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Nov 15, 2017

Which brands are climbing high in the outdoor retail market?

Richard Waters, Inside Online sales and marketing director, examines the outdoor digital market

Chester-based digital marketing agency Inside Online have released their latest insight into the online outdoor retail landscape. The biannual Outdoor Retail Digital Insight Report analyses 34 of the top UK websites in this competitive field from a digital perspective, taking into account key factors such as link authority and social engagement.

Richard Waters, sales and marketing director, explains the rationale behind the report: “The digital market continues to evolve at an unbelievable pace. Understanding what your competition are doing can be incredibly useful when setting your own targets, strategy and budget. This insight report gives an overview of the market and helps our clients understand the winners and losers over the last 12 months.”

One of the most important findings is the Brand Reach Score, which ranks outdoor retailers according to their monthly brand searches and owned social score to see how much online oomph they have in their industry. Here it is Decathlon who comes out on top, with 550,000 searches per month and an owned social score of 229. With 165,000 monthly searches and an owned social score of 243, Cotswold Outdoor stands in second place. In third position are Quechua, whose owned social score is an impressive 3,343.

Even in 2017, links are still a hugely important ranking factor, so consistently gaining new, highquality ones can be brilliant for business. But be warned: if you are raking in lots of low-quality links, it could spell trouble ahead. The Link Authority Score ranks sites in the industry based on the number of links they earn per month alongside their quality.

Once again Decathlon excels in this area, with 433 average monthly referrals and an average quality of referring domains of 3.71. In second place is Outdoor Gear Lab; while they may have a higher number of average monthly referrals, the average quality of their referring domains is lower.

If you are consistently gaining a low quantity of high-authority links, it could mean that you have the right link-building foundations in place but need to work on scaling that activity to successfully compete in this marketplace. Brands that fall into this category include Snow and Rock, Simply Hike and Outwell. In contrast, if you are gaining a high quantity of low-authority links, this could mean you urgently need to alter your off-site reputation. This includes brands such as Towsure, Absolute Snow and Outdoor World Direct.

A high priority for any online brand should be creating a regular disavow process and reconsidering your link-building strategy, especially now that Google’s Penguin 4.0 is in full swing.

Keeping an eye on competitive industry keywords is crucial. If you’re holding a high position for a competitive keyword, close monitoring and continued search marketing activity is needed to safeguard them.

The most-searched for and most competitive keywords in the outdoor retail sector include tents (74,000 monthly searches), camping equipment (22,200) and sleeping bag (40,500).

There are also plenty of opportunity keywords in this sector, including walking boots (33,100 monthly searches), walking shoes (14,800) and camping bed (9,900). These terms have less competition yet high search volumes, and as such they are a perfect battleground for all brands to increase their competitiveness.

If you would like to download a free copy of the full report, please visit: http://insideonline.co.uk/ sector-reports/outdoor-retailersmarket- digital-insight-report

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