The Q3 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 Q3 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.
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 Q3 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, 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 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.
In Q1, we noted that car insurance providers generally saw very low levels of site errors, with Carol Nash seeing the highest levels, with 196 4xx errors. In Q3, Carol Nash has not improved on this figure, now flagging 197 in our crawls. Lancaster Insurance's site, which has a very low number of 15 4xx errors, showed 350 5xx errors in our review. Though this doesn't indicate structural problems with Lancaster's site, this can indicate their server can not sufficiently support it.
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.
In Q1, mobile page speed scores for insurance companies sat between 23 and 87. We have seen falls in mobile page speed scores across all sectors we specialise in, and scores for insurance companies now range from 25 to 67. Though Heritage remains at the lowest end of this scale, is has achieved a minor improvement that indicates a conscious approach to improving site speed and user experience.
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. In Q1, we saw DAs for insurance companies range from 4 to 80. In Q3, this changed to 8 to 69. A fall of 11 points over a matter of months is unusual and Adrian Flux, who has the highest DA, should review why it has fallen so significantly.
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 these companies are competing for what should be a consistent pool of traffic. That being said, they must ensure they have a strong organic search strategy in place to capture traffic from changing search terms, to tap into topical needs.
We looked at how all 12 insurance companies have performed compared to last year. Continuous improvement and optimisations are needed to secure traffic year on year. In our last report, Footman James was the only insurance company to secure an increase in organic traffic year-on-year. In Q3, three companies achieved higher levels of traffic year on year, with Footman James still achieving the most growth, with a 55% increase. Meanwhile, Kingfisher (though still seeing the biggest loss overall) reduced its fall in traffic from 96% to 68%.
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'.
'People also ask' is now the widest-used Universal Search result among insurance companies. Adrian Flux has achieved the most appearances, with 3,600 results, along with 4,000 'reviews'. A strong appearance for any Universal Search result, particularly for 'people also ask' results, indicates a strong content strategy that lends itself well to a great performance for longtail keywords too.
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’.
Both Classics and Kingfisher are still ranking for a much lower number of longtail keywords compared to their competitors, with neither achieving any visibility in the top three results.
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 Adrian Flux's Facebook ads. Adrian Flux has chosen to include their Trustpilot rating within their ads, a smart move to build authority and trust with their audience.
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.
Facebook is the preferred social platform for all insurance companies, with Adrian Flux securing the most total engagements on social media, with 21,625. Carole Nash has the largest organic social audience, with 141,500 Facebook likes and 13,800 Instagram followers.
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 still seeing the worst amount of accessibility barriers, with 148. Footman James, and other insurance companies failing accessibility audits, must take steps to improve user experience for all site visitors.
Q3 2023 WINNERS LEADERBOARD
For a glance into just six of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 insurance companies on, check out our quick-look table below;
GET THE FULL 70-PAGE Q3 2023 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 Mike Movassaghi.