Over the past fifteen years one of the most popular features of the Sitemorse platform is still the ‘INDEX’, our powerful automated site benchmarking capability that compares and records the position and progress of a specified set (10 to 10,000+) or portfolio of websites at regular intervals.
We can benchmark against the many different areas Sitemorse audits; including accessibility, site experience, code quality, SEO, site performance and / or Brand compliance. We have both category and an overall score making up the overall evaluation of a website. The Sitemorse INDEX is the globally recognised independent sector benchmark covering over 50 sectors, also supporting the UK Gov. “Better Connected” report, along with the World Retail Congress.
See the INDEX in action
We’ve been running our INDEX across different industry sectors for a number of years and chart the progress each quarter. For example, you can see the results for the public companies listed on the UK London-listed PLCs for Q1 2019 getting both a high-level view and also the ability to drill into the detail.
In this example you can see how the INDEX uncovers just how many large corporations are failing on accessibility compliance – overall 97.9% of pages fail the level A ‘priority’ standard. If more PLCs spent time on benchmarking their digital presence then there would be more compliance with accessibility regulations.
Whether benchmarking your own portfolio of sites, or perhaps the competitors in your own industry sector, the INDEX provides details of who’s improving. who’s failing and more. You can even search for a particular company and chart it’s performance over time and then see specific results on what needs improving, whether accessibility compliance or code quality. How did they stack up against their own target score and against your website?
The power of benchmarking
Benchmarking your own website against that of your competitors or benchmarking an entire portfolio of websites can be a highly potent formula to galvanise stakeholders, individual digital managers and whole web teams into action.
When somebody sees that the website that they are responsible for is performing badly compared to other similar websites, it reminds them to take their responsibility seriously. Everyone wants to be seen to be doing a good job. It can also trigger a keen sense of competition, particularly when there is friendly (or even unfriendly) rivalry with competitors or colleagues.
When benchmarking also tracks progress over a given period of time at regular intervals – for example each month or each quarter - it also demonstrates how action taken, such as efforts to fix accessibility issues, can really reap dividends. When an individual content manager has made changes to their behaviour and sees a positive result – a rise in their position in the index – it reinforces the message and means future action is far more likely to be repeated.
Another feature of the Sitemorse INDEX is that you can also focus on particular features to benchmark, for example accessibility, brand compliance, SEO and more. This means the action sparked by a poor benchmark can be targeted; this teams to prioritise the fixes and actions they need to take.
How the INDEX works
The INDEX offers regular remote, automated website benchmarking for quality and compliance across a portfolio of sites. It’s very simple. For a Private INDEX, you sign up, define the portfolio of sites you want to benchmark and the regularity or reporting, and then we do the rest!
The INDEX is accessed online by both you and your stakeholders via a secure link, with the ability to export results too to meet all your other reporting requirements. It’s also very flexible so that you can very easily change or adjust the websites in scope to meet your evolving requirements and needs.
Whether you’re looking at a portfolio of 20 or 2,000 websites, the automated approach of the Index is super-flexible. It can also prove to be a highly cost-effective way to gain oversight over a large collection of websites.
How does Sitemorse calculate the INDEX scores?
The Sitemorse INDEX is based on a Sitemorse score, resulting from different attributes. We covered how the score is calculated in more detail in an earlier post but in a nutshell the score takes in their various criteria such as the number of issues identified and their prominence in the website. The overall Sitemorse score is made up of a number of criteria, with different weighting.
How do clients use the INDEX?
Different clients use the INDEX in different ways. For example:
- Membership associations can offer it as a service to members to help them track the progress of their own websites across different areas
- Regulators or compliance-based organisations can use the INDEX as a quick and reliable method to spot potential sites which are failing to meet compliance targets or criteria
- Large or complex global companies with a diverse portfolio of websites can use it to help drive oversight of the company’s own digital footprint and to successfully communicate with local digital teams
- Digital agencies can use a white-label version to help target opportunities in different sectors
- Digital teams needing to involve get stakeholders on board or wishing to benchmark themselves against competitors and rivals can use the INDEX as evidence to track success over a period of time or argue for investment.
Want to know more?
The INDEX is a powerful and flexible benchmarking tool that has multiple uses.
If you’d like to discuss with us how you might use it in your organisation then get in touch!