Who are the online dealer winners and losers?

Which dealers rate the most popular online?

Following a 44% increase in its online visibility over the past year, Lakeland remains top of the internet catering equipment market, according to a new report.

The Catering Equipment Insight Report, produced by digital marketing specialist Salience Marketing, ranks 55 of the leading websites within the market according to their online performance. The annual study reveals the successes and shortcomings of each website, highlighting where there is room for improvement.

This year’s visibility results showed that Sous Chef recorded the most significant increase among the top 10 [125%], while the top 10 overall saw a majority record a drop in their visibility year-on-year. Russums-Shop and Webstaurant Store both dropped out of the top 10 (both seeing a 20% decrease or more) and were replaced by Sous Chef and Lockhart.

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However, Lakeland dominates the social charts, coming in first place for both brand searches per month (246,000) and owned social scores. Howdens, Nisbets, Sous Chef and Lockhart rounded out the top five for searches per month.

Lakeland also leads owned social scores, with Webstaurant Store, Nisbets, Lockhart and Howdens making up the top five. The social score considers followers and engaged conversations on all major social platforms.

Despite recording a high brand search score of 165,000, Howdens recorded a comparatively low owned social score [35]. On the other hand, and against the sector trend, Webstaurant Store had a search score of just 70 but an owned score of 238. Across the sector, owned social is extremely low with only three of the 55 brands recording a score above 100.

Links have always been an important ranking factor and can make all the difference to how far up a brand appears on Google. Consistently gaining new high-quality links can be great for business; however, high-link volumes without the quality could spell trouble ahead.

Webstaurant Store has the highest number of searches per month of good quality, putting it at the top of the links chart. The dealer’s most linked-to page (aside from the homepage) is a buying guide on commercial toasters. The guide talks about each type of toaster in detail, including what to look out for, the benefits and things to consider, gaining over 2,200 links.

There are several sites with ‘high-quality, low-volume’ links; these include Shop-Equip, KCM Catering, AJ Stuarts, Lockhart and Bidfood Catering.

Conversely, there are also sites with ‘low-quality, high-volume’ links, such as Russums, Catering Appliance, Hopkins, Cater-Kwik and Sous Chef. Consistently gaining a high quantity of low-authority links highlights an urgent need to address a dealer’s off-site reputation.

Salience Marketing’s inbound content marketer Gemma Curtis commented: “The visibility has been up and down this year for catering equipment companies, but there have been some success stories.

“Nisbets placed third for visibility but managed to rank within the top three positions for many of the high-competition and opportunity keywords featured. They have extended copy on their pages which answers questions and provides product detail.

“Google says they aim to best serve the user intent and have previously expressed that sites should do this by focusing on ‘producing great content’. By extending their page copy, they have achieved this goal which has likely contributed to their search engine ranking position improvements. This should be a focus for other catering equipment sites this year.”

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