As someone who makes a living from understanding search engines, every year I look forward to the year in review on Google Trends which shows the most popular search terms (keywords) that people used.
Let’s take a look at the top ten most popular skiing keywords in the UK in 2013:
crystal ski – 74k/m (peak of 200k in January)
ski holidays – 49.5k/m (peak of 130k in January)
thomson ski – 18.1k/m (peak of 50k in January)
salomon – 18.1k/m (peak of 25k in January)
val d’isere – 18.1k/m (peak of 40k in December / January)
Chamonix – 18.1k/m (peak of 40k in January)
ski wear – 14.8k/m (peak of 40k in January)
skiing holidays – 14.8k/m (peak of 40k in January)
skiing 14.8k/m – (peak of 32k in January)
tignes – 14.8k/m (27k in January)
It’s surprising to see that crystal ski gets the largest traffic of any ski related keyword and shows the power of brand equity. It’s easy to understand why TUI decided to combine First Choice Ski (which peaked at 3k/m last January) into Crystal and not the other way round! TUI also own Thomson Ski above and therefore get a ton of traffic which likely contributes to their 40% of the ski holiday market.
It’s also interesting to note that Val D’Isere is tied with Chamonix as Britain’s favourite resort in terms of search volume, with Tignes next followed by Val Thorens (12.1k/m), St Moritz (9,9k/m) and then St Anton, Zermatt & Verbia trailing behind (all 8.1k/m).
Snowbistro is expert in ski seo and from doing ongoing keyword research I’m aware that the competitiveness of the keyword ‘ski holidays’ above is 58% (high) where you need a domain authority in the 50s (such as the skiclub.co.uk) and around 100 different relevant websites linking to you to achieve first position. Good luck with that!
Interesting to note is that http://www.thomsonski.co.uk/ ranks first for the above keyword ‘ski holidays’ so TUI truly are cleaning up in the rankings! There’s a good post by Iain Martin from Skipedia on whether they have too much influence on the ski market. He argues no, however you could argue that they certainly have too much influence in the search engine results!
And with over 50k likes on Facebook and over 10k followers on Twitter, Crystal is dominating social too driving a ton of traffic to their sites. Plus they have a top ten most popular, page rank 3 blog Ski Buzz where ski professionals can guest post which they put out on their social channels so they’re dominating content too!