As the second quarter of this year is slowly coming to an end, we are bringing you a new and updated Fortune 500 Websites Performance report, so you can enter quarter 3 with knowledge and confidence!
In this report, we take a look at the largest most prolific companies out there and how they progressed during February compared to the previous month. More specifically, we tap into how the websites compete in this ever-changing environment, and if there are any changes in their scores.
Each quarter we will update this report with an overview of the performance results of each website, what their new score is, and how it changed compared to last month.
Also, using the reports generated by our website analysis tool, we calculate key factors that affect user experience and directly impact online performance, such as average page loading time and mobile compatibility scores, or if they are using a multiple languages option to ensure they reach all of their potential markets.
Let’s dive in!
Key take-aways in Q2 of 2021
Top 3 Fortune 500 Websites
It is always exciting to look at the top contenders within the Fortune 500 websites, as it shows a constant battle between Wells Fargo and Merk who take first and second place again with a score of 88 each- we know, shocking right?
We also see Continental took back its third-place position after losing it in Q1 to Prudential Financial and nearly matching second with an identical score of 88. The only reason Merk kept second is that it recorded a slower loading speed than Wells Fargo – only 0.80s compared to 0.36s loading speed – and Continental was only 0.01s slower, at 0.81s. What a race!
Interestingly enough, Prudential Financial has barely stayed within the top 10, let alone the top 3, after dropping down to a score of 83 from 88. They kept their fast page speeds of only 0.65s loading time, so what happened? We may never know.
Top 3 Sectors
The Media sector is still the best performing sector raising its average score from 69.33 in Q1 to 70.67 in Q2. The Healthcare sector and Food, Beverages, Tobacco & Drug stores also kept their positions and even bettered their average scores too.
Healthcare has now registered a new score of 70.24 and an average loading speed of 0.67s, closely losing first place to the Media sector on both metrics. Maybe next quarter will be Healthcare’s turn to shine.
The Food, Beverages, Tobacco & Drug stores sector has a bit to catch up still, with a new score of 68.59 and a slower loading time of 0.86s. However, we must keep in mind that this also includes e-commerce platforms that are, by nature, a bit slower.
Not so surprisingly at this point, Technology is still lagging behind with a score of 66.95 and a loading time of just 1.06s – come on Technology, get it together. What is surprising though is that Finance, which on many of our other reports is between the best performing sectors and has been for a while, among the Fortune 500 websites it lags far behind.
This quarter, Finance has only managed a 66.08 score – not much of a change compared to the 65.61 score registered last quarter – and an average loading speed of 0.76s which is a bit better than the 0.89s recorded in our last update.
The moral of the story – changes come slow and results come even slower, so if you are planning on raising your indexing score, you better start optimizing now and whatever you do, do not stop optimizing!
Top 3 Insights
Whenever we hear Fortune 500 websites we think of legacy companies that have been on the market for generations – how can one compete with that? Simple, Google doesn’t care if you have been on the market for 50 years or 5 if your website doesn’t meet its requirements. So how high of a bar did the Fortune 500 websites set this time around?
1. Average score has not changed much – from 64.68 in Q1 to 64.96 in Q2, easily manageable!
While one can say it is still an improvement, and the average score of the Fortune 500 websites has been constantly rising, it’s still not a big enough change to actually make anyone concerned. True, that some websites gained some 2-3 points but others have also lost some.
As long as you make a plan for your platform and keep optimizing your website you are sure to match or even better some of your F500 competitors within the digital realm. But remember that this is only going to place your website above an F500 one in the users’ Search Results Page. From there on, you are on your own.
Also, keep in mind that indicators such as loading time, mobile compatibility, mobile performance are crucial to determining a website’s score. So even a small change like optimizing your media and boosting your page speed a bit is enough to increase your chances for a better score.
2. Loading times see a slight improvement from 1.21s in Q1 to 0.87s in Q2
Average loading time within Fortune 500 companies kept us on our toes after a swift rise to 1.21s average loading time overall in Q1 of 2021 from 0.89s in Q4 of 2020 and back again to 0.87s in this last quarter. While the speeds are well below Google’s 2s recommendation, it’s quite interesting to see such a change and we can’t help but wonder what happened?
Was it a busier time and the servers were simply overworked? Or did some of the websites worked on their performance enough to actually make a difference? For example, Wells Fargo’s loading time went down from 0.7s to 0.36s, and Continental recorder only 0.80s compared to 2.03s from Q1.
Regardless of the reason, 0.87s is a bit harder to beat than 1.21s, but as we can see from Merck, Wells Fargo, Continental, and plenty other within the Fortune 500 market – it’s not impossible.
Remember how many factors come into play when calculating the loading times of a web page – page speed – both on mobile and desktop devices, page size, text to HTML ratio, server location, media and media optimization, dependencies, and third-party services, and so many more others. There are so many ways you can optimize your website and improve your own score.
Another interesting note is how all of the markets perform so differently from one another. For example, in the Fortune 500 list, the Apparel sector is the slowest sector by far. However, in other markets such as the UK market or the Indian one is in the top fastest sectors on the list.
So while you may be competing with these websites, you may have to also consider the ones in your local market and how they perform.
3. Average Mobile Compatibility score is only 79.5% – clearly, there is plenty of space for improvements
An average mobile compatibility score for Fortune 500 websites of 79.5% is quite a good score. But before you draw your conclusions, you need to take this information with a pinch of salt – or a spoonful in this case.
You see, when the page scraper looks for specific metrics, like mobile-friendliness for example, it sends requests to the server and, depending on how fast the server responds, the algorithm makes deductions or assumptions and gives us a response.
It’s a lot like knocking on a door and waiting to see if anyone is home. You stand there and wait a few minutes and if no one answers you assume no one is home. But that does not mean your assumption is true.
The owner of the home might not have heard you, they could be sleeping or busy and couldn’t come to the door. Similarly, the servers sometimes are too busy or too slow to respond, so the crawlers return a score of 0, or a no-response answer.
In our case, we only received replies from about 75% of the Fortune 500 websites, which means that the mobile-friendliness scores for the rest 25% are still a mystery. Regardless, if we look at the scores we do know, we can see that not many of these top-notch websites have a 100% score. In fact, only 34 sites in our list do.
The vast majority of the sites that did respond to our mobile-friendliness request scored only 80%, and about 20 sites within the F500 list scored 60% or less.
While we cannot be sure, what we can deduce from these results is that the majority of the Fortune 500 companies are aware of the importance of having a mobile compatible website, but not all of them worked as hard as let’s say Wells Fargo on it – maybe that’s why they keep coming back in our top three performers rank.
But as we pointed out over and over again, Google cares about mobile-friendliness quite a lot, and it’s not enough to have a fast website and pretty design. You need to put you efforts into meeting the Core Web Vitals requirements – user experience, mobile-friendliness, mobile loading speeds.
Based on our results, you have quite a good chance at competing with these websites. Their speeds are achievable, their mobile-friendliness is average at best, and their scores are decent but not austonoshing. There is nothing stopping you.
And if you want to learn even more about how you can become better than the Fortune 500 websites, don’t forget to ask for a free copy of the full report down below. Enjoy and good luck!
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