UK Estate Agents - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q1 2024

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The Q1 2024 benchmarking report for UK estate agents has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK estate agents perform across the digital space.

The latest Q1 2024 benchmarking report for UK estate agents has just been published. It covers the largest 12 national estate agents, including Reeds Rains, Purplebricks, Hunters, Connells, Knight Frank, Savills, Your Move, Chancellors, Yopa, Haart, Foxtons, and William H Brown.

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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 estate agents to win brand exposure locally, drive in-branch footfall, and generate property viewings. 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. Estate Agents - COVER


For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 estate agents on, check out our quick-look table below; Estate Agents W&L2 Oct23

Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's best and poorest-performing estate agents, 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. For estate agents, who'll need to manage an ever-changing range of homes, they'll want to keep on top of their internal linking and redirect strategy, ensuring users looking for pages that have been removed are redirected to alternative content.

In our last audit, we reported that Knight Frank flagged 2,311 4xx errors. In this quarter, Knight Frank has slightly increased this figure to 2,316. However, Your Move is reporting the highest number of 4xx errors (2,483). Both estate agents must assess that there are redirects being put in place to prevent customers from being led down a dead end.

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. Estate agents will want to ensure homebuyers have a positive mobile experience, as modern house-hunters will often be browsing on mobile while doing other tasks.

The site speed score for this quarter ranges between 56 and 6, with only 2 estate agents scoring above the recommended 50%. Haart is at the bottom end of the leaderboard and should check that all images on its website are optimised to help increase its site speed.

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. For estate agents, they can work with a digital PR specialist on engaging content that can be picked up by local and national press, including topics such as most desirable places to live, house price changes over time, and even demographic splits of house-type ownerships.

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 is between 78 and 44, with William H Brown scoring the lowest. William H Brown should look to find a combination of sourcing backlinks from both text and images by adopting a PR strategy.

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. High mortgage rates and house prices will make estate agents vulnerable to changing consumer habits, so each will need to be cautious that they're consistently optimising for the most relevant terms, so as not to lose traffic to competitors.

Only Reeds Rains reported an increase in organic mobile traffic year on year (8%). Meanwhile, the other estate agents on this list had a loss, with Hunters reporting the most significant loss (47%).

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. 'Local pack' and 'image pack' results could prove most useful for estate agents, who can instantly show their location and houses for sale directly from the SERP.

Similar to the previous quarter, Foxtons reported the most appearances for Universal Search results, with 29,700 results for ‘reviews’. Your Move is at the top of the leaderboard for ‘local pack’ — a component that’s important for estate agents looking for customers locally.

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. Estate agents performing well for 'people also ask' results are also likely to be performing well for longtail keywords, and should be targeting both informational phrases and questions, along with specific terms that indicate a high-buying intent.

Knight Frank continues to land the most longtail keyword results for all positions. Purplebricks has the most longtail keyword appearances for positions 4–10, demonstrating that it has a positive chance of increasing its results for the top 3 positions.

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. Estate agents can use Facebook ads to promote time-sensitive content quickly, as opposed to waiting for organic posts to gain traction and build reach.

We’ve included 3 examples of Yopa’s sponsored Facebook posts. All 3 posts featured branded imagery to get a cohesive look across this estate agent’s social media platform and website. It also adopted the same text across all 3 posts, indicating that its testing engagement results, though it should look to enhance personality across the written word, too.

Estate Agents - Facebook Yopa Advert

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. Estate agents can look to creating shareable content across the full range of home buying and ownership, from guides to the processes involved in buying a home at various stages of the property ladder, to advice for selling your home, and even guides on how to maximise the value of your home over time.

All 12 estate agents favoured Facebook, and Knight Frank reported the highest overall total engagement. For the second quarter running, Knight Frank has the largest Facebook page, and Savills continues to hold the top spot for the largest Instagram account.

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 housing is a universal need, estate agents must consider all levels of ability when designing their site. Estate agents should also consider being clear about accessibility benefits within their house descriptions, normalising any additional accessibility needs house-hunters may have.

In our last audit, we reported that William H Brown flagged 247 alerts and Your Move reported 244 alerts. In this quarter, both estate agents have slightly decreased their figures to 243, respectively. After taking a closer look, the majority of Your Move’s errors are due to redundant title text, and William H Brown’s alerts are mainly due to redundant links. Both estate agents must fix these errors by the next quarter to cater to those using a screen reader.


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 Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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