We analyzed 7 leading downhill ski brands for their Search Engine Visibility (SEV) within the “all mountain” ski category. We looked at these brands’ performance in SERPs across 20 non-branded keywords that receive a total of over 355,000 searches each month. We also segmented the keyword brand performance by Search Intent, which sorts out who is doing a better job with PR vs. Ecommerce. 

Finally, we analyzed the domains themselves and found that just a few sites were driving the majority of the influence across the SERP. 

Ready? Let’s dive in. 

Here you can see the keywords analyzed and how we bucketed them by Search Intent. Of the 20 keywords identifies, 9 were transactional (click-to-buy) and 11 were informational (click-to-learn).

This was a deliberately even(ish) mix of informational vs. transactional in order to equitably measure brand performance at both ends of the customer journey. 

BTW, if you were wondering, it’s no surprise that the transactional keywords drive significantly more volume than the informational. This is partly due to the fact that these keywords are shorter in length and more generalized in breadth. 

While we don’t have click-through-rate information available, I would venture to guess that the CTR of the high-volume keywords like “ski” is significantly lower than informational keywords like “best carving skis 2020.” In fact, if you were to exclude “ski” from the transactional list, you’d see an 85% decrease (300K) in transactional search volume. 

Just food for thought.

Now that we have our ski keywords identified and segmented by Search Intent, we can identify the brands we’ll be comparing in our analysis:

  • Armada
  • Atomic
  • Blizzard
  • K2
  • Nordica
  • Rossignol
  • Salomon

Our goal is to analyze each of these brands’ Search Engine Visibility—a key performance indicator for measuring a brand’s health and customer reach in search.

Search Engine Visibility, or what we commonly refer to as the “Visably Score,” is an analysis of a brand’s likelihood of receiving attention within the SERP. At Visably we base it on Click-Through-Rate, rather than Share-of-Voice (total number of brand mentions), as the entire point of having a brand mention is only valuable, if in fact, people actually see it.

From the 20 keywords analyzed, Rossignol was the top performing brand in terms of total share-of-voice and search engine visibility with their brand name showing up in 84% of organic results and with a dominant Visably Score of 88 (which means,  almost anywhere you click, you’re gonna find Rossi skis). 

Share-of-VoiceVisably Score

While, for the most part, these brands’ Visably Scores are generally correlated with their share-of-voice, that’s not the case for all of them.

Take Nordica and K2 for example. Nordica actually had more overall mentions on the first page of search, but had the same Visably Score as K2.

Why? Because although K2 had less overall mentions, the mentions they had were better positioned on the SERP. In other words, K2’s organic brand positions receive move clicks and customer engagement than Nordica.

This is a great illustration of why share-of-voice is not a great performance indicator. The true indicator is your content’s position on the page relative to customer click-through-rates.

An Industry With a Small Amount of Dominant Publishers, Merchants, and Manufacturers.

Across the 20 SERPs, there were 198 organic search results in total. However, we found that only 27% of these results included unique root domains. In other words there were only 52 unique websites among the 198 results.

What this means is that the universe of outlets that talk about or sell skis is relatively small. It’s also not a super crowded landscape of brand options… unlike footwear or apparel, there is a high-cost of entry when it comes to ski manufacturing. Which basically translates to a strong likelihood that you’re going to see the same brands over and over again on just a handful of sites. Still, as our analysis pointed out, there are points to be scored for being the most ubiquitous brand out there. 

It’s also worth noting that a few outlets accounted for a large share of the search results. Just 5 domains accounted for 38% of all search results (75 out of 198). Evo.com (22), Skimag.com (18), Skiessentials.com (13), REI.com (13), and Powder7.com (9) had outsized representation within the SERPs.

An URL audit like this can be a useful marketing exercise to inform where to focus your PR efforts and how to better merchandise your brand within partner Ecommerce websites.

How did we do this?

Not rocket science friends — just plug in your keyword and brand into Visably’s free SERP Analysis Tool, and extract the results as a spreadsheet.

Repeat it for as many keywords you want to cross analyze by brand. When we release our PRO platform (coming Jan 2021), you’ll be able to do this for dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of keywords simultaneously.

Brand SEV Performance by Keyword

The number in parentheses next to the keyword on the left represents how many total organic results were present within the SERP. The numbers noted in the bar graph to the right indicate how many of the available first-page results the corresponding brand was represented within

What are the takeaways here?

  • Rossignol wins this month’s “Top Dog of Search” award for best Search Engine Visibility. Congrats on executing a top-performing multi-channel marketing strategy!
  • Quantity does not mean more clicks. Better brand positions within the SERP mean more clicks. Fun Fact: the top 5 search positions on the page receive over 70% of all the customer traffic for the entire keyword. Conversely, the bottom link on the first page accounts for just 1-2% of all the traffic for a keyword!

Congrats Rossignol for a hard-fought Top Dog in Search Award!!!