The Q4 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 Q4 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.
Q4 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;
Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's best and poorest-performing UK insurance companies or request a copy of the report for the full review.
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 our last report, Lancaster Insurance showed 350 5xx errors, suggesting its server could not support its website. In this quarter, they showed an improvement with 55 5xx errors. However, Lancaster Insurance had an increase in 4xx errors from 15 last quarter to 137 Q4 2023. We’re pleased to see Adrian Flux has decreased its number of 3xx errors (from 9,999 to 810).
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.
Last quarter, Footman James achieved the highest level of traffic year on year. This quarter, Footman James’ figures have decreased from 67% to 48%, and Autonet has the highest mobile page speed score at 63%.
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. . DAs for this quarter are the same as last quarter, ranging between 8 and 69. Classics has the lowest DA, while Adrian Flux has the highest. Adrian Flux also the highest number of backlinks (5,705,742), assuming they are quality backlinks the other insurance companies should replicate this strategy.
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.
Kingfisher has seen the biggest drop in organic mobile traffic (a 93% decrease year on year). Keith Michaels has seen a 37% YoY increase (compared to a 33% decrease last quarter).
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'.
Adrian Flux continues to take the lead with a total of 15,982 appearances. A strong performance for ‘People Also Ask’ results, generally points to a strong presence for longtail keywords, a great opportunity to build visibility for transactional phrases.
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’.
In this quarter, Adrian Flux saw 46,325 appearances for longtail keywords but only 9600 in the top 20. This shows an opportunity for greater conversion as long-tailed keywords are easier to rank for due to low competition and have higher buyer intent. Optimising long tail phrases gives an opportunity to personalise content and thus in turn increase sales.
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.
For UK insurance companies, Facebook ads are an opportunity to ensure customers see parking availability, prices, and location options. Autonet has an inconsistent approach in the ratio of words to visuals. This variability might suggest the insurance company might be experimenting with engagement styles.
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.
In this quarter, Adrian Flux has the largest total engagement score on social media of 28,409 from 166 articles. Four of our Insurance companies have zero articles found, Performance Direct, Kingfisher, Classics and Brightside Insurance are all missing out on this content opportunity.
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 continues to have 148 alerts and has the highest number of errors (39). Footman James also holds the top two spaces with the highest number of contrast errors (46), showing no improvements from the last quarter.
GET THE FULL 70-PAGE Q4 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.