10 minutesReading time
Updated April 2018
This is the 2018 Market Performance Report for Sofa Retailers.
The report enables industry leaders to see how they compare to their competitors in terms of online performance and gain a better insight into the digital landscape as a whole.
Showcasing the top websites in the industry, we analyse and rank their performances to give a better insight into how they’ve performed year on year. The scores given are qualitative so they provide an easy way to compare for retailers. We investigate nine different metrics including Link Authority, Brand Reach and SEO Visibility including year on year changes.
We source data from across the sector as a whole, despite only showing the top retailers in this report. If you can’t see your company name, just request the data and we’ll send you across the information including you. If you need any of the scores, values or information explaining, we’d love it if you gave us a call to discuss.
Once you’ve downloaded the report, this post will help you navigate and understand the data involved. We don’t just download the data and present it to you, we also research the market, pull out our favourite content pieces and social media campaigns as well as SEO wins for your benefit.
Let’s dive in with the data everyone wants to know. Who’s topping the charts for visibility and who lost out this year?
DFS remains the market leader in this sector and gained 9% on their visibility this year.
ScS have managed to keep their 2nd place spot despite losing 10% of their visibility.
It’s been a fantastic year for Sofology who, despite remaining in 3rd place, have had a huge visibility increase of 79%. Continuing in the same vein next year could potentially see them in 2nd place.
Elsewhere in the top 10, SofaSofa and Sofa.com have had visibility losses of 21% and 12%, while Designer Sofas 4U and Leather Sofa World have dropped into 9th and 10th position after losing 40 and 41% of their visibilities.
But there have also been some great wins in the market, with Darlings of Chelsea improving their visibility by 52% and The Sofa King gaining a 10% increase, too.
After the top two retailers, there is a big drop in visibility.
We’ve produced a set of high competition keywords and a list of the best competition keywords to look out for in this sector. You can find this in the report.
We first have to point out that this is a competitive landscape with sofa retailers vying for positions on page one in the same space as home and department stores.
Well done to DFS who is ranking in position 1 for the most competitive search term, ‘corner sofa’. They have a neat title tag and their meta description also includes some of the related keywords such as ‘L shaped sofa’ and mention leather and fabric.
They also have one-line sitelinks allowing customers to click directly on the product category they’re interested in, saving them time and optimising their experience.
And well done also to Sofology who is ranking in position 1 for ‘sofa’. They are also ranking in the top five for ‘sofas’ with an ad at the top of the page. This maximises your real estate within the results, making you more visible and increasing your chances of a clickthrough.
It’s disappointing to not see the leather specialist retailers such as Leather Sofa World ranking for the opportunity keyword ‘leather sofa’ anywhere on page 1 or 2.
Interestingly, the words ‘couch’ and ‘settee’ are much more competitive search terms than ‘sofa’. Bear this in mind when constructing your meta description and title tags.
Though not in this market, IKEA has come up with a solution to rank for those sofa synonyms. Their title tag is ‘Sofas – Settees, Couches & More’.
These words can easily be put into meta descriptions and page copy to show search engines you are covering the whole market.
It seems grey is the colour of choice, with ‘grey armchair’, ‘grey sofa’ and ‘grey corner sofa’ all appearing in the keyword sets.
Despite some of our reported retailers ranking for these terms such as DFS, ScS and Sofology, none of the listings actually take us to a page filtered with grey items only.
Seeing this colour feature heavily across the keywords shows that there is a clear demand for it. You can use information like this to help with your site structure and also content pages.
The phrases ‘small sofa’, ‘small sofa bed’ and ‘small corner sofa’ also feature in our keywords.
Building a strong link profile is imperetive for a successful SEO strategy. But which Sofa Retailers are doing it well?
DFS is topping the links chart, gaining the highest average number of links per month of high quality. Most of their links go to products and product images.
They do have a set of interactive buying guides which are gaining some links. These offer advice on when and why to choose certain products, how to care for them and what to look out for when making your choice.
This is a fantastic asset to offer your customers as it gives them impartial advice on a purchase that is a big commitment.
DFS also has a section called ‘The Sofa Experts’ which gives a behind-the-scenes look into the design and production of their sofas. This kind of transparency gives customers confidence in the company and ensures they feel a part of the overall process.
Sofa Workshop is next on the list and it’s not hard to see why. They have a fantastic blog which is easy to find and sits on a subdomain from the main site.
The blog gains ample links, mostly to product images. However, they have received links from the likes of Bored Panda and Blaze Press on their posts.
They post regularly and also have expert writers to do featured specials. Using industry influencers is a brilliant way to gain links and a great hook to use for outreach purposes.
Designer Sofas 4U falls under the low quality, high volume category for links. They do have a blog, but it is located in the footer of the home page making it difficult to find.
They seem to be gaining a lot of links, but these sites have a very low domain authority.
The majority of their blog posts are promotional rather than educational. They should work at building up an owned audience with their blog content and providing useful articles or unique data pieces. Then, if outreached well, they could be gaining links from top-tier publications.
Vamosi appears in the high-quality, low-volume category. They are receiving barely any links per month but have gained some local links to their home page.
This brand is 3rd from the bottom in our visibility charts so having a strong link strategy could really improve their rankings over this year. We would suggest getting some standout content and a clever outreach strategy to gain those top-tier links and build authority.
Interior design is such a visual industry that social is the perfect place to promote it. Sofa retailers can capitalise on this with a strong social presence.
Overall, while the brand searches are high for a lot of brands, the owned social scores in this sector don’t meet up in comparison.
Again, DFS is topping this chart with the highest number of brand searches per month and biggest owned social score.
Their Facebook feed features décor inspiration posts and videos including influencers such as Team GB athletes. However, they haven’t posted anything new at all this year.
They are a lot more prominent on Twitter and Instagram, posting most days. They publish links to their online posts and have a very popular hashtag – #MyDFS – on which people post images of their own DFS sofas.
This is a fantastic way of getting customers to engage with your brand and also a very simple way of getting unique content for your social media feeds.
Sofology promotes their sofa styles in a similar way but with celebrities and influencers instead of the general public. Their Instagram feed also features clips from their latest TV advertisement featuring Owen Wilson.
Their social media posts include videos of their product highlights such as natural Italian leather, exclusive fabrics and design. They also post style inspiration posts and include quotes from customers.
Despite SofaSofa having one of the highest number brand searches in the top 10, their owned social score is extremely low.
This may just be a case of building up a following as they regularly post on Facebook with shoppable product posts, style suggestions and links to their guides.
Their Instagram feed is most impressive, with beautiful images of their sofas and submissions from customers. They should pay more attention to their Twitter feed which has not been updated at all this year.
If you’d like to speak to us about any of the data featured in this report, get in touch.