Top 5 SEO Ranking Factors for Ski Brands

by Florian Auckenthaler
23rd Jan, 2018

Are you a ski manufacturer that finds yourself wondering what you need to do to improve your ranking in Google’s search engine results? Google considers more than 200 different factors when deciding whether or not to show your website in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for any given search query.

The answer isn’t always as black and white as we’d like it to be because nobody knows with 100% certainty what the exact factors are or the different weight Google attributes to each as part of its algorithm. 

Core Factors that Determine SEO Ranking

The good news is that we know the core factors that come into play when Google is indexing your website and determining its ranking. We conducted in-depth SEO research for more than 100 SKI brands to ascertain baseline metrics for this niche industry.

To achieve the highest level of visibility in search engines in 2018 and improve your website’s SEO efforts, take note of these 5 important factors.

1] Valuable, Relevant Content

Delivering high-quality content to your audience will be critical in 2018 as we witnessed the quick rise of content marketing in 2017. Before diving into any other areas of your SEO strategy, content should be used as a foundation to build upon. This year make it a point to shift away from the antiquated approach of keyword stuffing to a value approach driven by content marketing.

An example of valuable, relevant content is longer form content that’s comprehensive and provides value to your target audience rather than content that’s strictly selling.

Neil Patel, a Forbes top 10 marketer, says, “With content marketing, you’re giving valuable information away before asking people to buy anything. Even when you sell a product through content marketing, your ideal customers will be happy you did, because they feel more valued and understood.”

According to a Content Marketing Institute report, populating websites with content is how you end up with 434% more search engine-indexed pages than other business sites that don’t publish content.

As you’re developing content remember that quality will be more beneficial to your site’s ranking on Google than quantity. In the eyes of Google quality content is a mix of adequate length, proper keyword usage, and readability. All of these factors are used by Google to determine good search results for any given query.

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2] Relevant, Authoritative Links to Your Website

Links found on other sites that point to your website are known as backlinks. These are the strongest indicator of authority as Google is determining your site’s credibility and authoritative position in your market. Google will give you a link score that’s based on the quantity of backlinks as well as the quality of websites linking to yours.

Again, quantity is important as Google counts links coming from the same domain as one during evaluation. However, quality is equally important because low-quality links can actually hurt your search engine rankings (Source: Search Engine Land).

Numerous studies have been completed on the topic of backlinks and we can’t ignore the numbers. Ranking Factors SEMrush Study 2.0 found the more backlinks a domain has, the higher its position in SERPs. This can be seen in Figure 1 below.

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Figure 1.

In our own research, we found that domain authority is a metric that directly affects the ability to increase your position in Google. Figure 2 below shows a positive correlation between domain authority and visibility in search engines.

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Figure 2.

Authoritative Backlinks: Takeaway for SKI Brands

Domain Authority and relevant, authoritative backlinks aren’t just any SEO factor. Domain Authority is the result of committed online marketing activities and an indicator of a high-quality, best-in-class product that people want to share with their network. Be sure to also take a look at a separate study we conducted (LINK TO RESEARCH) on the top Domain Authority influencing activities from top SKI brands.

3] On-page Search Engine Optimization

What do we mean by on-page website SEO? It isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and it’s what typically first comes to mind when we talk about SEO.

On-page website SEO is the process of optimizing your website to increase visibility and rankings in search engines. This includes the optimization of page content, title tags, meta descriptions, and alt text for images.

The title tags used on your pages are arguably the top factor Google’s used to evaluate relevance for search queries. Additionally, weaving your most important keywords into the content on your pages, meta descriptions (the excerpt seen under the title in SERPs) and alt text for images that describe an image in text since Google can’t “see” images.

According to our research, when we look at the correlation between success in search rankings and on-page SEO it’s clear that properly optimized websites are also more successful in Google’s search engine results pages. Figure 3 below shows this correlation.

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Figure 3.

Further, our research (Figure 4) uncovered the most common website optimization issues.

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Figure 4.

On-page Search Engine Optimization: Takeaway for SKI Brands

Don’t hesitate to optimize your website’s page content, title tags, meta descriptions and alt text for images with your most important keywords and in accordance with Google’s SEO guidelines.

Read also: How to Give Access to Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and Adwords

4] Website Traffic and Search Visibility

The Search Visibility score is the estimated percentage of clicks you receive based on your organic rankings positions, across all of the keywords you’re tracking.

So, how does your search visibility score affect your rankings in Google? If more people are clicking through to your site after searching “best skis 2017”, for example, this tells Google that your website is a relevant and high-quality result for this specific query. Google attributes this determination to your website’s on-page optimization of page content, title tags, and meta descriptions as well as backlinks, quality of content and multi-platform accessibility.

As outlined in our research above, there is a clear correlation between these important factors and overall visibility in search engines.

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5] Mobile Optimization

2017 was the year to switch to a mobile-first philosophy in various aspects of your online marketing. This especially holds true for SEO.

Google rewards websites that are optimized for an enhanced user experience across any screen size. The importance of optimizing your website for mobile is evident in studies from Statista that show that in the first quarter of 2017, mobile devices accounted for over half of all organic search engine visits in the United States, up from 34% in the corresponding quarter of 2016. In October 2017, Google accounted for over 94.4 percent of the mobile search activities.

Adapting to this new way of searching isn’t a nice-to-have anymore. Optimizing your website for mobile is critical to its success and visibility in search engines. This includes optimizing site speed, user experience, technical elements and content to make it an accessible experience for those searching from their smartphone or tablet.

All 53 Ski Brand websites from our research passed the Google mobile-friendly test, however, we found that a good number of sites still are slow loading on mobile devices. 

Our research also found that website optimization for mobile devices is also important to the niche industry of SKI manufacturers. On the chart below (Figure 5), we can see that the majority of websites with a high search visibility score (greater than 70%) have a mobile optimization score of 75 or greater.

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Figure 5.

Mobile Optimization: Takeaway for SKI Brands

Don’t risk injuring your search visibility and rankings in Google by minimizing the importance of a mobile-optimized site for SEO. Make sure you have a mobile responsive site, and then ensure that you optimized load speed for mobile connections and devices. 

You can test your website for mobile optimization and see suggestions for improvements with Google’s mobile-friendly test here.

Or, check out some of the top-ranking sites from our research for mobile responsiveness based on user experience and site speed.

SEO Success in 2018

The world of SEO and online advertising is constantly evolving. Staying up to date of the changes and transformations will be critical to achieving success for your online presence and, by default, the growth of your company.

Our extensive research into the SEO factors of several SKI brand websites and how they translate to improved rankings and visibility in search engines can help tremendously. As an immediate next step, be sure to follow the 5 factors we’ve determined to be of critical importance based on our data-driven approach.

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