The Q2 2023 benchmarking report for UK flooring suppliers has just been published. Learn how the top 11 UK flooring suppliers perform across the digital space.
The latest Q2 2023 benchmarking report for UK flooring suppliers has just been published. It covers the largest 11 national flooring suppliers, including Tile Giant, Total Tiles, Carpet Right, Flooring Superstore, Tapi Carpets, United Carpets, Walls and Floors, Tile Choice, UK Flooring Direct, Topps Tiles, and Tile Mountain.
The research gives an inside track on who is winning the biggest marketing share online, and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for flooring suppliers to win brand exposure, drive online orders, and even secure in-store footfall. The report highlights quick wins that will improve the performance of 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 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 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 sites in e-commerce sectors, such as flooring, they'll need to keep on top of large numbers of changing stock pages, which could lead to customers being driven down dead ends if pages are removed without effective redirects put in place.
In our last report, we noted that Tile Choice had flagged for an abnormally high 1,901 5xx error codes on their site, pointing to a server issue. In Q2, this figure hit 1,728 5xx errors. Though server issues can change minute to minute, depending on how many requests it is receiving at any one point, finding a high volume several months apart indicates Tile Choice should be reviewing server size and ensuring it is up to the task of handling their site.
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 often see brands within the home improvement space struggle with this, as the temptation generally lies in showing products at their best through high-definition images, over reducing quality in favour of page speed.
In Q2, no flooring suppliers reached the benchmark 'okay' score of 50. While Tapi Carpets had achieved a score of 54 in our last report, this has now fallen to just 20. Tapi Carpets must ensure that any changes made to their site in the past few months are reviewed, in order to identify the cause of this drop.
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. Flooring suppliers can look to collaborating with online publications and bloggers within their niche to build out their backlink profile and gain visibility in areas they can gain relevant 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 flooring suppliers ranged from 67 for Topps Tiles, to 27 for Tile Choice.
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. At a time when fewer people are taking on home improvement projects, in order to save money in the cost-of-living crisis, flooring suppliers are competing for a smaller pool of organic users.
All eleven flooring suppliers have lost traffic year on year, both on mobile and desktop. The biggest loss lies with Total Tiles, who have seen a 74% loss in desktop traffic and 86% loss in mobile when compared to 2022. Though all brands are losing organic traffic year on year, they must ensure they're not losing ground to any of their competitors.
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. 'Image pack' results could be of particular use to flooring suppliers, who can use the opportunity to show their products directly from the SERP.
In our last report we noted that 'image pack' was indeed the highest used Universal Search opportunity among flooring suppliers. In Q2, we've seen a huge rise in both 'review' and 'people also ask' results, with Tile Mountain securing the most 'review' results (3,200) and Topps Tiles making the most appearances in 'people also ask' (2000). A strong performance for 'People Also Ask' results generally points to great performance in long tail keywords too, as it indicates well-optimised content that is relevant for longer, informational and high-conversion potential phrases.
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. For flooring suppliers, they may want to look at long tail phrases that indicate a customer ready to order, such as 'white kitchen floor tiles next day delivery' or 'laminate floor samples delivered tomorrow'.
As indicated by their strong performance for 'people also ask' results, Topps Tiles have the strongest longtail keyword profile, ranking for a total of 39,934 overall. Of these keywords, they are appearing in the top three positions for 6,880 keywords - double the amount of their next closest competitor.
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 examples of United Carpets and Beds Facebook ads below. Their branding is heavily present and recognisable across all ads, however, United Carpets and Beds could try A/B testing creatives which show products beneath more clearly, to judge the impact of their branding overlay versus more organic appearing images.
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. Flooring suppliers can look to sites such as Pinterest and Instagram as a great place to share content, due to their highly visible approach and comparatively more affluent audiences.
Three flooring suppliers are favouring Facebook as their social media platform of choice, while six looked more towards Pinterest (and two returned no data). Tile Mountain's 7,629 total engagements puts them in the lead for creating engaging content and, with the brand favouring Pinterest, they can expect to be firmly present throughout the full consideration funnel.
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. When handling big sites with large volumes of content and products, flooring suppliers will want to ensure their sites are easy to navigate for any visitor, of any ability.
In our last report, we noted that Total Tiles were seeing a huge volume of contrast errors, with 1,008. In Q2, Total Tiles have reduced this to only 15, showing a considered approach to making their site more accessible. The brand with the biggest cause for concern is now United Carpets and Beds, who have returned 428 alerts in our accessibility audits.
Q2 2023 winners leaderboard
For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 flooring suppliers on, check out our quick-look table below;
GET THE FULL 70-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.