UK House Builders - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q2 2024

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The Q2 2024 benchmarking report for UK house builders has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK house builders perform across the digital space.

The latest Q2 2024 benchmarking report for UK house builders has just been published. It covers the largest 12 national house builders, including Barratt Homes, Berkeley Group, Crest Nicholson, Taylor Wimpey, Bellway, Redrow, Persimmon, Bloor Homes, Countryside, Miller Homes, and Bovis Homes.

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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 house builders to win brand exposure, drive online enquiries, and generate show home 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 Q2 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. House Builder - COVER


For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 house builders on, check out our quick-look table below; House Builder W&L June24

Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's top and poorest-performing house builders, 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 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. House builders have the benefit of not needing to juggle large volumes of product pages, which can often be a stumbling block for ecommerce sites, but they must still ensure that key pages are clearly signposted and easy to find.

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. House builders will want to give a positive impression of their brand from each digital touchpoint, ensuring that their site is quick and easy to use, so as not to put off potential home buyers.

For Q2 2024, the mobile site speed ranged between 47 and 8, with Redrow reporting the lowest site speed. This house builder can increase its mobile site speed by optimising images by using faster-downloading image formats such as JPGs and PNGs. Additionally, compressing images reduces their download size without compromising on quality.

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. House builders can look to include outreach to local news sites (in areas they're building in), home-bloggers, and interiors publications to gain backlinks and improve referral traffic.

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 for this quarter ranged between 71 and 53, with all house builders reporting above the recommended 50. While Bloor Homes reported a decent DA score (53), they were still at the bottom of the leaderboard and can make improvements. For example, adopting a longtail keyword strategy where they’re using keyphrases that their customers type into search engines can help to increase their DA score.

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. Changing consumer habits and mortgage rates will have impacted the new home sector, as prospective buyers may be holding off on a new house purchase for when interest rates fall.

Bovis Homes reported the biggest loss in organic traffic for both mobile (-41%) and desktop (-39%). This house builder can increase organic traffic by collaborating with other websites to help increase their backlinks.

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. 'Image pack' and 'local pack' results are key for house builders to raise interest in their homes directly from the SERP, and build awareness of new developments in key areas.

Barratt Homes has overtaken Taylor Wimpey for the highest total of Universal Search appearances (14,795). The majority of these appearances came from ‘images’.

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. For house builders, they will want to keep an eye on high-conversion potential keywords, including mentions of bookings, mortgages, locations, and availability.

Taylor Wimpey secured 3,587 appearances for the top 3 search engine positions. This house builder is also ranking the highest for positions 4–10, demonstrating that it has an excellent keyword strategy and is likely to remain at the top. Additionally, Bovis Homes is in the bottom 3 for positions 3, though at 6/12 for positions 4–10, which could mean that this house builder will move up the leaderboard soon.

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. Facebook Ads can be useful for both national and local garage reach.

We’ve included 3 examples of Bellway’s sponsored Facebook posts. This house builder should reduce their amount of text for sponsored social media posts to 3 lines maximum.

House Builder - 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 retailer engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. As with developing DA scores, house builders can look to creating informational content on anything to do with home ownership, from mortgage applications, to facilities in local areas, and even house maintenance.

All brands favoured Facebook, and Crest Nicholson reported the highest total engagement. Interestingly, Crest Nicholson is in the bottom two for the social media accounts with the fewest followers/Likes. Instead, Barratt Homes reported the Facebook page with the most Likes, and Taylor Wimpey reported the Instagram account with the most followers. This data proves that more followers and Likes doesn’t always equate to more interaction.

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. For house builders, having an non-accessible site will also send the message that their homes themselves may not be accessible for those with vision deficiencies.

In our last audit, Berkeley Group raised the biggest concerns with 304 accessibility alerts. In Q2 2024, this house builder has dramatically reduced this figure to 41 — demonstrating that they’ve addressed redundant title text and missing meta descriptions. Regarding contrast errors, Redrow reported the most (40). This involves the company assessing that their website meets colour contrast guidelines for websites.


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 Waldemar on Unsplash

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