BrightEdge SEO Industry Radar Report

Tracking Ranking Fluctuations Across Industries

The BrightEdge Industry SEO Radar Report uses SearchIQ to identify attributes that correlate to higher rankings for 10 industries. This report can help you see what you need to benchmark for your industry. For more information how BrightEdge SearchIQ can power your SEO and help pinpoint what matters for the keywords you are targeting, contact us today!  
We hope you find these insightful as helpful we do as you plan your initiatives for the next quarter and beyond.    


Industry Insights

Advertising and Marketing 

Q3'22 We are seeing a consolidation around factors that leaders demonstrate in Advertising and Marketing quarter over quarter. While on-page factors are still critical, keywords in the title and concise URLs are the only common characteristics that correlate to higher rankings. We saw leaders in Advertising and Marketing feature less backlinks as well, even though as a category, the footprint of the sites correlate to better rankings. Focus on making sure your pages specialize, read naturally and load quickly!

Q2'22 First Input Delay is correlating to higher rankings. We did not see that last quarter. We're seeing top ranking pages exhibit higher page speed index scores than they did last quarter, with more outgoing links and a better text to code ratio. Focus on leaner pages and minimize shift!  


Q3'22 Many of the factors that we're seeing correlate to higher rankings remained consistent from Q2 to Q3. However, we’re seeing time to first byte being the only speed characteristic that consistently correlates positively. We also saw less schema types being demonstrated in Q3. The image tag was the only one we saw positively correlate.  Banking needs to continue focusing on building concise URLs and making sure they have significant links to other parts of the site. Faceted search navigation can help, as well as making sure your FAQ and See Also sections are robust!

Q2'22 Document Object Modeling (DOM) size doesn't appear to be correlating to higher rankings this quarter. We're seeing across the board banking is slightly faster than it was last quarter at this time. We aren't seeing keywords in headings or in descriptions as prevalently with the top-ranking pages for banking this quarter. Overall, these on-page factors are highly correlated to better rankings for banking this quarter (We had them as medium last quarter). Rather, we're seeing higher correlation to the outgoing links, slightly higher keyword counts and overall keyword density correlating to higher rankings. While off-page factors remain highly correlated to rankings, we see the top pages have slightly fewer backlinks and referring IP's this quarter.  

Colleges and Universities 

Q3'22 We see significant correlations between higher rankings and on-page SEO elements quarter over quarter.   There has been a shuffling of schema types most prominent in leading sites.  For example, we're now seeing employer rating as a correlating schema type, suggesting recruitment and job posting pages are more prominent in higher education keywords.  Regardless, if you're in this space, you should be prioritizing schema markup on your pages and making sure how you use it is comprehensive.

Q2'22 Page Speed remains moderately correlated to higher rankings. We saw slower server response times on average, but the on-page speed factors have slightly improved since last quarter. On-page factors have changed this quarter, with leaders showing higher keyword density, but overall text-to-code has decreased, even though a better text-to-code ratio is a highly correlated ranking factor. Schema is playing a bigger role in high-ranking pages, with more schema types and a higher correlation to better rankings. Focus on these aspects of your content! Across the board, we are seeing more backlinks pointing at leaders.   

Hospitality and Hotels 

Q3'22 Quarter over quarter we see less on-page factors correlating to higher rankings.  The only common factors that consistently correlated to higher rankings were shorter URLs.   However, we're continuing to see a wide range of schema types in Hospitality suggesting this category is more advanced than others.  We're seeing granular details like if suites are available in hotels.  If you're in this space, you should be making sure URL length and schema types are prioritized in your SEO efforts.

Q2'22 Page Speed has improved since last quarter for the leaders. Despite individual metrics correlating to better rankings, we're not seeing a better Lighthouse Score correlating with higher rankings. There's still room to improve page speed as the industry’s Core Web Vitals are lagging Google's benchmarks. Prioritize Core Web Vitals and Page Speed! We are seeing a greater correlation of on-page factors for higher rankings even though the actual benchmarks haven't changed significantly since last quarter. We are seeing outgoing links correlate to higher rankings this quarter, however. We're seeing many more schema types specific to travel being used and correlating to higher rankings. Focus on industry specific schema in your strategy. Inbound links to leaders are significantly higher this quarter but the total IP's remain consistent. Focus on opportunities to generate multiple links from your partners to be competitive.  

Industrial Machinery 

Q3'22 Metrics have remained consistent quarter over quarter with Industrial Machinery keywords.  We are seeing some new schema types such as "dataset".  While backlinks still appear to be a high correlating factor, we're seeing less quantity and link counts this quarter for leaders.  On-page factors and more diverse uses of schema are where SEOs should focus in this category.

