UK Insurance Companies - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q1 2023

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The Q1 2023 benchmarking report for UK insurance companies has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK insurance companies perform across the digital space.

The latest Q1 2023 benchmarking report for UK insurance companies has just been published.  It covers the 12 largest national insurance companies, including Footman James, Lancaster Insurance, Heritage, Performance Direct, Sterling, Brightside, Classics, Keith Michaels, Adrian Flux, Kingfisher, Autonet and Carole Nash.

Insurance Logos

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 insurance companies to win brand exposure, drive online views, and generate policy enquiries & 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 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. Sector Reports Ipad cover - Insurance

What The Industry Research Report Covers

The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each retailer based on 50+ metrics and indicators of a 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 and 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 insurance companies, having an easy-to-navigate site is essential for consumers looking into insurance companies and particular care should be taken of the pathways to key pages, such as different insurance options, enquiry forms, and FAQs.

Whilst most of the insurance companies we researched had a fairly low amount of website errors, all 12 of the companies had at least a few 4xx or 5xx errors showing. Carole Nash is seeing the worst level of 4xx error codes, with 196, and needs to be looking into the cause of these errors.

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 will see a significant improvement in your overall conversion rates. Insurance companies need to ensure their customers have a positive experience on their mobile site, as these brands will want to ensure they're giving an impression of being fast and reliable at each touchpoint with potential customers.

We would expect most to achieve at least an ‘okay’ score of 50-89, whereas only six of the 12 insurance companies did. The mobile page speed scores are currently between 23 and 87, with Heritage lagging behind. All the companies that are scoring below 50 have some serious work to do on improving their mobile page speed.

Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority

Domain authority (DA) 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. Insurance companies should be continually pushing to improve their DA - they can do this by sharing their finance plans and current offers, or collaborating with relevant companies on joint content projects that may win them backlinks.

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. Only six of the insurance companies achieved a score of average or above, with the DA ranging from 4 to 80. Adrian Flux are scoring the highest of all 12 insurance companies. Those at the lower end of the scale need to be focusing on building a stronger backlink profile to compete with the higher-scoring insurance companies.

Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop

A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for core, 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. Insurance companies are in a niche group where ‘popularity’ never changes, everyone will always need car insurance, therefore their organic performance shouldn’t be declining. That being said, they must ensure they have a strong organic search strategy in place to perform well against their competitors within the space.

We looked at how all 12 insurance companies 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 12 insurance companies in our report has gained organic mobile traffic year on year. Kingfisher saw the biggest loss with a 96% drop, whilst Footman James saw the only gain with a 54% increase.

Universal Search Opportunity

Google Universal Search Results are 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. Insurance companies should be utilising all universal search features as potential customers will be interested to see how previous customers have found their experience via Reviews, FAQs and People Also Ask.

We could see that Image Pack was the highest used universal search feature, with Adrian Flux taking the top spot reaching 1,900 results. Some companies are underusing all universal search feature options and only seeing a handful of results. Those getting a small number 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 new search terms as they enter Google’s index. There are many longtail keyword options insurance companies could be using such as ‘best car insurance companies’ and ‘who to use for car insurance’.

Classics are ranking for a much lower number of longtail keywords compared to their competitors, with few rankings for longtail keywords in the top 20. Classics should be looking at how to improve on existing longtail keywords, but also at how to expand its strategy to include new specific search terms that have a high conversion potential.

Facebook Adverts

With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) forecasted 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 in 2019.

Below, we can see examples of Lancaster Insurance’s Facebook ads, using bold, strong, creative to capture the attention of users, including classic car images to show they work in that niche.

Insurance FB 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 a long period of time. It's great for your engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time.  Social media could be especially useful for sharing information about different financing options and special offers.

We saw in our research that both Kingfisher and Classics are falling behind their competitors when it comes to both Facebook Likes and Instagram Followers. Both companies need to look into how they can compete with the other insurance companies.

Website Readability & Accessibility

Around 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. All insurance companies need to ensure their website is accessible for all customers looking at car insurance options.

All of the insurance companies appear to be struggling with accessibility within their sites, with all 12 seeing an array of errors, contrast errors, and alerts. Footman James is seeing the worst amount, hitting 150 alerts on their website. The insurance companies seeing issues should be reviewing and optimising its accessibility, and investigating to see what the issues within their websites are. 


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

Car Insurance W&L Apr23


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 Isaac Martin on Unsplash

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