For more than a decade, siteIQ has sponsored the siteIQ eBusiness Index, an ongoing study that benchmarks the performance of leading websites across the IT industry. Each year our analysts audit and evaluate 20 or more prominent sites on the IT web to assess how well they market and sell their products and provide pre- and post-purchase support for their varied audiences. The overall results of these evaluations are posted to our website, siteIQ.net, and detailed Website Content, Usability, and Performance results are available to our siteIQ Library subscribers.
As announced earlier this year, however, the siteIQ eBusiness Index will be converted to the siteIQ Usability Index beginning with our 2020 evaluations. Consequently, our 2019 audits mark the end of an era — and will be the last time Website Content and Website Performance are assessed.
This summary announces the Channel Marketing rankings and ratings based on Website Performance, Total Website Content, and Overall Usability scores awarded during our final 2019 eBusiness Index evaluations.
Even a quick review of our 2019 Channel Marketing results makes one key point abundantly clear: the majority of eBusiness Index websites provide either a wealth — or a dearth — of Channel Marketing resources for visitors. This is evidenced by the fact that nine of the 25 tracked sites register Website Performance scores that qualify for either Good or Best Practice status while nine more post below-average scores — or no score at all.
What’s more, a look at year-to-year rankings — and historical data — shows that most of the leaders and laggers have been the same for quite some time. In fact, Oracle.com, IBM.com, and Cisco.com have been at the top of the Website Performance rankings since 2015. And in 2017, Adobe.com and Microsoft.com joined their ranks. This means that these sites have offered a robust catalog of usable channel marketing content and resources for years.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Saleforce.com has been tanking in the Channel Marketing rankings since 2015 because it only offers its AppExchange community. Meanwhile, a meager volume of hard to use content has relegated PaloAltoNetworks.com to the bottom of the roster since being added to the Index in 2016. Then there’s Apple.com, which has not received a score in Channel Marketing since our 2016 evaluations because it doesn’t provide any features at all.
That said, our latest results do show some variations at the bottom of the Channel Marketing rankings. Index newcomers Intel.com, Riverbed.com, CDW.com, and LG.com, replace retired sites like Broadcom.com, Accenture.com, CapGemini.com, and IBM Global Services at the bottom of the list. At the end of the day, however, this is simply a case of trading one set of inferior sites for another, so the impact on Website Performance results is insignificant.
On another note, HP.com and Dell.com slip backward due to changes in the eBusiness Index roster. This decline nudges PaloAltoNetworks.com upward — and out of the Bottom 5. Still, none of this has any consequential effect on the lower end of the rankings — or Channel Marketing results overall.
This leaves us with the handful of average scoring sites that that land in the middle of the Website Performance roster. This year this list is largely comprised of Index newcomers that simply replace sites that performed moderately in Channel Marketing but were eliminated from the Index altogether because they performed poorly overall. Thus, there isn’t much of interest to report here either.
So, long story short, even sweeping changes to the eBusiness Index have little impact on Channel Marketing rankings and ratings, which means there aren’t any surprises in our 2019 results. Instead, the prevailing sites continue to claim victory, the subordinate sites continue to face defeat, and the intermediate sites continue to be of little consequence to either of the other two groups.
On a positive note, all of this means it isn’t hard to predict which sites provide the best and most usable Channel Marketing resources for visitors — and which ones don’t.
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About the siteIQ eBusiness Index
siteIQ evaluated the twenty-five Websites listed on the 2019 siteIQ eBusiness Index. These Websites are categorized into five industry-specific segments including:
- Software (Adobe.com, Citrix.com, IBM.com, Microsoft Business, Oracle.com, SAP.com, Symantec.com)
- Cloud (AWS.com, Cloud.Google.com, Salesforce.com, VMWare.com)
- Systems (CDW.com, e.Huawei.com, HPE.com, Intel.com)
- Networking (Cisco.com, Juniper.net, PaloAltoNetworks.com, Riverbed.com)
- Consumer (Apple.com, Dell.com, HP.com, Lenovo.com, LG.com, Samsung.com)
These in-depth evaluations were conducted using the 2019 edition of the siteIQ eBusiness Index Best Practices Benchmark, which includes 18 distinct categories. Within each category, sites are scored based on three unique criteria:
- Website Content: The content, resources, assets, and collateral provided on any given Website. The siteIQ Best Practices Benchmark currently identifies & tracks over 1,000 types of Website content and features that represent typical competitive requirements. Within each category siteIQ analysts track the number — as well as quality — of features provided.
- Website Usability: The overall practicality, versatility, usefulness, and convenience of any given Website. The siteIQ Best Practices Benchmark currently includes 145 metrics that measure usability from the visitor’s perspective. Within each category siteIQ analysts score usability questions based on a strict set of standards to award between 1—100 points per question.
- Overall Performance: The aggregate suitability of any given Website that factors Website Content and Website Usability scores.
The 2019 evaluations were performed during the first quarter of 2019.
Category: Index Rankings
Class: Website Reviews and Rankings
Websites Profiled: siteIQ eBusiness Index Websites