UK Theme Parks - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q2 2024

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The Q2 2024 benchmarking report for UK theme parks has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK theme parks perform across the digital space.

The latest Q2 2024 benchmarking report for UK theme parks has just been published. It covers the largest 12 UK theme parks, including Alton Towers Resort, LEGOLAND, Thorpe Park, Paultons Park, Drayton Manor Resort, Flamingo Land Resort, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Crealy Theme Park & Resort, Pleasure Beach Resort, Gulliver's Theme Park Resorts, Diggerland, and Lightwater Valley.

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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 animal attractions to win brand exposure, sell online tickets, and even improve digital 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 Q2 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. Theme Parks - COVER


For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 theme parks on, check out our quick-look table below; Animal Attractions W&L Feb 24

Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's best and poorest-performing UK theme parks or request a copy of the report for the full review.

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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 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. It’s essential UK theme parks have easy-to-use websites that highlight the theme park’s facilities and will be a location for customers to purchase tickets. Brands should take into consideration clear pricing, pricing methods, and an up-to-date site containing important information about location, rides available, etc.

Alton Towers Resort reported the highest 4xx errors (479). It should look to reduce these by assessing if any links are leading customers to broken pages to ensure customers don’t become frustrated. A poor linking structure can also harm a website’s SEO.

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. Customers desire a website with quick-loading speeds, which will increase ticket sales. A slow-loading site will contain large, un-optimised images, videos, lots of information per page, heavy coding, and more.

For Q2 2024, the mobile site speed ranged between 53 and 14, with Pleasure Beach Resort reporting the lowest speed. Under closer inspection, this UK theme park includes large images per page and should look to reduce them to help increase its site speed by the next quarter.

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.  Theme parks should be continually pushing to improve their DA, which they can achieve by adopting a PR for backlinks from high-authoritative websites. An active blog page and a fast site speed are also effective strategies to help improve the DA rating for each brand.

A ‘good’ DA really comes down to how your competitors are performing, however it is generally considered average between 40 and 50, good between 50 and 60, and excellent above 60. The DA range for this quarter ranged between 73 and 44, with Gulliver's Theme Park Resorts reporting the lowest DA score. This theme park saw the least number of backlinks, which can affect a site’s DA.

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. An effective organic search strategy can set apart one brand from the next, and it helps to reduce the cost of sponsored advertisements. Companies should take care to monitor their keyword strategy and make suitable changes based on the results.

Seven of the brands saw a loss in organic mobile traffic, while only 3 saw a loss in organic desktop traffic. The data also shows that desktop traffic was higher, and so brands should optimise their mobile sites to make it more friendly for those not on a computer.

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 site can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. Theme parks should utilise all universal search features, as potential customers will want to see how previous customers have found their experience via 'reviews', 'FAQs', and 'people also ask'. This is also an opportunity to provide useful, quick content for commonly asked questions that show high potential for conversions.

Alton Towers Resort saw the most appearances for Universal Search results, scoring the highest in the ‘image’ and ‘people also ask’ categories. All theme parks scored zero for ‘FAQs’, which they should look to adopt to increase their appearances in SERPs.

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. There are many longtail keyword options that theme parks could use, such as ‘theme parks in north, UK’ and ‘theme parks for the family’.

Alton Towers Resort had the most longtail appearances in positions 3, 4–10, and 11–20. In fact, it reported nearly twice as many appearances in positions 3 than the runner-up, Thorpe Park. Having a successful longtail keyword strategy can increase a brand’s organic search.

Facebook Adverts

With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) hitting over 44 million users in 2023, 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. Animal attractions can adopt a social media strategy to expand reach to help increase ticket sales.

Below, we’ve provided examples of LEGOLAND’s sponsored Facebook posts. All 3 posts included a vertical video to optimise for mobile users — a sensible strategy given that most Facebook users are on mobile.

Theme Parks - Facebook

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. Social media could be especially useful for sharing information about entertainment and attraction updates.

Alton Towers Resort has the largest Facebook and Instagram accounts. Interestingly, Pleasure Beach Resort had the highest total engagement rate, which indicates that more followers doesn’t mean everyone is interested in your posts.

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. All theme parks should aim for zero contrast errors and zero accessibility errors on their websites to improve readability for those using a screen reader.

Flamingo Land Resort flagged 171 accessibility alerts. Upon closer examination, the majority of these alerts are due to redundant links and redundant title text. Not amending these means that users with a screen reader won’t experience a user-friendly website. This theme park should address these as soon as possible.


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 Matt Bowden on Unsplash

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