Being based in Jackson Hole, WY, we see our fair share of fleece jackets. Jackson locals know there’s always a good story behind well-worn jackets held together by duct tape or homemade patches.

For the fun of it, we decided to analyze 6 leading outdoor brands for their Search Engine Visibility (SEV) within this category (fleece jackets). We selected 20 non-branded keywords of commercial intent that related to fleece jacket product discovery and controlled for the following criteria: 

  • Specific Monthly Volume
  • Difficulty / Competitiveness
  • Organic Click-Through-Rate
  • Search Engine Intent

Q: What’s a non-branded keyword of commercial intent?

Search queries that don’t include a specific brand-name. Ostensibly, people who type in non-branded keywords are brand agnostic at the moment of search, or at least indicate a willingness to consider different options that meet their search criteria.

Furthermore, we bucketed the keywords by search engine intent — meaning, how did the search engine interpret the intent behind what a searcher is looking for? If the organic results were more than 50% transactional (click-to-buy) we identified the keyword as “transactional.” Same for informational (click-to-learn).

Once we had our keywords identified and bucketed by search intent, we used Visably to cross-analyze each SERP for the following outdoor brands:

  • Columbia
  • The North Face
  • Patagonia
  • Mountain Hardware
  • Marmot
  • Arc’teryx

We were primarily interested in how these brands were doing with their Search Engine Visibility (SEV): the statistical likelihood that any single brand would be “discovered” organically within the SERP. 

(not to be confused with SEO – at Visably, we look at all the potential touch-points within the SERP and measure how likely a customer is to find a brand among the PR results, ecommerce pages, brand-owned media, etc.)

As you can see, across all 20 of the keyword searches that we analyzed, The North Face won nearly 71% share-of-voice across all organic search results, followed closely by Patagonia (69%) and Columbia (62%). 

However, perhaps more interesting is how these brands began to differentiate when it came to transactional vs. informational search intent. Although we surveyed only 6 transactional keywords, Columbia was by far the leading brand when it came to dominating ecommerce landing pages (and first-page success with its own SEO). Almost completely missing from these pages was Mountain Hardwear at just 4% share-of-voice.

For informational searches (e.g. public relations acquired media reviews), Patagonia rose to the top of the field with an impressive 81% share-of-voice, followed by The North Face at 79%.

How did we do this?

Simply use Visably to cross-analyze any SERP for any branded content:

What are the take-aways here?

Find your blinds spots and fix’em. 

Brands like Patagonia and Arc’teryx are likely to be more selective with their online ecommerce partners and may not sell through many of the ecommerce sites that show up in transactional searches (like

However, if they do sell fleece jackets to one of those vendors and they’re not being merchandised on their search engine landing page, now they at least have that intelligence and can have a conversation about specific search landing page merchandising with those vendors. 

For brands like Mountain Hardware and Marmot, there’s a clear opportunity to identify blindspots within their PR strategies and use Google Search to identify the most relevant writers and outlets within these categories.

Fortunately Visably identifies the PR hits for you, meaning that you can simply export the results and isolate the PR hits for list-building and future outreach purposes.

Brand SEV performance by keyword

n.b. 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.