The holiday season was a stumbling block for Walmart, according to the retailer’s recently released Q4 earnings. Stocks dropped 10% as investors reacted to the news that e-commerce sales grew only 23%, compared to 50% the previous quarter. As Walmart continues to ramp up efforts around online sales, investors expected a better holiday season, especially since holiday spending rose 4.9% in 2017.

With all the focus on Walmart, another big box retailer hasn’t received the press it deserves: Home Depot. The biggest growth areas for US retail during the holidays were appliances and home improvement, which grew 7.5% and 5.1% respectively. As one of the major retailers in these areas, Home Depot benefited from this trend. The retailer’s recently released earnings for Q4 2017 indicate a 7.5% year-over-year increase in revenue.

These impressive sales numbers reflect search trends over the holiday season, as well as Home Depot’s skill at SEO. While Walmart has a slight lead on overall organic visibility for unbranded keywords, L2 researchers found that Home Depot appears one spot higher on average.


Digging in further, Home Depot leads Walmartand Amazonon home improvement unbranded keywords; it also leads Walmart on appliance unbranded keywords. In contrast, struggling rivals Sears and JCPenney fall behind on appliance keywords, even though JCPenney spends a considerable amount on text ads for visibility.  

Home Depot’s higher visibility in organic search pays off. Between November and December, 38% of the retailer’s traffic came from organic search, compared to just 30% for Walmart. As the housing market continues to improve, Home Depot will likely continue to benefit from its high visibility on appliance and home improvement keywords.

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