The Q2 2023 benchmarking report for UK blinds and shutters brands has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK blinds and shutters brands perform across the digital space.
The latest Q2 2023 benchmarking report for UK blinds and shutters suppliers has just been published. It covers the largest 12 national blinds and shutters brands, including Hillarys, Blinds 2 Go, Blinds Direct, Just Shutters, 247 Blinds, Eclipse Blinds, Shuttercraft, Homefair Blinds and Shutters, Thomas Sanderson, Shutterly Fabulous, Perfect Shutters, and Plantation Shutters.
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 blinds and shutters brands to win brand exposure locally, drive online views, and generate orders. 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 Q2 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 retailer 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. Having a technically sound website will ensure potential customers can find the information and products they're looking for when it comes to browsing for new blinds and shutters.
Compared to many sectors we've reported on, blinds and shutters brands have well-maintained, generally error-free sites, with eleven brands showing less than 100 4xx errors in our crawls. However, Just Shutters showed 257 4xx errors in our crawls. We'd advise Just Shutters to ensure that their internal linking structure is not leading customers to dead ends, and that these missing pages are replaced with redirects to similar, relevant content.
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. While site speed might not seem the most pressing issue for brands within the home interiors sector, blinds and shutters brands will still benefit from having a fast site which instills a positive impression of the brand from first click.
While we would expect most to achieve at least an ‘okay’ score of 50-89, only five blinds and shutters brands reached this benchmark, with none achieving a good score above 90. The lowest-performing site for page speed was Perfect Shutters, who scored only 11 for mobile page speed. Brands who are struggling with site speed, such as Perfect Shutters, should ensure that images are well-optimised and sized appropriately for web browsers - a simple step that many brands forget to take.
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. Blinds and shutters brands have a wealth of opportunity to build backlinks and improve their domain authority, and can work with external publications and bloggers to build trust, visibility, 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. Hillarys are the only blinds and shutters brand to achieve an excellent score, with a domain authority of 63. Though Blinds 2 Go have a staggering 838,492 backlinks in total, these come from only 3,887 referring domains and secure them a DA of 52. Blinds 2 Go should look at auditing their backlink profile and removing any from harmful, or low-authority sites.
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. Only two blinds and shutters brands in our report have gained organic traffic year on year, which is unsurprising due to the cost of living crisis and need for many consumers to cut back on luxuries and outgoings.
The biggest losses were seen by Perfect Shutters and Homefair Blinds, who lost 71% and 97% of their traffic year on year. Though ten brands are seeing a reduction in traffic, pointing to a smaller pool of potential customers, care should be taken to not lose more ground to competitors than necessary and to ensure they are optimising for high conversion potential search terms that capitalise on a limited audience.
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 retailer can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. Brands within home improvement sectors, such as blinds and shutters, should look particularly to Image Pack results as an opportunity to display products from the SERP itself, and entice users to visit their site.
Looking at Universal Search appearances, blinds and shutters brands are appearing for a diverse range of results, with no type truly appearing to be favoured. 247 Blinds are appearing for the most Universal Search Results overall, and seem to be the only brand capitalising on FAQ results, appearing for 1,400.
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 retailer new search terms as they enter Google’s index. Blinds and shutters brands should be looking at high-potential keywords which show a strong conversion intention, such as 'buy blinds with fitting' or 'window shutters next day installation'.
Hillarys are ranking for the most longtail keywords overall, and are appearing for 1,373 longtail keywords within the top 3 results. This puts Hillarys in a good position to be securing orders from their organic search strategy, rather than needing to invest in paid media ads to bridge this gap.
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 brands 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 are a great way for blinds and shutters brands to reach people who are specifically looking to make improvements to their homes.
Below, we can see examples of Shutterly Fabulous's Facebook ads. They've used eye-catching branding and used the coronation to tie into current events. Though the question could be posed of how relevant the coronation is to the brand, with many people spending time at home over the bank holiday weekend, this is an opportunity to tap into any thoughts of home improvement.
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 retailer engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. Blinds and shutters brands can use social media to join in with trending homeware images and content, such as sharing seasonal styling inspiration along with any offers or sales events they're holding.
Though we usually see brands favour Facebook when creating and sharing content, Plantation Shutters and Blinds 2 Go are favouring Pinterest for generating social shares. As a platform known for being a go-to for interior design inspiration, this is a smart move in ensuring they're reaching their target audience, looking for home design inspiration.
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, retailers lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere. For blinds and shutters brands, while it may be tempting to favour visuals over function, care should be taken that their site remains accessible and easy to read.
Our research flagged 189 alerts for Blinds Direct, indicating improvements must be made to become more accessible for their users. In addition, 49 contrast errors have been flagged, showing areas where text and background colours are too similar. Blinds Direct must ensure their brand colour palette provides opportunity for sufficient contrast, as well as stylistic emphasis.
Q2 2023 WINNERS LEADERBOARD
For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 blinds and shutters brands on, check out our quick-look table below;
GET THE FULL 79-PAGE Q2 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.