Want a free Market Map report for your brand, worth £5,000+? Here’s how to beat your competitors on search

Category: Agency News

By: Rich Leigh

Calling all brand CMOs, marketing directors and those working in startups!

We’re giving away three Market Map reports (starting from) £5,000 each – reports that, using paid-for data points, take an objective look at your brand in relation to your competitors and how you rank against them on search engines.

We use these reports to see gaps – and there are always opportunities to increase positioning and ultimately, earnings.

Once you’ve read this case study, we’re confident you’ll want one – simply enter our draw by entering your details below.

Think of the data, which come from various sources, like ingredients. Anybody can buy a bag of flour. It’s baking it into a perfect cake that’s the hard bit!

If you’d like a Market Map but would prefer not to enter the draw, we’d be happy to run a paid-for one and make suggestions for you. Get in touch here.

A Market Map at work – or, How Specsavers is Leaving £££ on the Table

Here’s a Market Map report using publicly accessible data, looking at where optician Specsavers is winning online (and they are, in many ways), and where they could improve. They’re a good brand example because, from the outside looking in, they are the dominant brand and can seemingly do no better.

This report finds opportunities the marketing team at Specsavers might not even be aware of.

Image a) the optical market as it stands

Here, we can see five distinct clusters and the brands/domains within them, from left to right:

  1. Eye conditions and hospitals, in blue
  2. Opticians, contact lenses and glasses in green
  3. Online/buying glasses online in turquoise
  4. Sunglasses in purple
  5. Designer glasses in orange

The size of the discs equates to that URL’s visibility within each cluster. Specsavers is the biggest winner by miles when it comes to people searching for opticians in relation to glasses and contact lenses. This cluster is also very close to the search cluster looking to buy glasses online.

Image b) cluster comparison by similarity and traffic

We can further look at the market by breaking down by traffic and closeness by cluster.

Taking Specsavers as our reference, we can see that visionexpress.com, visiondirect.co.uk, misterspex.co.uk, lenstore.co.uk and feelgoodcontacts.com are the most similar, with between 30% and 40% of the traffic coming from shared terms with Specsavers.

A big opportunity presents itself in this chart, showing that Specsavers is very far from the (purple) sunglasses cluster, despite selling sunglasses, including designer fashion and prescriptive designer sunglasses. Unsurprisingly, ray-ban.com dominates.

Traffic evolution
Image c) site traffic movement

Here, we have extracted traffic data from SimilarWeb for each of the competitors in the study. Specsavers is so far ahead, it’s been presented logarithmically, and shows the constant jostling for position at the lower end of monthly traffic.

Relative size by traffic acquisition method 
Image d) traffic by channel share

It’s useful before working with clients to see where traffic comes from, in relation to competitors. We can again see that Specsavers lead in all areas.

What I’m interested in when looking at this is where brands might be overspending and perhaps even relying on paid search; simply because the ongoing cost of maintaining paid search traffic can be factors more than the cost of sorting out site structure, content and digital PR, making it a relatively easy (and appropriate) sell for us.

Generic searches vs branded searches
Image e) traffic from search: generic vs. branded

Overall, market traffic is 66% ‘generic’ searches (e.g. ‘prescription glasses’) and 34% branded. Which means (as shown in pink on the right), if somebody is searching for a brand in relation to opticians and glasses, chances are, they’re searching for Specsavers or Ray-Ban. In fact, 65% of Specsavers’ organic traffic comes through branded searches, with just 35% coming through generic search terms. TV and billboard ad spend, its famous ‘should have gone to…’ catchphrase and high street prevalence will no doubt drive that.

However, we can see things get busy in relation to generic search. Specsavers has a 12.3% share of traffic for generic terms (which is significantly lower than its 35% share of direct traffic, as per the previous image). We’d be looking to improve that – generic search is a strong opportunity for Specsavers to complement its dominant brand search position.

From strategy to actionable insights
Image f) Specsavers’ share of traffic vs potential

With all of the above data, we’re able to identify opportunities at a topic/category level – or even at a keyword level.

For instance, we can look at share of search market by topic – and produce a hit list of topics and terms that we can suggest work to improve.

Looking at the graph above, you can see that Specsavers has categories you’d expect them to do well in sewn up. ‘Optician’, ‘eye test’, ‘glasses men’ and the like.

However – look at the opportunity in relation to contact lenses and sunglasses in particular. We always ask if our clients have a valid reason to play in a certain space – for Specsavers, you’d have to say yes to both, but they’re missing out hugely on generic traffic to categories worth a huge amount of money, with huge traffic potential.

With onsite work, a solid content plan and some PR work earning good relevant links, we’re talking big money.

And we can go further with the data. We can see, for instance, that visiondirect.co.uk and lenstore.co.uk get a lot of traffic to pages specifically related to coloured contact lenses, providing an immediately actionable benchmark:

Image g) traffic volume to competitor coloured lenses page


With this, we would put together a plan that combines a data-led search strategy with measurable creative digital PR tactics aimed at increasing search performance in these untapped areas.

There might well be a reason Specsavers isn’t playing in these spaces, but as image f shows, there’s huge potential.

Who are we?

At Radioactive, we care about creativity, underpinned by solid strategy and results that can be measured. It starts with knowing what we’re dealing with. A quick glance at AHREFs doesn’t cut it, and often, the gaps aren’t even known about to make it into brand briefs.

We care about PR and SEO results that speak to search engines AND influence real customers. We are proudly no-BS, and live and die by our results, working with household name brands and growing companies alike.

That’s how our work with ProDog Raw has seen them leap past competitors towards the top of page one on Google for its highest volume target keywords, from the colder, (MUCH) less travelled climes of page three – after just half a year (here’s some ways we’ve done that).

Strategic insights. Creative PR. Measurable results.