Nike, Women and SEO

Nike

9, 4, 6 and 3….these are the number of Nike shorts, Nike capris, Nike dri-fit shirts/tanks, and Nike sneakers I have in my closet. If I’m not at work or working on school work, you can often find me at the gym, running or doing yoga.

Due to my love for fitness and my obsession with Nike (that I didn’t even know I had until counting my apparel), I have chosen to research keywords associated women’s athletic apparel  for our search engine optimization (SEO) keyword assignment.

I have chosen the 10 words listed below, and have searched them using Google as my search engine. Listed with each keyword search phrase is where they fell in the results, as well as some details regarding the title, meta description/tag, and URL.


1) womens running shoes

Appears second under organic search results with “womens-running-shoes” in the URL and “Women’s Running Shoes” in the title tag and twice in the meta tag.

womens running shoes

2) womens athletic shorts

Appears third in the organic search results with “womens-shorts-clothing” in the URL, “Women’s Shorts” in the title tag and “Women’s Running Shorts” twice in the meta tag.

3) womens running capris

Appears second in organic search results with “womens-capris-clothing” in the URL, “Women’s Capris” in the title tag, and “Women’s Running Capris” once in the meta tag.

4) dri fit womens tops

The search for “dri fit womens tops” is unique in that (1) Nike participates in paid advertising for this search query and (2) many other retailers use Nike’s name for their organic and paid searches (i.e. Kohl’s, Eastbay, Zappos, Lady Foot Locker, Dick’s Sporting Goods).

The organic search result for Nike.com appears second with the title “Nike Dri-FIT Knit Short-Sleeve Women’s Running Shirt” and “dri-fit-knit-short-sleeve-running-shirt” in the URL that directs to one product in particular, rather than a variety of dri-fit tops.

The paid advertisement for Nike uses the title tag “Nike Dri-Fit Top” and appears third with the following meta description “Find the Perfect Fit on Sports Tops Online at the official Nike site” directing users to the  following URL containing sports bras, but displaying the www.nike.com/ URL in the advertisement.

dri fit womens tops

5) sports bras

For the term “sports bras” Nike appears lower on the organic search results (sixth), with the title tag “Nike Store. Women’s Sports Bras” and “Women’s Sports Bras” listed only once in the meta description. The URL includes “womens-sports-bras-clothing.”

sports bras

6) workout clothing for women

For the search query “workout clothing for women” Nike appears fifth in the organic listings, with the below shown title tag (in purple) and meta description (in black text below the link) and a URL containing the words “womens-training.”

workout clothing for women

7) womens running gear

For this search, Nike appears first in the organic listings with the below show title tag (in blue) and meta description (black text below link), and a URL that leads to a page of products filtered by “Women” and “Running” and contains “womens-running” in the URL.

womens running gear

8) womens sneakers

Appears third in organic search results with “womens-shoes” in the URL, “Women’s Shoes” in the title tag, and “Women’s shoes, running and training shoes” once in the meta tag.

9) athletic apparel for women

For the particular term, Nike does not appear anywhere on the first page when searched on Google, or even the second, third or fourth page! Nike appears as the fourth listing on the FIFTH page with the following title (in blue text) and meta tag (in black text below the link) shown below, with a URL that directs to the Nike store, ironically not even to the women’s section.

athletic apparel for women

Interestingly, the first organic result that appears on the first page, Dick’s Sporting Goods, uses “Nike” in their meta description.

10) dri fit tanks for women

Somewhat surprisingly, Nike appears as the fourth organic listing on the second page for the search query “dri fit tanks for women,” for which the URL contains “womens-tanks-clothing.”

dri fit tanks for women

Just to see if the dri-fit was what was effecting the search, since it was not included in the tags, I also searched “womens exercise tanks,” for which Nike at least appeared on the first page, but as the second to last organic listing.

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9 thoughts on “Nike, Women and SEO

  1. I too have a love of not just Nike fitness apparel, but Under Armour and others as well! I find it very interesting that you did an alternate search during your evaluations of “dri fit tanks for women.” Upon my searches while studying The Hershey Company, I also did a similar alternate Google search. Rather than the product name “Reese’s”, I searched for peanut butter candy as many people are unsure of the spelling of Reese’s candy, just as many people may be unsure of the spelling of dri fit. It is also very interesting how you mention Dick’s Sporting Goods uses Nike in their meta description. This makes me wonder how many other companies and organizations are using other brands in their tags to help boost their organic search engine listings. I look forward to reading more of your work!