Q2'22 While Page Speed remains a moderate factor, across the board, we're seeing leaders are slightly faster than they were last quarter. On-page keyword usage correlates more closely to higher rankings this quarter. While backlinks still appear to be a high correlating factor, we're seeing lower link counts this quarter. Focus on your on-page SEO! 


Q3'22 Page Speed dropped off dramatically quarter over quarter as a ranking factor. We only see time to first byte being a consistently correlating factor this quarter (there were 4 last quarter). This category saw an uptick in off-page factors as well, with incoming links and referring domains increasing for the top leaders. This could be seasonal as we move into end of year.  Insurance should continue to focus on on-page factors.

Q2'22 We're seeing Page Speed correlate to higher rankings in insurance this quarter. Specifically, DOM Size and Server Response Time are new correlating factors. On-page factors seem to be less of a factor this quarter than last. Overall, off-page elements remain a high-ranking factor but the metrics have stayed consistent this quarter.  


Q3'22 Page Speed continues to be a high correlating factor and the average performance of leaders has improved since last quarter.  We continue to see on-page factors play less of a role quarter over quarter in Manufacturing.  Similar to Industrial Machinery, we're seeing more unique uses of schema in this category which could suggest overlap in the companies winning the top spaces.

Q2'22 Page Speed continues to be a high correlating factor and the average performance of leaders has improved since last quarter. Conversely, we're seeing on-page factors correlate less to high rankings. Focus on page performance!  

Real Estate 

Q3'22 Page Speed remains a high ranking factor.  We're seeing leaders have improved in some metrics (Speed Index value) but are loading larger pages.  While on-page factors remain a medium impact category overall, we are seeing more elements correlate to higher rankings such as URL length.  We're seeing keyword density relatively high here compared to other categories.  This could be the nature of the space with addresses and neighborhood pages performing well, which is supported by the schema types that are winning (local business and occupation suggesting local agents are winning).

Q2'22 Page Speed remains a high-ranking factor. We're seeing leaders have improved in some metrics (Speed Index value) but are loading larger pages. User experience metrics such as Largest Contentful Paint are significantly faster than they were last quarter. We also identified that factors such as keyword density, and concise URLS are beginning to be factors that correlate to high rankings. We're seeing better text-to-code ratios for leaders now than last quarter. Schema usage has become more prominent in this industry, with local business and question schema types being the most used by high-ranking pages. Backlinks to leaders are up by almost 20k on average per domain from last quarter as well. These continue to correlate to higher rankings.  


Q3'22 Retail dramatically dropped off in Page Speed from last quarter.  Core Web Vital scores are actually slower than Q2 (LCP is a full second slower for the top keywords).  This could be the after-effects of Helpful Content or shuffling out pages that don't add value, and bigger retailers who struggle to make big changes in their load times are left.  We do see that keywords present in headings and descriptions are common characteristics for winning pages, but not the title.  Focus on making sure these elements feature the keyword you are targeting.

Q2'22 Retail leaders continue to improve speed scores. We're seeing elements like Cumulative Layout Shift be less of a correlating ranking factor this quarter, but elements like First Meaningful Paint correlate to higher rankings. Leaders are using keywords more in their copy than they were last quarter but we're not seeing keyword usage in URLs correlate to higher rankings this quarter (this was a high factor last quarter). While we aren't seeing more referring domains, there are on average 5k more backlinks to top retailers now than last quarter. Off-page remains a high correlating factor to rankings. Focus on building links to multiple products and enhancing your Page Speed in retail!  


Q3'22 We're seeing similar trends with Software as with E-commerce in that Page Speed is falling dramatically off as a correlating factor.  Unlike Retail, we're seeing more use of schema in this space among leaders.  Aggregate ratings suggest more transactional pages are winning.  Make sure your software features reviews where possible.

Q2'22 Page Speed continues to be a low-correlating factor to high rankings for software queries. First Input Delay is the only metric where we found a positive correlation. We continue to see on-page factors correlate to higher rankings. Across the metrics, we’re seeing slightly more keyword usage, but less importance placed on URL depth and length since last quarter. While links are a high correlating ranking factor, on average the leaders have 200 fewer backlinks than they did last quarter.  


Check back next quarter and we’ll see how things are changing!  If you’d like to learn more about how to do this kind of analysis for your own keywords, reach out to BrightEdge today to schedule a demo! ​