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Big players, slow web pages: FTSE website performance

Monday, 11 July 2022
CMT
Contensis marketing team
News8 min

Big players, slow web pages: Which FTSE 100 and 250 businesses value their online presence the most?

While the pandemic ground many things to a halt, its effect in exacerbating the digital transformation across the UK has been hugely significant. Maintaining relationships with customers became number one priority, and bolstering services with a robust and well thought-out online portfolio soon became priority number one on every leaders’ agenda.

Today, at a time when confidence is at a record-breaking low, businesses are becoming increasingly cautious about where their hard-earned money is going. ‘Meticulous e-consumers’, according to a Salesforce Survey, are putting pressure on businesses, both large and small, to keep up with demand.

From site speed to accessibility

Yet from site speed and accessibility, to perfecting your performance score, with no ‘flick of a switch’ method available, modifications will take time. But businesses prepared to invest time and money will reap the rewards.

For smaller businesses, their website was a lifeline and a way to connect with consumers during a turbulent two years, and beyond. But what of the ‘big players’, specifically those companies listed on the FTSE 100 and 250 indexes? How much do they value their online presence?

How much do FTSE 100 and 250 companies value their online presence?

Ninety per cent of the UK’s enterprises in the FTSE 100 and 250 indexes ran into major problems when migrating legacy systems back in 2019. And in today’s market of ‘immediacy’, with restless customers wanting almost everything at the touch of a button, the success of a business relies heavily on the performance of its online offering.

In this research, developed by our team of CMS experts here at Contensis, we have examined just how much those big players value their online presence.

Using industry leading tools to measure performance

Using Google’s Lighthouse tool, and measuring performance, accessibility and homepage speed, we have calculated their digital performance scores, allowing us to see which industries are falling short and those leading the way:

Further details on these metrics are available on this Lighthouse Performance Scoring page. The total scores were calculated using all available metrics of the Google Lighthouse report, and a full report of the findings can be found in the below ‘league table’. 

Website performance league table

Sector/industry Performance Accessibility Speed Speed index Score
Media and Publishing 69.29 84.43 4.17 100.00 253.71
Manufacturing and logistics  55.25 84.69 

4.68

92.43

232.37

Software and IT

46.50

91.17

6.00

72.84

210.51

Insurance

45.82

88.91

5.84

75.27

210.00

Aerospace and Defence

45.38

80.00

5.94

73.77

199.14

Finance

44.93

86.78

6.82

60.71

192.43

Healthcare and Life Sciences

48.20

80.10

6.89

59.62

187.92

Services

44.73

84.91

7.28

53.87

183.51

Telecoms and Technology

42.00

93.63

8.16

40.72

176.35

Retail and Grocery

36.35

85.75

7.39

52.20

174.30

Property and Construction

43.70

85.41

7.91

44.51

173.62

Travel, Hospitality and Leisure

40.96

79.18

7.31

53.43

173.57

Utilities

38.50

83.13

8.00

43.14

164.76

Food and Beverages

35.93

82.57

9.87

15.34

133.84

Chemicals, Mining, Oil and Gas

40.87

81.70

10.90

0.00

122.57

What the results say:

The index has also revealed the top-performing websites across each industry of the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 indexes.

Aerospace and defence

  1. Smiths Group Plc.
  2. Senior Plc.
  3. Cobham Plc.
  4. Ultra Electronics Holdings.
  5. QinetiQ Group Plc.

Insurance

  1. RSA Insurance Group.
  2. Aviva Plc.
  3. Hiscox Ltd.
  4. Direct Line Insurance Group Plc.
  5. Sabre Insurance Group Plc.

Finance

  1. ICG Enterprise Trust Plc.
  2. Intermediate Capital Group Plc.
  3. LondonMetric Property Plc.
  4. Law Debenture Corporation.
  5. TR Property Investment Trust Plc.

Food and beverages

  1. Diageo Plc.
  2. Hilton Food Group Plc.
  3. Associated British Foods Plc.
  4. Smurfit Kappa Group Plc.
  5. Britvic Plc.

Healthcare and life sciences

  1. Mediclinic International Plc.
  2. AstraZeneca Plc.
  3. Dechra Pharmaceuticals Plc.
  4. UDG Healthcare Plc.
  5. NMC Health Plc.

Chemicals, mining, oil and gas

  1. Elementis Plc.
  2. Johnson Matthey Plc.
  3. Synthomer Plc.
  4. Croda International Plc.
  5. KAZ Minerals Plc.

Telecoms and technology

  1. Inmarsat Plc.
  2. Spectris Plc.
  3. BT Group Plc.
  4. Oxford Instruments Plc.
  5. Electrocomponents Plc.

Services

  1. Unilever Plc.
  2. Homeserve Plc.
  3. PZ Cussons Plc.
  4. Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc.
  5. Network International Holdings.

