UK Online Opticians - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q3 2023

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The Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK online opticians has just been published. Learn how the top 9 opticians perform across the digital space.

The latest Q3 2023 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.  

Opticians Q3 2023 - 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 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 Q3 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call.

Opticians Sept 23 - COVER

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 Q2, we noted that Specsavers had the least technically compliant site, returning 2,028 4xx errors in our crawls. Though still returning a large figure, of 998, Specsavers has more than halved the amount of 4xx errors present, potentially vastly improving user experience and minimising and digital dead ends.

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.

In Q2, only Specsavers had surpassed the mobile page speed score benchmark of 50, with a score of 62. Unfortunately, Specsavers has seen their mobile page speed score drop to 33, putting the brand in fourth place in our report. Eyesite and Scrivens have now both surpassed the 'okay' benchmark, scoring 55 and 51, respectively.

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 scores in our report remain stable, ranging from 25 (from Eye Emporium) up to 73 (from Specsavers). For any brands towards the end of this scale, they’ll want to review their digital PR strategy, to identify some out-the box ways they can gain backlinks from authoritative sites, and boost their own site authority.

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.

In Q2, all twelve opticians were seeing a reduction in organic traffic year on year, with Eye Emporium seeing the biggest loss overall. Though all twelve opticians are still seeing a reduction in digital footfall, Eye Emporium has reduced its loss, now seeing a 27% fall in overall traffic. The biggest fall in organic traffic now lies with Black and Lizars, which has seen a 54% drop.

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.

All the opticians we reviewed are using a range of Universal Search features, maximising their potential in organic results. Of the lower traffic sites, Scrivens is leading the way in terms of variety, though most of their results have come under ‘People Also Ask’. ‘People Also Ask’ and FAQ results are a great way to provide high-quality, helpful content, directly on the SERP, and usually point to good performance in longtail keywords too.

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.

Unsurprisingly, Specsavers and Vision Express are leading the way on longtail keyword visibility. Of the other six opticians in our report, Scrivens are showing an even higher potential than in Q2, appearing in the top three positions for 505 keywords (an advancement from the 184 in Q2), in positions 4-10 for 788 (up from 184), and positions 11-20 for a further 830 (up from 632). This puts Scrivens in a strong position to optimise for these existing keywords, as opposed to other brands who must identify and start optimising for keywords from scratch.

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.

Online opticians are still underusing Facebook ad opportunities, with only four opticians running activity through the platform. We've included examples of Scrivens ads below. Scrivens has used bold, uniform branding across its videos, encouraging responses for specific questions or prompts. Scrivens has also used approach of including a barcode on the ad itself, to be used in store at a later date. Though this code is also saveable by clicking the link and requesting an email copy, this interactivity helps capture interest from users not wanting to share personal details.

Scrivens Facebook Ads September 2023

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.

As with Facebook advertising, we found that organic social media is generally being overlooked by the opticians in our report, as we were only able to find significant social and content activity from three online opticians brands. Opticians could consider creating content on styling tips, helpful information such as glasses and contact lens care, or seasonal content around sunglasses and summer eye care.

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!

Generally speaking, opticians have very well-maintained sites with minimal contrast errors or alerts (as we would hope to see!). However, our crawls  are still flagging 90 errors and 157 alerts for Eye Emporium. These alerts could simply be down to unnecessary alt text or duplicate title tags, but Eye Emporium must ensure screen readers can effectively read their content in order to remain accessible to all.

Q3 2023 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 Sept 23


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 wu yi on Unsplash

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