With warm weather on the decline (at least here in Wyoming), we’re making the most of evenings spent grilling in the backyard with family and friends (all appropriately distanced, of course).

As such, this week we’re taking a deeper look at how grill brands compete for visibility in search. We’re also introducing — for the first time — a new accolade to properly recognize the top performing brand within the category, or as we’re calling it: the “Top Dog in Search” award 🐕 .

Search Engine Visibility: Gas Grills

We analyzed 5 leading grill brands for their Search Engine Visibility (SEV) within the gas grill category. We focused on 41 non-branded keywords that are used over 159,000 times a month by customers looking to research or purchase a gas grill. We also segmented the keywords and brand performance by Search Intent.

Branded vs Non-Branded Keywords

Search keywords that don’t include a specific brand-name are considered ‘non-branded.’ For example: “Nike running shoes” is a branded keyword phrase, while just “running shoes”  with no company name present is considered non-branded. People who search for non-branded keywords are brand agnostic at the moment of search, or at least indicate a willingness to consider multiple options that meet their search criteria.

Below you can see how we bucketed the keywords by Search Intent (for more depth on what Search Intent is and how Visably measures it, read our blog here). It’s important to recognize that SERPs are almost always a spectrum of informational and transactional page results. Visably uses A.I.-assisted technology to identify the intent of each result in the SERP and then makes a determination if the keyword results are attracting more transactional (click-to-buy) or informational (click-to-learn) content. 

As you can see, transactional keywords had 126.6K more monthly search traffic than the informational keywords—that’s 766% more traffic. It’s not surprising to see transactional keywords receiving such high volume traffic and also higher overall SEO competition. For individual brand SEO, these keywords almost entirely out-of-play (due to the competitiveness of the terms). Yet, an SEV strategy that focuses on transactional keywords has benefits that will be evident below.

Now that we have our grill keywords identified and bucketed by Search Intent, it’s time to identify the brands we’ll be comparing today:

  • Blaze
  • Char Broil
  • Dyna-Glo
  • Napoleon
  • Weber

Once again, our objective to examine how these brands are doing with their Search Engine Visibility (SEV), what we consider to be the most important success metric when it comes to a successful search engine strategy.

What is Search Engine Visibility (SEV)?

Search Engine Visibility or SEV is the statistical likelihood that a specific brand or product will be “discovered” by a customer within the SERP. SEV is different from SEO in that it takes into account ALL the potential customer touch-points within the SERP and measures how likely a searcher is to find a brand among all the results. 

Search Engine Visibility is predicated upon the idea that it doesn’t matter how a customer discovers a brand, so long as they do in fact discover it. This places a premium on SERP position and an agnostic position on the actual type of touch-point (e.g. brand-owned content vs. PR vs. ecommerce).

Important considerations when calculating SEV: 

  • Every result in the SERP has a unique clickthrough rate dependent on its position and feature type.
  • The top 5 organic links account for upwards of 70% of the total traffic for any keyword. Being included in any one of the top 5 spots can be many times more valuable than multiple brand positions in the bottom 5 results.
  • Special SERP features need special consideration. These features can be much more valuable than their click-through-rate imply. Special features like a ‘Featured Snippet’ are designed to provide “no-click” answers and are given preferential visibility within the SERP.

As you can see from the 41 keywords reviewed, Weber pulled both the most overall share-of-voice (65.73%) AND the strongest positioning within the SERP with an average Visably Score of 60.3. Frankly, it’s hard NOT to find Weber among these results.

But after Weber, it gets more complicated. To understand why, it’s important to recognize that share-of-voice (the absolute number of mentions) is NOT equal to a brand’s search engine visibility.   

Just look at Char-Broil. Although well-represented within the overall SERP (ranking second to Weber), Char-Broil has lower positioning within the SERP than Dyna-Glo and Napoleon, who both had less total brand mentions, but higher average Visably Scores. (Char-Broil’s is 31.1 while Napoleon and Dyna-Glo averaged 35.2 and 32.8, respectively.)

What is a Visably Score?

Visably Score uses a proprietary algorithm to assess the likelihood of a customer discovering the brand within the SERP—e.g. the measurement of a brand’s Search Engine Visibility. We take into account both the results’ position within the SERP as well as the feature type (an organic result vs. featured snippet, etc.).

For example: a brand with a 0 Visably Score has a 0% chance of being found within the SERP, while a brand with a Visably Score of 100 will be found in every identifiable nook and cranny within the SERP. A Visably Score of 70 or higher is considered a very strong brand position, however, just getting on the board (with any score) is good.

Informational vs. Transactional Search Performance

The results start to get really interesting when you look at informational vs transactional search performance. 

You can see that while Napoleon ranks last in share-of-voice among informational searches (21.84%), Napoleon makes up the gap in search visibility among transactional searches. Napoleon in particular should be commended on its excellent online sales merchandising that has resulted in very strong positioning within transactional results.

Keep in mind that those transactional searches reached 766% more people than the informational searches we identified AND they draw upon customers who are further down the sales funnel.

How did we do this?

Easy—just plug your keywords and brands into Visably, and let us do the work. If you’re wondering how we did multiple batches, well, you’ll just have to wait until we release Visably PRO (coming later this fall).

Brand SEV Performance by Keyword

Here we broke down search engine visibility 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 take-aways here?

  • Weber wins this week’s “Top Dog in Search” award for best search engine visibility! Kudos on a dominate multi-channel search strategy! 
  • Leveraging multi-channel opportunities won big dividend for brands like Weber and Napoleon to increase their visibility in searches where their brand-owned content wasn’t able to rank. 
  • Brands that work well with ecommerce partners win brand visibility among high-volume transactional results that rake in customers who are “ready to buy” and demonstrably not (yet) brand loyal. 
  • A greater share-of-voice in the SERP does NOT correlate to a greater chance of customer discovery
Congratulations to Weber for executing an outstanding multi-channel search strategy!