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Top 10 firms web presence

by mel starrs on March 20, 2007

in Uncategorized

Can you answer the following questions for your company’s website?

  • How well marketed, and popular the website is
  • How well designed and built the website is
  • How accessible the website is, particularly to those with disabilities
  • How satisfying the website is likely to be

Silktide have a nifty little tool called sitescore which will give score on all the above, plus a summary score. I was intrigued* enough to run some of ENR’s Top 150 global engineering design firms through the tool.

I sorted the data by taking the general building turnover only and ranking from highest. The top ten for global design companies then looks like this (with profitability listed too):

  1. SNC Lavalin ($720m)
  2. Atkins ($719m) 2.8%
  3. AECOM ($543m)
  4. URS ($528m)
  5. HOK ($368m)
  6. Gensler ($362m)
  7. WSP ($360m) 5.7%
  8. Jacobs ($348m) 3.5%
  9. Arup ($339m) 4.4%
  10. Fugro ($272m) 2.8%

Most of these companies only have buildings as a relatively small proportion of total turnover. All except WSP (53%) HOK (93%) and Gensler (89%) are somewhere between 14 and 39%. The top 10 firms account for 40% of the total turnover in buildings of the top 110 (40 in the top 150 do not have buildings as a category).

I was interested to find out if there was any correlation at this level between total turnover, profitability and website ‘success’. Profitabilities, where possible, were tracked down using ICC Plum, and include the non-buildings business too.

Click to see on seperate screen

The winner on sitescore was Atkins, who come second for turnover but shares one of the lower profitabilities.

I also looked to see how many of these sites have embraced ‘new media’. Have any of them got a corporate blog? Can you subscribe either via email or RSS to their news pages?

  1. SNC-Lavalin email alerts for news
  2. Atkins email alerts for financial news
  4. URS email alerts for financial news
  6. Gensler NONE
  8. Jacobs NONE
  9. Arup NONE
  10. Fugro NONE

Pretty poor. No RSS and no-one has a blog yet (if anyone knows of a corporate blog for an engineering firm please drop me a line – I’ve found some architect‘s, but not engineers)

Most of these sites are inward focusing. It is fairly easy to contact the company, but there is very little ‘real time’ communication with people visiting and interacting with the site. Given that the site is likely to be the first point of call for potential employees, and attracting employees is one of the most pressing issues facing engineering consultancies today, I would think addressing this is an easy win?

I would recommend both email subscription and RSS feeds on news sections as the bare minimum for anyone setting up a company website. Corporate blogs are catching on fast in other fields. For two really good examples check out Penguin Books and BT Broadband.

For anyone interested in exploiting ‘new media’ in order to keep an eye on competitors, I would recommend the tools I talked about here (this also works to keep an eye on clients, suppliers (including software), government and press). With any luck, the firms I have mentioned will be scanning the airwaves and might respond with RSS, email or even a comment on this blog…

*I already had a lot of this data for the dissertation. A spreadsheet with all the data used above is available here. I don’t mind sharing but please credit me as your source if you reproduce this anywhere. Plus standard disclaimer – this data is for my personal use and no responsibility taken for any decisions made on it’s basis, blah, blah, blah…