By James Handslip
The 2016 results of Webranking by Comprend shows that the UK's top corporate websites continue to fall behind their European counterparts in satisfying their key stakeholders' content needs. Only two UK companies feature in the European Top 50. This continues a downward trend that we've seen for a few years now.
The Webranking research has been conducted for the 20th time, and is based on surveys to around 500 analysts, investors, business journalists and jobseekers in Europe. Based on their responses more than 800 companies in Europe have been ranked on how they communicate in their digital channels.
Aviva top again
Aviva is the top performing UK company for the second year running (60 points), scoring particularly well in Careers and Reporting. However, to put them in a European context, they finish only 40th. Land Securities ranked second with a particularly strong Investor relations section, while Unilever came third with the highest scoring CSR section.
See the complete result lists for UK companies
Oil & Gas sector
The leading sector in the UK is Oil & Gas with an average score of 54.9. Companies scored best in Reporting and Corporate Responsibility, with comprehensive financial presentations and clear CSR strategy and data, perhaps demonstrating that in times of industry struggle it is particularly important to communicate your messages well online.
In comparison, Travel & Leisure (37.0 avg) is the lowest scoring sector.
Poor Investor Relations
The UK is particularly poor in talking to its key investors. The IR section was the lowest scoring section across all sites with an average score of just 25%.
Key information missing is investment case and financial outlook. Only 24% of companies included an investor proposition with arguments for why to invest in the company, despite the fact that 79% of respondents consulted during the ranking process stating this as being very important to them.
Companies also scored poorly due to lack of group strategy information and financial targets and achievements.
Move to video
Video is on the rise. It’s engaging and easy to consume and more and more companies are now using this medium to effectively communicate key messages and performance: 30% presented the Group strategy using video with the CEO.
Animated videos are also starting to become more commonplace on corporate websites, providing a compelling alternative to complex or detailed content – cutting through the clutter.
We definitely expect further growth in this area, the continued rise of mobile – with users watching more video on the go – shows that video audiences are only going to get larger.
Good general profile information
The highest scoring section was About us (49% avg). UK companies are particularly strong at providing overview information about the company as well as clearly outlining the company’s vision/values.
Key facts and figures showing the company’s geographical presence, products and services and performance of operations in these locations, also scored strongly. In contrast, most companies failed to provide detail on the organisational structure of the business.
Lack of CSR strategy
31% do not present any information on CSR strategy, suggesting this is still a poor area of focus for many organisations.
This could also be a factor in the lack of detail provided on materiality analysis and also disclosure of the company’s responsible tax policy.
Online annual report
Almost half of all UK companies (49%) do not provide an Online annual report, in comparison to all providing a PDF version of the report. However, 40% of the 500 largest companies in Europe has an Online annual report, compared to 35% last year (and the previous two years), which could be an indication that the online report is becoming more common.
Still not mobile
Finally, despite the growth in mobile audiences visiting corporate websites, 24% of companies still don’t provide a responsive website (or mobile version). We would hope that this figure decreases over the next 12 months, as we've seen mobile browsing overtake that of desktop on all our own corporate sites.
If you would like to see how you performed please get in touch and we’d be happy to come and discuss your ranking in more detail and explain more about our Webranking process. Please contact James Handslip, Director, +44 (0) 203 700 5555 or email@example.com.
Learn more about webranking
Webranking is Europe's leading survey of corporate websites and the only global ranking that is based on stakeholder demands. By identifying what the corporate audiences expect, we can help companies identify how to improve their corporate website content to better meet stakeholder needs.