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New Zealand Websites Lift Their Engagement Levels


New Zealand Websites Lift Their Engagement Levels

Organisations embrace multiple channels to increase the level of engagement with their target audiences
Wellington — 18 May, 2012 — New Zealand’s news and media websites are the most engaging, while those in the shopping and classifieds, and banking and finance sectors have improved the most in 12 months, according to a new benchmarking study released today. The second Engaged Web in New Zealand Report shows that while 90% of websites have increased their level of engagement, the heightened expectations for brands to engage on multiple devices and in different locations means that organisations cannot afford to focus solely on the primary corporate website.

The study, conducted by Intergen, assessed the five most visited New Zealand websites from ten sectors to measure their level of customer engagement. The 15 criteria identify levels of engagement based on factors including a website’s social media components, use of multimedia, blogs and user personalisation.

This year, to reflect the rapid adoption of smartphones, mobile-optimised versions of websites were also studied.

Of the websites assessed, 62% made some attempt to provide a mobile-friendly experience, although the degree of success varied. More forward-looking companies are developing specialised apps to make interacting with them via a mobile device a great experience. The vast majority of applications are for iPhone and iPad, with fewer designed for Android or Windows Phone. Websites from companies in the news and media organisations, shopping and entertainment brands and – more recently – financial institutions, are leading the charge in mobile.

The study suggests that website owners have now answered the question of whether or not to use social media. Some 90% of the websites studied now feature a community, compared to 73% in 2011. Increasingly organisations are allowing people to share content via social media (2012: 62%; 2011:42%) although there remains some hesitation around allowing people to rate and tag content (2012:24%; 2011:12%). Whereas recently organisations might have built their own stand-alone community solution, now they’re embracing existing social network platforms. Reinforcing this is an apparent decline in corporate blogging; within a 12-month period a 24% decline in blogging activity was noted across our most trafficked sites.

The study found that while the best websites are doing better; the less engaged are (for the most part) doing more. While government is the sector with the lowest overall level of engagement, it actually had the greatest growth in engagement, recording a 75% increase. Conversely the health and medicine sector was the only sector that showed a reduced level of engagement.

Intergen’s Web Strategist, Giles Brown, says “The bar is continually lifting for website owners and it is increasingly hard to stand out from the crowd. The emergence of so many devices to choose from means that organisations are often forced to stretch themselves thinly, hedging their bets across myriad channels. The trick for organisations with limited resources will be to do fewer high value things, and to do them really well.”

The full report, available at www.intergen.co.nz, identifies many best practices which are often straightforward and easy to implement.
The Engaged Web in New Zealand Report used data from Experian Hitwise’s online tracker for the week commencing 10 April 2012.

Popular websites from these sectors were analysed for the report: Automotive, Business and Finance, Education, Entertainment, Food and Beverage, Government, Health and Medical, Lifestyle, News and Media, and Shopping and Classifieds

- ENDS –

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