Does a high SEO ranking guarantee motor insurers a larger market share?

Digital marketers often wonder what is it that pushes their brand higher than that of their competitors in the online space. With every brand scrambling for any ounce of online space they can get to gain more visibility, is there a formula with which digital marketers can strike gold for their brands?

Maybe not in entirety, but our research studies have unveiled that online consumer behaviour patterns could be the key to helping you achieve your brand’s goal.

In a recently conducted series of research studies, we evaluated 70 motor insurance sites on desktop and mobile in Australia, Canada, Ireland and UK to analyse in depth consumer purchase behaviors.

It is generally observed that when consumers research brands in an industry, they undertake three major steps when making a purchase.

  • Discover –finding, shortlisting and selecting a preferred brand.
  • Consider –considering brand and product options.
  • Act–purchasing the product.

Starting with an initial brand preference in mind, consumers begin researching for motor insurers. So, does that mean a high initial brand preference is a good sign for a brand? Surprisingly, that might not always be the case. Our research study revealed that some brands with low initial preference could end up having a higher rate of traffic visiting their site.

Here are two reasons for such behavior patterns:

  1. 24% of consumers see a motor insurance brand when using a search engine (e.g. Google).
  2. 17% of consumers discover a motor insurance brand on a comparison or an aggregator website.

In Australia, Canada and Ireland the second most used site for consumer research behind search engines is brand websites. While for UK, aggregator sites tend to be more commonly used. In the case of those on the desktop, aggregators were even used more than search engines!

Understanding such patterns will help brands unlock areas that they need to focus on.

But how can such data help fuel your SEO ignition?

A great example of this is Australia’s Budget Direct. On desktop, Budget Direct went from a 3% initial preference rate up to a 12% final preference rate thanks to an impressive 24% visitation rate. Similarly, on mobile they had an initial preference of 7%, final preference of 13% and a visitation rate of 17%.

Within the search results, Budget Direct is tailoring their SEM ad creative to the search terms entered, appearing more relevant and maximising the top listing opportunity. They’re even leveraging off competitor search terms.

For example, when a consumer searches for AAMI car insurance, Budget Direct not only delivers up an ad encouraging consumers to compare insurance options, but they also take them to a tailored landing page that specifically mentions switching from AAMI. With an average of 50% of consumers initially preferring a brand because they’re a current customer, this is a smart move from Budget Direct.

These are just some examples of the insights that we provide our clients with. If you want more detailed insights on the motor insurance industry, click here to access our Motor Insurance industry report.

We recently ran a motor insurance webinar that was packed with insights from the Australian, Canadian, Irish and UK markets. Click here for more-

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Is the information on university websites enough to cater to the needs of current students?

University websites are often the starting point for every student when planning their future course of study. More so, when they apply as an international student. The university website continues to remain the main source of information once a student gets admitted into the university. Is this a notion that universities share? Do they believe their website is as important for providing information to current students ?

A quick look at some of the top Australian university websites will give you a sense of how heavily the information provided is tailored to cater to prospective students. The language used in the content delivered, the images supporting the content and the emphasis placed on aspects such as ‘life on campus when you’re a student at our university’, further echoes the importance universities place on curating website content for prospective students.

The results from a recent research study we conducted on the Higher Learning industry, in Q4 2018, highlights ‘information overload’ to be a major issue for university websites. Prospective students found it difficult when locating course information on university websites. Comments like “the navigation is hard to follow”, “information is not where I expected it to be” were common themes of issues faced by prospective students, according to our research study.

Being an international student who applied to several universities in Australia, I vividly remember how arduous the task of finding the right course was.

Further, on being admitted into the course of my choice, I was given access to a different platform- the intranet of the university. However, the issue of finding the right information, continued to persist. The seamless flow of information from the main web page of the university to their intranet was lost in the amount of information provided. So, while universities do attempt to cater to current students via a different platform, their efforts are not entirely fruitful.

As a current student, I was often confused about avenues that were available to me during and after the completion of my course and would often feel the need to reach out to a university representative for answers to my queries. Questions relating to a possible switch in my course path or different avenues of enhancing the degree I enrolled into, were aspects I could never find answers to. I would often have to go back and forth between the main website and the intranet to figure where the answers to my questions lied.

