Bulk™ SEO Analysis

Bulk is a leading UK sports nutritionist brand and sells a range of supplements and sports nutrition products online. As an active gym goer, I couldn’t help but poke my SEO nose through the Bulk domain and it’s led to some interesting discoveries and missing opportunities for performance uplifts.

It’s just worth highlighting the data used for this audit has come from 3rd party tools and might not be 100% accurate representation of data potentially provided from something such as Google Analytics or Google Search Console.

Furthermore the thoughts and ideas contained within this post are my own views and ideas and this it not by any means meant to be a dig at anyone that currently works within the BULK marketing or digital teams.

Bulk™ - The Challenge

Bulk™ operates across multiple territories. We’ll take a deeper look specifically across the UK market today and insights that could help drive improvements to close the market share between Bulk™, My Protein & The Protein Works.

Bulk’s™ goal is to increase overall brand awareness and sales from primary categories such as “Protein” & “Health & Wellbeing” Supplements.

The main subfolder which is contributing to traffic today is the main Protein section and the core which combined account for 13% of all traffic.

However, the majority of keyword rankings are coming from within the core and this section ranks for 40% more search terms that the main Protein directory folder.

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SEO Situational Analysis

Bulk™ is currently getting around 317,981 visits a month across all markets with the UK market accounting for 44% of all traffic.

Bulk™ at the moment is heavily dependent on rankings and traffic from the UK with this subfolder also being the largest in terms of ranking keywords.

Other markets such as Poland and Italy account for little in terms of ranking keywords and overall search traffic.

It’s just worth highlighting the data used for this audit has come from 3rd party tools and might not be 100% accurate representation of data potentially provided from something such as Google Analytics or Google Search Console.

Furthermore, the thoughts and ideas contained within this post are my own views and ideas and this is not by any means meant to be a dig at anyone that currently works within the BULK marketing or digital teams.


Average Monthly Visits (UK)


Ranking Keywords (UK)


Average Domain Rating

6,864 (12%)

Followed Backlinks

Current Organic Performance

Sistrix Subfolder Analysis

Ahrefs Country Organic Segementation

International Sub Folder Analysis

Although we’ll focus on the UK market analysis and opportunities it’s worth noting that Italy has an opportunity to drive new users and increase market share. 

There is ample opportunity for growth in this market specifically from related market terms such as “Shakes Protein” which accounts for more searches than the UK version of “Protein Powder.

Currently, there are legacy pages such as https://www.bulk.com/it/proteine which still ranks for 393 search terms and is not redirecting back to the correct landing page which should be https://www.bulk.com/it/proteine.html

It appears an old migration has not covered all primary driving pages in smaller markets and has resulted in landing pages being shown as a 404 response code page rather than a 301 to the new URL.

Out of a total of 1,084 that Ahrefs has returned as driving traffic 59 of these currently go to 4XX response code pages and rank for 1,000+ search terms meaning Italy is likely to see a drop in performance over the coming weeks.

UK Search Analysis

The UK overall accounts for 141,347 visits a month which is driven by 19,800 search terms.

However, The Core is the biggest driver here in terms of keywords which is leaving a huge opportunity on the table in terms of commercial terms which could be driving sales into Bulk™.

The Protein folder has begun to also see an overall decline in market visibility and the core while initially seeing no impact from the latest core update has then begun to see a small drop off.

The UK alongside this has seen 2,321 search terms decline since April this year with some primary search terms now dropping from the first page of Google.

Sistrix Visibility Chart

The Core (Blog) Analysis

Overall visibility reported out of Sistrix has seen a large drop off since July although has begun to slightly recover.

The UK Core subfolder is driving more traffic from the US than the UK (45% vs 34%) and we can see since July the main blog has begun to also decline in terms of overall ranking search terms.

Analysing the UK-only market for keyword performance “protein shake before or after workout” has seen an overall decline this is likely driven as a result of content not being actively updated.

The https://www.bulk.com/uk/the-core/protein-shake-before-after-workout/ piece of content for example was originally published in January 2021 and has not been updated since.

