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-

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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’.

Continue reading

Leveraging your University Website Experience for Better Results

Leveraging a great website experience could be the key to universities achieving a higher ROI on their marketing efforts.

In this blog post, we bring to the fore aspects from our Research study that highlights areas universities need to leverage and the reasons they should do so.

When it comes to deciding on a course, prospective students prefer websites that (Figure 1):

  • Can be navigated through easily.
  • Display course information prominently and facilitate simple comparisons.
  • Have full information about the university itself and go above and beyond what their prospective students want.


After understanding what prospects looking for on a university website, let’s see how closely these needs are being met by different universities (Figure 2) :

Our research study reveals that there is still quite a bit of work to be done. A few prominent issues that have been identified by prospects on university websites such as UTS, Monash and Wollongong are: (Figure 3):

  1. Excess information on university websites leads to confusion among students when they are looking for specific information (10% of prospects concluded so).
  2. Difficulty in navigating through the excess information on the website. This often elongates the process of locating the information required by prospects (15%-25% prospects concluded so).



3. “Cluttered” information on university websites. When looking at the course page of CQU, several prospects pointed out that the information displayed tends to be “Cluttered” (Figure 4).


So, how can you change things around?

  1. Provide a seamless and smooth search path on your course Journey.
  • Example: UniSA –Figure 5 (i) and Figure (ii).

5 (i)


5 (ii)

2. Give your prospects ‘Takeaways’ and ‘Next Steps’ during the Journey to Courses navigation path (Figure 6).


3. Offer Tools to Help the Evaluation and Shortlisting Process (Figure 7).


4. Offer specific search ability by assessing your website hierarchy:

  • Help users navigate your site and search by providing helpful filters and a guided choice.

– Example: La Trobe University- Figure 8 (i) and Figure 8 (ii).

8 (i)

8 (ii)

  • Use search headers to help users get where they need to get quickly

– Example: London School of Economics- Figure 8 (iii)

8 (iii)

  • Offer a needs matching tool to help potential students narrow their research choices.

– Example: University of Melbourne – Figure 8 (iv)

8 (iv)

The key to achieving success lies in tailoring your website to match what your prospective students are looking for. For a more detailed explanation on this, you can watch the recording of our Higher Learning Webinar.

Global Reviews specialises in helping top brands worldwide convert more of their ideal customers online, through the use of the most advanced research methodologies. To find out more about how we can help you and your digital teams, or if your brand would like to be included in our next round of our research, please contact: 

Darren Watson – Senior Commercial Director
T:         +61 3 9013 0531
M:        + 61 413 017 959

Tony Carveth- Senior Commercial Director

T:         +61 3 9013 0531
M:        +61 438 081 496

Continue reading

What prospects look for on a Super Fund website?

Over the years, superfunds have understood that their priority has and will always be safekeeping the retirement savings of their members. But in today’s digital frenzy where customer service and feedback are one click away and where customer demands are met at the speed of lightening, can a super fund strive to deliver more?

Following on from our previous blog post, we continue to delve into the superannuation industry and look at how closely super funds are meeting the needs of their members.

In Q3 2018, Global Reviews ran its latest Superannuation Industry research study and were able to compare the performance of the companies within this study between Q3 2017 and Q1 2018, assess the changes and understand how these changes impacted consumer behaviour. The results from the study revealed that AustralianSuper and ING Direct achieved a significant increase in their benchmark score based on the experience they offered to prospects visiting their sites.

But what is it that prospects deem to be the most important when shortlisting the super fund brands of their choice? Is enunciating Fund performance the only important aspect according to customers or are there more values they look for when choosing a super fund?

According to our study, most prospects rate the below attributes (in order of preference)

  • Reputation
  • Trust
  • Existing relation with the brand
  • Fees and investment options
  • Fund performance.

Clearly, even though fund performance might be an important factor for your prospects, it is not the only important factor affecting their final decision.

Our research study also revealed that users are often unable to identify top performing funds when searching on brand websites as prospects often find:

  • Presentation of the fund performance information on websites to be confusing.
  • The lack of availability of match to need tools on superannuation websites

As a super fund, it therefore becomes important that you:

  • Make the information easily accessible and help your prospects understand performance jargon.
  • Provide tools to help users decide the type of fund they should invest in.


Overall, the superannuation industry continues to rank very low when it comes to presenting products to customers based on their requirements. This observation was made when comparing it to industries such as Health Insurance, Higher Learning and Fintech, who often get it right. These industries are able to identify what their customer needs are and present the information about complex products to match those needs.

Taking cue from these industries, here are a few recommendations for super funds to ensure that they accurately match customer needs:

  • Users want to see fund performance upfront- consider having a summary on the homepage with a link to more information or publish the performance on the homepage itself.
  • Consider providing information about how one can select the right investment strategy.
  • Since financial investments are complex, users seek help. It is important to provide them with tools to help them with investment choices.
  • Present information with FAQs or help for users to better understand performance jargon.


Speak to one of our experts to see how the data we have can increase conversion rates, leads and traffic on your website:

Darren Watson – Senior Commercial Director
T:         +61 3 9013 0531
M:        + 61 413 017 959

Tony Carveth- Senior Commercial Director

T:         +61 3 9013 0531
M:        +61 438 081 496

Continue reading

The Changing Percepetion of the Superannuation Industry

“Young people have changed, but their super hasn’t!”

Is this a generic statement or do your prospective members actually feel this way? Are you, as a super fund doing enough?

Until recently, superannuation funds have operated more as a B2B model dealing primarily with employers rather than with the employees who actually sign up with a super fund. Typically, as an industry, superannuation tends to be front-of-mind only when someone is about to retire or switch jobs.

