UK Protein and Sports Nutrition Brands - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q4 2023

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

The Q4 2023 benchmarking report for UK protein and sports nutrition brands has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK Protein and sports nutrition brands perform across the digital space.

The latest Q4 2023 benchmarking report for UK protein and sports nutrition brands has just been published. It covers the largest 12 national protein and sports nutrition brands, including Myprotein, MaxiNutrition, PhD Nutrition, Grenade, foodspring, Bulk ™, Innermost, Protein Works, HERMOSA, Form, Optimum Nutrition, and Science in Sport.Protein&SportNutrition - 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 protein and sports nutrition brands to win brand exposure, drive online views, and win orders. 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 Q4 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form below or schedule a call. Protein&SportNutrition - COVER


For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 protein and sports nutrition brands on, check out our quick-look table below; Protein&SportNutrition W&L Jan24

Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's best and poorest-performing UK protein and sports nutrition brands or request a copy of the report for the full review.

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 underperform. 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. For protein and sports nutrition brands, care should be taken that the removal of any products does not impact existing links, such as from blog posts, category pages, or alternate product recommendations.

In the last report, Protein Works returned 3,269 4xx errors. In this quarter, they have dropped this figure to 2,100 4xx errors. While this is a reduction, this protein and sports nutrition brand still ranks the highest for this category, and it should optimise its internal linking structure.

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. In an increasingly competitive market, geared towards high performance in exercise and sports, protein and sports nutrition brands will want to ensure their sites are also quick, easy to use, and give a positive impression of their brand from every touchpoint.

In the previous audit, Grenade and Innermost had the lowest mobile page speed score of 1. In this quarter, both brands saw improvements, with Grenade scoring 31 and Innermost scoring 25. Science in Sport is currently at the bottom of the leaderboard with a 21% mobile speed score. This brand could make improvements by implementing lazy loading to prevent all images and text loading at one time, which often slows down a website.

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 gauge of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads. Protein and sports nutrition brands should be continually pushing to improve their DA, and could collaborate with leading fitness publications and bloggers in order to build this authority.

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. The DA range for this quarter remains the same as the previous audit (between 76 and 28), with HERMOSA at the bottom and My Protein at the top of the leaderboard. HERMOSA is the only brand scoring below 40, and it also has the lowest number of backlinks, which it should look to improve for the next quarter.

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. With sports and fitness remaining an ever-growing sector, we expect protein and sports nutrition brands to be able to capitalise on these growth opportunities.

In this audit, foodspring saw a 59% loss in organic mobile traffic, while Optimum Nutrition encountered a 105% increase in organic mobile traffic. 6 of the 12 brands saw an increase in traffic, and increasing search results for People Also Ask in Universal Searches can help to boost organic mobile 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. Protein and sports nutrition brands should be utilising all universal search features as their customers will be interested to see how previous customers have found their experience via 'reviews', 'FAQs', and 'people also ask'.

Myprotein remains at the number one spot for the total number of Universal Searches (37,031). Its most significant searches is for ‘Reviews’, which other brands should look to replicate.

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. Protein and sports nutrition brands should look at high-conversion potential terms when expanding their longtail keyword portfolio, in order to improve, not only general visibility and traffic, but sales stemming from organic traffic.

HERMOSA and Innermost raised the biggest concerns in our last audit. HERMOSA’s appearances in the top three results have dropped from 6 to 2, and Innermost has increased from 7 to 10. They’re still the brands with the least number of appearances in the top three results. While Foodspring has the highest searches for the total top 100, this brand is in the bottom 4 for the top three results. Though this brand has a large number of longtail keywords, this data indicates it has a poor longtail keyword strategy.

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 brands 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. For UK protein and sports nutrition brands, Facebook ads are an opportunity to increase sales by targeting fitness enthusiasts.

We’ve included some examples of foodspring’s Facebook ads. Both posts use emojis to showcase the brand’s tone of voice and to reach a younger demographic. The brand should look to keep text shorter to make its posts more scannable and lower costs per conversion.

Protein&SportNutrition - Facebook Advert Foodspring

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 that achieves traffic over a long period of time. Protein and sports nutrition brands can create content across the full spectrum of fitness and sports content - topics which are likely to engage a social media audience and win social shares.

Facebook is the favoured social media platform for 11/12 brands. Myprotein remains at the top of the leaderboard with Facebook likes (2.4m) and Instagram followers (1.1m).

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. Protein and sports nutrition brands, which are likely to sell many similar products with only slight differences, must ensure that their site is clear for users with any vision deficiencies to navigate.

foodspring continues to rank the highest for alerts (228), and Bulk ™ has the highest number of contrast errors (118), which it needs to address to improve accessibility and readability for those with vision deficiencies.


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 Mike Movassaghi.

Request Your Report