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Competitor Analysis

In a review of the core competitors such as The Protein Works, PHD, Body Building Warehouse & My Protein we can instantly see that My Protein has the largest market share today overall.

Although some of this visibility difference might be coming from the brand for example “My Protein” currently accounts for 320,000 searches a month vs “bulk” which accounts for 72,000 searches.

While My Protein also has a larger overall product range which allows them to drive growth from terms such as “gym shorts” that at this stage would not be relevant to Bulk there are some terms such as  “how much protein to build muscle” which would be a highly relevant piece of content for The Core.

SEO Plans & Insights

International SEO


The current internationalisation setup is not following best practices around the technical implementation which is resulting in confusion for Google and the user.


It’s important to ensure we have given the correct signals to Google and other search engines around which version of the site should be indexed in which country version of Google.

Bulk Powders International SEO


  • Ensure each valid category pages have the correct outgoing and incoming href language attributes
  • Review the current usage of /catalog/category/view/s across the site and remove these from creative new and invalid href language reference
  • Ensure we have no href language tags which are miss matches or pointing to empty URL fields.

Limited Internal Linking


Internal linking is links which connect pages together across the Bulk™ website which can help users and search engines find content easier.

Both within The Core & across eCommerce landing pages overall internal linking can be strongly improved.


Google follows links to discover new content and landing pages by increasing the total internal links pointing out to primary pages we can influence how well those pages rank for primary search terms.


  • Improve the cross-linking between the main website & the main info blog section
  • Consider linking up from core PDP pages to related products
  • Expand nutritional and ingredient information tables with flavour variations & ranges to further increase internal linking up
  • Improve the current  HTML sitemap to contain links to all PLP & CLP templates & remove out of stock products from this file
  • Increase breadcrumb internal linking such as within https://www.bulk.com/uk/vitamin-d3-tablets.html to include “Vegan Vitamins”
  • Increase the total count of “Related Categories” contained within the PLP templates & split test moving these above the fold

Core Web Vitals


Page, and site speed are becoming an important ranking factor and while with both TTFB & CWV metrics that need to be optimised. 

Although we don’t have direct access to GSC data a review of primary pages within Page Speed Insights outlines core elements need to be improved.


It’s important to ensure we have given the correct signals to Google and other search engines around which version of the site should be indexed in which country version of Google.

Play Video about Bulk Powders Site Speed SEO Review
  • Consider implementing WebP formats on all the main imagery used across primary pages
  • Ensure all images are correctly implemented with the right height & width attributes
  • Review the full usage of scripts used on PLP pages and remove those scripts which are not correctly utilised

Product Ranking Issue


Although Bulk™ has landing pages which feature the range of flavours in a drop-down which can also be seen in the rendered DOM these PDP pages are struggling to rank specifically when we search for a specific product intent-based search term such as “banana protein powder” or “banana whey protein”.


A lot of potential revenue is being left on the table here by not optimising for these types of search terms.  In some instances, there is a dedicated PLP for the flavour-based terms such as https://www.bulk.com/uk/protein/banana-protein-powders.html


  • Revise the current PLP pages which have been created for flavour usage to ensure they have increased internal linking from tier 1 & 2 pages
  • Consider as outlined previously increasing the PDP templates to include flavour mentions that would increase overall relevancy on primary landing pages
  • Review the current configuration of the facet navigation and identify if it’s possible to amend the link architecture from these elements into the respective PLP
  • Utilise better cross-linking between the core and PDP pages and use better anchor text attributes

The table below highlights some of the volumes and current rankings for product-based related search terms. In almost all instances we can see the non-tailored landing page ranking for those search terms & as such the overall ranking position for Bulk™ could be vastly improved.

This type of research and project should be conducted across all types of protein to ensure where applicable the correct and tailored landing page is ranking that will likely improve Bulk’s ™ overall ranking position and revenue being driven from those pages. 

Content Overview - The Core

The Core currently ranks for around 22,000 search terms across both the UK & US.

