The Q4 2022 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 Q4 2022 benchmarking report for UK Estate agents has just been published. It covers the largest 12 national estate agents, including Reeds Rains, Purplebricks, Hunters, Connells, Savills, Express Estate Agency, Your Move, Chancellors, Yopa, Haart, Foxtons and William H Brown.
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, in-store footfall and 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 Q4 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key take-aways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call.
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 under-perform. 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.
Many of the UK estate agents have varying degrees of technical errors that will be hindering organic traffic and conversion performance. An example here is Hunter’s 2,017 4XX errors. We saw in Q3 William H Brown had the highest number of errors with 19,213 4xx errors, however this looks to have got much better within the last quarter, with William H Brown managing to get down to only 3 4xx errors. All companies seeing errors need to continue looking into the causes, as these will be making their site difficult to navigate and frustrating to use. This is likely to also give a negative impression of the brand to the user, who need to trust them to provide an excellent level of service.
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.
In our Q3 research, we saw that Reeds Rains were leading the way, while Chancellors were lagging behind, however, in Q4 we saw very different scores. Reeds Rains dropped from 82 to 52, whilst Chancellors jumped from 17 to 40. Foxtons are now leading the way with a score of 55, whilst Haart are scoring the lowest, with only 16. We would expect all twelve estate agents to score at least within the ‘okay’ range of 50-89.
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 gage of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads.
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. In Q4 we saw the DA range from 78 to 22. We can see compared to Q3 that Express Estate Agency are still the lowest scoring company, having dropped from 23 to 22.
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.
We looked at how all twelve estate agents have performed compared to last year. Continuous improvement and optimisation is also needed to secure traffic year on year. We discovered that only one of the estate agents in our report have gained organic mobile traffic year on year putting the other eleven providers in danger of losing organic customers to their competition. Savills are still the only brand gaining organic mobile traffic compared to last year.
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.
We could see that Image Pack were the highest used universal search feature, with Purple Bricks taking the top spot reaching 17,400 results, gaining a huge 10,100 in the last quarter. Most companies are underusing most universal search feature options, with some companies only seeing a handful of results. Those getting a small amount of results need to work towards the numbers their competitors are achieving.
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 retailer new search terms as they enter Google’s index.
Express Estate Agency are still ranking for no longtail keywords within the top 10, as we also pointed out in Q3. They should be looking at how to improve their rankings on existing longtail keywords, but also at how they can expand their strategy to include new specific search terms.
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.
Below, we can see examples of Connells Facebook ads. The use of images of their different properties, along with clear CTA’s, make the advert eye catching to scrolling social media users.
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.
We saw in our research that many of the estate agents are falling behind on content creation. We can see that both Connells and Express Estate Agency are lagging in content over 2022, when compared with their competitors.
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.
Most of the estate agents appear to be struggling with accessibility within their sites, with all twelve seeing an array of errors, contrast errors and alerts. In Q3 we saw Savills were reporting the highest number of alerts, hitting 295. In Q4 they have managed to lower this number to just 3 contrast errors. All the estate agents seeing accessibility issues, such as Your Move’s 251 alerts, should be reviewing and optimising their accessibility.
user journeys & conversion rate performance
3.42 seconds are all it takes for a user to judge a site solely on its appearance. For sites with a low clarity score, this means users are getting a poor impression of your brand and aren’t seeing your vital cues to convert.
In our Q3 research we saw that Your Move was on top with a score of 87, which has since dropped to a score of 80. In Q4 Hunters are leading the way with a score of 87, while Connells is only a few steps behind, on 84. Your Move need to be investigating the cause of the drop in clarity score.
Additionally, we use attention maps to judge user behaviour and assess how customers are interacting with a site. You can see from these examples just how wildly different site designs can impact user attention;
Q4 2022 Winners Leaderboard
For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 estate agents on, check out our quick-look table below;
We can see that compared to Q3, there has been a change in the top four. With Purple Bricks jumping from #2 to #1 and Savills dropping from #1 to #3. To see the Q3 report and leaderboard, click here.
GET THE FULL 70-PAGE Q4 2022 REPORT
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 Phil Robinson.Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash