Top marks: why Next rules the rankings for ‘back to school’

19 Aug 2016

Top marks: why Next rules the rankings for ‘back to school’

Recent SEO research from Pi Datametrics revealed that Next consistently ranks highest for the term ‘back to school’. We take a closer look at why… 

Econsultancy recently published a very enlightening article looking at seasonal back-to-school search trends from 2014-15, and the retailers leading the pack in the rankings for highly valuable, non-branded long-tail terms.

Interestingly, while Debenhams topped the rankings for the much-prized term ‘school shoes’ and JD Sports held top position for ‘school bags’, the more generic term ‘back to school’ saw various brands rise and fall in the rankings across the period, with Next emerging as the consistent leader.

Why Next?

Ben Davis from Econsultancy notes that the reasons for Next’s success are manifold, but puts it down – in part – to the clothing retailer’s high-quality back-to-school ‘hub’ page, featuring:

– A relevant, well-structured page URL
– Keyword-optimised category description copy
– Links to other relevant sub-categories

Drilling down a little further, it’s also worth noting that Next’s hub page is supported by two pieces of rich guide content, which are likely lending it additional authority:

– ’10 reasons why our schoolwear is best in the class’ (
– ‘The fit guide: how to measure your child’ (

The ’10 reasons’ guide succinctly summarises the practical benefits of Next’s schoolwear (e.g. easy wash, adjustable waist), alongside engaging photography and links to relevant product categories.newlookrichcontent

Meanwhile, the fit guide offers useful advice on taking a child’s measurements, a handy measurement/sizing table and well-integrated links to gendered, fit-specific sub-category pages (e.g. ‘boys’ slim fit’).

Not only are these content pieces a useful addition to the buying journey for shoppers, but they’re also contributing towards Next’s consistent high-ranking position throughout the year for the ‘back to school’ term.

All of this makes a strong case for online retailers to follow Next’s example and create rich, useful hub pages for high-value product-related terms that are of particular interest to their audiences – whether those terms have pronounced seasonal spikes like ‘back to school’, or steady volumes year-round.

Interested in finding out how rich guide content could benefit your business? Get in touch to find out more about SEO, content strategy and content production services from Quill. 

Lauren Johnson-Ginn @ Quill ContentHead of Marketing Communications at Quill, passionate about all things content and digital.

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