Recently performance has begun to decline although following the first core update in May Bulk™ saw an uplift from July traffic has declined and traffic overall has been on a gradual downward trend since December 2021.

While the US accounts for more rankings & traffic the UK will be our focus for this document.

Ahrefs data outlines the UK has 445 landing pages currently supporting the visibility of The Core however a Sitebulb crawl of just the UK section of the Core outlined 619 pages with 565 of these being indexable meaning around 22% of all content potentially is not indexed or driving traffic into Bulk™.

As we begin to review core pages such as the Creatine guide to the left we can see that the original published date was 2020, although we can see a modified date in the header indicates this content was updated as recently as July 2022. (2022-07-04T09:20:40+00:00)

The initial insight would be to ensure all content maintains a published and modified date on the front end which if nothing else could improve user engagement and reduce overall bounce rates.

Furthermore, we can see various keyword cannibalization occurring for core mid-volume based search terms such as “Is Creatine good for you which over the last month has fluctuated between https://www.bulk.com/uk/the-core/creatine-vs-protein-which-is-better/ & https://www.bulk.com/uk/the-core/benefits-of-taking-creatine/


E-A-T in SEO stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.

Demonstrating good E-A-T both on and off your website can potentially help improve Google rankings. We believe that E-A-T is very important to most sites.


E-A-T is extremely important for Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) sites. If your site is a medical, legal, or financial site, then having good E-A-T is crucial


  • Across PDP pages review all those high commercially relevant pages which feature low reviews and look to increase engagement on these products
  • Ensure all articles reference not only the team but the specific person who has created or reviewed content on that page (Some reference this some don’t)
  • Improve the single author pages from a technical point of view to use traditional pagination
  • Implement Author & Article-based SCHEMA (https://schema.org/Article)
  • Where applicable reference authoritative based studies in content
  • Ensure Bulk™ cover all topics exhaustively improving the main topic and cluster model


Featured Snippets


Featured snippets are highlighted excerpts of text that appear at the top of a Google search results page in what is known as ‘Position 0’.  There are currently 3,064 terms which The Core ranks for but does not own the main featured snippet.


A featured snippet is important because it represents an additional SERP feature that you can secure and can in most cases on mobile devices lead to a higher CTR and increased brand awareness for relevant search terms.


  • The overall content structure should be improved to increase the opportunity of obtaining a featured snippet
  • Ensure content is super descriptive in terms of answering primary search terms and questions asked
  • Utilise PAA questions from SEO Data Tool to improve content relevancy overall
  • Continue to utilise the correct header structure that can influence snippets
  • Manually review the SERP result to identify the type of snippet being returned and manually amend content where needed to match the current snippet
  • Continue to develop strong and relevant links back into content across The Core

Competitor Content Overview

What is the current gap in content?

Using Sistrix data we can see while Bulk™ overall have quite a cross-over with brand such as My Protein & The Protein Works there is still a huge gap in the total organic footprint they currently rank for vs Bulk™.

Specifically using this data we can see we have content that targets various terms however we are not being found for those terms such as “milk protein” this is because of Bulk™ ranks outside the top 10 pages for related terms.


  • Utilise competitor keyword data to spot areas of opportunity for Bulk™ to increase overall organic visibility
  • Conduct a full Content Audit to inform a Content Strategy and Plan
  • Identify the core content theme that is a focus for Bulk™, is this around Fitness, Diets, Nutrition, Exercises or mental health

Content Consolidation & Auditing


When content is either not updated or a similar version is created it can create a range of issues with keyword conflicts resulting in lower CTR from Google and overall fluctuations in core rankings as Google tries to determine where each URL should rank for any given search query.


It’s important to ensure regular keyword cannibalization and content audits are conducted to reduce conflicts around search terms and ensure Bulk™ has one more comprehensive piece of content ranking for any given query. Doing this will also help improve the overall E.A.T metrics.


