The Q3 2022 benchmarking report for UK high end home brands has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK high end home brands perform across the digital space.
The latest Q3 2022 benchmarking report for UK High end home brands has just been published. It covers the largest 12 national high end home brands, including Loaf, Habitat, Sofas & Stuff, BoConcept, Barker And Stonehouse, Sofa Club, Cox & Cox, Snug, West Elm, Made, Heal’s and Dwell.
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 high end home brands to win brand exposure locally, online orders and in-store footfall. 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 high end home brands had fairly low website errors, almost all the brands had some 4xx errors. In Q2 we saw that Heal’s had the most 5xx error codes and second most 4xx, with 563 and 298, respectively. It’s obviously they have worked on their site with only 34 4xx error codes and no 5xx error codes. Those other brands seeing higher numbers of error codes, such as BoConcept’s 245 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 none of the twelve high end home brands did. The mobile page speed scores are currently between 5 and 45, with all of the companies being less than we would expect to see. All the brands 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. Ten of the companies achieved a score of average or above, with Sofas & Stuff and Sofa Club both lagging behind on a score of 32 and 21, respectively. 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 twelve high end home brands have performed compared to last year. Continuous improvement and optimisation is also needed to secure traffic year on year. We found that only three of the twelve of the high end home brands have achieved year on year growth in mobile traffic. Loaf are leading the way with an 11% increase, whilst Sofa Club have seen the biggest drop with a 99% decrease in YOY mobile traffic.
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 Habitat taking the top spot reaching 25,700 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.
BoConcept are still ranking for no longtail keywords in positions 1-3. Though BoConcept are ranking for 17,398 longtail keywords overall, nearly all of these are ranking outside the top 20. BoConcept 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 Snug’s Facebook ads. The use of images their products along with the brand colours and deals in large font, 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.
With high end home brands offering a variety of products and ranges, there is so much opportunity for content creation. From jumping on social media crazes, sharing home ideas and special offers, there is a huge range of content these brands can be sharing. While most of the twelve brands are sharing a fair amount of content, there is always room for improvement, especially from the brands creating less content, such as Sofa Club and Barker and Stonehouse who are both really lagging behind.
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.
Most of the high end home brands have some errors, showing they appear to be struggling with accessibility within their sites. All twelve high end home brands should always be reviewing and optimising their accessibility, however those seeing high numbers of errors and alerts, such as Snug’s 1001 alerts, need to investigate what the issues within their websites are.
Q3 2022 Winners and Losers Summary
For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 high end home brands on, check out our quick-look table below;
Comparing our current, Q3 leaderboard to our last summary in Q2, we can see the top and bottom ends have had no movement, while the middle section have gone up and down. Sofa Club remain in 12th place while Habitat are staying strong in the top spot.
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 Rob Allen.