FTSE 100 Digital Census: Scoring rationale

FTSE 100 Digital Census: Scoring rationale

Explore how our research team carried out their research and testing to uncover the digital maturity of the FTSE 100.

The FTSE 100 companies were chosen for this report based on the list provided from Share.com for May 2020.

We looked at each website to measure its digital effectiveness. A full list of the websites tested can be seen below. For further details about the research methodology please see the full rationale or get in touch at info@bekagool.com


For Kagool to understand the digital maturity of FTSE 100, a wide range of data was captured using a number of third-party tools. Data collection took place between May and June 2020 and all information is accurate to that research period. The data was then collated and reviewed by our team of digital marketing analysts.

Our aim was to collate and analyse information on each of the FTSE 100 to learn how each performs digitally during the COVID 19 pandemic. By measuring key metrics in eight core aspects of the organisation’s digital marketing activity, we were able to calculate an overall digital maturity score (%).

The categories measured were:

  • Mobile optimisation
  • Calls to action
  • Content
  • Email Marketing
  • Search marketing
  • Social media
  • Website speed
  • COVID-19 communications

Each organisation is given a score for each category with a possible overall score of 100. The aggregated scores were then converted into a percentage, giving an overall view of how digitally mature the organisation is.

The key digital marketing categories tested within the scope of this work were:

1. Mobile optimisation

The homepage of each organisation was tested using Google’s ‘Mobile-friendly test’. This tool identifies how easy it is for visitors to view a webpage on a mobile device. Each website was given a score based on the Google test results:

  • 0 errors = 10 points,
  • 1 error = 7 points
  • 2 errors = 5 points
  • 3 errors = 3 points
  • 4+ errors = 0 points

A maximum of 10 points available per company.

2. Call to action (CTA)

Each organisation was awarded 4 points for each ‘call to action’ that appeared on their website. We looked for:

  • A link to a contact page in a prominent navigation
  • Online booking function (requesting a call or enquiry form)
  • Instant live chat functionality
  • Clear call to action on homepage
  • A phone number on the main contact page or homepage

A maximum of 20 points available per company.

3. Content

We looked for different types of content on each of the organisations’ websites. Each organisation was given two points when we identified each of the following:

  • News content – A dedicated news or press release pages where news content or articles are provided.
  • Blog content – A dedicated blog or insights section (separate to news page)
  • Anchor links – Links in the news or blog content to other sections of the website within the main body of the text.
  • Video content – Video content on the website, such as embedded videos. (Points were not awarded for offsite YouTube videos)
  • Image content –Supporting images within blog or news sections.

A maximum of 10 points available per organisation.

4. Email marketing

Each website was searched and points were awarded for following:

  • A newsletter / email sign-up CTA or email subscription page on the website. (5 Points)

(Due to the high volume of testing and high priority of accessibility we have not awarded points to pages that are only available or viewable in a membership or ‘My Account’ areas)

  • Functionality to customise / personalise the email subscription. (5 Points)

(For example – the types of content that could be subscribed to or the amount of emails per month.)

A maximum of 10 points available per organisation.

5. Search

We used SEMrush, a competitive intelligence suite for online marketing, to look at nine different variables which would affect an organisation’s search marketing.

  • Google UK organic traffic
  • Google UK keywords
  • Organic traffic cost
  • Google UK paid traffic
  • Google UK paid keywords
  • Paid traffic cost
  • Total domain backlinks
  • Referring domains
  • Referring IPs

For each variable, organisations were ranked 1-100.  For each variable we scored the companies that ranked in the top 33 positions 1 point. The next 33 companies received 0.5 points, and the bottom 32 companies 0 points.

The points for each company’s variables were then added up to a possible maximum score of nine. The top company overall was given a score of 10.

6. Social media

We looked at how each organisation used five social media platforms – Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

For each social platform a company was given one point if they used the channel. (Max five points)

Points were then given for the frequency that the company posted in one given month on each channel. Our research identified the following recommended post frequency. Organisations were awarded points for following:

  • 10 – 15+ posts per month = 1 point
  • 6– 9 posts per month = 0.5 points
  • 1 – 5 posts per month = 0 points

A maximum of 10 points available per company. 

7. Website speed

Google’s website speed tool was used to test the mobile website speed of each website on a 4G connection. Each company’s home page was tested twice, and the speeds averaged.

Each company started with a score of 10 and one point was taken off for every second a site took to load. For example, if a site took 7 seconds to load they would be scored 3.

Any site which took 10 seconds or more to load was given 0 points and their time noted down to provide accurate ranking.

A maximum of 10 points available per company.

8. COVID-19 communications

Organisations were scored on their COVID-19 communications. Points were given on each section if the organisations had:

  • Social media messaging in response to COVID-19 (10 points) (Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn / Instagram)
  • COVID-19 homepage static website banner (5 points)
  • COVID-19 homepage clickable CTA (5 points) (Separate to the web banner)

A maximum of 20 points available per company.

Additional information

Maturity percentages were worked out to three decimal places and then rounded to the nearest percentile. This means that while two companies may appear to have the same score their maturity rank may be different.  For example, both companies with a maturity % of 68.125 and 67.5 will show as 68% but one will rank above the other.

The websites tested in this report are gathered from the first ranking result in Google affiliated to the organisation names.

We tested 99 websites out of FTSE100 list due to several organisations listed being of the same brand or having no website at all. For example, Royal Dutch Shell A and Royal Dutch Shell B, both lead to Shell.com, however the difference in trading names ‘A and B’ demonstrate different shares offered to investors. We tested Shell.com on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell.

We tested the private investors area of the M&G Investments website. This is as there were several different categories and sections on the website.

During testing which was in the middle of COVID-19 lockdown, we found accessibility issues with the groceries.morrisons.com website, which was their first ranking site. They had a long queuing system and could only access the site via log in. This means we had to set their my.morrisons.com website.

Similarly, to Morrisons, Ocado featured the same accessibility issues when trying to enter their website. Researchers could not enter the Ocado website without waiting a long que or having a log in. Without any other websites, this left us to test Ocado on their 1 page that was accessible to users without log in.

We have acted to ensure that the data is as accurate as possible. To ensure that the results were accurate we followed a rigorous and scientific process throughout the study. This included secondary individuals following the same rationale for a selection of organisations to ensure that the same score was reached upon re-testing.

Please note, this is a research piece. Not all of the FTSE 100 have been designed and developed by Kagool. Any imagery taken from the websites and used as part of the report was taken in May and June 2020.