Top SEO Performers in the Online UK Cycling Industry

10 Aug

Bikes Lined UpI’ve worked on a number of bike sites in UK cycling industry and I’d been planning to do some analysis into the SEO visibility of the key players online, so here’s some insight into the current organic search positioning of the key players in the UK online cycling market.

There are many industries online that are fascinating from a search perspective and the UK Cycling sector is one of them. Over the last few years cycling companies with clicks and mortar and e-tailer only models have grown massively in conjunction with the yearly growth of the cycling industry as more of the UK population continue to get the cycling bug.retail focus leading up to our retail event this week we thought we’d provide some insight into the current organic search positioning of the key players in the UK online cycling market.

With the overall UK cycling industry being valued at around £3 billion back in 2010, the value will no doubt continue to rise throughout this decade. In light of this I decided to take a look into the key online retailers in the UK Cycling industry provide an insight into who are the market leaders and why they are the leaders in organic search visibility.

With the help of Searchmetrics SEO visibility I decided to analyse the key players in the market and group them into specific categories based on their current SEO Visibility. As part of this analysis a brief overview is provided highlighting why each online cycling brand is positioned where it is.

The Peloton

Top UK Cycling Brands Online

 

Chain Reaction Cycles Logo

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • Large brand search presence providing a significant percentage of their overall organic traffic and appear to have the 3rd largest brand search volume out of the powerhouse cycling e-tailers.
  • Large amount of indexed products and URLs providing a significant amount of long tail keyword visibility
  • Very SEO friendly internal menu navigation
  • Integrated star review rich snippets in the search results
  • User generated reviews on product pages to provide unique content to the user and the search engines
  • A strong content strategy that is channelled through their external blog that is heavily linked to the main purchasing website

Areas for Improvement

  • Gaining more keyword variation traffic from key category section pages such as the mountain bikes page

 

Evans Cycles Logo

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • Significant brand search volume, arguably the highest cycle brand search volume in the UK
  • Large amount of indexed products and URLs providing a significant amount of long tail keyword visibility
  • User generated reviews on product pages to provide unique content to the user and the search engines
  • Channelling a content strategy through a blog that interlinks with key product categories in the main product areas of the website
  • High quality, relevant and natural link profile

Areas for Improvement

  • Still have a large number of duplicate descriptions on product pages that are the same as many other online cycling retailers

 

Wiggle Cycles Logo

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • Large brand search volume, potentially the 2nd highest in the UK for an online cycling website
  • Have a very large inventory of products and indexed pages within the search engines which provides excellent long tail visibility
  • Very SEO friendly internal menu navigation
  • Use interlinking strength from other Wiggle country TLDs

Areas for Improvement

  • Still have a large number of duplicate descriptions on product pages that ae the same as many other online retailers
  • Could do more to get their content shared in the guides subdomain section

 

Tredz Bikes Logo

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • A good established brand search volume total
  • Has excellent visibility for key bike type, bike brand and generic search terms, largely due to quality content integrated onto key category pages and good internal site linking structures
  • Good quality content included on the blog section and also incorporate other informative sections such as a guide section. Both of these sections provide good social value.
  • Good local visibility in specific areas of the UK due to very good quality local bike shop pages
  • Rich snippet reviews integrated for product pages
  • Uses feature landing pages for specific brand model ranges

Areas for Improvement

  • Continue to build long tail breadth via referring more unique keywords, although with a smaller product inventory compared to the bigger players it may be difficult to get on par with Evans, Wiggle and Chain reaction when it comes to total long tail organic visibility.

 

Aspiring Riders

2nd Tier Cycle Brands

 

2nd Tier Cycle Brands

 

Ribble Cycles Logo

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • Regarded as a niche road bike provider and does not offer bikes from any other brands so they have good overall market visibility considering they are a niche bike type retailer
  • Have a number of category section pages with unique content that has helped them improve their visibility gradually over the last couple of years

Areas for Improvement

  • Has an opportunity to implement a number of conversion rate optimisation techniques related to specific product pages on the site.
  • Needs to develop a better content marketing strategy to gain more social visibility
  • Could consider integrating star review ratings

 

JE James Cycles Logo

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • Lost a significant amount of visibility from short tail brand product and bike type keywords at the end of August 2013. Since then it appears that they have removed or lost a number of links that may have caused this issue.
  • Uses a less common navigation structure compared to the market leaders who have greater visibility
  • Have a large number of potential traffic driving terms currently on page 2 of Google

