UK Online Banking Companies - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q3 2023

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

The Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK online banking companies has just been published. Learn how the top 7 UK online banking companies perform across the digital space.

The latest Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK online banking companies has just been published.  It covers the largest 7 national online banking companies, including Starling Bank, Tandem, Monzo, Chase, Atom bank, Revolut, and Monese.

Online Bank 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 online banking companies to win brand exposure, generate online views, and drive sign-ups for new accounts. 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. Digital Benchmark Report - Online Banking - Q3 2023 - Cover

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 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 online banking companies, their website is one of the most important components of their business. It is therefore vital for their site to be running smoothly to ensure their customers can easily navigate to key conversion points.

In our last report, we noted that Monzo was seeing the highest level of 4xx error codes, returning 259 in our crawls. In Q3, Monzo made no improvements on this figure, still returning 260 4xx errors. While it may be that Monzo are prioritising their app, where all sign-ups must take place, care should be taken that important on-site information is not blocked by dead ends.

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. For online banking companies, their customers need to have full and absolute trust in their brand. A slow, lagging mobile site will not ensure the customer has trust and may lead them to try other businesses instead.

In our last report, mobile page speed score ranged from 31 up to 89. In Q3, this range dropped to 19-32. We have seen falls in mobile page speed scores across all sectors, so falls in performance alone should not be too concerning for these online banking companies. However, online banks should still use mobile page speed scores as a way to benchmark their performance against competitors and gauge room for improvement. While Chase scored the lowest mobile page speed score in our last report in Q1, it is now one of four banks scoring 31, only one point behind the fastest site, Atom bank.

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 gauge of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads. Online banking companies should be continually pushing to improve their DA and can look to creating interesting content and studies around money management and finances that will gain press attention and links back to their sites.

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. Revolut, the highest-scoring online bank for DA, have equalled their score from Q1, with 82, while Chase, which had the lowest score of 56, has now gained two points to achieve a score of 58

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. With online banks increasing in popularity, especially post-pandemic, we would expect all the companies to be seeing increases in their mobile and desktop traffic.

As with Q1, only two online banks had not secured year-on-year growth in Q3. Chase, who saw the biggest gain in Q1, maintained this position, with a 413% increase in traffic. Meanwhile, Monese, who had seen the biggest loss of 27% in Q1, reduced this to 13% in Q3, placing them ahead of Starling Bank, who saw a 16% reduction.

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. Online banking companies should be utilising all Universal Search opportunities, as prospective customers will be interested to see how previous and existing account holders have found their experience. This can particularly be achieved with 'reviews', 'FAQs' and 'people also ask' results.

'People also ask' remained the most-used Universal Search feature, with Revolut maintaining their lead with 11,400 appearances. 'Reviews' are currently an underused feature, with only two online banks utilising this opportunity.

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. There are many longtail keyword options that online banking companies could be using, and they should look to prioritise keywords which include high purchase intent phrases such as 'switch now', or 'reward for switching'.

Both Monese and Tandem are ranking for very few longtail keywords, with only a negligible amount of appearances in the top three positions. Though Starling Bank is ranking for the third-most longtail keyword appearances overall, it has secured more top three appearances than its two close competitors. This indicates a strong approach to longtail keyword optimisations, prioritising a strong performance for fewer keywords than a large quantity of poorly performing keywords.

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 brands 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. Social media is a great way to advertise for online banking companies as their potential customers are already online. Online banks should consider mobile-first ad formats, that will provide a seamless experience for mobile users, especially where an app is essential for signing up.

We've included examples of Monzo's recent Facebook ads below. Monzo has used verticle ad formats to appeal to a mobile-first audience, with varying copy between ads using the same visuals. The use of emojis ties to Monzo's audience being a younger, more mobile-first demographic, and links to their informal tone of voice. 

Monzo Facebook Ads - July 2023

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 building content for digital PR strategies, online banks can look to create highly engaging, shareable content that details interesting facts about spending, or money management advice.

Meta is the preferred platform for all seven online banks. Chase hse the largest Facebook audience, with 3.9 million likes, while Revolut hse the largest following on Instagram, with 259,700 followers. This represents a pre-engaged audience more likely to see and react to organic content, reducing the need to rely on paid ads to boost social media visibility.

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. With online banking companies gaining momentum, and their services being relevant to all demographics, they need to ensure that their websites are accessible to everyone.

In our last report, we noted that Revolut had the least accessible site, returning 64 alerts in our crawls. In Q3, Revolut made no improvements, with this figure remaining the same. All other online banking companies recorded fewer than ten accessibility alerts.


For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 7 online banking companies on, check out our quick-look table below;

Online Banking W&L July23


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 Oliur on Unsplash

Request Your Report