But according to an article by Forbes “Ninety-one percent of Millennials (born between 1977-1997) expect to stay in a job for less than three years. That means they would have 15 – 20 jobs over the course of their working lives!”.

In today’s age where job hopping is the new norm, could a super fund strive to offer more than just a delayed gratification?

Global Reviews conducted a research study in Q1 2018 to better understand the online journey of super fund prospect, what they are searching for and how they end up with their final choice?

We involved 261 participants to analyse which brand messages resonate with them and which out of the 10 super fund brands included in the study compels them to choose one over another.

Our study found that when your prospects begin their search:

  • 66% have an initial brand preference in mind.
  • 77% use a search engine when looking for Super funds.
  • 56% ultimately stick with their initially preferred brand after careful evaluation.

Further to this, when searching for a super fund:

  • 21% of prospects search for brand names which further leads them to brand websites (66%) or aggregator websites (34%).
  • 34% of prospects search for comparison terms on an aggregators website.
  • 42% of prospects search for Generic terms.


Figure 1: Examples of each search term category:

Third party comparison websites have been found to play a crucial role, with majority of super fund prospects researching brands on aggregator websites. In fact 31% of super fund prospects research brands on Canstar, according to our research study.


Having said that, creating a strong brand presence doesn’t go unnoticed. As mentioned earlier since most of your prospects begin their search with an initial preference in mind, having a strong brand name helps to cash in on a larger market share.

The initial preference and recall value of a super fund brand name may or may not have an impact on the final purchase behavior of its prospects but it is a very strong indication.

Our research revealed that AustralianSuper has an extremely high brand recall. It affects the search behavior of its prospects with 21% searching directly for Australian Super on their website.

However, understanding how your prospects make their final choice and the factors leading them to make that decision is equally crucial.

  • Brand, Reputation and Trust are the top 3 reasons why people choose a fund as their final choice.
  • Fees and investment options come in a close 4
  • Fund performance falls into 5th place, contrary to popular belief that it is the number one criteria compelling prospects to make a final choice.

Having an overall view of what a prospect looks for in a super fund is just the beginning. Matching those needs and giving your customers exactly what they want (either by enunciating a solution that caters to their specific need, via your communication channel or changing the way you communicate) could help you achieve your goal of attaining a larger market share.

Alternatively, if you do have another goal in mind, we can work with you to give you targeted data to meet the exact needs of your business. Give us a call and find out how we can help your business grow.

In our next blog post we will reflect on how super funds are matching member needs and whether they are meeting those needs at all. We will also go over industry best practices and a few recommendations by experts within Global Reviews to see how you can create maximum impact as a brand.

Continue reading

University Series: Understanding how prospective students search on university websites

In this week’s 2 series blog post, we unravel insights from our recent study in the Higher Learning space. The main purpose of carrying out this research, was to find out answers to the way prospective students search for a course on a university website.

Continue reading

Home Loan Digital Tactics- What your competitors don’t want you to know.

Working on optimising your website and digital strategy to get more visitors can sometimes feel futile. But what if the reason your rankings are not improving is actually your myopic view. Have you ever thought or analysed what goes on in the minds of your prospective customers when they look for a Home Insurance provider?

Have you ever wondered what your customer journey when searching for a home loans provider actually entails? What is your competitor getting right and where are you falling short? It could really be a question of identifying information that your customers need and laying it out in a certain way on your website.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

We recently conducted a our webinar on this topic, where we touched upon what works for leading Home Loan providers and why. Our products are pioneers in measuring benchmarking and optimising customer journeys. We show you the larger picture. We tell you where you sit in the eyes of your potential customer. We tell you how your customer chooses you and why a potential customer doesn’t, which competitor they choose, what leads them to their final choice and what influencers play a pivotal role along the way.

In 2017 we spoke to 1,200 home loan seekers and had them complete tasks on up to 24 brands internationally. We analysed the funnel from start to finish, prioritising performance at key stages such as- Recall, Initial Preference, Visited websites of brands, Shortlisted, Final Preference.

According to the research conducted and the funnel created, some of the results found indicated that:

  1. Service functionality was rated to be of higher importance for Home Insurance seekers in the Australian market as compared to the UK market.
  2. Websites being user friendly is another aspect that veers customers towards choosing a Home Insurance provider.
  3. For prospective customers, after brand relationship and beyond utilitarian product features like fees and rates, presenting options which are easy to understand and suitable to specific needs is key.
  4. For existing customers, service delivery and customer experience is the battleground.
  5. Home insurance providers that have easy to use input fields and easy to use terminology on their websites are ranked higher according to potential customers.
  6. Mobile version of the websites of home insurance providers showing key features in larger text and more details in a slide over which enables users to easily and quickly get back to the range list, is preferred by customers.

A few key points to keep in mind if you are a Home Loans provider, seeking to attract a larger market share:

1.Understanding where prospective and current customers go to meet their needs and being there with the most compelling option.

2.Customers want to know what you have to offer them but you need to tailor that to their needs. Interactive comparison, dynamic filtering and strong breadcrumb strategies are key.

3. Understanding touch points used (research, social media, aggregator, search engine etc.) and most important attributes is key.

4.Having a clear map of the home loan customer experience journey and their differing needs along that journey. Meet them on that journey with solutions that  solves problems.

5.Knowing why you are losing opportunities and ensure you are maximising your share of the customers wallet by pre-empting what they need.

6.When personalising online journeys, maintain strong anchor navigation which clear signposting.

To get a full synopsis of what we covered in the webinar, click here or reach out to Maddy-

Continue reading