The Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK EV charging companies has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK EV charging companies perform across the digital space.
The latest Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK EV charging companies has just been published. It covers the largest 12 national EV charging companies, including Pod Point, InstaVolt, Osprey Charging, Egg, bp pulse, IONITY, GeniePoint, GRIDSERVE, Wallbox Chargers, evchargepod.co.uk, ChargedEV, and Plug Me In.
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 EV charging companies to win brand exposure locally, secure online views, and ultimately drive the installation and usage of their charging points. 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 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. For EV charging companies, having an easy-to-navigate site is essential for EV drivers needing to locate charging options for their vehicles and particular care should be taken of the pathways to key pages, such as charging station locators.
In our last report, we noted that Pod Point had a concerning level of 4xx error codes, flagging for 1,991 in our crawls. In Q3, Pod Point has reduced this figure to just 16. The EV charging company now seeing the highest level of 4xx errors is GRIDSERVE. However, with their figure sitting only at 19 errors, this is not too great a cause for concern.
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. As with ensuring your site is technically compliant, EV charging companies must ensure their site experience is fast and efficient (just as their chargers should be!).
In our last report, mobile page speed ranged from 14 to 73, with Wallbox Chargers sitting at the end of this scale. Scores for Q3 now sit between 60 and 20. While we have seen widespread drops in mobile page scores, EV charging companies seem to be the least impacted. Wallbox has even significantly improved its page speed, now securing a score of 47 - placing the site third out of all our twelve EV charging companies.
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 market for products relating to electric vehicles widens, brands such as those in the EV charging sector must ensure they're building authority early, to land them in good stead as the industry develops.
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 EV charging companies sit at a similar level to Q1, with scores now ranging from 9 to 73. evchargepod.co.uk, which sits at the end of this scale, has gained 5 points since we last evaluated the site.
Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop
A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for key, transactional keywords. In the case of EV charging companies, these could look like "EV charge point near me", "home EV charge point installation", or "office EV charge point installation". 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 twelve EV charging companies have performed compared to last year. Continuous improvement and optimisation is also needed to secure traffic year on year. In our last report, we saw that all EV charging companies had seen increases in organic traffic year on year. In Q3, only seven EV charging companies had seen an increase in organic traffic to their sites, the largest gain of 125% being seen by Egg.
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. For emerging sectors such as EV charging, brands can use educational content to appear for these 'position zero' results, such as by optimising for 'People Also Ask' and 'Image' results with quick answers. 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.
As with Q1, 'people also ask' results were the most-used Universal Search feature, with Pod Point remaining in the lead with 1,700 appearances. The three EV charging companies securing either no results, or very minimal appearances, should be evaluating how they can use Universal Search to improve their visibility.
The Longtail Keyword Opportunity
Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. This builds on what we've discussed within our Organic Performance section, as EV charging companies will want to ensure they have key, transactional phrases within their approach. 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. EV charging companies should look to high-purchase intent phrases, such as 'installation next week' to secure traffic from users most likely to enquire.
A strong appearance for 'people also ask' results often points to a good strategy for longtail keywords too. With this in mind, we're not surprised to see Pod Point has the highest volume of longtail keywords in its arsenal. bp pulse, the next-strongest performer for longtail keywords, is showing for fewer than 50% of Pod Point's levels.
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. For brands that operate both at home and within the public, such as EV charge points, Facebook ads are an opportunity to build brand visibility and recognition.
We've included examples of Wallbox Chargers' Facebook ads below. They've used the vertical video format for a mobile-first experience that will be engaging for potential audiences. Using the same copy for both creatives means Wallbox will be able to effectively assess the different visuals and optimise their future campaigns in line with results.
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 - this might be challenging in a sector facing regular updates and developments, but EV charging companies will still have plenty of ever-relevant topics they can cover. 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. EV charging companies can build on their content strategy for boosting visibility on 'people also ask' results and longtail keywords to identify trending topics that will be more likely to be shared on social media.
We've seen that Facebook is the preferred platform for almost all our EV charging companies, with Wallbox Chargers securing the highest level of likes, with 11,500. Wallbox also has the most Instagram followers, with a total of 12,600.
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. Accessibility must be a consideration for brands in any sector - even when it doesn't seem like the most pressing concern, such as in the wider automotive industry.
EV charging companies generally have well-maintained sites when it comes to accessibility, with most companies seeing minimal accessibility alerts or errors. In our last report, we noted that GRIDSERVE had returned the highest volume of alerts, with its website hitting 78. In Q3, this figure has more than doubled, to sit at 170. GRIDSERVE must ensure that their site is accessible to all potential users, and that amends to their design do not impact anyone's ability to digest content.
Q3 2023 WINNERS LEADERBOARD
For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 EV charging companies 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.