The Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK find a trade sites has just been published. Learn how the top 11 UK find a trade sites perform across the digital space.
The latest Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK find a trade sites has just been published. It covers the largest 11 trade comparison websites in the UK, including Rated People, Checkatrade.com, TrustATrader, Quotatis UK, MyJobQuote, Bark, Book a Builder UK, Houzz, Local Heroes, Which? Trusted Traders, and MyBuilder.
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 find a trade websites to win brand exposure, drive traffic online, and increase listing volumes. 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.
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 under-perform. 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. Find a trade websites will want to ensure that old, or expired listings do not impact their technical website compliance.
Most of the find a trader websites within our report are well-maintained, with very minimal levels of error codes. However, Bark and MyBuilder are proving the exceptions, with our audit recording 6,054 and 11,067 4xx error codes, respectively. Both these figures are extremely high, and Bark and MyBuilder must be cautious that these digital dead ends are not negatively impacting user experience.
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. Find a trade sites will want to ensure they are quick to use, so users needing to find a tradesperson quickly will find them easy to access and navigate.
Checkatrade.com and Local Heroes have both broken through the 'okay' benchmark of 50, returning scores of 59 and 56. The site with most room to improve is Houzz, which scored only 27.
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. For find a trader sites, they'll want to consider working with a digital PR specialist to identify backlink reclaimation opportunities, along with ideate new ways of building backlinks and referral traffic.
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. DAs for find a trade websites are typically very high, with all but one site achieving a score within the 'excellent' band. With a DA of 90, a score we rarely see in any sector, Checkatrade.com is showing the strongest performance.
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. Find a trade websites will want to keep tabs on the most searched-for trades, to identify whether the cost-of-living crisis is having an impact on the types of trades people are searching for.
Ten out of these eleven find a trade websites have seen falls in traffic year on year. The biggest fall has come from Rated People, which has lost 59% of its digital footfall. Checkatrade.com is the only site to have gained organic traffic, acquiring a very respectable 29% more sessions than in 2022.
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. 'Reviews' will be a key Universal Search result for find a trade websites, as they'll want to build trust with users searching for reliable tradespeople.
As expected, 'reviews' are the most widely-used Universal Search result for find a trade websites, with all eleven sites making at least some appearances. Book a Builder, however, has secured very few appearances for Universal Search overall, and run the risk of fading into the background within the SERP. Though Universal Search visibility and organic performance do go hand in hand, a strong appearance for Universal Search results can mitigate any reliance on paid search ads, and relieve pressure to appear in position 1.
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. Find a trade sites can optimise towards specific trades, locations, and availabilities, to capture traffic from users with a high conversion intent.
Book a Builder and Quotatis are both ranking for very few longtail keywords in the top twenty positions. However, with Quotatis making 12,796 appearances for longtail keywords overall there is plenty of opportunity to improve on this figure with existing content.
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.
We've included MyJobQuote's Facebook ads below. MyJobQuote has used static images in all three cases, but in a vertical format that will maximise occupancy of the users' screens. By using Facebook ads to advertise to tradespeople, to improve their database size, MyJobQuote can tweak and tailor campaign locations and audiences to push activity in regions where more listings are needed.
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. Find a trade sites can create shareable content such as guides to finding the right tradesperson, common household maintenance tasks that will need carrying out, or even how to do simple fixes at home (building brand awareness and trust).
Find a trade sites are appearing on a variety of social media sites, with the balance slightly tipping in Meta's direction. Bark, a site that favours Meta, has secured the most total engagements across all channels, with 15,066. A broad organic social audience, with a good level of engagement, will improve brand visibility and reduce any over-reliance on paid media to secure traffic and conversion growth.
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. Everyone will need to welcome tradespeople into their homes at some point or another, so find a trade sites must ensure that those who are vulnerable, such as blind or partially sighted users, can place trust within their choice of tradesperson from the very first point of contact.
Contrast errors appear to be a common challenge for find a trade websites, with three sites - MyJobQuote, My Builder, and TrustATrader - seeing high levels these errors and alerts. Using brand colours such as light blue and grey can make it harder for those with a colour vision deficiency, or partial sightedness to navigate sites, and brands must ensure their content is sufficiently clear.
Q3 2023 winners leader board
For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 11 find a trade websites on, check out our quick-look table below;
Get the full 79-page Q3 2023 report
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.