The Q4 2023 benchmarking report for UK flooring suppliers has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK flooring suppliers perform across the digital space.
The latest Q4 2023 benchmarking report for UK flooring suppliers has just been published. It covers the largest 12 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, TradeChoice Carpet & Flooring, 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 Q4 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call.
Q4 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;
Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's top and poorest-performing flooring suppliers, or request a copy of the report for the full review.
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 was still flagging with an abnormally high 1,728 5xx error codes on their site, pointing to a server issue. In Q4, we found no 5xx errors, indicating that Tile Choice is now using a server than can handle the size of the site. However, Tile Choice remains the least technically compliant site, due to the 701 4xx errors which are also present. Tile Choice must ensure the site is not only accessible to view, but isn't full of dead ends.
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.
Tile Giant has the quickest mobile site, achieving a score of 41. Tapi Carpets, which we had noted was seeing steady falls in mobile page speed performance since achieving first place in our first report, is now achieving a score of only 13, placing the site 9th overall.
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 twelve flooring suppliers have lost traffic year on year, both on mobile and desktop. As in our previous report, the biggest loss lies with Total Tiles, which is now seeing 69% loss in desktop traffic and 66% 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 Q4, Tile Mountain is securing the most 'review' results (4,300) and Topps Tiles is making the most appearances for 'people also ask' (1,800). 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 39,261 overall. Of these keywords, they are appearing in the top three positions for 5,477 keywords - though this is still the most of all flooring suppliers, it is a slight fall from their 6,880 top-ranked longtail keywords in Q2.
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 Carpetright's Facebook ads below. Carpetright has used video ad formats to engage with its audience, including a vertical video which will fit naturally into the platform's organic 'Reels' content.
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.
Two flooring suppliers are favouring Facebook as their social media platform of choice, while five looked more towards Pinterest, two preferred X (formerly known as Twitter), and two returned no data. Tile Mountain's 81,219 total engagements has helped keep the brand in the lead for creating engaging content and, with Tile Mountain favouring Pinterest, it 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 United Carpets and Beds had the biggest cause for concern, returning 428 alerts in our accessibility audits. No significant improvements have been made by United Carpets and Beds in Q4, as we are still finding 423 alerts in our crawls.
GET THE FULL 79-PAGE Q4 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.