How search and business performance go hand in hand

Growth in search volume and overall business performance are often very closely linked, as a new report shows.

If you can grow search visibility and take a strong share of searches for the categories you target, this can be a key driver of business revenues and overall growth.

Strong search performance also enables you to be in the best position to grow revenues when there is extra search demand for your overall product category – the massive shift to ecommerce which resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic is one example, but the same principle also applies to seasonal peaks in demand, events like Black Friday for example.

The Pi Datametrics Growth Report 2021 looks at the performance of some of the fastest growing brands from the Sunday Times’ Fast Track 100.

The Pi Datametrics Growth Report 2021

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The report finds a strong correlation between growth in branded search volume and business growth.

The table below shows the 20 brands with the strongest revenue growth, and those which have a high proportion of revenue from online channels have been highlighted.

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As the chart below shows, all the the ecommerce businesses in the top 20 have seen strong search volume growth with some, such as Lounge Underwear, seeing volumes rise by almost 400%.

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Image source: Pi Market Intelligence

Looking at seasonal search trends, and peaks and troughs, can help you to identify the opportunities you have at different times of year.

If you can maintain your share of the search market at times when interest increases, you can drive extra revenue from search during these periods.

It can also pay to time ad spend, optimisation efforts, and content creation to make the most of surges in search demand within your category.

The Pi Datametrics Growth Report 2021

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Search growth accelerated by the pandemic

Search growth doesn’t appear from nowhere – it’s often a reflection of growing consumer interest in certain product categories, or perhaps reflects an increasing need for some products due to circumstances.

For example, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to growth in search demand for certain product categories (Home & DIY for one) and has suppressed demand for others. In other cases, interest in new products and concepts is reflected in search volume growth.

Meal Kit brands are one example. Thanks to the growth of brands like Hello Fresh, the meal kit concept is now familiar with consumers.

Search interest was growing gradually before 2020, but the pandemic has accelerated search demand far beyond previous levels.

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Image source: Pi Market Intelligence

Three of the four companies who experienced the highest growth in search demand were meal kit companies – Allplants, Parsley Box, and Pasta Evangelists.

Search demand for Parsley Box grew by 1499%, by 722% for Pasta Evangelists, and 226% for Allplants.

In each case we see peaks in search demand beginning in March 2020 and January 2021, which roughly coincides with the strictest lockdown measures.

In these cases, these brands with an existing share of search were able to profit from increased search volume, and grow their revenues.

The Pi Datametrics Growth Report 2021

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Most searched brands from the Fast Track 100

These are the brands with the highest search volumes over 2020. We can see some of the meal kit brands in there, while Gymshark and Cult Beauty have attracted the highest search volumes amongst the Fast Track brands.

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This search volume is key to growth, and relies on the brand operating in a high demand category, but the crucial point is that they are able to take a strong share of voice in these product categories.

This share of the search market enables brands to take advantage of strong overall category demand, and puts them in prime position to grow revenues when search demand peaks, either during key seasonal events, or when events like the pandemic drive more shoppers online.

In the case of Gymshark, it brings in plenty of branded search traffic, but it also takes a big share of valuable generic searches in the sportswear category. This enables it to grow revenue and acquire new customers from organic search.

Gymshark performs 4th for the most valuable generic searches in ‘Sportswear’

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Image source: Pi Market Intelligence

Cult Beauty is 8th in terms of share of voice for some of the most valuable generic beauty searches, which is a key factor in its growth and performance within the Fast Track 100.

These two brands highlight the importance of building search share for the valuable generic terms within target product categories, as well as building brand search. Performance for generic terms is important for new customer acquisition, and enables you to grow revenues, especially when overall demand in the category is high.

It’s also important to note that, even when there are more established and well-known brands dominating share of search, with the right search strategy, it’s possible to take a significant share of voice.

Cult Beauty performs 8th for the most valuable generic searches in ‘Beauty’

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Image source: Pi Market Intelligence

The Pi Datametrics Growth Report 2021

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In Summary

This report underlines the importance of search for business growth. Key to this is the use of search intelligence tools to understand your target search market and your position within it.

Many businesses trading and selling online are likely to have grown traffic and revenue over the last 12 to 18 months, simply because demand has grown so rapidly.

However, if your business is growing at 40%, and your overall category is growing faster, then that can be a cause for concern.

Using search data and metrics like growth of branded search, share of voice, and share of generic search terms in your target market can help put your performance into the correct context and understand your performance more effectively.

If you’re underperforming, then it’s a sign that your SEO performance needs to improve so you can grow revenues when search demand is high.

Many of the brands in the Fast Track 100 have outperformed their category and the strong business growth they have seen underlines the vital importance of search performance.

The Pi Datametrics Growth Report 2021

Download now