UK Waste Management Companies - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q1 2024

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The Q1 2024 benchmarking report for UK waste management companies has just been published. Learn how the top 11 UK waste management companies perform across the digital space.

The latest Q1 2024 benchmarking report for UK waste management companies has just been published. It covers the largest 11 UK waste management companies, including First Mile, Grundon Waste Management, Veolia, WasteManaged, Urbaser UK, Business Waste, Enva, Biffa, Viridor, Amey, and FCC Environment.

Waste Management - LOGOS

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 waste management companies to win brand exposure locally and online views. 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 Q1 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. Waste Management - COVER

Q1 2024 Winners Leaderboard

For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 waste management companies on, check out our quick-look table below;Waste Management W&L Jan24

Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's best and poorest-performing UK waste management companies 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.

In this quarter, Veolia flagged for 1,102 4xx errors, and it must address its internal linking structure to check for any broken links. Veolia should reduce its 4xx errors as soon as possible, as customers will lose patience if they’re led to 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.
For UK waste management companies, they’ll want to ensure their site is fast and well-prepared for customers to assess waste processing.

The mobile site speed ranged from 67 to 24 in this audit, with 7 of the 11 companies scoring below 50% (the minimum speed sites should reach). FCC Environment reported a 24% site speed — the lowest of all brands — and it should apply web-optimised font formats to help improve loading 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. The 11 UK waste management companies are online-only, so we’d expect to see a wide range of scores in domain authority.

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 71 and 25, with Urbaser UK at the bottom end of the leadership. This company should optimise its keyword strategy to create content that will increase organic traffic.

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’ve noted that the cost-of-living crisis has impacted traffic levels in many sectors, with consumers putting off purchases of treats and expendables for later dates. However, as waste management companies are an essential component in daily life, we’d expect to see these brands maintaining performance year on year.

Only two companies saw an increase in mobile traffic: Business Waste (82%) and WasteManaged (297%). On the other end of the spectrum, First Mile had the lowest traffic score (a loss of 65% year on year). All brands should ensure they’re regularly updating their websites with longtail keywords and incorporating a blog.

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 retailer can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. For UK waste management companies, ‘Local Pack’ and ‘People Also Ask’ results are useful ways of dominating SERPs and ensuring they can capture attention from users still looking for an in-person experience.

Business Waste encountered the most appearances for Universal Searches, scoring the highest for ‘People Also Ask’ (2,400) followed by the ‘Image’ category (1,100). Urbaser UK saw the lowest overall appearances for Universal Searches, and it should add file names and alt txt to all images to increase its appearances for the ‘Image’ sector.

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 retailer new search terms as they enter Google’s index. Waste management companies may find it particularly useful to optimise for keywords showing both high-conversion intent and information-seeking phrases that may be more often searched at the consideration phase.

Veolia had the largest total appearances, putting itself at the top of the leaderboard for all sections with longtail keywords. Urbaser UK had zero appearances in the top three search engine results, and this company should sharpen its keyword strategy to incorporate more popular phrases to help increase its online ranking.

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. Facebook ads provide an opportunity for waste management companies to quickly reach audiences looking for waste management quotes and to use as a platform to inform/education online audiences.

We’ve included examples of Enva’s Facebook posts. This company used the same image across all three posts, suggesting that it’s assessing how its text performs. Its CTA — “get a quote” — shows that this company is reaching out to companies considering a waste management service.

Waste Management - Facebook Enva

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 retailer engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. Though Facebook advertising can be used to boost visibility for brands on the platform, having a strong portfolio of content to draw upon helps build a connection with your audience, as well as providing helpful content that guides them down the conversion funnel.

In this quarter, all brands had a smaller social media following compared to other industries, with Amey holding the title for the largest Facebook page (6,200 followers). First Mile had the largest Instagram account (5,300 followers). From assessing the data, 10 out of the 11 companies had a larger Facebook following than Instagram, which is probably in line with their clientele’s demographic.

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. Waste management companies should be particularly mindful of having an accessible site, as being poorly prepared for visually impaired users could not only lose customer confidence but look very poor for their brand!

In Q1 2024, Veolia reported 297 alerts — the highest of all companies. After closely assessing its website, Veolia needs to address the following areas that are causing the most alerts: redundant title text, redundant links, and no image alt txt. A reduction in alerts will help to improve accessibility for readers previewing its website on a screen reader.


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 Robert Linder on Unsplash

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