Benchmarking and best practice
How can I learn more about my own website and make it more effective?
Subscribers to our Web Effectiveness database get exclusive access to scores and commentary for all 75 companies in the FT Index plus best practice from the top performers.
Your company need not feature in the Index for you to use the service: we will review your website and add it to the database when you subscribe. Pick up incisive granular advice on what to do and how to do it, reduce mistakes, cut development time – saving you effort and money.
E-mail Dan Drury for more information.
or Telephone +44 (0)7786 707434
About our benchmarking
Bowen Craggs has developed its own methodology to benchmark websites, which our clients tell us is far more detailed, practical and relevant than other offerings. The set of metrics we use has been defined and refined by our work with global leaders across all sectors and adopted by the Financial Times for an annual ranking.
Bowen Craggs’ benchmarking technique is unlike any other:
- It takes a ‘user-based’ approach to consider how well the site works for different stakeholder groups.
- ‘Universal’ metrics measure sites as a whole, while ‘Specific’ metrics looking at particular stakeholder areas.
- It considers always the profile and needs of the companies being examined: it is not objective, nor should it be. For the same reason, it is not ‘tick box’: every metric is judged by its existence, its quality and its utility to the client, rather than ‘Is it there or is it not?’.
- It is far more detailed than other benchmarks, but uses top-line scores, summaries and icons to make it usable at different levels, from skimming to a working document.
- We have a substantial database of benchmarks already carried out, which allows us to make accurate judgements as to the relative quality of the client site, and also acts as an invaluable pool of best practice.
We recommend different approaches depending on the whether the client’s site is to be relaunched or simply improved. For a relaunch there is little advantage in providing detailed recommendations to improve the existing site. It is, however, worthwhile examining the current site in detail to:
- gain further understanding of the client’s activities and needs
- identify content that should be migrated or discarded.
A benchmark against a combination of competitors and best practice sites from other sectors allows us to highlight
- sections where the existing site is strong
- useful practice across the comparator sites.
The deliverable is a closely detailed benchmarking report. It is designed to be used at different levels. A summary and score sheet gives a quick overview, and is ideal for briefing senior managers, while detailed bullet point information is aimed at the website managers. Icons indicating good and poor practice on the site, and also best practice from elsewhere, aim to make the document as usable as possible. Many clients find the most useful element of our document is the recommendations summary, which is often turned into a ready-to-go worksheet.
Best practice identification
In contrast to the structured benchmark, best practice identification is used to scan a much broader set of sites for inspiration and information on particular areas. Depending on the scope, we can look at anything from 12 to 60 sites, using our existing knowledge as a starting point but invariably identifying new features that are particularly relevant to the client. As well as helping point to useful practice, these studies can offer a form of market research – for example, when we examined use of webcasts on investor relations sites, we were able to show clear patterns in the form they took around the world.
Both benchmarking and best practice are often used to help inform strategy development.