UK Car Leasing Companies - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q3 2023

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The Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK car leasing companies has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK car leasing companies perform across the digital space.

The latest Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK car leasing companies has just been published.  It covers the largest 12 national car leasing companies, including Volkswagen Financial Services, Zenith, Arval, Santander Consumer Finance, Alphabet, Lex Autolease, Kinto, Tusker, Novuna, ALD Automotives, Arnold Clark, and Leasys. Car Leasing Logos

The research gives an inside track on who is winning the biggest share of voice online and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for other car leasing companies to win brand exposure, drive online views, and ultimately generate new leases. The report highlights quick wins that will improve enquiries from your online strategy and identifies the barriers that may be reducing your site’s ability to optimise digital performance.

To see a preview and contents page of the Q3 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call. Digital Benchmark Report - Car Leasing - Q3 2023 - Cover

What The Industry Research Report Covers

The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each retailer based on 50+ metrics and indicators of successful digital strategy, including organic visibility, domain authority, paid media ads, conversion performance, technical performance, site speed, universal search, content, social ads, accessibility, and mobile performance.  

Driving Optimal ROAS from Paid Media Channels

Some of the leading players in the space are high spenders on paid media channels such as Google, Bing & Facebook - but have a poor or sub-optimal conversion improvement strategy. Without an optimised, sophisticated conversion strategy that maximises the conversion rate, the return on investment is unsustainable or will underperform. Scaling spend on paid media is not achievable unless the conversion rate delivers optimal performance in the sector. Some in the space have paid media spend levels from 30k+ per month but dedicate minimal resources and budgets to conversion testing.  Given the cost per clicks on ad networks will continue to rise, we recommend spending at least 10% of your paid media budget on ongoing conversion optimisation testing schedules to ensure your paid media ROI maintains long-term viability, competitive advantage, and sustainability.

Technical Website Compliance

Savvy digital marketers know that having a technically sound website is an essential component of a successful fully integrated digital strategy - plus a site capable of maximising conversion performance.  For car leasing companies, having an easy-to-navigate site is essential for drivers needing to enquire about leasing options and particular care should be taken of the pathways to key pages, such as contact forms or request-a-call options.

Car leasing companies typically have very few technical errors. However, in our last report, we noted that Lex Autolease was seeing the worst level of 4xx error codes, returning 77 in our crawls. While Lex Autolease has not improved on this figure (still returning 78 4xx error codes), Tusker now returns the most error codes, with 195 4xx codes flagged in our audit.

Site Speed & Conversion Rate Performance

When 62% of consumers are less likely to convert if they have a negative mobile site experience, ensuring that your site is quick and easy to load makes a significant improvement on your overall conversion rates. As with ensuring their site is technically compliant, car leasing companies will want to ensure they are delivering a quick, easy-to-use site which encourages users to choose their company over competitors.

In our last report, mobile page speed for car leasing companies sat between 16 and 74. In Q3, these scores sit between 4 and 52. We have seen falls in mobile page speed scores across all sectors we specialise in, so a drop in score alone should not be cause for concern (however, it remains a useful way to benchmark against competitors). Lex Autolease, who scored the lowest figure in Q1, have achieved a slight increase in mobile page speed, now achieving a score of 18.

Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority

Domain authority is an essential metric for measuring the effectiveness of SEO performance and helps create a reliable overall gauge of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads. Car leasing companies can work with a digital PR specialist to develop campaigns that tie into the wider automotive sector, pick up traction with publications, and build their backlink profile.

A ‘good’ DA really comes down to how your competitors are performing, however it’s generally considered average between 40 and 50, good between 50 and 60, and excellent above 60. DAs in Q1 ranged from 42 to 71. In Q3 we have seen a significant drop at the lower end of the scale, with scores now ranging from 29 to 72. Kinto, which is the lowest-scoring car leasing company, should review any changes to its backlink profile, to identify the cause of this fall.

Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop

A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for key, transactional keywords. When 93% of your customers won’t go past the first page of Google, your absence or lack of targeting for essential keywords will cost you conversions. Car leasing companies might expect to see less organic traffic due to the cost of living crisis, as motorists opt to buy older models as opposed to leasing newer cars that will be more expensive long-term.

In Q1, eight car leasing companies had secured growth in traffic year on year. In Q3, this figure shrunk to just one company gaining traffic, with Tusker seeing a negligible gain of 2%. Kinto, who had seen the biggest loss of traffic in Q1, remain at the bottom of the pack. However, they have reduced their traffic loss from 77% to 58%.

Universal Search Opportunity

Google Universal Search Results is an evolving opportunity to make your pages visible on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Universal results often appear before traditional listings and are eye-catching for users. Universal search results refer to rankings on a SERP that are not the traditional ‘blue line’ Google link, and a retailer can appear for Universal Search results without being strong in standard rankings. Car leasing companies will want to prioritise 'people also ask' results, as these are an opportunity to share information about the car leasing process directly from the SERP.

Arnold Clark is, by far, making the most appearances for Universal Search results, achieving 18,392 across 'local pack', 'people also ask', 'knowledge panel', 'reviews', and 'FAQs'. Other leasing companies should start considering how they can make more appearances for Universal Search results, as these figures indicate Arnold Clark is dominating leasing-related SERPs!

The Longtail Keyword Opportunity

Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. This builds on what we've discussed within our Organic Performance section, as car leasing companies will want to ensure they have key, transactional phrases within their approach. Optimising for longtail keywords also puts your content strategy in a strong position to rank for retailer new search terms as they enter Google’s index. Car leasing companies will want to pay particular attention to high conversion-intent phrases, such as particular models or payment durations.

Arnold Clark are ranking for a significantly higher amount of longtail keywords than any of the competitors. Ten of our car leasing companies are appearing in the top three positions for less than 400 terms. Arnold Clark's competitors must expand their content strategy to include longtail keywords, in order to win traffic that's likely to convert.

Facebook Adverts

With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) forecast to hit over 42 million users by 2022, it is not surprising that companies have jumped at the opportunity to advertise on the social media platform. Facebook’s UK digital advertising revenue has been estimated to have breached 2.6b GB pounds in 2019

Only Tusker and Arval are utilising Facebook ads as part of their digital strategy. We've included examples of Tusker's Facebook ads below. Tusker have used bold creative that puts car models front and centre. Opting for luxury cars makes these ads particularly eye-catching, presenting Facebook users with a comparatively affordable way to own these models.

Tuskers Facebook Ads July 2023

Top Social Shares & Content

When it comes to social media and on-site content strategies, it is important to release content that has a longer shelf life. An article is considered 'Evergreen' if it has maintained its relevancy to an audience for longer. It's great for your retailer engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. Social media could be especially useful for sharing information about any salary sacrifice schemes car leasing companies may offer, both to employers and employees. 

Generally, car leasing companies are underusing the opportunity to gain engagement through social media. Arnold Clark has built a significant following on social media, with 119,200 Facebook likes and 29,500 Instagram followers. This represents a large audience who are readily engaged with the brand and more likely to see any content that is pushed out through organic channels.

Website Readability & Accessibility

20% of people in the UK have a disability – 2 million of which are people living with sight loss. In addition, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some degree of colour vision deficiency. When websites are not designed to meet these needs, retailers lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere. Despite brands in the automotive space not typically needing to accommodate vision deficiency in their products, they should still ensure their site is accessible. 

In Q1, Tusker was seeing the highest level of accessibility errors, with 83 showing in our crawls. While Tusker has not made any significant improvements on accessibility, now returning 81 alerts, Arval is now flagging for 77 errors and 80 contrast errors. Both these brands should take steps to remove these barriers from their site.


For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 car leasing companies on, check out our quick-look table below; Car Leasing W&L July 23


To get a copy of the full report, please complete the enquiry form. If you want to talk to us about accelerating your digital performance, please call us on 01543 410014 or schedule a call with Mike Movassaghi.

Photo by Hans Isaacson on Unsplash

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