The glaring issue lies with the emphasis that universities place on catering to the needs of prospective students and not as much on the needs of current students. Apart from that, I also felt there was:

  1. Information overload on both these platforms- website and the intranet and
  2. No clear signposting of where to find what information and for which student.

When international students enroll into a course, they do so with the expectation that the university will cater to all their needs.

A seamless website experience may be a way of showing both sets of students what the university has to offer – right from when they are deciding on a course to when they get admitted into the course of their choice and beyond.

It would be interesting to uncover what expectations current students have from your university and how the website architecture influences their perception and behavior through research studies. While we don’t have exact data on what your current students look for, we are capable of tailoring our research study to meet your needs.

The data from your website can reveal more than just what your students need. It can also help you understand the factors influencing the decision making of students and why they choose other brands over yours. It can also unravel aspects on your website that work for you and those that go against you. Get in touch with us to see how data from our ‘Bespoke’ research study can benefit your brand’s needs.

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Global Reviews announces headline sponsorship of the London Higher Education Marketing Conference 2019

higher education marketing conference

Global Reviews brings its world renowned research programme to London’s Higher Education Marketing Conference.

“The Higher Education Marketing Conference 2019 will offer leading professional development in supporting innovation and maximising impact in the delivery of effective higher education marketing campaigns. Those attending will gain the latest insights from higher education marketing experts and leading practitioners in understanding the evolving trends in student recruitment, assessing how to enhance engagement and communication with prospective students and developing marketing strategies which support outstanding outcomes within higher education.”

Regent’s Park, London – Tuesday 30th April 2019

Global Reviews, a company dedicated to empowering businesses with data driven insights and recommendations, is proud to announce it will be the headline sponsor of Inside Government’s Higher Education Marketing Conference for 2019 ( The conference will be held Tuesday 30th April at the Royal College of Physicians in Regent Park, London and will be chaired by Martyn Spence, Director of Marketing and Communication, Heriot-Watt University.

Keynote speaker

Gerard Farrell, Head of Product at Global Reviews, will be a keynote speaker on the day, unveiling recent UK higher learning research and bringing best practice examples to bear on how the UK higher learning industry can improve its digital acquisition, retention and communicate channels.

  • Analysing results from recent remote usability research conducted by Global Reviews to assess how UK university websites are performing.
  • Understanding trends across university websites and highlighting common pain points prospective students face when researching course and university options.
  • Delivering best practice examples of the online consumer journey from both the UK and Australia.

Bringing our celebrated Higher Learning research programme to the UK

With nearly 20 years of experience in measuring and benchmarking customer journeys through multiple online channels and having worked with 15 universities in Australia, Global Reviews is bringing its higher learning benchmark to the UK.

Utilising real world scientific methodologies, Global Reviews not only provides the most sophisticated online journey benchmarking programme in the world but also provides the ability to respond to competitive market dynamics through a whole market view. Our insights consistently drive higher conversion rates and reduce abandonment.

Our methodologies consist of a unique blend of active and passive methodologies, subjective onsite behavior and objective best practice feature and function audits. Across the end to end online buying journey, segmented into two phases and six buying stages, our products benchmark and forensically analyse the elements of the online experience which are causing the greatest loss in sales. Our expert client advisory team deep dives into the thousands of behavioural data points generated in one study alone and provide evidence led insights to turn lost opportunities into conversions.

Five ways we can help your digital team:

  1. Prioritisation of customer experience development based on proportional market conversion increases
  2. Reduce reliance on site centric single data sources and provide whole market visibility. (The 80% you don’t currently see)
  3. Access to a leading team of digital conversion specialists and best practice intelligence
  4. Benchmark the performance of your online customer journey against local competitors and worldwide leaders.
  5. Reduce subjective debate within your team and gain independent validation on the decisions and choices you are making for your online sales and marketing strategy.

For more information about Global Reviews or to register your interest in a demo at the conference, contact Suzy Sliwczynski (


Additional Conference Information:


About Global Reviews

The Global Reviews story began in 2000 out of a passion to present companies with the most accurate and actionable measure of website customer experience.

Our research approach is rooted in the knowledge that a more successful research solution will be achieved through the collaboration of three distinct groups:

  • Your team
  • Your customers
  • Our experts

Through this collaborative process we follow a design pattern which starts broadly, considering your requirements and then refines this to a single evidence led approach to achieving the project goals.

