If you are a commercial property agent, have you asked yourself the following questions?
1. Am I falling behind in the fight for the digital space?
We strongly suspect you may not even know how you stack up. We certainly couldn’t find a good analysis of who the winners and losers in the online UK commercial property space are.
2. Who is winning and what are they doing right?
Hopefully this article will help you to understand who is winning a lot better. We have looked at a number of data sources to come up with a list.
3. What are my opportunities to win online?
Now that’s the hard question. Albert Einstein once said “Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.” Winning online is usually a combination of client passion, an excellent technology partner, and the appropriate business resources (both money and human).
At Earthware we believe that websites are only really about two things:
- Getting as many of the right people to visit your site as you can
- Making it as easy as possible for those people to find what they are looking for
The first is all about Search Engine Optimisation or SEO and this is what this article focuses on. The second is all about usability. For example, you can have a site with a great Google page rank and great SEO but is hated by users and is very poor at converting visitors to leads. That site will still rank highly on the lists below as there are many more objective metrics for SEO (e.g. visitors, page rank, back links) than for usability.
Anyway, onto the analysis.
This is normally the long boring part that you had to write in science reports at school. To make it easy for the reader, we will put a lot more detail in the final blog article in the series (for any insomniacs) but suffice it to say that we used a number of sources to get a representative list of more than 100 significant players in the commercial property marketing sector in the UK and then ran a lot of data queries over a period of a week to identify the top 100 and their key data and statistics.
We didn’t want to just do some analysis on who got the most traffic (though we have that later in this series of articles) but wanted to give you a view on the marketing effectiveness of the websites. We looked around for an independent assessor and decided to use Websitegrader.com. In essence, WebsiteGrader looks across many of the parameters that Google uses to assess the value of your website and analyses how effectively it implements technology and content. It then turns this into a score out of 100 to rank a website vs. the 2m+ other sites it has already analysed. These are the top 22 from the list of UK commercial property websites we analysed.
Some surprises? We think so. It is worth noting a few on the list.
NovaLoca – this site didn’t exist 30 months ago yet has risen to 3rd on this list in that time. We are biased (Earthware built NovaLoca) but it is a triumph that this is possible despite lower traffic levels, a lower number of back links and a UK only presence unlike many of the top 20. From our point of view this is directly due to the tenacity and innovation in the team and frankly a lot of hard work but we are pleased it is paying off.
Land Securities – this is a great success story and we commend everyone working on this site as it scores 97/100 (and a Google page rank of 6/10) and this despite it only being ranked 51st in the list for UK traffic. We also like the layout and usability of the site – a really good all round success story and one others should aspire to and could learn from.
EGPropertyLink – being careful to be fair, 30 out of the 100 sites have a score of 90 or more putting them in the top 10% of sites in the world according to WebsiteGrader. However, whilst EGPropertyLink is the dominant UK portal with the most properties, it only comes in 23rd on this list.