows users to click and buy in an instant, providing shoppers with the easiest conversion and encouraging sales.
With an estimated 85% of millennials using their phones to make purchases before any other device and a membership of over 800 million, you can tap into this market with a tailored campaign to suit the platform and your audience.
Instagram Stories also allow you to show ‘behind the scenes’ style footage, promote your posts, show how the products are best served and even give mini masterclasses. By seeing who’s watching your videos you can build up profiles and tailor your future content to cater to those people.
Need help improving any of the above? Set us a challenge and we’ll make it happen.