When choosing participants for our studies we choose carefully and work only with the highest quality panel partners. The majority of our studies include only in-market consumers, those who are currently looking to purchase a product or service like yours. When choosing samples, we cut out the noise and focus only on those customers who will improve your commercial performance. Once chosen our respondents complete tasks on their own devices in their own homes and we record and observe their natural behaviour. In this manner we bridge the gap between claimed behaviour and actual behaviour. With access to millions of customers worldwide and leveraging many diverse research solutions, there is no door into the digital world we have not been able to open to complete research.

For more information, visit You can also follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Media Contact:
Suzy Sliwczynski
Marketing Manager

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External factors affecting the Australian Energy Industry and how they can be combated!

With increased scrutiny from the government and authorities like – Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Victoria’s Essential Services Commission (ESC); and the independent inquiry into the Victorian energy retail market (the Thwaites Review), energy retailers have more to think about than just battling stiff competition.

With energy users becoming increasingly weary of words such as ‘special pricing’ and ‘discounts’, energy retailers need to win back the trust of their consumers, while assuring them that their brand is better than their competitors’.

In a research study run by Global Reviews in Q1 2018, for the Energy industry, it was found that:

  • Consumers continue to rank costs and rates as the most important factor when making their purchase decision. But with increased awareness of hidden costs, consumers seek transparency and upfront information on prices.

“Just give us good prices without all the extra discounts.”

“I could not find daily charges anywhere on the website.”

“I just wanted the rates clear and simple.”

“All too hard. Just give me the rates and not propaganda.”

  • However, retailers continue to display estimate costs instead of exact prices.

  • Another major aspect that consumers found hard to deal with was when evaluating their options. It was found that some energy companies don’t have a clear starting point from their homepage to their price plans or to detailed information on rates and costs.
  • To top that off, plans and rates are sometimes hidden under the fold and are presented in a way that consumers can’t understand. Owing to this, important features that consumers need to be aware of are sometimes lost amidst jargon and the complex presentation of information on the website. (Eg AGL).

What can you, as an energy retailer do, to overcome this situation?

  1. Be as transparent as possible with the information you provide to your consumers and
  2. Offer a clear starting point and a guided process to reveal pricing information.

Dodo does a great job with providing consumers with all the information about product prices:

Similarly, OVO (UK) provides consumers with the ease of locating a specific cost:

These are a few starting points to combat competition and offer your consumers exactly what they want. But not every brand has the same obstacle to overcome. As consultants offering data led solutions, we provide insights that help brands overcome obstacles and achieve their end goals.

Get in touch with us for data that can help brands like yours achieve the targets that they’ve set for themselves.

Darren Watson – Senior Commercial Director
T:         +61 3 9013 0390
M:        + 61 413 017 959

Tony Carveth- Senior Commercial Director

T:         +61 3 9013 0390
M:        +61 438 081 496

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Will the marketplace strategy shake up the financial services industry?

As we all head to marketplaces to pick up those last minute gifts for Christmas, it seems like a good time of year to talk about the growth and shake up of the financial services industry with market place strategies. Online marketplaces are fast-becoming the favourite destination for online shoppers, with almost 70% of Australians visiting an online marketplace or auction site like eBay or Amazon every month. Marketplaces have boomed in recent years, growing by 74.8% in 2017 alone (Roy Morgan research Jun 2018). With the increased uptake of marketplace sites like Etsy, Uber and AirBNB we have to look at the reasons why these sites are so popular with consumers. What are the benefits of creating an online marketplace?

The marketplace model is based on carriers realising you cannot be the best at everything and resources are too scarce to keep up. In the marketplace model, brands give their customers access to third parties with the best products, the most pleasant customer experience and the lowest costs.

The marketplace business model cuts both ways. Customers get continuous access to the best products and services in the market and costs can be kept at a minimum through connecting (or disconnecting) parties almost in real time to key in on new customer wishes and anticipate other market developments.

