Not on the High Street Scores High for Father’s Day

Lorna Rose Gill Posted by Lorna Rose Gill

smiling man holding a child and a pint of beer

Although customers know they want to buy their mums flowers and chocolates for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day doesn’t offer such strong trends for the gift market.

While Mother’s Day is filled with flowers, chocolates, and all things pretty, it’s rare that you’ll see any of those things wrapped and gifted on Father’s Day. In fact, plenty of children don’t have the faintest idea of what to buy dad for the big day.

The internet is full of advice about what to buy fathers to show your appreciation, but these top tips vary from clothing to technology, auto accessories, and even tools for the home or garden.

I’m going to compare how three retailers managed to get to the top of the sponsored search results for both generic Father’s Day-related keywords and for specific gift-related keywords based on the most recommended gifts for 2015.

For context, the gifting site Not on the High Street specialises in personalised items, promising meaningful and unique presents, while Marks & Spencer is known for its clothing. John Lewis offers a much wider selection of goods in one place, including clothing, home items, accessories, and more.

Generic Father’s Day Keyword Terms

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When you look at the generic keyword terms, including fathers day gifts, father’s day gift ideas, father’s day gifts and father’s day unique gifts, it’s clear that Not on the High Street is performing far in front of the other competitors. The specific keyword responsible for this performance is fathers day gifts, which earned the most clicks out of all these generic keywords.

Not on the High Street managed to take more than three-quarters of the total clicks. It also owned father’s day gift ideas and most of the clicks for father’s day gifts.

Specific Keywords

But for those customers who knew what they were looking for from the start, which sites attracted the most clicks? I researched the most popular Father’s Day gifts this year, which included shirts, t-shirts, ties, gift vouchers, tablets, and tablet accessories.

A change in keywords caused a complete reversal of the market, which isn’t surprising when you consider that John Lewis sells the whole range of goods, while Not on the High Street and Marks & Spencer only sell a select few.

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But in spite of the fact that it never overtook John Lewis, Not on the High Street still pulled off something incredible. With its specialty in personalised goods, it ranked better than Marks & Spencer for the whole month, apart from the Saturday before Father’s Day and the day itself. That’s because anything ordered the day before wouldn’t have arrived on time, but people knew they would be able to find what they were looking for at Marks & Spencer in-store.

The secret to Not on the High Street’s impressive performance, even when pitted against two competitors with their own brick-and-mortar stores, was its focus on the generic Father’s Day keywords, as I detailed earlier. Even its successful gift-related terms were pretty generic, such as tablet cases and tee shirt.

Compare this to John Lewis’ best-performing search terms, like computers tablets, networking ipads tablets, ebook readers (it was unsurprisingly the only company bidding on that term), and other technology-related keywords. Marks & Spencer’s wins were t shirts, fathers day gifts (although its traffic was hardly anything compared to Not on the High Street), and ties.

It all goes to show you don’t have to bid far and wide to gain traction, but you do have to be intelligent about how you bid and which words you concentrate on.

What We Can Learn From Not on the High Street’s Performance

Don’t be afraid to bid on the obvious keywords for events like Father’s Day. If people are unsure what to buy a member of the family at a certain time of year (such as Christmas), they’ll be looking for inspiration – by preparing your campaign with a dedicated landing page, you can reap the rewards.

It’s not about bidding on as many keywords as you can at once. Pace yourself, choose the most relevant for that time of year, and bid wisely.

Research the market. Using a competitive intelligence for search tool like Adthena will give you insight into what your competitors are doing. By keeping keywords broad and concentrating their efforts, Not on the High Street was able to gain the most traffic from a rather generic spread of keywords.

About the author

Lorna Rose Gill
Lorna Rose Gill
Lorna is responsible for acquisition marketing at Adthena, communicating their award-winning product and generating demand. She has developed her career in fast-paced, start-up environments, including two tech track 100 companies. She is curious and passionate and likes to find stories in data and technology.