Banks Fighting Back Against Money Supermarket ‘Duopoly’

Money Supermarket and MoneySavingExpert have created an effectively “duopoly” of the online search results in consumer banking, forcing competing brands to take a new approach to search marketing, according to Stickyeyes. The two websites lead the way in driving traffic from organic search in the consumer banking sector, with competing brands now taking a more […]

Money Supermarket and MoneySavingExpert have created an effectively “duopoly” of the online search results in consumer banking, forcing competing brands to take a new approach to search marketing, according to Stickyeyes.

The two websites lead the way in driving traffic from organic search in the consumer banking sector, with competing brands now taking a more strategic approach to try and secure visibility across the key financial product areas of current accounts, mortgages, credit cards, personal loans, savings products and car finance.

The 40-page Online Consumer Banking Visibility Report produced by Stickyeyes reveals that, while price comparison sites still dominate search engine results, banking brands such as Halifax, Barclays, Nationwide, Tesco Bank and Lloyds Bank are using new search marketing tactics to keep themselves visible to consumers.

One of the reasons why MoneySavingExpert and Money Supermarket are able to achieve such strong visibility on search engines is their ability to rank for vast amount of keywords. In Stickyeyes’ analysis, MoneySavingExpert ranked for 96.7% of their keyword sample, whilst Money Supermarket ranked for 95.6%. The only other brands to rank for more than 90% were Barclays and Money.co.uk.

Rather than focusing on major traffic-driving terms largely dominated by comparison engines, banks are starting to concentrate search marketing activity on providing content around consumer advice and on keyword terms that reflect the full range of the user journey.

Banking brands have also adapted their strategy to better target terms around car financing, a product where search interest has increased by 57% since 2004. Halifax Bank and Lloyds Bank, both part of Lloyds Banking Group, each have a specific car finance proposition that will allow the customer to arrange their own finance, with the respective banks paying the dealership directly.

Other brands, notably Sainsbury’s Bank, TSB and Santander, have focused heavily on specific landing pages to capture car finance search queries, whilst still promoting what would be considered a traditional loan product.

Phil Kissane, Managing Director at Stickyeyes said: “What we have seen from our analysis is a number of brands really rethink their approach to search marketing, and change their focus to ultimately ensure that they are serving the most valuable audiences and engaging them in the most appropriate way.

Moving into 2018, mobile is likely to become a bigger influence as Google moves to its ‘mobile first’ index, and innovations such as voice search are very much on the agenda for search engines. How well brands perform for those types of searches will ultimately depend on how they can understand the conversations that they need to have with their audiences, and the content that they need to create to serve those conversations in the best possible way.”

(Source: Stickyeyes)

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