2013-12-17 11:20:05 - Leading independent brewer and pub chain Marston’s has once again taken a commanding lead in our fourth benchmark of the FTSE All Share company websites in 2013, showing a clear lead in online governance.
With digital performance being increasingly seen as a key measure of overall governance across any organisation, online capability and Index ranking could soon potentially be as important as that of the ratings agencies, with even the largest corporations needing to ensure they can successfully manage brand and reputation online, in a constantly- changing environment.
Wolverhampton-based Marston’s scored just slightly less than it did in our previous Index, 9.6 of a possible ten marks, plus a top score of 10/10 for accessibility, but still well ahead of nearest rivals Personal Assets Trust PLC and Cairn Energy, with newsagents WH Smith and wealth management specialists St.James Place making up the rest of the top five.
The achievement – Marston’s have topped our Index
for a staggering nine of the last ten quarters -will be another feather in the cap for the company, which announced increased profits and a 5% dividend increase at its results announcement in November. Marston’s employs 12,000 people in the UK and so far this year has served more than 30 million meals at its 2,000 pubs in England and Wales.
Edinburgh-based Personal Assets Trust has risen 50 places this time, while St.James Place, which boasts £41.8bn of client funds under management, has risen 147 places to overall fifth position.
• Our FTSE All Share index features some of the best-known companies traded on the London Stock Exchange, and many of the 500 or so compared are household names. Details of how we rated them can be found in the Index section of the Sitemorse website.
Our top 20 digital leaders includes some well-known names – Carpetright PLC in sixth place, Glencore Xstrata, one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies and one of the biggest companies within the FTSE 100 Index, moves up 50 places to 12th position, Premier Oil PLC, a growing FTSE 250 oil and gas exploration and production company, is 7th overall, and entering the top 20 this time is electronics company Pace PLC, supplying the broadcast and broadband industries. Pace moves 13 places up the Sitemorse table to take 19th position overall.
• The Sitemorse FTSE All Share Web Benchmark Index, including more than 500 UK top company websites is a particularly important audit, covering as it does the aggregation of the FTSE 100 Index, FTSE 250 Index and FTSE SmallCap Index. The FTSE All Share comprises around half of the companies traded on the London Stock Exchange. Our automated checks, covering quality, user experience, accessibility, performance and search engine optimisation, provide a useful marker for which of the leading companies in this sector is succeeding online.
Some stellar performances this time from our overall top risers, Taylor Wimpey PLC (+211). Henry Boot (+216), Cls holdings (+224), Porvair PLC (+266), and Synergy Health PLC (+299).
• Fast-loading web pages are important, so readers of our Index might be interested to see the average response time we recorded when testing each site. A response time above 0.75 seconds can have a negative effect on user experience. Rentokil Initial and car insurers Admiral Group are in the top five here, with average response times just 0.01 seconds on average for a tested page to load.
• Accessibility, backed by law, remains a key criterion for any website. Full marks - literally - for Marston’s here, with ten out of a possible ten marks. Tobacco manufacturer BAT scored 9/10, while PR giants WPP, Imperial Tobacco Group and housebuilder Bellway are rated at 8/10.
About the Index
The quarterly Index Website Review, powered by the Sitemorse software platform, is an important independent benchmark that clearly shows how websites are performing, meeting compliance levels and satisfying their users. It’s also a key indicator for website managers who, while always wanting to be at the top of their game, could be hampered by poor-performing suppliers, non-compliant legacy content or content management systems that often fail to spot errors affecting user experience.
Sitemorse services such as Governisation and the Web Management Toolkit immediately find the issues that affect web users the most on any website, help demonstrate real improvement and ensure you have control and confidence in your web presence.
They will help you minimise unnecessary risk, issues covering everything from compliance with web standards to helping you deal with malware, protect your brand across even a large web presence, and enhance search engine optimisation to help more potential customers find you. They can help spotlight content that may need updating, issues with staff training and support, and focus supplier management. We offer a confidential internal 'company wide' website testing and benchmarking service - allowing you to review the position of all the sites in your organisation. Contact us to request further details and / or an example.