Running around the web

As some of you may know I am an avid runner. Much of my “spare time” is spent doing this activity. A lot of my friends will ask me questions about they can become a better runner and I often tell them to start with their shoes. If you don’t have a good pair of running shoes you are doing yourself a disservice! I always recommend my favorite brand…Brooks! Screen shot 2014-01-14 at 6.58.35 PM

Brooks shoes are great because they have a shoe that fits every running need. Whether you need a racing shoe, guidance shoe, stability shoe, or just a pair of good, comfortable running shoes Brooks has it! This is where my Google search started for Brooks…

1) Running shoes- 15th result on the first page of Google search

2) Guidance shoes-Brooks website appeared as the first result.

3) Stability shoes-Brooks website was the last result on the first page

4) Racing shoes-Brooks website was the first result on the second page

5) Running- Second page of Google search

6) Athletic shoes-Not on the first five pages.

  • Brooks does not classify their product as “athletic” shoes. While this is fine for their branding many of their competitors like Nike and UnderArmor are prevalent in this search. This maybe something Brooks considers in their SEO strategy.

7) Running gear-Last result on first page

8) Fitness apparel- Did not appear in first 10 pages.

  •  This could be big area of opportunity for Brooks because while they did not appear in this result neither big competitors, like Nike.

9) Best shoes for distance running-Did not appear in first 10 pages.

  • This could also be another are of opportunity for Brooks because, again many of their competitors did not appear in this search. Brooks has shoes that are great for distance running and could capitalize on this!

10) Run Happy-First result on the first page.

  • This is Brooks mantra so I was happy to see it as the first results!

Overall I believe Brooks has done an adequate job of implementing high SEO techniques. Aside from appearing in the “fitness apparel” and “best shoes for distance running” searches here are some other ways to improve SEO:

Do a better job of including keywords in their coding. For instance, while browsing their running apparel many codes contain links like:

Screen shot 2014-01-15 at 5.33.12 PM

To optimize visibility on Google Brooks could include words like running apparel or running shirt in these links.

From my perspective Brooks does a great job of appealing to runners. I know what types of running shoes are available, but beginner runners or those not as versed in running shoes may not know to search for “guidance shoes” or to find the right shoe. Brooks has “shoe advisor” on their website. I would love to see this feature appear higher in the search results when searching for specific shoes.

Screen shot 2014-01-14 at 6.58.00 PM

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8 thoughts on “Running around the web

  1. Hey Alexis,
    Just want to start by saying that I’ve never heard of the “Brooks” brand of shoes, so this blog post caught my eye instantly. I’ve never seen an ad, commercial or apparel website which offered them, or I could have just overlooked it.
    I think the keyword searches you did were very informative in relation to this brand. I have never heard of “Guidance Shoes,” but looking into them, they make sense. I’m actually thinking about going onto their website and checking out the “shoe advisor,” don’t worry if I buy I’ll mention your name for commission 🙂
    I think the keyword searches you did are very relative to many shoe brands, so I was surprised “Brooks” ranked pretty descent on most of the searches. To me, this seems like a brand that is going in the right direction and that direction is appealing to the overall benefit of people’s physical health in doing one of the most dominant exercises.
    Like you mentioned, I’d like to see the “Shoe Advisor” rank higher in accordance to SEO, because the whole method of buying shoes in person is completely different than picking online. This “advisor” would give people more insight into the shoe that is best fit for the particular person so they actually can feel confident about purchasing shoes online.

    • Hi Gavin!

      My boyfriend used to sell running shoes so I may have a one-up on you! I’m glad you found my post interesting. Brooks are great shoes and if you get into running you’ll see lots of people wearing them at races! As we both agree having a “shoe advisor” takes away some of the fret or nervousness people sometimes have when purchasing shoes online. I think by emphasizing this feature Brooks could stand out from some of their big competition! Thanks for your feedback!

  2. Hi Alexis,
    I am not a runner, so I have never heard about this brand before. It seems like they are doing some things really well, for instance having their motto show up on the first page is really great! I took a look at Nike for my blog and noticed that they did not show up for major things that I would have thought, such as fitness apparel, as you mentioned. Is it just me or do you think that companies are limiting themselves by not including as many keywords as possible? I think that some companies really either don’t think it through, or think as someone who works for the company and not a potential customer. I think if more companies asked their customers for keywords they might include more things that seem like common sense to us, like fitness apparel. Anyway, great post!

    • Interesting that you looked at Nike and found similar results. I wonder if these brands do not use these keywords because they want to be more niche oriented? I like your idea about having companies ask their consumers for keywords. I think they could really get some great information and reach more people!

  3. Hi Alexis,

    I love that you picked running shoes as your SEO assignment topic. There is so many great key words that runners can potentially research, especially if they have a particular brand in mind. I have not heard about this brand personally. I was recently looking for new running shoes and I wish I knew about it before. I guess you can say I am their target market. With that said, I think you identified some really good areas of improvement in terms of key words: “fitness apparel” and “best shoes for distance running” are important key words that runners searching for new cloths or shoes would type in. “Stability shoes” should have ranked higher as well – as I know a lot of runners search for that type of shoe fit.

    • Thanks Aldona! The shoe market is very competitive on the Internet with many resources available (i.e. Zappos and Amazon). This is where I think Brooks could really capitalize on their Shoe Advisor feature to attract all kinds of consumers!

  4. Very interesting post! While it’s not as popular as some of the other running-shoe brands, I had actually heard of Brooks before. During one of the communications courses I took my sophomore year of college, I had to create an advertising campaign to help Brooks increase brand awareness. It’s interesting to see how six years later, Brooks is still a bit behind the big guys. I think you made an interesting point when you explained that Brooks doesn’t classify its products as “athletic” shoes. This is likely why its rankings fall behind those of brands such as Nike.

    Brooks is all about making people feel comfortable and happy when they run; whereas, Nike emphasizes that its products help you “train like a pro.” Brooks wants its customers to feel good about running, which is why it launched The Run Happy Group, a virtual gathering place for runners where runners nationwide can find inspiration, education and connection. The company’s concept of Run Happy University, which caters to people of all running levels, has proven to be a great way to engage its customers, as has #runhappy. Based on your results, it’s clear that Brooks is all about providing products that exude comfort, stability and guidance. So while doing more SEO around keywords such as running shoes or running gear could help it beat out some of the big guys, I’m not quite sure this is the type of customer the company is looking to target.

    However, I agree that doing more SEO around the “best shoes for distance running” keyword wouldn’t hurt and neither would rephrasing some of their current high-ranking keywords, because, as you mentioned, who would ever think to search for “guidance shoes” when looking for a good pair of running shoes?

    • Very interesting that you did a project on Brooks six years ago! I think you are right. Brooks caters to runners and that’s what their brand is based on! I love that they focus on this sport specifically but like you, I think they could have great results if they started to implement better keywords into their search! Thanks for your feedback!

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