Chart of the week – Data shows a broad audience for online CSR information

Interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) cuts across all audiences to corporate websites

Seven per cent of media visitors to corporate websites in our benchmark say ‘CSR’ is their reason for visiting

Seven per cent of media visitors to corporate websites in our benchmark say ‘CSR’ is their reason for visiting


Across the Bowen Craggs survey benchmark (see description below), those identifying themselves as CSR professionals, which include representatives of NGOs or charities, make up just 1 per cent of survey respondents; and are the smallest visitor group in the survey.

However, the audience for CSR material is wider than just those who identify strictly as ‘CSR’ visitors. A small percentage of many other audience groups say they are visiting to find CSR information, adding up to a significant but diverse group of people. For example, the chart shows the percentage of media visitors in our benchmark identifying ‘CSR’ as their reason for visiting, at 7 per cent. The figure for employees is 4 per cent; for investors, 3 per cent; and for consumers, 1 per cent. It is useful to remember that these are averages. Many of the companies in our benchmark have higher percentages than these.

The figures show that interest in CSR cuts across many different audience groups, so it is important to have CSR material that appeals to (and is written for) all of these groups, as well as having easy routes to CSR-related material in sections where these audiences visit.

The Bowen Craggs corporate website survey benchmark contains responses from over 450,000 visitors. The latest statistics cover more than 20 companies, and looks at who visits corporate websites, why, and how satisfied they have been. For more information visit our website.

Chart of the week - corporate web managers face a growing challenge to engage users

Our web analytics benchmark research suggests corporate web managers face a growing challenge to engage users

Occasional feature highlighting useful data for corporate digital communication.

The chart shows the bounce rate, pages per session and average session duration over the years of the Bowen Craggs web analytics benchmark, 2013-2018  Source: Bowen Craggs web analytics benchmark 2018

The chart shows the bounce rate, pages per session and average session duration over the years of the Bowen Craggs web analytics benchmark, 2013-2018

Source: Bowen Craggs web analytics benchmark 2018

We looked for trends over time in some key engagement analytics metrics and found that, across our sample of corporate websites:

  • Bounce rate has varied a little but is around 50%

  • Pages per session dropped by 0.6 pages from 2.9 in 2014 to just under 2.3 in 2018

  • The average session duration has also been dropping from a peak of 148s (2m28) in 2014 to 120 seconds (2m) in 2017 and 2018.

The composition of the benchmark group has varied over the period, so could account for some variation. And these figures are averages. The picture on your site could be more complex, of course: shorter sessions could be the result of more efficient task completion. So you always need to understand user behaviour on the particular site in question.

But even allowing for these caveats, the general pattern is of declining engagement on corporate websites – and a challenge to managers to do more to attract audiences back to their sites.

* The 2018 benchmark covers 12 months between May 2017 to April 2018, including web analytics data from 29 companies, the largest sample ever. It has data on almost 106 million users and over 153 million sessions, and has been collecting data since 2014 with results from 2013 onwards. The research will be presented at a web meeting [https://www.eventbrite.com/e/web-meeting-web-analytics-benchmarking-research-2018-bowen-craggs-club-members-only-registration-45969889176] for Bowen Craggs Club members on Tuesday 20 November.

 

To discuss our measurement services, including how we can help with visitor surveys and analytics, please contact Dan Drury ddrury@bowencraggs.com or see our website.

For more information on the Bowen Craggs Club, visit our website or contact Lisa Hayward, lhayward@bowencraggs.com.

Chart of the week - our benchmark research shows that the average visitor comes to corporate sites less than twice a year

Our web analytics benchmark research shows that visitors come to corporate websites less than twice a year on average

Occasional feature highlighting useful data for corporate digital communication.

Click to enlarge. Source: Bowen Craggs web analytics benchmark 2018

The chart shows the number of sessions divided by unique users for the 29 companies in our analytics benchmark. This gives an average number of sessions per user per year for each site.

Corporate websites average just 1.51 sessions per user per year – or put another way, an ‘average’ corporate visitor sees a site 1 ½ times a year.

  • Not all visitors will see the site with this (in)frequency: this chart cannot take into account cookie clearing or use of multiple devices per user

  • The chart shows the average number of sessions per user per year. There are some visitors who do return to a corporate website multiple times per year, and many more who only visit once

  • So any site needs to serve one-off and also return visitors, as both will be present

  • But this average – and the fact that the highest average of sessions per user per year is 2 - has important implications for user experience on corporate sites: expecting users, many of whom will visit once or twice per year, to understand complex content structures or your agency’s favourite new navigation technique is not going to serve your audience well

  • There is an opportunity for corporate sites to do much more to attract users back more often: as we have written before, corporate websites are like Brussels sprouts: you really have to prepare them well to make them remotely appetizing.

