L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail finds that brands in the category own their organic search and paid results. 92% of brands in the study return sponsored results for their individual brand terms and 7% have managed to return clean results. Brands also take advantage of customization on paid results; 82% place a “buy now” or ‘”sale” call to action” on paid search results.

specialty-retail-04Organic search results for brands are varied, with links to social and product pages. Ninety-three percent of brands link to product categories and 43% link to a store directory. And 60% of brand term searches yielded a social brand channel such as YouTube or Facebook.

specialty-retail-01Not all brands perform equally in this search-savvy category. Each subcategory has a winner that appears in a disproportionate number of first page results. In apparel, Forever 21 appears on the first page of 30% of non-branded search terms. Aldo appears in 17% and Sephora in 51%, which is a big jump from second in beauty and skincare search Ulta (28%).

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