May 23, 2017 / Featured

Size doesn’t matter: Smaller brands winning vital organic market share ahead of global powerhouses.

Conductor has released their quarterly deep dive on organic performance and influencing factors across five major verticals (insurance, retail, travel, finance, and real estate) analyzing +150k search terms over millions of individual searches, to give you an inside look at the multitude of opportunities in organic. What works? Why? And — most importantly — how can your company use these strategies to win your share of the unclaimed organic pie? Read on to stake your claim.

SafeAuto and Mercury Insurance Beat Out Auto Insurance Industry Giants

Two small insurance players, Mercury Insurance and SafeAuto, beat out much larger brands for most auto insurance organic market share.

What are strategies for success in the overall insurance vertical? Here are a few:

• Top-ranked brands in the insurance industry earned their market share by creating content specific to buyer personas. For example, Geico commands a top ten presence, in part through authoring high-quality content for the military persona.
• Successful insurance companies provide online tools such as loan calculators. This content is in high-demand – giving insurance companies the opportunity to engage with consumers earlier in the customer journey.
• Top performers capture answer boxes in search. About 62% of insurance searches had universal results and 81% of universal results were answer boxes.
• Twitter performs well in insurance search results — Twitter results consistently ranked in position two for many highly searched results, including:

  • -“Affordable health insurance”
  • -“Health insurance”
  • -“I need health insurance”

74% of Retail Industry Market Share is Unclaimed

In the retail industries, adjective-heavy keyword strategies are enormously helpful for capturing leading organic rankings.

A wide variety of brands split top market share when targeting adjectives based on material, target audience and style, such as cashmere or leather, babies and teenagers and casual versus formal.

Conductor recommends focusing on colors when tagging your images. Images that contained keywords such as pink, green and blue, were top ranked.

Expedia Dominates Travel Market Share for Late Stage Customers

Market share for the travel industry is highly fragmented, with only three brands (Expedia, Kayak, and TripAdvisor) commanding 5% or more of the overall market share. But the break-up doesn’t stop there — the organic field for travel is also divided along the lines of the buyer’s journey. While TripAdvisor captures much of the early and mid-stages, Expedia commands most of the later stage searches.

Conductor’s recommended strategies for this vertical include:

• Focus on local listings, particularly that your NAP parameters (name, address, and phone) are kept accurate and up-to-date.
• Partner or advertise with publishers and aggregators most visible for relevant searches:

o “Cheap” searches – Expedia, KAYAK, TripAdvisor, Skyscanner,, Travelocity, FareCompare, Priceline, Orbitz
o “Luxury” searches – TripAdvisor, Five Star Alliance, U.S. News Travel,, Oyster, Expedia, Travel + Leisure, Small Luxury Hotels, The Telegraph
o “Attraction” searches – TripAdvisor, PlanetWare, U.S. News Travel, Expedia (thingstodo.expedia), USA Today (, TimeOut, CityPASS, Touropia, VirtualTourist, Fodor’s Travel
o “What to do” searches – TripAdvisor, Groupon, Thrillist, U.S. News Travel, Expedia (thingstodo.expedia), USA Today (, TimeOut, Fodor’s Travel, Airbnb, Travel Channel

Publishers Outperform Leading Banks and Finance Companies

In the finance industry, publishers frequently outperform actual banks and other financial service providers across the organic landscape. For example, Bankrate and NerdWallet, two popular publishers that create helpful content about managing your finances, control spots #1 and #2 (respectively) in the overall finance category.

This presents a great opportunity for brands looking for a boost. Top ten brands make sure to advertise and retarget on publishers with high visibility in their targeted category.

Large Real Estate Firms Are Absent From Top 10 Industry Performers

Some of the largest real estate firms are missing from the top ten market share performers. For example, Century 21, Re/Max, Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s, and The Corcoran Group consistently don’t rank in the top ten positions.

So, what are they doing wrong? It’s likely more an issue of what they aren’t doing. Top ten performers use popular adjectives in their image descriptions and titles. Image result types were frequently shown from searches containing adjectives like “modern,” “luxury,” and “dream.” In real estate, it pays to be descriptive.

How Does This Affect My SEO Strategy?

Much of the search landscape is still open for new entrants. Many of the top ten ranked brands are companies considerably smaller than the larger more established brands. In fact, it’s obvious that quality content trumps brand recognition or budget size.

Read the rest of Conductor’s report for even more insights, strategies and findings by vertical.


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