The Q4 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 Q4 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.
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 Q4 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 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 7 online banking companies on, check out our quick-look table below;
Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's best and poorest-performing online banking 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 site 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 still seeing the highest level of 4xx error codes, returning 260 in our crawls. In Q4, Monzo has improved this figure slightly, taking total 4xx errors down to 198. This is a step in the right direction for Monzo and will soon place the brand on par with Monese's 173 4xx 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 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 scores ranged from 19 up to 32, following a drop from Q2 performance. Monese is now the strongest-performing site for mobile page speed, with a score of 46 - only four points shy of the 'okay' benchmark score of 50.
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 remains the best performing online bank, with a score of 83, while Chase has maintained its score of 58, achieved in our last report.
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.
Tandem is now achieving the biggest growth in organic traffic, with a 181% rise in digital footfall to the site. Monese, which has steadily been reducing its loss in traffic each quarter, is now only seeing an 11% fall in traffic compared to 2022.
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 site 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 increasing its lead with 30,100 appearances. 'Reviews' are currently an underused feature, with only Revolut and Starling utilising this opportunity to gain consumer trust.
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 brand 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 still ranking for few longtail keywords when compared to competitors, with only a small amount of appearances in the top three positions. Revolut is now appearing for both the most longtail keywords overall, in addition to the most longtail keywords within the top three positions (with a further 24.6k in positions 4-10, prime for reaching these very top rankings).
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 Revolut's recent Facebook ads below. Revolut has used verticle video ad formats to appeal to a mobile-first audience, and fit seemlessly into organic 'Reels' content. By varying the visual creative but maintaining the copy, Revolut can identify the best performing ad based on creative alone, and apply learnings to future campaigns.
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 brand 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 has the largest Facebook audience, with 3.9 million likes, while Revolut has the largest following on Instagram, with 275,500 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, brands 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, the same figure as shown in Q2. In Q4, Revolut made no improvements, seeing this figure increase slightly, to 67. However, Chase now has the biggest cause for concern with accessibility, having seen accessibility alerts grow from fewer than ten to 128 (along with 23 contrast errors).
GET THE FULL 79-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.