UK Online Opticians - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q1 2024

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The Q14 2024 benchmarking report for UK online opticians has just been published. Learn how the top 9 opticians perform across the digital space.

The latest Q1 2024 benchmarking report for UK online opticians has just been published. It covers the largest 9 opticians trading in the UK, including Black & Lizars, Bayfields Opticians and Audiologists, David Clulow, Specsavers, Eyesite, Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care, Eye Emporium, Vision Express, and Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care.  

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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 online opticians to win brand exposure, drive traffic online and, for those with bricks and mortar locations, even increase in-store footfall. 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 Q1 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.

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Q1 2024 winners leader board

For a glance into just 6 of the metrics, we evaluated these top 9 online opticians on, check out our quick-look table below;

Opticians W&L Jan24

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

What The Industry Research Report Covers

The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each site 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. Online opticians will want to ensure that key pages are easy to navigate to and access, such as prescription information, any trial packages they offer, or store locators.

In the last report, Specsavers flagged for 998 4xx errors. In this audit, Specsavers has reduced this figure to 81, which will help to enhance its customers’ online experience and prevent people being lead down a route of broken links.

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. For online opticians, they’ll want to ensure their site is fast, and well-prepared for customers to browse new frames on the go.

Vision Express has the lowest mobile page speed score (31), and it should introduce lazy loading to improve this score. 6 of the 9 brands score below 50, which is considered an average mobile site speed score. These brands should look to implement ways to increase their scores to prevent customers from leaving their websites.

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. As the nine opticians in our report range from online-only, to well known, long-standing retail chains, we’d expect to see a wide range of scores in domain 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 ranges from 73 and 23, with Eye Emporium scoring the lowest. This online opticians should reduce any low-quality backlinks and aim to increase backlinks from reputable websites.

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’ve noted that the cost-of-living crisis has impacted traffic levels in many sectors, with consumers putting off purchases of treats and expendables for later dates. However, as opticians provide essential items, we’d expect brands to be able to maintain performance year on year, even if they may be seeing a reduction in traffic to high end ranges, and more traffic to lower to mid-range products.

All websites saw a decrease in online traffic (the same as our previous audit), which suggests that there’s a universal issue, such as the cost-of-living crisis. Black & Lizars encountered the biggest traffic drop (96%), which we’re hoping it will rectify before the next quarter.

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 site can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. For opticians with high street branches, ‘Local Pack’ results are a useful way of dominating SERPs and ensuring they can capture attention from users still looking for an in-person experience.

Vision Express continues to shine at the top of the scoreboard with the highest number of Universal Searches. Vision Express scores the highest for ‘Reviews’, demonstrating the relevance of adopting this SERP for search results. However, Specsavers outperforms Vision Express for ‘Featured Snippet’, ‘Local Pack’, ‘People Also Ask’, and ‘Knowledge Panel’.

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. Online opticians may find it particularly useful to optimise for keywords showing both high-conversion intent, and information-seeking phrases that may be more often searched at the consideration phase.

Specsavers has the highest total longtail keyword searches in all categories. David Clulow is in the bottom 5 for the total longtail keywords but may soon outrank Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care for the top 3 search results (with 143 appearances).

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. Facebook ads provide an opportunity for opticians to quickly reach audiences with offers, new lines, and key products they’re looking to push.

We’ve included examples of Vision Express’ Facebook posts. Both posts include vertical videos, which is wise to suit mobile users. Additionally, they’re focused on promoting contact lenses and are evidently experimenting with different CTAs (Learn More and Book Now) to analyse which receives the most traction.

Opticians - Facebook Advert Vision Express

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. Though Facebook advertising can be used to boost visibility for brands on the platform, having a strong portfolio of content to draw upon helps build a connection with your audience, as well as providing helpful content that guides them down the conversion funnel.

Specsavers leads the way with the most Facebook likes and Instagram followers. This brand also has an average engagement of 319 and a total engagement of 5,423. While other brands could follow Specsavers’ social media strategy, building an online presence goes beyond social media followers and involves an accumulation of overall brand development, seamless website use, and more.

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. Online opticians should be particularly mindful of having an accessible site, as being poorly prepared for visually impaired users could not only lose customer confidence but look very poor for their brand!

In the last quarter, Eye Emporium stood out with 157 alerts. Fortunately, this figure has dropped to 39 in this quarter, though it still ranks the highest for this category. Additionally, Eyesite still has 15 contrast errors, which it should address improves its user experience for those with vision impairments.


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.

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

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