Many established UK financial service brands are struggling in the face of stiff competition from online-only companies when it comes to visibility in online searches on Google, according to research by UK-based search marketing agency Epiphany.
Ephiphany’s The Financial Services Sector Report 2013: The Science of Marketing revealed that over half of the twenty most visible financial services company websites for organic and paid search were from online-only providers, with comparison websites featuring highly.
MoneySupermarket.com was the most visible brand in paid search and came second to Moneysavingexpert.com, which it now owns, in organic search.
The most visible high street brand in paid search was money.asda.com(7th).
Barclays.co.uk was the most visible high street brand in organic search(6th).
According to the report, only 25% of the most visible paid search advertisers in the top twenty were utilising all of the tools that Google offered to increase click-throughs via their advertising campaigns.
Andy Heaps, operations director at Epiphany, said the more traditional high street brands listed in the top twenty were those that established a strong presence relatively early during the shift in consumer research and purchase behaviour from offline to online.
He added: "Many of the brands we studied don’t appear to be making full use of facilities such as sitelink extensions, seller ratings and social extensions which can help them get the most out their ad campaigns by making their ads more prominent and appealing on the page.
"The increase in click-through rates that these extensions offer means they represent a significant opportunity for the majority of advertisers in the financial services sector."