Retailers such as Catch and Myer have recently opened marketplaces, recognising the benefit of increased customer traffic and expansion into other categories.

myer market place

“It’s about enabling customers to move freely between brands, channels and product solution,” says Suncorp’s chief executive for Customer Marketplace, Pip Marlow. Suncorp Australia has recently launched a $100 million digital marketplace platform. Users can now view all banking and insurance products in the one online portal from all their brands – Suncorp, AAMI, GIO, Bingle, Shannons and Vero. “We really wanted to move to a level of aggressive transparency across the brand, making sure customers knew what was available to them – and had that choice as part of it.”

suncorp marketplaceThis marketplace model is in direct contrast with the strategy of other financial brands such as Commonwealth Bank and Westpac, which is to keep customers contained to the one brand.

Monzo, Starling, N26 (challenger banks) and TSB are all launching a marketplace offering. This banking business model is on the basis of shared value where the provider creates value for the customer. Value is passed to the customer and the provider takes a referral fee from the beneficiary. Examples include foreign exchange fees, switching energy providers and switching telco providers.

N26 has partnered with TransferWise to let customers make foreign currency transfers, and with vaamo to make investments, all from within its mobile app.

n26Starling Bank recently launched its current account, the only product it will build in-house. Through its marketplace it will give customers access to P2P loans, investments, and has partnered with TransferWise. In the longer term, it plans to offer customers a choice of multiple products in each sector, and to partner with companies in the retail and lifestyle sectors.

starling bankOther companies adopting the marketplace model are Amazon, who is looking to offer bank accounts and already offers loans, along with Google, Facebook and Apple who either have banking licenses or are looking to acquire one.

The big sell for marketplace is that the customer journey and experience is both a satisfying and convenient one allowing for easier navigation and management from a central location. This new approach offers more competition through transparency, choice and better pricing.

We see marketplaces playing an even bigger role in the future.

Who will be next to implement this strategy?

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Is neglecting the importance of 3rd party websites hurting your market share?

In two different research studies conducted by Global Reviews for the energy and superannuation industries (in Q1 2018 and Q3 2018 respectively), it was found that:

Even though consumers had an initial brand preference in mind, they often ended up going with a completely different brand when making a purchase decision:

So what is it that happens between these two preference stages that has consumers changing their mind?

Our research studies found that:

Consumers within both industries tend to search for brands on comparison and research sites just as much as on the brand’s website itself.



The major reasons for consumers turning to third party websites are:

  1. The ease of comparing different brand options on one platform.
  2. The comprehensive visibility of various options by each brand.
  3. The ability to get the best possible benefit from what is being offered.

By using aggregator and research sites, consumers are being exposed to more brands and offers on one platform that makes the use search and aggregator sites far more lucrative.

Another factor that is impacting the change of brand preference is how well brands are meeting the wants and needs of consumers.

Within the energy industry it was found that:

  • Discounts and incentives, were a major driver for final brand preference within the Energy industry.

This revelation can easily be linked to the result from our research study which revealed AGL was voted as the #1 preferred energy brand. At the time of conducting the research study, AGL was found to have significantly increased their advertising spend and refocused on promoting discounts and offers​ on every platform.

Many of their campaigns highlighted discounts and also offered bonuses such as cashback, Flybuys and Amazon Echo.

Similarly, our research study found that when it came to superannuation brands:

  • Reputation, trust and familiarity are most important to consumers when they shortlist brands as their initial preference.
  • However, investment results and low fees gain importance later in the journey – potentially as they learn more during their research.

This could be a major reason for Australian Super’s increasingly high performance.

According to consumers, Australian Super’s product looked the most attractive to them when using Canstar, owing to their low cost.

          Most use the comparison tool at Canstar where Australian Super shows a significantly lower “Annual Cost”

Since majority of consumers tend to research on brands through aggregator websites, it becomes important for brands within industries like superannuation and energy, to understand :

  • How their brand can be perceived to be more appealing on research and aggregator sites?
  • Which factors are responsible for making their brands lose out in the final brand preference race among its consumers?
  • How are aggregator sites using search to attract people to visit them instead of brand sites?

Through our research studies within these different industries, it is clear that focusing on tiny details can help brands unlock big results. Once brands know that there exists an opportunity to leverage a platform, they need to dig deep to understand the factors that can contribute to their brand’s success.

In this case it would be realising the pull that third party websites have on a consumers’ final preference and leveraging that to their brand’s advantage.

