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Manchester’s best website revealed in Manchester SEO Report

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A major new study reveals who has the best website in Manchester – and offers practical tips for people to improve their own sites.

Published by Manchester specialist search marketing agency theEword, the Manchester SEO Report is a free white paper that rates the websites of Manchester organisations using 18 metrics (see Notes to Editors). Each organisation is then given a final score reflecting how well set up their site is to get high search engine rankings, also known as their level of search engine optimisation (SEO).

To produce the most comprehensive results possible, theEword reviewed over 500 websites covering the top Manchester-based businesses across 12 industry sectors – Retail, Hair and Beauty, Entertainment, Financial Services, Media and TV, Sports and Gaming, Not for Profit, Other B2C, Property, Legal, Events and Production, and Arts and Culture.

Here are the main findings from the Manchester SEO Report:

  • The Bridgewater Hall is Manchester’s best website. With a score of 92.4%, the Bridgewater Hall emerged as Manchester’s best website ahead of Think Money (90.1%) and The Lowry (89.6%). The Bridgewater Hall’s success was built on factors like regularly updated content and links from quality sites like the BBC and the MEN.
  • Arts and Culture is the top industry sector. Arts and Culture posted the top average score of 70%, followed by Property (65%), Retail (64%), Media (63%) and Legal Services (61%).
  • Certain sectors have outstanding websites. Manchester City ran away with the title of best Sports website (87.7%), while Manchester Arndale was by far the best Retail site (83.4%).

Al Mackin, chief executive officer at theEword, is chief author of the Manchester SEO Report. He commented: “Over the last few months, my team has been reviewing businesses across Manchester. What we’ve found is that some websites are doing well, but there are huge numbers who are making mistakes or not investing in their website. Google alone handles 2.3 billion searches every month in the UK and the smart companies are taking advantage of this market.”

Dawn Yates, head of marketing at the Bridgewater Hall, commented: “Being able to easily keep our content fresh and up to date was one of our main objectives when developing the site. We are delighted to have scored so highly in this survey.”

Charlotte Martin, head of PR at the Manchester Arndale, commented: “We are obviously thrilled with the recognition of the hard work we’ve put into our digital presence in the last 12 months. Our website is a crucial source of information for our customers, retailers and visitors to the city so it is imperative that it is always updated and easy to navigate. It’s something we worked very hard on as a team and we’re delighted that this has been recognised externally.”

Notes to Editors:

The Manchester SEO Report is free to download. There is also an accompanying Manchester SEO Report Infographic. theEword is more than happy for organisations to publish extracts but please don’t host the report or the infographic in its entirety on a third-party site.

The Manchester SEO Report rated sites for 18 metrics – the correct use of headers, website age, the number of websites on an IP address, the number of referring domains, server location, Google PageRank, the number of pages indexed in Yahoo, the number of pages updated in Google, listing in the DMOZ web directory, page speed, the number of broken links, the code to content ratio, the number of pages updated in the last month, the use of RSS feeds, the number of outbound links, the number of pages updated in the last year, the use of SEO-friendly links and the existence of an XML sitemap. These ratings were then factored to create a final score out of 100 for each site.

To identify organisations for inclusion in the Manchester SEO Report, theEword used independent lists detailing the north-west’s top 500 companies and the authors’ own knowledge. All data was collected over a four-month period between February and May 2012.

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