  • Review keyword cannibalization across all search terms initially within The Core to identify pieces of content which should potentially be merged or redirected
  • Use Google Search Console data to help inform decisions here based on overall impressions and clicks driven over the last 6 months 
  • Create a comprehensive content roadmap which uses a topic and cluster-based model to ensure each piece of content published has a core topic focus which can complement a different piece of content within Bulk™
  • Review old content which is no longer driving any clicks or impressions and either improve this content overall or redirect it into a different piece of content (less is sometimes more)

Market Status Domain Authority

Reviewing the main competitor set for “Whey Protein” including just the major eCommerce brands ranking on the first page along with Holland & Barrett.

  • My Protein has the overall biggest link profile including the largest amount of educational-based links likely supporting E.A.T Signals
  • Bulk™ has a link profile around ½ the site of My Protein which likely indicates further work is needed to compete for primary search terms
  • However, we can see that the SERP at least for Whey Protein is not based solely on DA and links alone
Competitor Domain Analysis (Whey Protein)

Holland & Barrett data is skewed to their domain not solely being related to Protein related search terms.

Content Outreach

Using The Core to driving external linking

When we compare Bulk™ content to other brands ranking in the SERP for related informational queries we can see the total link count for those brands is far higher than Bulk™ for example “How Much Protein Do I need” shows most brands in the top 10 have over 300 external links.

Although E.A.T signals need to be considered here with the first page for the above term showing high authority health-based websites Bulk™ should be looking to improve existing content and then conduct manual outreach where applicable to those sites already linking to content that is featured in the SERP


Unlinked Brand Mentions

Increasing existing link opportunities

Bulk™ has already been featured in a range of articles across the web & in some cases these sites have not linked back to the main website.

Using Ahrefs search operators there are currently 10,000+ pages which mention “Bulk™” but do not link back. In some cases, this would be natural such as product placement articles on Men’s Health etc.

A review should be done of some of the current opportunities to identify if there are sites to which Bulk™ could speak and obtain a link back to relevant deeper pages within the site such as https://thedieline.com/blog/2021/3/5/robot-food-reposition-bulk-as-an-aspirational-active-nutrition-brand-for-every-body


  • Review Ahrefs content explorer for linking opportunities and create a manual outreach list working with PR teams to create relationships
  • Identify content which has been developed for brands like The Protein Works where Bulk™ are not featured but could be and seed new content or outreach to these sites

Creative Digital PR Ideas

The Strongest Countries Ranked

As fitness begins to increase in overall search demand post-pandemic (According to Google Trend Data) we could be using various events to create an interactive data visualisation outlining the strongest countries broken down by sport, gender & age.

Using events such as The Worlds Strongest Man, The Common Wealth Games etc we’ll categorise each event and the number of medals or competitions won before classifying these into data visualisation.

Once created we can seed this out to relevant media publications both generic and also fitness and specific sport related using supporting content to promote healthy lifestyles and product ranges.

Bulk™ could also use existing ambassadors to create Podcasts and media assets which could help up-and-coming talent get into competitive sports.

Creative Digital PR Ideas

There’s still a huge stigma around training and “gyms” overall with “Gym Bro” terms being used or sexism. Bulk™ will conduct an independent survey to outline the type of gym-goers people believe exist before breaking them down.

For example, the common debate seen across videos shared across social promoting the difference in rest times around Cross Fitters, Weight Lifters etc

This can then be outlined into Bulk™ visuals before being seeded out to the media with example titles of “What type of gym goer are you” 

Creative Digital PR Ideas

Ever wanted to know the most common song played in the gym based on fitness types from spinning to heavy weight lifting?

We’ll run two pieces of data analysis to document the UK’s favourite gym songs which help get fitness people pumped for their sessions.

  1. We’ll scrape Spotify data to export all songs based on various hashtags such as #fitness #spinning #gym etc and rank these into various classifications
  2. We’ll also conduct an independent survey across 2,000 participants to identify the fitness type they are into and also their top 3 favourite gym songs.


Once done we’ll create a range of Bulk™ playlists on popular music streaming services and also create an interactive landing page where you can find your new gym song.

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Fancy being the next site to be reviewed? Drop me a message via my contact form & I'll be in touch,