UK Energy Providers - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q1 2024

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The Q1 2024 benchmarking report for UK energy providers has just been published. Learn how the top 11 UK energy providers perform across the digital space.

The latest Q1 2024 benchmarking report for UK energy providers has just been published. It covers the largest 11 national Energy providers, including British Gas, EDF, E.ON, ScottishPower, OVO Energy, Octopus Energy, Utility Warehouse, Shell Energy, npower Business Solutions, SSE Renewables, and Utilita Energy.

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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 energy providers to win brand exposure, drive online views, and generate new customer enquiries. 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 Q1 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call. Energy Providers - COVER


For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 11 energy providers on, check out our quick-look table below; Energy Provider W&L Mar24

Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's top and poorest-performing energy providers, or request a copy of the report for the full review.

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What The Industry Research Report Covers

The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each site 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. Energy providers will want to ensure key information, such as rates and quote generators, are clearly signposted and not blocked off by broken links.

In the last quarter, we noted that SSE Renewables returned 426 4xx errors, and it’s slightly reduced this figure to 423 in this audit — though it’s still the least technically compliant site. It must address any broken internal links to ensure that customers can navigate its website without issues.

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 technical site compliance, energy providers will want to ensure their site is quick to use and frustration-free for any visitors, to indicate a high level of service.

The site speed score for this quarter ranged between 69 and 20, with only 3 providers scoring above the minimum 50% score. npower Business Solutions flagged the lowest score, and it must reduce its image sizes to help increase this score.

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. Energy providers would benefit from engaging with a digital PR specialist, who can identify opportunities to reclaim backlinks, and create engaging content that national press will want to share.

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. The DA rating for this quarter was between 78 and 53, with all providers meeting the 40 minimum rating. Although still scoring above 50, npower Business Solutions is at the bottom of the scoreboard and can increase its rating by making its site more user-friendly for customers.

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. Fluctuating energy prices will have consumers shopping around to try and identify the best price. Therefore, energy providers must have a strong organic strategy to capitalise on this restless consumer base.

Nine of the 11 providers had a decrease in organic digital footfall for mobile year on year. npower Business Solutions reported the most significant loss with a 76% decrease.

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 site can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. Optimising for 'people also ask' results is a great way to build brand awareness and confidence directly from the SERP, as energy providers can provide much-needed answers before users have set virtual foot on their site

British Gas remains the most popular for Universal Search results and reported 13,100 appearances for ‘reviews’ — a slight decrease from 14,500 in the previous quarter. On the other hand, npower Business Solutions only reported 28 appearances for ‘reviews’ and should look to increase these to help with its online ranking.

The Longtail Keyword Opportunity

Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. Optimising for longtail keywords also puts your content strategy in a strong position to rank for brand new search terms as they enter Google’s index. Energy suppliers will want to optimise for high-conversion potential keywords and phrases, including terms like 'switch energy provider' and 'new energy customer offers'.

British Gas is ranking at the top spot for longtail keyword appearances in the top 3 search engine results. It’s also ranking the highest for positions 4–10 — an effective strategy to help gain more traction in the top positions.

Facebook Adverts

With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) hitting over 44 million users in 2023, 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.

We’ve included 3 examples of E.ON’s sponsored Facebook posts. All posts include the same text, though with slightly different wording on the images, suggesting that its testing its engagement rates based on imagery.

Energy Providers - Facebook

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 brand engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. Content such as energy-saving tips and advice will be engaging, topical, and most likely to be shared by social media users.

Ten of the 11 providers prefer Facebook — a platform that’s beneficial for increasing brand awareness and helping to source online traffic. Utilita Energy reported the highest total engagement (18,101) — a factor that’s important in assessing whether your content appeals to your followers.

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, brands lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere. As energy is an essential need for any customer, energy providers must ensure their sites are universally accessible.

In our last few audits, npower Business Solutions was the least technically compliant site, scoring 101 alerts in the previous quarter. In Q1 2024, this provider still remains at 101, and it must address any issues, such as redundant title text, missing meta description, etc., to improve usability for those using a screen reader. However, EDF reports the most alerts (324), and it also must fix any accessibility matters.


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 Zbynek Burival on Unsplash

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