 

*The 2018 benchmark covers 12 months between May 2017 to April 2018, including web analytics data from 29 companies, the largest sample ever. It has data on almost 106 million users and over 153 million sessions, and has been collecting data since 2014 with results from 2013 onwards. The research will be presented at a web meeting for Bowen Craggs Club members on Tuesday 20 November.

To discuss our measurement services, including how we can help with visitor surveys and analytics, please contact Dan Drury ddrury@bowencraggs.com or see our website.

For more information on the Bowen Craggs Club, visit our website, or contact Lisa Hayward, lhayward@bowencraggs.com.

Chart of the week - Facebook outpaces LinkedIn as the biggest source of social media traffic to corporate sites

Facebook outpaces LinkedIn as the biggest source of social media traffic to corporate websites, Twitter referrals stall by comparison
 

Occasional feature highlighting useful data for corporate digital communication.

(Click to enlarge)
Source: Bowen Craggs Google Analytics Benchmark 2017*

By 2016 Facebook had overtaken LinkedIn as the most significant source of social media referrals to corporate websites, and both channels have grown to account for more than 1 per cent of all visits; while Twitter growth has stalled. Referrals from YouTube have declined to nearly zero, which is why the channel is not shown on the chart.

  • Looking at the wider picture, in 2014, fewer than one in 100 corporate website visits were referred from social media. That was compared with one in five visits referred from all other recognised sources.

  • By 2017, one in 40 visits came from social media (2.5 per cent of all traffic). This is still a very small proportion of overall traffic, but an increase from 1.5 per cent recorded in 2016.

  • In 2012, mobile traffic to corporate websites was also low but grew to become a major source of visitors. We think it is unlikely that social referrals will see the same level of growth.

  • However, it is useful to think in terms of absolute numbers of visits, which can be more significant than the percentages imply. For example, while the percentages may be low, for one company in our benchmark group, out of a total of 36 million visits, there were 783,000 visits referred from LinkedIn and 236,000 from Facebook.

  • The usefulness of different channels depends on the company and there are wide differences between individual companies in the benchmark. We have found, for example, that Facebook is less useful for B2B companies, except in some regions, such as South America, where it can be an important customer channel.

*The 2017 benchmark covers the period between May 2016 and April 2017, collecting Google Analytics data from 24 corporate websites from a variety of sectors, and representing a range of activity. The busiest site had 37 million visits per year; the quietist 530,000, and an average of 7 million.

Chart of the week - Accessing corporate websites: the convergence of desktop and mobile

Accessing corporate websites – the convergence of desktop and mobile

Occasional feature highlighting useful data for corporate digital communication

(Click to Enlarge)
Changes in device usage 2013-2017
Source: Device by year, Bowen Craggs Google Analytics Benchark 2017*

Bowen Craggs has tracked device usage on corporate websites since 2013, through its Google Analytics Benchmark. Desktop access has fallen steadily through that five-year period, from 93 per cent to 71 per cent; while mobile access has grown, from 4 per cent to 25 per cent. During the same period, tablet access has stalled at under 5 per cent.

It will be interesting to see if the convergence of desktop and mobile continues. Corporate sites are easier to use on a big screen, so we think it is unlikely to converge completely. However, if mobile navigation continues to improve, and desktop navigation fails to, all bets could off. The screen size of smartphones is a factor too. Some are as big as a small tablet, and even a standard iPhone screen is so big it is fairly easy to read a non-responsive site on it.

*The 2017 benchmark covers the period between May 2016 and April 2017, collecting Google Analytics data from 24 corporate websites from a variety of sectors, and representing a range of activity. The busiest site had 37 million visits per year; the quietist 530,000, and an average of 7 million.

 

Chart of the week - Many internet users around the world are not on social media

Many internet users around the world are not on social media

(Occasional feature highlighting useful data for corporate digital communication)

Data from the Pew Research Center shows that 'significant minorities' of internet users in developed countries use the internet but do not use social media. More evidence for keeping the corporate site, not social media, as the core digital comms platform. Full report is here.

Large differences in social media usage throughout the developed world

Chart of the week - The continuing importance of corporate website home pages

The continuing importance of corporate website home pages

(Occasional feature highlighting useful data for corporate digital communication)

The Bowen Craggs Web Analytics Benchmark tracks visit trends across 27 major corporate websites. The aggregate data show that the vast majority of corporate website visits, 70 per cent, begin on the home page, a share that has barely changed over the last three years. It is often argued that the home page is less important because Google is sending visitors deep within sites, and that is true, but the data from our benchmark suggests that the corporate website home page is still vital.

Source: Measuring what matters in digital corporate communications