UK Health Insurance Providers - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q4 2022 Published Today

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The Q4 2022 benchmarking report for UK health insurance providers has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK health insurance providers perform across the digital space.

The latest Q4 2022 benchmarking report for UK health insurance providers has just been published.  It covers the largest 12 national health insurance providers, including Bupa, Circle Health Group, Spire Healthcare, Nuffield Health, AXA UK, Simplyhealth, WPA Healthcare, Benenden Health, BHSF, Sovereign Healthcare, Vitality, and Westfield Health - it highlights year-on-year digital performance, plus winner and loser comparisons in 20+ online performance metrics.Health Insurance Brands

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 health insurance providers to win brand exposure, gain online enquiries and increase plan sign-ups. 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.

Sector Reports Cover - Health Insurance Q4 22

What The Industry Research Report Covers

The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each brand 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.

UK health insurance providers generally have low-error sites, as all but two brands returned less than 50 '404' errors. However, AXA UK served 125 '404' errors when we looked at their site. This is a very high number for a non-retail site, and AXA should be evaluating any broken links to ensure potential customers are not being lead to dead ends (particularly when it comes to looking for pricing and sign-up information)!

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.

None of our 12 health insurance providers are achieving an ‘okay’ mobile page speed score of 50. Circle Health Group are the closest to achieving this mark although, at 35, there are still improvements to be made. As private health insurance can be seen as a premium product, these brands must ensure they’re delivering a positive customer experience at each touch point, including with a fast website.

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 guage of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, ie. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads.

Domain authority is considered average between 40 and 50, good between 50 and 60, and excellent above 60. ‘Good’ DA score depends on the competition level of the industry. However, a ‘good’ DA really comes down to how your competitors are performing.

Health insurance is a strong category as far as domain authority goes, with the lowest score being a respectable 41. Unsurprisingly, Bupa have the highest domain authority of 81, a natural expectation given their wide variety of services on offer, along with their proactive approach to partnering with well-known organisations, including four national Paralympic teams.

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.

Organic mobile traffic has increased for all 12 health insurance providers YoY. Though Bupa have the largest share of traffic, Nuffield Health, in second place, saw a much bigger increase YoY, with 23%.

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 brand can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings.

A key category in any sector where people may want to find information is ‘FAQ’, allowing brands to answer popular questions about products or services, or about a complicated topic. Spire Healthcare have taken the lead in this area, appearing for 7,800 FAQ results. For Spire Healthcare, this is likely due to the myriad information they have published about various operations and procedures, something patients are highly likely to be researching if they’ve been referred for one!

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.

Sovereign Healthcare appear for only 32 longtail keywords in the top 3 positions, out of a total of only 886 longtail keywords overall. Though it would be a challenge to reach the levels of Bupa (15,896 top 3 keywords) or Nuffield Health (8,836 top 3 keywords) they should still be aiming to increase their quality of content to appear more often for high-conversion potential phrases.

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.

Spire Healthcare have used a range of creative and topics to capture the attention of Facebook users. Many of these ads are promoting informational content, such as tips for a healthy lifestyle, that users can get value from without signing up for any plan. Ads like these help build a positive brand image, something key for any business needing customers to trust them with their health!

Spire Healthcare Facebook Ads

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.

Health insurance providers are generally consistent in content production across the board. We can see that Sovereign Healthcare have recently amped up their content production, so we expect to see increased engagement to match! As with longtail keyword opportunities, health insurance providers have a strong content opportunity here, with a range of relevant topics to cover, from information about medical procedures to general healthy lifestyle advice.

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.

Within the healthcare sector, we would expect health insurance providers to be mindful of those with added accessibility needs, and to have websites that meet the industry standard in terms of readability and accessibility. Interestingly, this is not the case, with all providers showing a significant volume of contrast errors. The worst of these is Spire Healthcare, showing 114 contrast errors, which could make navigating their site difficult for someone with reduced vision.

This could potentially fall down to commonly used brand colours within this sector. With light blue being regarded as a calming tone that is often used in medical settings, it makes sense for this to be a key colour in any healthcare brand’s imagery. However, health insurance providers must take care that the usage of light colours isn’t negatively impacting their users.

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.

Nuffield Health achieved the best clarity score, of 89%. The least clear site that we looked at appeared to be Circle Health Group, who scored 72%. To improve on this, Circle Health Group should be looking at how they can optimise their site design to improve clarity and guide users to key conversion pages.

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;

Health Insurance Attention Maps

Q4 2022 Leaderboard Summary

For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 health insurance providers on, check out our quick-look table below; 

Health Insurance Leaderboard Q4 22


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 National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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