SOURCE: The Search Agency

The Search Agency

September 25, 2014 08:00 ET

Mobile Experiences Not Satisfying Hunger: Restaurant Sites Slow to Load, Over Half Lack Ordering Capabilities Says Report

The Search Agency Scorecard Finds Average Load Speed Over One Minute on Mobile

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 25, 2014) - The Search Agency, a leading global online marketing firm and the largest independent U.S. search marketing agency, today released findings from the latest edition of its quarterly report, "The Mobile Experience Scorecard - Restaurants & Catering" that found that the industry is working to align with the most advanced mobile experiences, but speed continues to be an issue for websites served on mobile devices. While 32% of the sites analyzed use Responsive Web Design (RWD; Google's recommended format), no site serving the updated format were able to pass the page speed test, with average page load time over one minute. Additionally, only 40% of the sites have a click-to-order or click-to reserve button, which hampers brands' mobile conversion rates. The report was compiled by The Search Agency's team of mobile experts, who analyzed which top 50 restaurant and catering sites best aligned with established mobile marketing best practices. 

"We're seeing a trend that shows that many brands are attempting to answer Google's call to use RWD, but the implementation of these sites is proving difficult, as they are resulting in longer page load times and often a poor overall experience," said Delia Perez, SVP account delivery and strategy at The Search Agency. "We also conducted a SEO Ranking with this report, and were happy to discover that of the 50 sites, 47 were crawlable. This is a good first step, but more work is needed in the areas of meta descriptions and click depth."

The Search Agency added a new component to the Mobile Experience Scorecard, a SEO Ranking, which reviews technical SEO elements of the mobile sites. For the User Experience Scorecard, The Search Agency calculated a total score out of a possible five points -- a score of zero being the lowest and a score of five being the highest possible -- for each of the sites. Mobile best practices evaluated include those set by Google as well as other current functionality and features such as geolocation APIs, click-to-order or reserve capabilities, account sign-in availability, social media share buttons, an app download option, and format type. Similarly, the SEO Ranking Scorecard also awarded a possible five points, where websites were evaluated on architecture best practices such as large page size, missing meta descriptions, missing title tag information and click depth.

Results from the study include:

User Experience Scorecard

  • Papa John's received the highest score (3.815) in "The Mobile Experience Scorecard - Restaurants & Catering" report's user experience scorecard, and garnered the fastest load time. Panda Express (3.715), Dominos (3.38), Wendy's (3.305) and Jimmy Johns (3.25) rounded out the top five. Dave and Buster's (1.53), Chipotle (1.465) and Golden Corral (1.075) ranked as the bottom three.
  • Dedicated Mobile vs. RWD: Of the 50 sites analysed in the report, the majority (60%) serve dedicated mobile sites and 32% use RWD. This trend to forgo RWD, despite Google's push, aligns with prior mobile scorecard reports, likely in an effort to save load time.
    • The sites using RWD had an average load time of 73.9 seconds while those using dedicated mobile sites loaded in an average of 46.34 seconds.
  • Click-to-Order Lags Behind Geolocation: All but two of the brand websites, Graze and Pizza Hut, included an automatic or manual geolocation API when served on a mobile device. However, only 40% had click-to-order or click-to-reserve functionality.
  • Ranking Restaurant Verticals: The top scoring verticals were order/reservation aggregators and e-service vendors. The lowest scoring verticals were sit-down restaurants and QSRs.

SEO Ranking Scorecard

  • Texas Roadhouse, Denny's, EAT24, and Allmenus tied with the highest scores (5) on this scorecard. However, further evaluation of their performances across the overall report reveals incongruence between their SEO optimization and their frontend user experiences.
  • Clickability, But No Meta: Results of the SEO Ranking scorecard found that while 47 of the 50 sites were crawlable, 87% were missing meta descriptions and 64% showed click depth warnings.

To see the full rankings including methodology or to download a copy of the report, please visit:

About The Search Agency
The Search Agency is a global online marketing firm that combines high-tech and high-touch strategies to help clients engage their customers online and measure ROI beyond a reasonable doubt. With a deep-rooted history in paid search and SEO, The Search Agency understands how activity on the web intersects at search, and executes smart digital marketing strategies that drive measurable results across multiple platforms. Services include Paid Search, SEO, Landing Page Optimization, Display Media, Social Media and Comparison Shopping Management, which are strategically leveraged to maximize the efficacy of clients' integrated marketing campaigns. The company is one of the nation's largest and fastest growing search marketing firms -- named the largest independent U.S. search marketing agency by Advertising Age and among Deloitte's 2011 Technology Fast 500™. Founded in 2002, The Search Agency has grown to more than 180 employees worldwide with headquarters in Los Angeles, CA, and additional offices in San Francisco, East Greenwich, Baltimore, London, Toronto and Bangalore. For more information, go to

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jennifer Conway
    Dotted Line Communications for The Search Agency
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