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 Support rankings and ratings based on Website Performance, Total Website Content, and Overall Usability scores awarded during our final 2019 eBusiness Index evaluations.
When reviewing the results of our 2019 Online Support evaluations, it only takes a few quick calculations to figure out that leadership is won by the slimmest of margins. In fact, some simple math shows that a margin of 1% or less is all that separates the Website Performance, Content, and Usability leaders from their closest competitors.
A look at historical data reveals, however, that it isn’t unusual for scores to be super close in this category. Past results show that paper-thin margins have determined the winner in the battle for leadership in Online Support for the last three years. What’s more, this stiff level of competition isn’t strictly limited to Website Performance scores and rankings — it permeates the Website Content and Usability rankings as well.
Not surprisingly, this stiff competition means that leadership based on any scoring metric is tenuous — and historical data substantiates this fact. Case in point, three different sites have placed 1st based on Website Performance and Website Usability in Online Support over the past three years, and two different sites have taken the top ranking based on Website Content scores.
Also not surprising, a deeper dive into historical data shows that the top spot isn’t the only dubious position in the rankings. Rather, each of the Top 5 positions on the Website Performance, Content, and Usability rosters have been occupied by a handful of different sites since our 2017 evaluations.
And, while history repeats itself, there is yet another wrinkle that exacerbates the stiff competition and unsettled rankings this year — the addition of new sites to the eBusiness Index that elbow their way into the top of the Online Support rosters by knocking veteran sites backward.
Unfortunately, taken in combination, these factors mean it’s unlikely that this year’s leaders will be the winners next year. How far they fall in the rankings, however, is anyone’s guess.
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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