Areas for Improvement

  • Include high quality keyword focused unique content on category section pages
  • Could consider integrating user generated content and user reviews.
  • Improve the quality of content written on their blog

 

Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative Logo

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • Has a low visibility considering how many indexed pages the site has compared to others sites in this mid-tier
  • Has low level of long-tail keyword visibility due to the lack of content included on category and product pages
  • Is hindered by a number of internal duplicate content issues
  • Uses content strategies such as competitions on their blog to generate good social visibility

Areas for Improvement

  • Improve landing page content quality and internal linking for brand categories
  • Monitor other websites who may be stealing their content and rewrite offending content accordingly

 

Merlin Cycles Logo

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • Good visibility gain from product brand specific search terms due to good interlinking of brand pages, which also include good quality keyword content
  • Well optimised groupset pages allow for top 5 rankings for many groupset related terms, which provide a significant proportion of the sites visibility
  • There is a low number of pages indexed on the site suggesting Merlin only offer a limited amount of products on the site and this ultimately impacts their long tail visibility which is key to being a key organic performer in this industry.

Areas for Improvement

  • Need to develop a better strategy to promote the good quality content they have on the blog
  • Need to look at ways in which they can gain a larger amount of quality links to the domain

 

Winstanley Bikes Logo

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • Simple site layout allows for efficient search engine crawling
  • Have excellent visibility for their brand pages despite the pages not being particularly well optimised

Areas for Improvement

  • Needs to develop a better content marketing strategy to gain more social visibility
  • Has an opportunity to implement a number of conversion rate optimisation techniques related to specific product pages on the site

 

CycleSurgery Logo

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • Good internal linking provides good visibility for brand landing pages
  • Do not have as much long tail coverage as other mid-tier competitors

Areas for Improvement

  • Rich snippet review schema coding requires further optimisation to validate and be present in the search engine results
  • Have a number of high volume product search terms on page 2 that can be optimised further to push to page 1
  • Need to look at how the good quality content hosted on the blog section of the site can be promoted further to gain more social visibility.

 

Planet X Bikes

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • Have successfully migrated to a new domain in the end of 2013 and have continued to build on the visibility from the previous domain
  • Have content included on product category menu pages, good site and URL structure.

Areas for Improvement

  • Need to look at building more long tail visibility as Planet X have a higher number of indexed pages in Google compared to other mid-tier competitors
  • May want to consider using less standard manufacturer descriptions for products as this causes external duplicate content

 

Cycle Store Logo

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • Visibility on the whole has gradually declined for Cycle store over the past couple of years
  • A high number of indexed pages does not reflect the low keyword long tail visibility

Areas for Improvement

  • Need to look at building more long tail visibility as Cycle Store also have a higher number of indexed pages in Google compared to other mid-tier competitors
  • Need to look at including more keyword variations in page meta titles
  • Blog content needs to be promoted socially to a larger extent

 

Smaller Team Riders

Smaller Cycle Brands

 

Rutland Cycling Logo

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • Have lost visibility over time which appears to be related to over optimising for terms such as mountain bikes and road bikes via link building

Areas for Improvement

  • Continue to reduce the percentage of anchor text links targeting specific keywords linking back to the site
  • Blog content needs to be promoted more socially

 

 

Rose Bikes Logo

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • Have very few page 1 ranking terms present and mainly have visibility via more niche product type keywords

Areas for Improvement

  • Include more content on key product type menu category pages
  • Have some great engaging content that should be promoted further via social channels.

 

SJS Cycles Logo

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • Have a limited amount of products meaning that organic visibility is relatively low

Areas for Improvement

  • Adding more content on section categories that are less competitive (such as accessory sections) will help to gradually improve long tail visibility

 

UK Bike Store Logo

 

 

Visibility Factors

  • Visibility mainly comes from generic search terms relating to their domain name and the home page is the main organic traffic driver.

Areas for Improvement

  • Make brand landing pages more prominent within the web site
  • Focus on including more content on deeper pages within the site including key product category pages.

 

The online UK cycling landscape will continue to develop over the coming years with lucrative revenue to be gained from having a strong organic search presence. For a great overview on the UK Cycling Economy check out the Gross Cycling Product report produced by the London School of Economics in association with British Cycling. Its a few years old now but hopefully they will produce an updated study soon and it will be interesting to see how the industry continues to develop.

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