The online florists market has seen significant growth in previous years and it will come as no surprise that the COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated this growth in 2020, as lockdown has forced consumers to shift their spending habits online.
The area in which we have seen the most significant growth in is the online flower delivery and flower subscription services. This can be seen below with the following Google Trend data taken for the term ‘flower delivery’ over the last 12 months.
This brings with it, huge opportunities for brands to invest in SEO now as there is clearly a lot of demand for this service. Not only this, but it lends an opportunity to gain brand awareness during this peak period for future purchases post COVID-19 when search volumes return to levels seen pre-COVID-19.
Taking a sample of keywords, you can see just how much growth this vertical have seen YoY with search queries increasing by 900% in many instances.
Google’s core algorithm updates
We’ve seen three core algorithm updates alone since November last year. Some verticals seeing more impact than others. Google’s recommendations for webmasters and SEOs whose websites have been affected by a Google Update are as follows: “We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can.” When auditing a website, Google suggests considering questions regarding the following four aspects:
- Content & Quality: Does the website offer original, high-quality content that isn’t just copied from somewhere? Are the page title and description appealing and do they reflect the content? If you were a webmaster, would you share the content with friends?
- Expertise: Is the content trustworthy? Does the page contain errors? Would you, as a webmaster arriving at the page via Google search, trust the website you find?
- Presentation & Production: Does the content seem to be well researched and well produced – or does it seem to be mass-produced fodder? Are there too many ads? Does the page load appropriately on all devices?
- Competitive comparison: Does the website offer added value when compared with its competitors? Does the content fulfil the user’s expectations?”
We use an internal tool which calculates the traffic share. This is calculated based on the search volume and current rankings for a given set of keywords; in this instance 246 keywords.
This helps us gauge a picture of the industry to see where the clients we work with and their competitors sit within the organic landscape. Of the 246 keywords we analysed (with a combined monthly search volume of just under one million), we’ve calculated that if you were to rank in position 1 for every term, the maximum potential monthly non-brand traffic you would expect to receive within this sector is 189,291 organic sessions.
Here is the overall organic traffic share within the online flowers vertical:
Taking a handful of brands and comparing their visibility over the last year, it’s clear that there has been a split of both winners and losers as a result of Google’s core algorithm updates between Nov-19 and May-20. Brands such as interflora (+22%) flyingflowers (+6%) flowerstation (+10%) and freddiesflowers (+125%) have benefited off the back of these, however bloomandwild (-6%) eflorist (-27%) and serenataflowers (-17%) all saw a drop in rankings.
Whilst we have seen drops, most of the main players in this sector saw some level of growth, with appleyardflowers, prestigeflowers, direct2florist and freddiesflowers all over doubling their visibility growth YoY. A full overview over the past 12 months can be found below:
When it comes to link acquisition we know that Google focus heavily on their quality guidelines and as a result of this, there is no direct correlation between the visibility growth brands have seen over the last year and the increase in referring domains. For example direct2florist removed 10% of their backlink profile and saw an increase in visibility of 131%.
In contrast to this, SerenataFlowers saw an increase to the number of referring domains by 32% (+1053 referring domains) and their visibility dropped by 17%.
However, PrestigeFlowers only saw an increase of 18% in their backlink profile which is fairly modest compared to other competitors in the market, however they have seen their visibility grow by 273% over the last 12 months.
What does this mean?
For brands struggling to see growth in this sector, based on this analysis it’s clear that the quality and relevance of your backlinks has a much greater impact on ranking increases than the number of links going to your site. Therefore, focus your efforts on planned link acquisition campaigns which are going to drive high quality and highly relevant links to your website.
Re-evaluate your backlink profile and review your disavow file (if you have submitted one). Far too often we see brands who have disavowed domains which no-longer need to be included and on the flip-side haven’t disavowed domains which are clearly holding back the growth of the website no-matter how much effort is spent building new links.
The above forms part of a much larger report, if you would like to view the report in full, would like any further information on the data presented above, or would like to know more about our expert SEO services, feel free to reach out to us directly.