The Q3 2022 benchmarking report for UK care home providers has just been published. Learn how the top 11 UK care home providers perform across the digital space.
The latest Q3 2022 benchmarking report for UK Care home providers has just been published. It covers the largest 11 national care home providers, including Barchester, Sanctuary Care, Caring Homes, HC-One, Avery, Four Seasons, Hamberley, Care UK, Signature, Maria Mallaband and Runwood Homes.
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 care home providers to win brand exposure locally, online views and in-home enquiries. 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 take-aways, 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.
Whilst most of the care home provider had fairly low website errors, almost all the brands had some 4xx errors. In Q2 we saw that Caring Homes were suffering with the highest amount of error codes, however in Q3 we can see they now only have 7 4xx error codes and 0 5xx error codes. This shows Caring Homes have been working to improve the customer experience on their website. The other brands seeing error codes, such as Four Season’s 132 4xx error codes, must ensure their sites don’t lead their users to dead ends, this could lead potential customers to using other sites out of frustration.
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.
We would expect most to achieve at least an ‘okay’ score of 50-89, whereas only two of the eleven care home providers did. The mobile page speed scores are currently between 15 and 50, with Barchester and Hamberley leading the way on 50, each. All the brands that are scoring below 50 and have some serious work to do on improving their mobile page speed.
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 gage of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads.
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. Eight of the companies achieved a score of average or above, with the DA range from 31 to 59. This shows that since Q2 Runwood Homes and Hamberley have both dropped in score. Those at the lower end of the scale need to be focusing on building a stronger backlink profile to compete with the higher scoring brands.
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 looked at how all eleven care home provider suppliers have performed compared to last year. Continuous improvement and optimisation is also needed to secure traffic year on year. We discovered that three of the care homes in our report have lost organic mobile traffic year on year putting these brands in danger of losing organic customers to their competition.
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.
We could see that reviews were the highest used universal search feature, with Barchester taking the top spot reaching 4,700 results. Most companies are underusing most universal search feature options, with some companies only seeing a handful of results. Those getting a small amount of results need to work towards the numbers their competitors are achieving.
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.
Though Hemberley are ranking for 2,551 longtail keywords overall, nearly all of these are ranking outside the top 20. Hamberley should be looking at how to improve their rankings on existing longtail keywords, but also at how they can expand their strategy to include new specific search terms.
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.
Below, we can see examples of Caring Homes Facebook ads. The use of images their homes along with the brand logo, this really draws the readers eyes in, especially when scrolling social media.
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.
We saw in our research that many of the care home providers are falling behind on content creation. We recognised that HC-One created a large amount of content in a short amount of time, 120 articles of content during March ’22 while publishing very few pieces during the months since. Though this saw a short-term engagement boost, engagement rates fell shortly after, indicating that this was not evergreen content.
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.
Unsurprisingly, this is particularly essential in the care sector which caters to both older customers, and those looking for quick, well-presented answers at what can be a challenging time.
User journeys & conversion rate performance
3.42 seconds are all it takes for a user to judge a site solely on its appearance. For sites with a low clarity score, this means users are getting a poor impression of your brand and aren’t seeing your vital cues to convert.
HC-One achieved a clarity score of 75%. With the highest score we recorded coming in at 85%, HC-One must make improvements to their readability, usability, and competitor benchmarking to improve their user experience and better craft their journeys.
Additionally, we use attention maps to judge user behaviour and assess how customers are interacting with a site. You can see from these examples just how wildly different site designs can impact user attention;
Q3 2022 WINNERS LEADERBOARD
For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 11 care home providers on, check out our quick-look table below;
GET THE FULL 70-PAGE Q3 2022 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..Photo by Andreea Popa on Unsplash