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Updated August 2018
Every year we produce a report on the top Outdoor Retailers sites in the UK.
This is our latest one for 2018. Inside you’ll find the latest metrics for the top 48 Outdoor Retailer sites and where they rank against each other. See where you sit within your digital landscape and where your biggest competitors are performing best so you can tailor your strategy to improve in the coming year.
We’ve analysed the technical aspects of sites, looking at SEO and visibility year on year, link authority and quality and also the performance of social channels. Brands can use this information to their advantage, helping you to see which areas need the most focus.
Our data comes from the whole sector, but we only publish the top brands in our final report. If you can’t see your company name here, get in touch and we’ll send you your metrics so you can benchmark your data, too.
Once we’ve done our overall analysis of the market in terms of performance metrics, we then do our research to find out why certain retailers have come out on top. The report shows you the data and statistics while this post discusses brands in more detail, giving you a fuller insight into the whole market.
Visibility is an important performance metric, especially in e-commerce sectors. These landscapes are often saturated and extremely competitive, so getting yourself high up in the SERPs can be tricky.
Decathlon remains the market leaders after a 6% increase in their visibility this year.
They have overtaken Go Outdoors who has had a 24% decrease in visibility.
Cotswold Outdoor also lost 17% visibility year on year.
It’s been a successful year for Blacks (+6%) and Millets (+16%) who have both had visibility increases.
Elsewhere in the top ten, it’s been mostly success stories:
However, it wasn’t a great year for Mountain Warehouse who lost 30% of their visibility.
Absolute Snow stagnated year on year but managed to make it into the top ten.
We also must commend Alpine Trek who has had a fantastic year after a 320% improvement in visibility and will likely make the top ten next year if they carry on this way.
Refer to the top competition and opportunity keyword lists in the report for this section.
The highest competition keywords tend to focus on camping equipment and essentials while the opportunity keywords contain more clothing items for men and women.
Well done to Blacks who is ranking in position one for the highest competition keyword, ‘tent’.
Also thumbs up to Go Outdoors who is ranking first place for the top opportunity keyword ‘camp bed’.
Terms surrounding clothing appear more difficult to rank for as popular women’s and men’s fashion brands, as well as department stores, are competing for the same terms.
Well done to Trespass who is ranking for ‘womens waterproof jacket’ and ‘rain jacket’.
Both the terms relating to apparel and to outdoor equipment such as tents and camping products tend to have PLAs featured.
This is an excellent way to get your brand to the top of the page if you are struggling to compete with other sites in the organic rankings.
Mountain Warehouse has made some excellent choices here, with PLAs for the terms ‘sleeping bag’ and ‘camping tents’ where they don’t otherwise appear on page one.
We can see from the results for the search term ‘camping gadgets’ that there are a lot of questions surrounding this term.
There is a listicle for the ’25 Best Camping Gear & Gadgets’ which is highlighted in a featured snippet.
Using keyword research is vital to creating the right kind of content for your customers.
As one of Google’s main ranking factors, great content doesn’t always have to exist on a blog.
Treating page copy like a guide or short article instead of traditional SEO copy has been proven to improve page rankings within a few weeks.
This is something all Outdoor Retailers should bear in mind.
Gaining high-quality links to your site can do wonders for your link profile. This can, in turn, have major SEO benefits.
Decathlon is topping the links charts with the highest average number of links of high quality.
Most of their links are going to product images and dedicated store pages. However, they do have a blog and advice centre.
Their Sports Advice section covers every sport that they cater for in their store. Yet, these articles don’t seem to be gaining many high-quality links.
Including interviews from sport influencers could increase their chance of being featured by Tier one publications.
The blog and advice centre also exist on a subdomain rather than a subfolder. This could be losing them valuable link equity from any links gained here.
Despite only just making it into the top 25 retailers for visibility, Salomon is coming in second place for links, gaining the next highest average number of links per month.
This is likely due to them being an international retailer with multiple sites around the world.
Yet, they do have a channel called ‘Salomon TV’ which contains videos and documentaries from outdoor experts. Like with Decathlon, it currently exists on a subdomain meaning, though the videos do gain high-quality links from like-minded brands, some of the equity to the main site will be lost.
Moz founder Rand Fishkin claims that moving a subdomain to a subfolder almost always increases search traffic.
We love the idea of Mammut’s ‘Stories’ section of their site which features interviews and articles from some of their ambassadors or influential customers.
This is the kind of content that would perform extremely well if outreached to different publications.
Nowadays, we’re constantly connected. Social media is an integral part of our lives. Why not tap into this landscape to promote your brand?
Go Outdoors is sitting at the top of our social charts, and rightly so.
Here are a few things we loved about their social channels:
Columbia Sportswear has the highest owned social score which is likely due to them being an international brand.
Their Facebook feed features shoppable product posts with images of their customers wearing items which are available to click and buy underneath.
This is a much more personal and exciting way of showcasing products and also makes the brand appear more relatable.
They also post ‘regram’s or reposted Instagrams from their customers. These mainly showcase stunning landscapes along with their items being worn.
We really like Jack Wolfskin’s social media accounts which feature polls and competitions, encouraging users to engage with the content.
Get in touch if you want any further information about our data and don’t forget to download the report below.