UK Cosmetic & Skincare Brands - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q3 2022 Published Today

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The Q3 2022 benchmarking report for UK cosmetic & skincare brands has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK cosmetic & skincare brands perform across the digital space. 

The latest Q3 2022 benchmarking report for UK Cosmetic & skincare brands has just been published.  It covers the largest 12 national cosmetic & skincare brands, including La Prairie Switzerland, Dr Barbara Sturm, Elemis, Kiehl’s, Chantecaille, Sisley Paris, Avene, 111Skin, La Mer, L’Occitane, Augustinus Bader and RéVive. Skincare Logos

The research gives an inside track on who is winning the biggest share of voice online, and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for other cosmetic & skincare brands to win brand exposure locally, online views and sales. The report highlights quick wins that will improve enquiries from your online strategy and identifies the barriers that may be reducing your site’s ability to optimise digital performance.

To see a preview and contents page of the Q3 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key take-aways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call Sector Reports Ipad cover - skincare

What The Industry Research Report Covers

The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each brand based on 50+ metrics and indicators of successful digital strategy, including organic visibility, domain authority, paid media ads, conversion performance, technical performance, site speed, universal search, content, social ads, accessibility, and mobile performance.  

Driving Optimal ROAS from Paid Media Channels

Some of the leading players in the space are high spenders on paid media channels such as Google, Bing & Facebook - but have a poor or sub-optimal conversion improvement strategy. Without an optimised, sophisticated conversion strategy that maximises the conversion rate, the return on investment is unsustainable or will under-perform. Scaling spend on paid media is not achievable unless the conversion rate delivers optimal performance in the sector. Some in the space have paid media spend levels from 30k+ per month but dedicate minimal resources and budgets to conversion testing.  Given the cost per clicks on ad networks will continue to rise, we recommend spending at least 10% of your paid media budget on ongoing conversion optimisation testing schedules to ensure your paid media ROI maintains long term viability, competitive advantage, and sustainability.

Technical Website Compliance

Savvy digital marketers know that having a technically sound website is an essential component of a successful fully integrated digital strategy - plus a site capable of maximising conversion performance.

Whilst most of the cosmetic & skincare brand had fairly low website errors, almost all the brands had some 4xx errors. L’Occitane had the most 4xx error codes by a large amount, they hit a huge 4,988 4xx error codes. This is much higher than we typically see, with the next highest being only 306 4xx error codes. 

Site Speed & Conversion Rate Performance


When 62% of consumers are less likely to convert if they have a negative mobile site experience, ensuring that your site is quick and easy to load makes a significant improvement on your overall conversion rates.

We would expect most to achieve at least an ‘okay’ score of 50-89, whereas none of the twelve cosmetic & skincare brands did. The mobile page speed scores are currently between 5 and 43. All the brands are scoring below 50 and have some serious work to do on improving their mobile page speed.

Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority

Domain authority is an essential metric for measuring the effectiveness of SEO performance, and helps create a reliable overall gage of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads.

A ‘good’ DA really comes down to how your competitors are performing, however it’s generally considered average between 40 and 50, good between 50 and 60, and excellent above 60. All twelve of the companies achieved a score of average or above, with the DA range from 42 to 79. Those at the lower end of the scale need to be focusing on building a stronger backlink profile to compete with the higher scoring brands.

Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop

A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for key, transactional keywords. When 93% of your customers won’t go past the first page of Google, your absence or lack of targeting for essential keywords will cost you conversions.

We looked at how all twelve cosmetic & skincare brand suppliers have performed compared to last year. Continuous improvement and optimisation is also needed to secure traffic year on year. We discovered that nine of the cosmetic & skincare brands in our report have lost organic mobile traffic year on year putting these brands in danger of losing organic customers to their competition. Augustinus Bader had the best growth with a 100% increase whereas ReVive suffered the most with a 67% decrease in traffic.

Universal Search Opportunity

Google Universal Search Results is an evolving opportunity to make your pages visible on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Universal results often appear before traditional listings and are eye-catching for users. Universal search results refer to rankings on a SERP that are not the traditional ‘blue line’ Google link, and a brand can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings.

We could see that reviews were the highest used universal search feature, with L’Occitane taking the top spot reaching 2,600 results. Most companies are underusing most universal search feature options, with some companies only seeing a handful of results. Those getting a small amount of results need to work towards the numbers their competitors are achieving.

The Longtail Keyword Opportunity

Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. Optimising for longtail keywords also puts your content strategy in a strong position to rank for brand new search terms as they enter Google’s index.

Many of the cosmetic and skincare brands are under using longtail keywords, such as RéVive who are ranking for none in the top 10. ReVive should be looking at how to improve their rankings on existing longtail keywords, but also at how they can expand their strategy to include new specific search terms.

Facebook Adverts

With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) forecast to hit over 42 million users by 2022, it is not surprising that companies have jumped at the opportunity to advertise on the social media platform. Facebook’s UK digital advertising revenue has been estimated to have breached 2.6b GB pounds in 2019.

Below, we can see examples of La Prairie Switzerland’s Facebook ads. They’ve used images of their products with high contrast lighting and backgrounds to bring your eye to the feature of the image. This is the kind of imagery that will catch a consumers eye while they scroll social media. facebook ads cosmetics skincare 

Top Social Shares & Content

When it comes to social media and on-site content strategies, it is important to release content that has a longer shelf life. An article is considered 'Evergreen' if it has maintained its relevancy to an audience for longer. It's great for your brand engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time.

We saw in our research that many of the cosmetic & skincare brands are falling behind on content creation. We recognised that Kiehls, 111Skin and Augustinus Badar all created large amounts of content in a small time earlier in the year, then have posted very little since. Though this saw a short-term engagement boost, engagement rates fell shortly after, indicating that this was not evergreen content.

Website Readability & Accessibility

20% of people in the UK have a disability – 2 million of which are people living with sight loss. In addition, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some degree of colour vision deficiency. When websites are not designed to meet these needs, brands lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere.

Most of the cosmetic and skincare brands appear to be struggling with accessibility within their sites, with higher errors across the board than we typically see. La Mer are seeing a huge 191 alerts and 77 errors on their websites, which is a lot higher than we would expect to see. All twelve cosmetic and skincare brands should always be reviewing and optimising their accessibility, however those seeing high numbers of errors and alerts need to investigate what the issues within their websites are.

Q3 2022 WINNERS LEADERBOARD

For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 cosmetic and skincare brands on, check out our quick-look table below;  Cosmetics&Skincare_W&L_Oct22

 GET THE FULL 70-PAGE Q3 2022 REPORT

To get a copy of the full report, please complete the enquiry form. If you want to talk to us about accelerating your digital performance, please call us on 01543 410014 or schedule a call with Rob Allen.

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