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Updated Jan 2019
We’ve produced the latest annual Stationery & Office Supplies Market Performance Report for 2019.
The report contains comparisons against competitors within the Office Supplies industry to give them a better insight into where they fit within it.
The top websites in the Office Supplies sector have been ranked and analysed in certain areas of performance. We’ve looked at technical and social aspects of sites to give qualitative scores on metrics such as Brand Reach, SEO Visibility and Link Authority. The tables show year on year change.
We’ve only featured the Office Supplies sites that performed the best this year in our 2019 report, but you can still get hold of data that includes your brand if you can’t see your name in the list. Get in touch, we’d love to speak to you about our data and send across a set that’s most relevant to you.
As well as gathering data to produce these reports we also analyse our findings to give you the top industry trends, highlights and see who’s doing well and why. This is what our research has drawn up for 2019:
A site’s SEO performance can go up or down for various reasons. Data discovered throughout the report can aim to conclude why, but first, we like to see who the frontrunners in the market are and who needs to up their game in the coming year. We use Search Metrics to source our data; it lets us track huge keyword sets to see the historical performance of a brand online.
Which brands are on point with their SEO strategies this year?
The Works has overtaken Staples to the top spot after a 19% visibility increase. Staples lost 4%.
Viking Direct has had a difficult year, losing 72% of their visibility overall.
Ryman has also lost 42%.
Making up the top five is Paperchase who has had an extremely impressive year, going from a virtually non-existent visibility to reaching the top five in the market.
The rest of the top ten have had more success this year:
We’ve identified the 12 top competition keywords and 12 keywords that offer the best opportunity in terms of quick wins in the landscape.
The highest competition keyword is, unsurprisingly, stationery. Well done to The Works who is ranking in position 1 for this term.
Considering their huge growth in visibility, Paperchase has done well to rank 2nd for the same term.
These two retailers both hold the same positions for the highest opportunity keyword ‘stationery shop’.
There are four sizes of paper featured in the high competition and opportunity keywords. A4 is a high competition keyword, probably because it’s most widely used. A1, A3 and A5 all feature as opportunity keywords.
But there’s something in common with all four of the searches – they all bring up related questions about the actual size of the paper.
If you’re struggling with visibility, this could be the perfect way to get yourself onto page 1.
The current listing for the question ‘What size is a4 paper?’ brings up the website Prepressure which is a site that specialises in everything to do with printing and graphics.
Their A4 paper guide answers this question succinctly and has been enough to give them the related question spot in the SERPs.
Though you may think that everyone is searching with a view to purpose, that might not always be the case. This is perfectly highlighted in this instance where companies who don’t even sell stationery products are ranking in related questions.
Since 2012, the Venice update changed the way Google looks at local markets. Taking a user’s location into consideration, the search engine now populates results that appear most relevant to their location and query.
This is great for small businesses but means the competition can be harder than it was before. It looks like this is a Venice related market, so a blended organic and paid strategy is required when it comes to search.
In Venice markets, the first half of the SERP is taken up by paid ads and local search options. A paid strategy may be the best or only way to get yourself high up on page 1.
Set up rank tracking to see where you rank well for each location in the UK. Sites that rank well organically can be excluded from your search campaign.
Google uses links as a primary ranking factor. It’s not all about quantity; high-quality links are extremely valuable. The best way to gain links from top-tier publications is by producing content that they’ll want to link to. This is best placed in resource centres or blogs.
We use Link Research Tools to measure the number of new links per month and the quality of the engagement for our featured brands.
The Works is topping the links charts with the highest average number of links gained per month.
Most of their links are going to location pages and product images.
Their blog is updated regularly and features relevant content including this post in response to the social uproar about Greggs’ vegan sausage rolls! They usually promote products without giving the hard sell and also offering something of value in return. In this case, it’s a recipe.
However, the blog exists on a subdomain rather than a subfolder. This means any links gained here will lost some link equity through to the main site.
It’s also quite difficult to find the blog which is hidden at the bottom of the page. Moving this up to the main navigation bar could increase traffic and, hopefully, sales.
Staples is also high up the list. They have a fantastic Knowledge Centre which is full of useful advice about products and other guides.
Their guide about shredders has gained backlinks and also landed them in position 2 for the keyword ‘best shredder’.
They’ve also gained a lot of backlinks to their image from the Envelope Size Guide. Images that are properly titled with good alt tags can often gain a lot of links. Making this change to your site, blog or advice centre could see an increase in links to your site.
Nowadays, a brand’s presence on social media is essential for enhancing brand exposure and audience reach. By getting to know your brand better through social channels, you can turn your earned audience into an owned one. Owned audiences have a direct connection to your brand, improving relationships with existing customers and cultivating relationships with new prospects.
So, who out of these brands has their finger on the social pulse?
Overall, though some brand searches are relatively high, owned social scores are pretty low in comparison.
The Works is topping the social charts with the highest number of brand searches per month.
Much like their blog, their Facebook feed features regular and relevant content, promoting books and products which relate to news topics, awareness days and seasonal trends.
They also post links to their blog posts.
Their Twitter feed has retweets of customer posts as well as videos, images and gifs.
We love how they use their Instagram stories to promote products and allow people to see what products are available in store and online as well as what’s trending.
We must acknowledge that The Works don’t solely sell stationery and office supplies – a large chunk of their stock is books. However, there are always opportunities for upsells and stationery still does feature on their social accounts.
Paperchase has the highest owned social score with over 380K followers on Facebook and 164K followers on Instagram.
They did a fantastic Christmas Instagram campaign which was an advent countdown. This featured a Paperchase quiz, product promotions and a competition to finish off.
Competitions are a fantastic way to engage audiences because they encourage people to comment on, like or share your posts. This not only gets them involved but also potentially exposes you to all of their friends and followers, too.
While ‘stationery and office supplies’ may sound like a dull subject, there’s actually a lot of scope for fun when it comes to social:
For further help or any data queries, contact us. Don’t forget to download the report.