As a digital marketing agency we love to regularly do a reality check and see what other companies do, how their websites look like and what their message and tone is.
This July 2019 we did a little experiment. We went to Clutch and filtered their database by Inbound marketing agencies in the UK. There were 130 firms impressively titled "Top Inbound Marketing Agencies in the UK".
First, we were interested to have a look at their websites, check how many of them use WordPress and if they do, do they keep it up to date (I am always interested to see how digital agencies keep up with all the updates on their own websites).
To do that we scanned all websites with our WordPress checker tool to identify which of them are on WordPress and what version they are currently using. Overall, it seems only a third of the digital marketing companies take a good care of their websites. We were surprised to see the majority of the digital agencies are 3 to 6 months behind the latest updates, and some are even much more outdated.
Here are the results of our 'WordPress marketing websites' snapshot.
Out of 127 checked agencies, 97 are using WordPress. That is a stunning share accounting for more than 3/4 of all websites. It seems that WordPress continues to be the king when it comes to marketing websites - when the vast majority of the digital agencies choose this CMS it is obvious there is a good reason for it.
Less than 1/3 (27 out of these 97 WordPress websites) are using the latest WordPress version (currently 5.2.2) but it is fair to mention that we could not identify the WordPress version of some 21 websites. Yet, we were expecting that a much larger percentage of those businesses would keep their websites updated. After all, they provide digital services.
The biggest majority (58) of the WordPress websites of the UK digital agencies have not been updated in the past 3 to 6 months. This was more than a slight surprise to us as we knew they do a lot of digital stuff, almost everyone offering web design and web development so keeping their own website up to date seems like a very logical thing.
And last, there is a small portion of websites (12) that have not been updated for more than 6 months.
Next, we scanned the taglines of all these agency websites and created a word cloud to better visualise what words stand out in their main messages.
Here is a list of all words that repeat at least once across the various websites:
digital - 70; marketing - 56; agency - 31; design - 23; business - 21; online - 20; web - 19; services - 16; website - 15; businesses - 12; help - 12; results - 11; grow - 11; can - 11; development - 10; seo - 10; customers - 9; clients - 9; mobile - 8; get - 8; ecommerce - 7; data - 7; solutions - 6; deliver - 6; one - 6; changing - 5; success - 5; experts - 5; brands - 5; growth - 5; create - 5; search - 5; engine - 5; sales - 5; full - 5; want - 5; data-driven - 4; delivering - 4; something - 4; websites - 4; creative - 4; welcome - 4; service - 4; convert - 4; google - 4; thrive - 4; drive - 4; local - 4; based - 4; build - 4; like - 4; know - 4; best - 4; need - 4; optimisation - 3; specialists - 3; everything - 3; automation - 3; potential - 3; presence - 3; branding - 3; platform - 3; partner - 3; improve - 3; winning - 3; company - 3; helping - 3; achieve - 3; provide - 3; inbound - 3; global - 3; driven - 3; better - 3; social - 3; awards - 3; london - 3; media - 3; right - 3; range - 3; years - 3; award - 3; small - 3; helps - 3; using - 3; we’re - 3; rank - 3; find - 3; word - 3; real - 3; way - 3; new - 3; transformation - 2; understanding - 2; award-winning - 2; professional - 2; competitive - 2; nottingham - 2; strategies - 2; speciality - 2; technology - 2; specialise - 2; responsive - 2; birmingham - 2; converting - 2; strategic - 2; ambitious - 2; chameleon - 2; unbranded - 2; companies - 2; influence - 2; providing - 2; expertise - 2; consumers - 2; analytics - 2; ambitions - 2; commerce - 2; analysis - 2; projects - 2; internet - 2; complete - 2; startups - 2; powerful - 2; datadial - 2; products - 2; positive - 2; strategy - 2; approach - 2; together - 2; creating - 2; odyssey - 2; message - 2; revenue - 2; monthly - 2; virtual - 2; content - 2; support - 2; balance - 2; succeed - 2; working - 2; complex - 2; desktop - 2; trusted - 2; product - 2; traffic - 2; unlock - 2; market - 2; clever - 2; custom - 2; making - 2; future - 2; never - 2; short - 2; start - 2; found - 2; value - 2; pixel - 2; today - 2; world - 2; great - 2; we’ve - 2; first - 2; reach - 2; magic - 2; since - 2; call - 2; work - 2; give - 2; team - 2; it’s - 2; wide - 2; site - 2; time - 2; take - 2; tech - 2; lead - 2; else - 2; suit - 2; make - 2; next - 2; fans - 2; just - 2; also - 2; ice - 2; win - 2; see - 2
Obviously, the 'digital marketing agency' trio is ruling the tag cloud with 'business/businesses' joining them. Then 'design', 'website', 'web' and 'online' follow. To me this is a bit contradictory if we look at it in the context of our WordPress updates findings above.
Why are we talking so much about WordPress versions and updates? To us this is a way to measure how regularly a business is taking care of their website, respectively for their online presence and maybe their most powerful marketing tool.
Not having your WordPress website immediately updated is usually not a showstopper but it comes with a few caveats. The website may be exposed to vulnerabilities and bugs and it is more likely that there could be more issues compared to an updated website.
Of course there are other considerations that may hold your agency to update your website - a simple example could be that the custom theme they have designed for you is not compatible with the new WordPress version or that a plugin they installed for you is not updated to work with this version. However, if your website updates are more than 3 months old, this should be a red flag for you. Speak to your agency or website support company and let them explain you what are their reasons.
Or speak to us and we'll do a thorough audit of your website for free.