10 minutesReading time
Updated February 2018
We’ve produced a Bathroom Retailers Market Performance Report for 2017/2018.
The report enables industry leaders to understand in more detail how and why they measure up against their competitors in the digital landscape.
The latest Bathrooms report looks at the top websites from the sector and produces an analysis that rates the best performers against each other. Giving a qualitative score on each brand’s performance, the report explores nine key performance metrics. Some metrics such as Link Authority, Brand Reach Score & SEO visibility change year-on-year.
These reports focus on the data from the top performers in each sector, but our data is sourced across the industry as a whole to get a full picture. If you can’t see your name in our dataset but still want to know where you rank, get in touch and we’ll happily send your personalised report over. We’ll also talk you through it if you want to know more.
The best way to read this post is with the report to hand (or open in another tab). We don’t just gather data and stick it in pretty charts, we also sit and review what we’ve found, do our own Google searches to see who’s coming out on top and do mini content audits to check that the data adds up to what’s really out there. If you’re happy making your own conclusions from the data, feel free to scroll past. But, if you want a more detailed look at the market including winners and losers and tips on how to improve your own metrics, carry on reading.
Search Metrics tracks huge keyword sets and allows us to see the historical performance of a brand online. Improving visibility is probably the biggest goal of most online retailers year on year. So, who succeeded in the Bathroom sector?
There have been some huge winners in the Bathroom market this year.
Most notably Victorian Plumbing who has climbed their way to the top after a massive 284% increase in visibility.
Also making impressive strides are Victoria Plum and Plumb World, both of whom virtually doubled their visibility.
But, with winners come losers and Bathstore has lost their top spot this year after a 33% decrease in visibility.
Also down in the top 10 are Plumb Center (20%) and Better Bathrooms (24%).
We have to mention Heat & Plumb who have increased their visibility by a massive 154%. They are still way off compared to the top spots, but well done all the same.
The competition keywords in this sector tend to focus around ‘bathroom’ and bath keywords while the opportunities lie within showers, accessories and toilets.
Victorian Plumbing is ranking position 1 for many of the shower related keywords including ‘showers’, ‘shower enclosures’, ‘shower screens’, ‘walk in shower’, ‘shower cubicles’ and ‘shower trays’. All listings link to the correct category page and are optimised well with neat title tags.
However, although Victorian Plumbing is ranking for walk in shower, the page doesn’t appear to fulfil the customer intent entirely.
They could display this better with an inspiration centre/gallery which allows the customer to see, click and buy.
We have to commend Mira Showers who is ranking position 1 for the keyword ‘power shower’. This is a very competitive marketplace, so they’ve optimised this page extremely well to rank in this position.
If we look more closely at the intent behind the competitive keywords, it points to the fact that people want help further up the buying funnel. In other words, this is a market in which they need to do research before they commit to buying.
Within this they have shoppable content, answering customers’ queries. However, the shoppable buttons link through to category pages only. A more efficient (and probably more profitable) way of using shoppable here would be to add hotspots to product pictures and allow them to directly buy that product.
Interestingly, the page that appears position 1 for the phrase ‘wet rooms’ is a guide article from Ideal Home. It goes to show that in this market it pays to have consideration content as customers have a lot of questions that need answering.
It’s also worth noting that home/department stores are ranking in the highest positions for ‘bathroom accessories’, with Dunelm taking the top spot.
Yet, Victorian Plumbing is appearing in PLAs for this term. There are opportunities to be had here that most bathroom retailers are missing.
Since 2012, the Venice update changed the way Google looks at local markets. Taking a user’s location into consideration, the search engine now populates results that appear most relevant to their location and query.
This is great for small businesses but means the competition can be harder than it was before.
It looks like this is a Venice related market, so a blended organic and paid strategy is required when it comes to search.
Set up rank tracking to see where you rank well for each location in the UK. Sites that rank well organically can be excluded from your search campaign.
Building your link profile is imperative for creating a successful site that ranks well. One of the best ways to do this is by creating link-worthy content that is helpful, insightful or entertaining.
Clearwells falls under the ‘high quality, low volume’ category for links. A lot of their links are going directly to images. However, they do also have a blog which consistently gets links.
Their Buyer’s Guides do particularly well, covering all the questions you’d have when buying a product such as a sauna or a whirlpool bath.
They could enhance this further by creating visual infographics which are ideal for outreaching to top-tier publications. This one we produced for Soakology was covered by the likes of Fox News, The Sun and the Daily Mail.
Bathstore has a fantastic resource centre called Bathroom Ideas which features design guides, a shoppable e-brochure, buyer’s guides, tutorials and an experts blog. It also has an interactive tool called Bathroom Genie which gives you a set of ideal products based on your wants and needs.
While the site is appearing in the top 10 for links, it doesn’t look as though this resource centre is gaining many of them. Most of the site’s links are going to stock-like images. They could improve this and gain some higher quality links by tweaking their outreach strategy.
Drummonds UK has all the ingredients for gaining high-quality links but, again, most of their links are coming from images. They did gain a good number of links on a case study they produced, so they could consider doing more of these as they are well received.
Their blog is beautiful and contains exclusive interviews with interior designers, event coverage and style guides. With better outreach, this blog could be a big contender in the Bathrooms market.
Duravit’s site is driven by their inspiration-based content, helping you find your style and ideas for your new bathroom. Most of the content doesn’t appear to be built around building links but is a great example of how to do consideration content well.
If you’re unsure where to start with your outreach strategy, we can help.
In the meantime, here’s some reading to get you started:
It will probably come as no surprise to you that social media presence can have a huge influence on your brand. Branded content is bigger than ever on the three biggest social platforms; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Here’s who we loved and who could use a little work with their social channels in the bathroom sector.
Their Facebook features mostly product promotions, but they do post links to their customer guides and helpful articles. They are also the sponsors of ITV’s Through The Keyhole which is likely contributing to their elevated number of brand searches.
They do respond to customer comments usually within the day, showing that they have a proactive attitude to social media.
Their articles tend to perform well on social too, with this post on Contemporary Bathroom Ideas gaining over 300 shares.
They post stylish inspiration-type posts featuring their products and their benefits. They also keep their customers up to date on new store openings and events.
Their Twitter content is generally different, often posting images of inspirational homes which feature their products. They also repost ‘good news’ stories about themselves such as this one from CEO Magazine. It’s a great way to keep customers in the loop.
They use Instagram to engage users, prompting them to share posts of their Victoria Plum bathroom fittings with the hashtag #VPShareYourStyle.
They also support Time to Change charity, showing their backing by publishing their poster on their social media feeds.
They also have regular competitions and respond to customer queries quickly, proving their dedication to customer care.
Surprisingly, Plumb Center has the second highest number of brand searches per month despite not having any social media outlets.
Social media is a vital tool for turning an earned audience into an owned one. Creating social media channels could see their site stats increase in multiple areas.
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