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The advancing & stalling of banking mobile sites (& why Tesco Bank needs to change their site)

The advancing & stalling of banking mobile sites (& why Tesco Bank needs to change their site)

When rating the current accounts landing page on mobile banking sites, Tesco Bank is comprehensively outscored and their product pages are not performing much better. Navigation, appealing visual design and information are all considered by consumers to be lacking from the Tesco Bank site compared to what competitor sites are delivering. These key areas are all contributing to a low average score for Tesco Bank for landing page impressions.Tesco bank scores 7.14 in customer audit


A recent study with 170 consumers looking at user experience across UK current account mobile banking sites revealed that Tesco’s unchanging site is falling further and further behind competitors who are continually evolving their site in order to match consumer needs.

Our webinar looked at where Tesco has stalled and how competitors are advancing their sites. These insights will not only help you to avoid making these same mistakes, but also show you what the top performing brands from around the world are doing to ensure they aren’t also falling behind.

Presented by: Rebecca Jennings – Principal Client Advisor

If you enjoyed this webinar you might also be interested in our previous webinar: Why are Santander losing so many potential customers and how can you learn from their mistakes

Let is know what you thought about the webinar and have your say as to what we deliver next!

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The importance of brand relationship and trust in the Motor Insurance Industry

A recently conducted research study by Global Reviews in Q3 2018, pointed out that the biggest motivating factor for a consumer to choose a particular motor insurance brand in their initial stages of search is ‘trust’.

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UK Banking Webinar Series: Learn from competitors’ mistakes

learn from santander mistakes

Over the past 12 months, Santander has been steadily losing prospective mortgage customers. They have gone from having a 12% preference rate amongst consumers, down to just 6%. Meanwhile, HSBC have recently increased to 16% and Nationwide is maintaining a strong lead with 23%.

Why are Santander losing so many potential customers and how can you learn from their mistakes?

A recent study with 150 consumers looking at website user experience across UK mortgage sites revealed that one of the reasons Santander is rating poorly is because their website is not working as strongly as other brands.

Our recent webinar looked at where along the online customer journey consumers are struggling to connect with Santander’s website. These insights will not only help you to avoid making these same mistakes, but also show you what the top performing brands from around the world are doing to ensure they aren’t losing prospective customers.

Presented by: Rebecca Jennings – Principal Client Advisor

If you enjoyed this webinar you might also be interested in our following webinar: The advancing & stalling of banking mobile sites (& why Tesco Bank needs to change their site)

Let is know what you thought about the webinar and have your say as to what we deliver next!

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Goldman Sachs enter savings market – but can they meet UK users’ high experience demands?

Goldman Sachs Global Reviews

The announcement last week that Goldman Sachs – the institution once dubbed “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity” by Rolling Stone magazine at the height of the financial crisis in 2010 – is entering the mainstream savings account market in the UK through their online-only brand Marcus, will send ripples through the banking sector, not least because the account offers a market-beating 1.5% interest for the first year.

The new account from Marcus (named after one of the founders of Goldman Sachs, and launched in the US in 2016) is explicitly aimed at stealing market share from the established high street banks, who are already suffering from intense competition and low profit margins as well as trying to fend off a swathe of digital first start-ups such as Monzo and Revolut.

Whilst the generous rates will no doubt cause an immediate flurry of account openings,  as an online-only provider with no ATM card (though the account can be managed by phone if required)  ease of usability of the brand’s website, mobile site and app will be vital for the long term success of the enterprise.

However, at present, the brand doesn’t actually offer an app; a notable omission in the UK market where high street behemoths such as Barclays, Nationwide and Lloyds have been offering clients useful and well-performing apps for several years. In April, Goldmans acquired personal finance app Clarity Money, but have yet to pivot it into serving Marcus customers.

Part of the account’s appeal is the freedom to deposit and withdraw funds as many times as you like with no charges, unlike most savings accounts, but a frustrating online experience in doing so will soon have investors jumping ship, if market incumbents can quickly move to match the rates on accounts that users know can be easily managed through existing apps.

In short – a headline grabbing rate from one of banking’s most well-known (if not well-loved) brands will garner deposits from savvy investors in the short term, but long term success in transaction-based accounts will require rapid investment in easy to use digital experiences.


Get in touch to find out more about the experience demands UK consumers have when it comes to banking and how Goldman Sachs is positioned to shake up the market.

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