10 minutes Reading time
20 pages Length
Updated September 2019
This is our first sector report for the Publishing Industry. We’ve identified the top 75 publisher sites and used the data to identify who is performing best across the board. If you’re a bookseller, you may find our Bookstores market performance report more helpful.
Our report looks at key metrics such as SEO visibility, brand reach and page speed as well as pulling out keywords that pose the best opportunities in your market. Each table will likely be completely different – where one brand excels in visibility, they may struggle with page speed, for instance.
This allows you to see where you’re excelling and where you could use some work in comparison with your competitors.
We’ve used the data to delve deeper into your market and look for true opportunities, so hopefully you’ll find this post useful. Download the report and continue reading for some stellar insights.
It’ been a mix of wins and losses across the top ten, with the top three retailers making gains followed by a mixture of losses and a couple more wins.
The top ten sites are:
Cambridge University Press has had a hugely successful year, taking them even further ahead of the rest of their competition with a 38% increase in visibility.
Lonely Planet is also head and shoulders above the rest with a 21% visibility increase.
Oxford University Press follows on with a significantly lower visibility than the top two publishers, but still an impressive one, nonetheless. They also gained 16% visibility year on year.
However, there have been losses for some of the bigger household names such as Penguin (-17%), Pearson (-9%) and Bloomsbury (-5%), with Penguin’s US company Penguin Random House losing a big 21%.
1. cambridge.org (+38%)
2. lonelyplanet.com (+21%)
3. global.oup.com (+16%)
4. scholastic.co.uk (+30%)
5. harpercollins.co.uk +21%)
1. penguin.co.uk (-17)
2. marvel.com (-30%)
3. penguinrandomhouse.com (-21%)
4. pearson.com (-9%)
5. dccomics.com (-17%)
Within this market, it can be difficult to try and rank against popular bookstore sites, Wikipedia pages and even popular articles about authors.
One of the best ways you can really make the most of your rankings is by making the most of your Author pages to try and gain rankings for keywords around ‘[author] books’ or ‘books by [author]’.
We’ve not searched for every author, but overall it looks as though publishers aren’t doing well at ranking for their own clients.
We searched for ‘george rr martin books’ (search volume, 2.4K) and his UK publisher, HarperCollins doesn’t appear on page 1.
Their Author page for him features a very short biography, a link to his website and his four most recent books with a link through to his full collection of books.
By expanding the content on this page and including relevant keywords, HarperCollins could be on to a winner.
It’s also important to add structured data to your pages including person schema on your author pages.
Read more about structured data for eCommerce sites.
In contrast, Bloomsbury is ranking in position 1 for the term ‘harry potter books’ (search volume, 27.1K) with their Harry Potter subdomain on their site.
This is a clever move by the publisher who has dedicated a whole area of their site to these books and the culture that has come from it.
The subdomain is filled with information on J.K Rowling, links to the different collections of the books, quizzes and tools and even an area for teachers and parents with useful resources on how to teach about the books.
The subdomain is ranking for over 5.5K keywords in the UK and over 20.8K keywords in the US. This is a huge triumph for Bloomsbury, and likely to be one of the most visited areas on their whole site.
Recent Google algorithm updates have pointed towards favouring ‘original reporting’ which means the first site to break the news on a topic should be granted the authority to hold the ranking for it.
While this may be bad news for certain publications or sites, it should hopefully be good news for publishers who are likely to be the first to offer access or pre-sale offers to new books by their authors.
Social media provides the platform for publishers to grow their audience, promote their products and services and reach out to potential new customers in exciting ways.
Marvel is topping our social charts which is understandable given they are a global book and film producer. A lot of their posts are, inevitably, to do with their film franchise and the actors in their films.
They get a lot of engagement on their posts but a lot of them feature popular characters from their comic books and films. There is not much in the way of promoting their books.
Guinness World Records is next on the list for social.
They post regular videos, images and updates of their latest Guinness World Record holders. They also post links to their articles which gets people onto their site.
Their Instagram gets lots of engagement and has over 3.3 million followers.
A great way of seeing who is posting about your brand is by using a branded hashtag. This also enables you to repost images that customers or clients have previously posted, which could broaden your audience and increase engagement.
If page speed isn’t already one of your top priorities, we would urge you to make it one this year.
Not only is faster page speed better for your customers and audience, it also makes Google’s life easier when crawling your site. This usually means higher rankings.
According to Google PageSpeed Insights the top 5 publishing sites for page speed were:
This report is free. Our aim in producing these reports is to provide companies with an unbiased insight into their market in the digital landscape. It proves we know what we’re talking about and gives us a proper insight into markets we’d love to work with.
Even if you don’t appear within the tables in our report, it’s likely you’ll appear in our full data set. We don’t have the space to include everyone in the final report, but get in touch and we’ll give you a tailored version of the data with your brand in it.
Want to know more about our report data or analysis? Speak to us – we’d love to chat.