Property and construction

  1. John Laing Group Plc.
  2. Babcock International Group.
  3. Balfour Beatty Plc.
  4. Marshalls Plc.
  5. Ibstock Plc.

Media and publishing

  1. 4imprint Group.
  2. Future Plc.
  3. WPP Plc.
  4. Pearson Plc.
  5. Entertainment One Ltd.

Travel, tourism and leisure

  1. Mitchells & Butlers Plc.
  2. Restaurant Group.
  3. J D Wetherspoon Plc.
  4. FirstGroup Plc.
  5. Cineworld Group Plc.

Manufacturing and logistics

  1. James Fisher & Sons Plc.
  2. Royal Mail Plc.
  3. Clarkson Plc.
  4. IMI Plc.
  5. Diploma Plc.

Software and IT

  1. Just Eat Plc.
  2. Kainos Group Plc.
  3. Avast Plc.
  4. Playtech Plc.
  5. Micro Focus International Plc.

Utilities

  1. SSE Plc.
  2. ContourGlobal Plc.
  3. Telecom Plus Plc.
  4. National Grid.
  5. United Utilities Group Plc.

Retail and grocery

  1. Inchcape Plc.
  2. Kingfisher.
  3. Marks & Spencer Group Plc.
  4. Grafton Group.
  5. Sainsbury (J) Plc.

Why your online presence matters

As part of our work in helping businesses across local government, emergency services, higher education and manufacturing, we advise on the best practices of building, and maintaining, a website and content management system – as well as educating the wider team, beyond developers, in creating content fit for every audience.

According to research by Black Sun in 2017, there was a “widening digital divide between the best and worst” FTSE100 and 250 sites, highlighting that a large portion of companies listed on each index were falling short of the online basics.

There’s no denying that sometimes even the basics are hard to nail down, but here are just a few reasons why accessibility, page speed and performance are so important:

  • Hub of operations

    According to a Salesforce Survey, 85 per cent of customers conduct research before making an online purchase, and among the most-used channels for research are websites (74 per cent) and social media (38 per cent).

    If your website user experience lacks performance and accessibility features, then you run the risk of deterring customers. Think of it like this, you wouldn’t leave rubbish blocking aisles in your store, so why do it on your website to someone’s online experience? An effective digital presence can open the door to a wide audience, including those with disabilities who are often marginalised online.
  • Your homepage is the heart

    Black Sun’s study revealed that around a third of FTSE 100 companies do not share what their business does on the homepage.

    As we mentioned earlier, confidence is at an all-time low, and customers are cautious about how, and where, they spend their money. So if your website lacks simple, yet vital information about your services – or it is hidden deep within an unnavigable page – it is highly likely the customer may be driven away.
  • Speed is (almost) everything

    As one of the core criteria of this research, the longer a webpage takes to load, the higher its bounce rate will be – according to research from The Aberdeen Group, a 1 second delay reduces customer satisfaction by 16 per cent.

Final thoughts

With the cost of living reaching new heights, businesses must focus on improving and maintaining their website’s performance in order to stay fighting fit.

It’s important to test your website regularly to make sure users can access each avenue of your website’s content, quickly and easily. Fix any stumbling blocks by monitoring your customer’s journeys, then test again – a good CMS will allow you to make amends in real-time and collaborate with your wider team.

Never rest on your laurels when it comes to user experience – customer demands are changing on a daily basis, so regular testing will be hugely beneficial in the long-run enabling you to prepare in advance of new trends.

From our research, we have seen a number of businesses across sectors fall behind with their website’s performance. Some industries in particular, like chemicals, mining, oil and gas are giving their online real estate less focus.

Encouragingly though, there are some sectors leading the way. Media and publishing, for example, a sector which relies heavily on its online presence to deliver news and information to readers, sits top of the league table. Exhibiting the importance of a reliable website, its immediacy, with readers able to access that information, on average, within 4 seconds, is strong.

Methodology: To create the league table of FTSE 100 and 250 websites that value their online presence the most, the Contensis team analysed the homepages of all companies on the FTSE 100 and 250 indices, listed on the Fidelity website. The team then compared each site based on three core metrics using Google Lighthouse to create an unbiased view of the top websites. These three metrics are site speed, accessibility and overall performance. We then calculated averages for each sector and compared them to create a league table of sectors that value their online presence the most and least.