10 minutes Reading time
20 pages Length
Updated July 2018
This report looks at the top 50 Footwear brands in the UK.
Brands can use the report to see where they sit within their digital landscape for different performance metrics.
We look at wins and losses in key areas such as SEO visibility, link authority scores, social presence and where the biggest keyword opportunities lie. This is a fantastic way of benchmarking your digital performance and seeing where you’re performing best and in which areas you could improve. You can also see who your biggest competitors are and who are the brands to look out for in the coming year.
Can’t see your name within the data? Don’t worry, we source our data from across the entire sector. We only feature the top brands in our finished report but, if you ask, we’ll provide you with the data that includes your site.
Footwear is an industry that spans fashion and sportswear for men, women and children. In our report, you’ll see a mix of the biggest players in footwear across the whole market to give a full representation of the digital landscape.
This post is best read alongside the report so you can refer to tables and charts within it. Here we’ve pulled out some of the biggest wins across the board and how people have gained those top spots for each metric.
Improving visibility tends to be the top of the list for most sites’ SEO targets. But who has managed to reach that goal this year?
Sports Direct is the lead footwear retailer despite losing 9% visibility year on year.
JD Sports is next in
Schuh has pretty much stagnated year on year with a small 1% visibility increase.
Office is in 4th place but did lose 17% of their visibility.
Clarks has had a much more successful year with an 11% increase, rounding off the top five.
The rest of the top ten has seen wins across the board:
Well done to Office who is appearing on page 1 for the two highest competition keywords ‘shoes’ and ‘sandals’.
They are also ranking in position 1 for the term ‘knee high boots’ which is a great win for such a competitive keyword with a search volume of 74K.
If you’re struggling to compete for the hugely competitive terms like ‘shoes’, work on ranking for short and long-tail keywords within your niche.
Our opportunity keyword list features niche terms such as:
These all have a clear demographic and have retailers ranking who specialise in that field. For example, Wills Vegan Shoes is ranking in position 2 for ‘vegan shoes’ despite only just appearing in the top 45 for visibility overall.
Approximately 1.9K people a month search for ‘cheap high heels’. While it may sound nicer to say ‘affordable’ or ‘sale’, that won’t necessarily gain you those top spots for terms that contain the word cheap.
You can include both and rank well. Nasty Gal’s title tag is:
Sale Shoes | Cheap Shoes, Boots & Heels | Nasty Gal
If it suits what you’re selling, don’t let pride get in the way. Use ‘cheap’ well and you could increase visibility, click through rates and sales.
Google displays local results for many of the search terms. Even if you’re not ranking on page 1 organically, you can appear in the local results if you have a business located in the city from which a person is searching.
Add Map Packs SCHEMA to your site if you have a brick and mortar store and you may just be able to take up real estate at the top of the page for some of the highest volume keywords.
Fashion retail is one of the biggest markets to benefit from having a strong social media strategy and footwear is a huge part of this.
Having a strong social media presence can open your brands to new audiences, show the people behind the brand and help you build up a strong following with people who value your company.
JD Sports is leading the social pack with by far the highest number of brand searches per month and an impressive owned social score.
However, we can’t attribute their success solely to footwear as they do stock clothing, too.
Their Facebook feed mainly contains shoppable product posts and they regularly reply to customer comments.
Their Instagram feed is filled with posts from influencers and posts of important sports events from around the world.
While their feeds are not solely footwear related, their content is tailored to individual platforms and they clearly have a strong brand aesthetic, demographic and tone of voice. This is super important across social.
We like Kurt Geiger’s ways of encouraging followers to engage with their Facebook posts.
They often post images of two shoes and get followers to comment on their favourite. They also recently asked people to vote for the charity the company will support this year which gained over 2.3K comments in a week.
They are vocal about their work with charities and non-profit organisations and, like JD Sports, they often post images from influencers on their sites.
Instagram is arguably the biggest platform for footwear eCommerce stores, as fashion is a very visual market.
Some tips for using Instagram:
Faster pages generally mean more sales. We’ve all been on a site that takes ages to load and it’s not a good user experience – people are much more likely to exit or bounce from your page if they have to wait too long.
For all these reasons (and the fact that Google favours faster pages because they’re quicker to crawl), page speed is one of the most important ranking factors there is.
We tested each site’s page speed using Google PageSpeed Insights and these are the top five
One of the biggest recent news stories is that the diabetic footwear market is set to be worth $9.65billion by 2025 according to a new report by Grand View Research.
Hotter has managed to land a top 5 position for the term ‘diabetic footwear’ with their blog on which shoes to choose if you have diabetes.
This is a fantastic way to gain rankings for topics which are important and have high search volumes even if you don’t necessarily stock the specific item.
Always be aware of what’s happening in the market to see where you can rank or provide content that can help with your content marketing strategy overall.
We’d love to chat more about the data or anything we’ve discussed here. Send us an email or give us a call.