10 minutes Reading time
20 pages Length
Updated September 2019
We’ve produced a digital insight report assessing 63 brands in the Bicycle eCommerce market and have ranked them based on both digital brand impact (metrics such as the number of social votes and monthly brand name searches) as well as technical SEO metrics such as year on year SEO visibility.
We’ve also looked at social scores, high competition keywords and more data that gives a broad understanding of the state of who’s site performs the best organically.
Brands chosen for this report are picked based on who ranks in pages 1-3 off Google for the most competitive keywords. There’s limited space in the design of the report so you won’t see all of the 64 companies mentioned.
Only the top performers for each category are presented in the final design. If you’re a Bicycle Retailer that can’t see your brand, don’t hesitate to contact the team, we’re more than happy to share the data on your brand!
Having the data from the report is useful in many ways but seeing who’s doing well and why is arguably more valuable. We’ve investigated the wins of the market to see why certain brands are at the top of each of our lists and put it together in this post for you to gain the best insights.
Overall it’s been a successful year for the bicycle market with only three of the top ten retailers losing visibility.
The top ten cycling sites are:
Halfords comfortably remains the market leader with a visibility more than double that of any other site. They also increased their visibility by 7% year on year.
Evans Cycles is in 2nd place having lost 7% of their organic visibility. If Wiggle puts a big focus into improving their organic visibility next year they could overtake them, having improved theirs by 5% this year.
Tredz managed a huge 39% increase, taking them into 4th position which is a huge win. Making up the top five is Chain Reaction Cycles who lost 5% of their visibility.
After the top five, the visibility drops dramatically. However, it’s all to play for with new Google algorithms rolling out regularly.
At the time of this publication, a new Google Algorithm has just been announced. So, this board may look completely different by the time you’re reading! Such is the nature of SEO.
1. tredz.co.uk (+39%)
2. halfords.com (+7%)
3. cyclerepublic.com (+78%)
4. wiggle.co.uk (+5%)
5. merlincycles.com (+38%)
1. evanscycles.com (-7%)
2. hargrovescycles.co.uk (-66%)
3. ribblecycles.co.uk (-25%)
4. planetx.co.uk (-23%)
5. chainreactioncycles.com (-5%)
This is one industry where bike-specific retailers tend to rank well for all the related terms. With the exception of multi-sport retailers and department sites such as Decathlon and Amazon, our retailers are ranking well for popular keywords.
Halfords has taken position 1 for the highest competition keyword, ‘bike’. Their listing has one-line sitelinks allowing users to click on the type of bike they are looking for without having to navigate through the site.
Evans Cycles is also ranking well for key terms and appear in PLAs at the top of the page.
This is a great way to show that you’re a trustworthy site and increases the likelihood that a customer will click on your page or product.
For the keyword ‘bike sales’, they are ranking with a PLA and in position 1. Their PLA has a review star rating which can be achieved by using Review Schema.
Star ratings are becoming harder to get as rich snippets – Moz estimated they are down by 8% for the sports and fitness industry.
On 16th September, Google announced:
‘Reviews that can be perceived as “self-serving” aren’t in the best interest of users. We call reviews “self-serving” when a review about entity A is placed on the website of entity A – either directly in their markup or via an embedded 3rd party widget. That’s why, with this change, we’re not going to display review rich results anymore for the schema types LocalBusiness and Organization (and their subtypes) in cases when the entity being reviewed controls the reviews themselves.’
So, putting your reviews on an independent platform such as Productcaster, in the case of Evans Cycles, looks to be the way forward for getting your star ratings in future.
If you search for these high competition and opportunity keywords, you’ll notice Google’s ‘People also ask’ boxes in lots of them.
This indicates there are lots of questions around this subject, especially for terms like ‘jump bikes’ and ‘hybrid bikes’.
One way you can rank within these sections is by implementing strong copy on your category pages.
When approaching your copy, you can use these questions as starting points for your H2s and H3s, as well as using related questions functions on keyword tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs.
We’ve wrote a guide on how to write enhanced copy which should help you to plan your copy.
Plenty of our featured retailers have copy on their pages, but these could be enhanced to include more keywords and longer tailed keywords that could help them rank for more related queries.
Though Halfords is zooming ahead of their competitors in terms of brand searches, their owned social score is severely lacking in comparison.
We reported the same observation in last year’s report, but they seem to have upped their social game since then.
They now post a lot of links to their own articles, topical content and quotes and promotional videos.
They’ve also got a lot better at creating engaging content – now they have polls, photos inviting people to comment, tag and like and reposts of customer images.
They do have a brand-specific hashtag, #ReadyFor, which they use on Instagram. They
Carrying on in this way could see their owned social score climb impressively over the next year.
Chain Reaction Cycles has the highest owned social score in the top five.
They product great video content including footage from conventions and competitions as well as reviews.
On their Instagram they post memes and reposts from influencers and professionals in the sport.
This is a great way of encouraging engagement, as those who are fans of the influencers are likely to engage with your content too.
Any eCommerce site should have page speed as a priority. From a UX point of view, having a fast site makes the process easier and more enjoyable for your customer. From an SEO perspective, fast sights are crawled more efficiently, and often rewarded by Google with better rankings.
The fastest Bicycle Retailer sites as identified by Google PageSpeed Insights are:
No – our reports are free. We’ve created this cycle report to give insights to bicycle eCommerce brands so they can benchmark their progress against market competitors.
Our tables are only big enough to show the top brands, so even if you don’t feature in the full report, you’ll likely feature in our raw data. Get in touch and we’ll provide you with your insights.
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