Capitalising on Search Trends and The Ordinary’s Claim To Fame

the ordinary niacinamide image
by: Olivia Alcorn
I’m sure you’re all familiar with the ingredient of the moment Niacinamide and the handful of reasons everyone is talking about and loving this ingredient. I could list out all of the fantastic benefits that adding Niacinamide into your skincare routine will provide (from minimising pores, diminish dullness, soften fine lines and wrinkles … the list goes on) but that is not why you’re here.

We’re here to take a look at the history of the search term, who is utilizing this trend and how you can get a piece of the pie.

Although Niacinamide is an ingredient that has been around for years, it is only in the last couple of years that its benefits have been widely promoted and researched. From the beginning of 2020 we can see the huge uptick of searches for the term ‘Niacinamide’ and its sustained steady growth. We’re already familiar with the increase in searches relating to skincare during the Covid pandemic, however, the trend for niacinamide began prior to this but was undoubtedly supported by the heightened focus on skincare during 2020.

Looking at the above graph you can see the large increase in searches for Niacinamide rocketing in Spring 2020, the same time we went into a global pandemic. But it wasn’t just timing that caused this sudden spike in interest in Niacinamide. It can also be largely put down to the idea that it can fix a multitude of issues, from oily skin, acne to scaring, so in fact anyone can benefit from adding Niacinamide to their skincare routine. With that in mind, given the time when skincare was a focal point for many of us at home, influencers, beauty bloggers and brands jumped on this trend and the buzz spread like wildfire.

Everyone in the beauty industry is familiar with The Ordinary and the huge impact this brand had on the market. Their 10% Niacinamide serum is just one of their key products that is like gold dust and hard to get your hands on. Their avant-garde, almost anti-marketing approach is an extremely clever angle. From a digital perspective, they secured basic SEO principles with their simple naming conventions. Naming products based on their ingredients meant that their products ranked in top positions for beauty goers looking for products with particular ingredients. With an affordable price point the demand for The Ordinary products snowballed, so it is no surprise that search trends for their products follow like for like those of the ingredient itself.

When searching for Niacinamide, The Ordinary dominate the search engine results page (SERPs) with 5/10 results linking to The Ordinary product on page 1, impressive! They are ranking for several reasons, firstly they are the brand when it comes to Niacinamide, by being affordable and having great results. As a brand they have a lot of exposure from skincare gurus and have been taken on by a multitude of stockists. Their backlink profile is extraordinary with quality domains, with an authority rating of 90+, handing them links. From March-October they have increased their backlink profile by adding a massive 4,000 additional referring domains. This will all be contributing to their success of dominating this marketplace.

As we would expect, similar trends followed for longer tail searches relating to niacinamide – ‘benefits of’, ‘how to’, ‘best products containing’ also saw a rapid increase in early 2020. To successfully rank and utilize a trend like this, it’s important to narrow down your audience by the intention of the search, where in the conversion funnel the user is and at what point is your product, or website most relevant.

For example, if the user is searching for terms like ‘how…’, ‘what…’ and ‘benefits of…’ related terms it would suggest the user is looking for more information about the ingredient and content-based blogs and guides would serve this search query best. Investing budget for these terms wouldn’t be relevant for ecommerce sites however should be considered as part of your outreach strategy. Getting featured on these content sites, best buys and round-ups will help your backlink profile, your rankings and brand awareness.

Brands investing in the conversion stage would benefit targeting and bidding on product focused keywords like ‘Niacinamide serum’, ‘Niacinamide moisturiser’ and ‘Niacinamide products’. Finding the balance between key terms with enough search volume but low competition where possible. For ecommerce brands, one of the first considerations should be ensuring you rank above your stockists, both when capitalizing on trends and from a holistic digital strategy approach.

A great way to appear on the first page without climbing the ranks (literally) is aiming to appear in a featured snippet. Common types of content include definitions, tables, steps and lists and these have higher CTRs than regular organic results so can really boost your organic performance if achieved. Optimising your content for keywords, identifying content gaps and opportunities, answer commonly asked questions within your content and monitor what your competitors are doing are just a few ways to increase your chances of appearing in what is now considered as ‘position zero’ AKA a featured snippet.

Another important consideration when creating and optimising content for key trends is the rise and importance of voice search. It is estimated that by the end of 2020, half of all searches will be performed using voice search. Questions that are spoken will return different search results than typed keywords so to capture these spoken searches, your content should incorporate more natural language patterns, include longer tail search queries and answer as many question-based searches as possible. Rather than just optimising for ‘best niacinamide serum’ consider optimising for a longer tail query like ‘what is the best niacinamide serum under £20’. 

When competition is high, and time is of the essence, another way to capitalize on the trend immediately, is running a paid media campaign.

The instant opportunity to appear at the top of the search page and the intelligent targeting opportunities available make paid advertising an avenue you simply cannot ignore. There are many variables surrounding the success of a paid campaign, what platform you choose and what a good ROI is for your business. Costs, clicks, budgets and margins all vary but managed optimally it can be a very effective space to help you stand out and capitalize on trends. A few things to consider are – do you have the right creative and do they follow best practise guidelines? Are your ads mobile optimised? And is your shopping feed set up correctly to serve google shopping?

Being aware of new and current search trends is an important way to keep up with your customers and stay ahead of your competitors. Knowing these trends is one thing, making the most of them is another.  

If you need pointing in the direction of tools to aid researching trending topics, we have a blog post listing a series of free and paid tools to uncover behavioural changes, here.

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