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Online Audit Reveals On-Trade’s Digital Downfall

A recent audit of over 300 UK pub and bar websites has found that many are missing out on customers because they lack the basic information and functionality required to meet pub-goers’ needs and expectations, according to digital pub & bar platform

A 7-point system was used to determine whether each reviewed website: was legal and secure; was mobile-friendly; included key facts about the pub; featured a consumer sign-up page; was compatible with social media; was attractive to look at; and was updated with current events taking place at the venue. An overall score was then awarded based on points accumulated – and the average was just 5/10. 

“We know that 73% of consumers are going online to find out information about pubs and bars before visiting them. With the average pub’s website only scoring 5/10 there is a clear opportunity to improve and get more visitors through the door” said Stuart Mills, Useyourlocal’s founder,

“Astonishingly, we found that nearly half of all the websites we audited were not even mobile-friendly. Given that some two-thirds of online traffic is now primarily mobile-driven, that means there are significant numbers of consumers who just can’t find what they’re looking for.

The vast majority of sites lacked many of the fundamental requirements of being fully legal and secure, which obviously isn’t ideal, and most weren’t up to date with key details such as menus and upcoming events – the kind of information pub-goers expect to find on a website.”

The White Hart Inn in Twickenham was one of the pubs included in the audit, and, after seeing how poorly his previous website fared, publican Steve Papworth decided to relaunch his business online with Useyourlocal. Since the new website went live he has seen his trade go from strength to strength, and he’s now taking an extra £400 a week.

Steve said, “Our last website was expensive to maintain, hard to update and really quite poor quality. We’re now seeing what a difference it makes to have a decent website: we’re busier during previously quiet periods of the week and have seen a considerable increase in people contacting us about our accommodation and function room. And the site is much easier to use and to keep updated.”

Analytics taken from the more than 500 websites currently powered by Useyourlocal show that they are receiving anything from 500 to 4,000 visits per month, depending on the size and nature of the outlet. Nicky Renwick, Useyourlocal’s business manager who co-ordinated the audit, says these figures should not be ignored by the pub trade:

“We know that the average adult in the UK is spending £28 per week in the pub – if you can get 500 pairs of eyes on a website that really shows off how great your establishment is and entices them to visit, that’s a potential £14,000 worth of custom coming your way.”

Publicans who would like to receive a free audit of their existing website, and a free Useyourlocal website preview for their outlet, can do so by contacting the team via phone on 0191 691 5000 or by email at [email protected]

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Notes to editors:

  1. was founded in 2009, celebrating the role of local pubs and bars in communities, and actively encouraging people to visit their local more often by connecting them with pubs and drinks brands. It is the UK’s leading digital platform for pubs and bars, currently listing 60,000 outlets in its database.
  2. Every month, 400,000 consumers visit a website powered by Useyourlocal to find out about events and promotional offers that help them plan their pub visit. More than 35,000 have registered to follow one or more local pubs and receive regular notifications from them.
  3. Useyourlocal has created over 500 templated websites for pubs and bars over the last two years.
  4. Useyourlocal promotional videos:  
  5. The White Hart Inn:

Published on 01/11/2018

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