    • Interesting observations, Kaitlin! It’s a little surprising that Nike doesn’t appear first in more of the searches you performed. Nike is one of the world’s foremost fitness brands, and one would think that it would perform better than it did in your tests. We could question Nike’s use of SEO – why they aren’t first or why they didn’t even appear on the first page for one of your searches. However, many people who are searching for Nike-specific gear aren’t going to be concerned that Nike doesn’t appear first – they will simply go to Nike’s page. However, if they are wanting to attract customers (which they surely are), they should invest more heavily in SEO.

      Thanks for your work on this!

      • I would agree Curtis; however, even if individuals don’t go to the Nike.com website to shop, I would imagine if they are avid Nike clothing fans, they would at least include “Nike” in their search, which I chose to avoid doing.

  2. Hi Kaitlin,
    Your passion for Nike exercise apparel comes through in your blog. I enjoyed the use of screen shots for each search, and detailed explanations on what a reader is looking at. It was also great that you distinguished between organic and paid searches throughout the piece. Consider yourself lucky that in most cases your search results were in the top 10! I conducted about 25 searches in both Google and Yahoo, reported on about 15 in my blog, and one-third of my searches were in the greater than 100 category, which meant A LOT of time investment on certain components of this assignment. Some of your more entertaining observations like Nike appearing meta descriptions of a sports store, and Nike not ranking high in some searches which a consumer assumes would be obvious, is very interesting. An analogy in my case would be searching Air Jamaica, and Caribbean Airlines ranks #4. Many wouldn’t know that this is due to the fact that Caribbean Airlines now owns Air Jamaica. I can tell already that we’re going to learn so much from each other, while having tremendous fun doing it!

  3. Hi Kaitlin,
    Your passion for Nike exercise apparel comes through in your blog. I enjoyed the use of screen shots for each search, and detailed explanations on what a reader is looking at. It was also great that you distinguished between organic and paid searches throughout the piece. Consider yourself lucky that in most cases your search results were in the Top 10! I conducted about 25 searches each in both Google and Yahoo, reported on about 15 in my blog, and one-third of my searches were in the greater than 100 category, which meant A LOT of time investment on certain components of this assignment. Some of your more entertaining observations like Nike appearing in meta descriptions of a sports store, and Nike not ranking high in some searches which a consumer assumes would be obvious, is very interesting. An analogy in my case would be searching Air Jamaica, and Caribbean Airlines ranks #4 in the results. Many wouldn’t know that this is due to the fact that Caribbean Airlines now owns Air Jamaica. I can tell already that we’re going to learn so much from each other, while having tremendous fun doing it!

  4. Hi Kaitlin! I’m a Nike addict too-only proving that it definitely dominates the women’s sportswear market. I loved that you added the screen shots to your post, it made it so easy to visualize what you were talking about. The part that was interesting to me was the section about you sports bra search. I noticed that Victoria’s Secret was not only one of the paid ads but showed up in the search results as well. I am aware that they have an athletic line but it is curious that it only showed up when “bra” was one of the keywords. I guess that proves that VS has excellent SEO whenever a costumer is searching a bra of any kind! Did you notice if there was any other brand that showed up as much as Nike did when you typed in your key words? For my assignment I did Neutrogena and without fail Olay was always right there with it.

  5. Hi Kaitlin! I loved reading about your observations with Nike. The thing that shocked me the most was the lack of result on “athletic apparel for women” I would have thought that this result would have been a top hitter for Nike, specifically since they have a rather large hold on the women’s athletic wear market. I found it very interesting that the dri-fit tanks had a negative effect on the search results as well. What prompted you to change the query? The thing that was the most interesting to me was how many other companies paid to use Nike in their personal search results. What do you think is the biggest draw for these companies to use their extra advertising funds to get greater hits? I wonder why whoever leads Nike’s SEO wouldn’t push this more. Granted, the company has worldwide name recognition – but one would think that companies would want to remain proactive in an ever increasing online global market.

    • Hi Kaitlyn – I was also surprised by some of the results. I chose to eliminate dri-fit from the 10th search, simply because of the results I received (or didn’t receive) and because of how differently everyone spells dri-fit. I was also surprised by other corporation’s use of the Nike name; however, the more I thought about it, the more I was convinced Nike likely benefits from it in some way (i.e. portion of sales, helps with enhancing Nike’s presence online,etc.). I would think the companies that sell Nike products, but are not Nike themselves, benefit from individuals searching for Nike specific clothing. While I personally did not use the Nike name in any of my searches, I would imagine many online shoppers do, thus landing them on these other companies’ ads.

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