Why you shouldn’t tell punters you’re the world’s best

world's best sports betting

Consumers shouldn’t need to be told that your company is the “world’s best”. If it’s true, and you are the biggest or the best, wouldn’t the know that already? Shouldn’t you be showing them something a bit more compelling rather than wasting an opportunity by telling consumers something they already know?

Should a punter search for a sports betting provider in a search engine, the first place they are going to see any offers is in the copy detail of the initial search results. This key step in grabbing attention of any prospective punter places competing brands side by side. With 34% stating that they considered a brand because they saw them in search, there should be no doubt in the importance on getting your brand’s SEO and SEM right!

In a recent study Ladbrokes, who in SEO and SEM claim to be the best, were outperformed by 888 in terms of consideration and preference.

We are here to tell you why.

In looking at the brand rankings from recall through to initial preference, shortlist and then final preference, Ladbrokes takes a dive going from being the second most recalled brand and most likely to be shortlisted, dropping down to being in fifth position for final preference. Meanwhile, smaller brand 888 is going in the opposite direction. 888 starts quite low but then moves up to be the seventh most preferred brand.  Ultimately what this means is that the digital marketing strategy for 888 is working in that despite having a low initial recall rate, it is getting discovered and chosen during the research phase.

Recall to final preference sports betting

This data tells us that punters are willing to change their minds during their research. Just because they had a particular brand in mind when they started their research, it doesn’t necessarily mean that will be the brand they will ultimately place a bet with.

Percentage of punters each brand lost to someone else between initial and final preference:

  • Bet365 – 44%
  • William Hill – 41%
  • PaddyPower – 33%
  • SkyBet – 29%
  • Ladbrokes – 12%

Ladbrokes fans seems to be very loyal. But what this also means is that Ladbrokes isn’t achieving as well as others when it comes to acquisition in the actual digital marketplace leading to a reliance more on the loyalty of current customers.

What are the reasons for punters to consider a brand?

Brands like Ladbrokes, William Hill, Paddy Power and Bet365 are initially considered because punters are familiar with their name and they are reputable brands. Ladbrokes in particular appear to have a loyal base and those who are loyal are not changing their mind. Yet they’re not attracting new punters.

How can brands attract new punters during research and what is influencing which brands consumers are considering once they begin their research?

Outside of brand familiarity, the most common reason for shortlisting a brand is because they have good odds/offers (37%).

This brings us back to brand’s proclaiming that they are the “best”. Every business should believe that they are the best at what they do. However, the key is not to tell everyone that you are the best, but rather show everyone WHY you’re the best.

Getting the most out of SEM/SEO

In doing a search for some of the top-rated sports betting brands, the results showed multiple brands stating that they were:

  • “The world’s leading sports betting company”
  • “The world’s favourite online sports betting company”
  • “One of the world’s leading online gambling companies”
  • “The world’s biggest bookmaker”

sports betting sem world's best

Whilst these brands may well be the world’s leading/favourite/biggest, it’s ultimately subjective and difficult for consumers to differentiate brands based on these descriptions. Consumers are typically already aware of these brands, so they would generally already be aware of the standing of the brand. Search results only allow for a small area in terms of real estate so is reiterating something that people should already know about you and your brand the most valuable use of that space? What consumers are really looking for are service or proposition-based differentiators as they seek out the best odds/offers.

By instead highlighting what your brand offers in terms of odds, free bets and cash back, you can go from telling consumers that you are the best, to showing them WHY you are the best. This in turn gives consumers a reason to consider you as the best brand to place a bet through.

Following through

The effective use of SEM and SEO are vital in getting punters to your website initially, but what they see once they click through is of equal importance. If your SEM is promoting a special offer, but when punters click through to your site there’s no obvious sign of that deal, then you’re starting to create more work for the punter and potentially increasing the chance of them going elsewhere.

888 sport not only promotes their new customer offer three times within the search results, one of the first things punters see when they go to the site is the same offer. This follow-through of messaging makes the transition from the search engine to the website far smoother and shows that the brand is ready to deliver on their offer.

888 sem seo to website


While 888 sport may not have the legacy that Ladbrokes, William Hill, Paddy Power and Bet365 have, but they are committed to showing that they have good offers which is ultimately what punters want.

View our recent webinar for more insights into how sports betting providers are performing online and why punters are choosing one brand over another:

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University Series: How a university’s website Information Architecture impacts user behaviour!

Written by Kapil Bhatia & Madhur Advani

In the digital landscape of cluttered and disorganised information, how can your university website break through all the noise?. How can you design pathways on your website, such that it adds value to the search of your prospective students?. The latest break-through insights from the Global Reviews Higher Learning Digital Sales Effectiveness programme answers this very question.

In Q4 2017, Global Reviews, as part of a longitudinal study, conducted research to understand the behaviour of 796 prospective students while they searched for a course on their desktop devices. The research evaluated the websites of 22 Australian universities to analyse industry best practices, and summarise corresponding recommendations based on the results of the study.

This blog post is part 2 of a blog post series on Higher Learning. If you haven’t already, you can read part 1 here

In this post we will uncover insights on how a website’s information architecture impacts user behaviour when they search for a course on a university website.

During the research study conducted, it was observed that most university websites display information in a definite pattern:

  • Of the 22 University websites evaluated in the study, 20 were found to have a Top-Level navigation presenting further navigation tabs.
  • Out of those 20 Universities, 14 have a mega menu in the Top-Level navigation for user interaction.
  • And of the 14 Universities, 8 list course categories in the mega menu.

The information displayed is consumed in a way that:

  • 55% of prospective students interacted with the top-level navigation of all 22 university websites when searching for course information.

University websites displaying course categories in the mega menu– Average success rate of 71%

Example – La Trobe University displays its course listing in its mega menu as seen below:

University websites with no course listing in their mega menu- Average success rate of 57%

Example – The University of Adelaide has no course listing in their mega menu

Websites with no mega menu- Average success rate of 64%

Example – Swinburne University has no mega menu on their website

Summary & Recommendations

Universities with course listings in the mega menu perform the best in terms of success rate and time taken to locate a course range.

  • The time to locate information on a university website plays a crucial role when students are actively considering to pursue a course.
  • Pay attention to labelling and to the way you display course information on your website in the top-level navigation.
  • Consider prioritising your top-level navigation to be the single point of entry to display course options.

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

Darren Watson – Senior Commercial Director
T:         +61 3 9013 0531
M:        + 61 413 017 959
E:         darren.watson@globalreviews.com

Tony Carveth- Senior Commercial Director

T:         +61 3 9013 0531
M:        +61 438 081 496
E:         tony.carveth@globalreviews.com


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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.

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Are we amazed enough by AI?

With the world already waking up to what AI has in store for technology moving forward, the citizenship of Sophia along with her gracing the Jimmy Fallon show has only made our eyes open slightly wider in amazement. Is there anything that technology can’t do?

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Drivers of brand preference in the Irish energy market


In our most recent Digital Marketing Effectiveness study on the energy market in Ireland from July 2016, participants were asked to recall providers in the marketplace, unprompted.

It is no surprise that the top brands that Irish consumers recalled are household names, the top 5 being Electric Ireland, Bord Gais, SSE Airtricity, Energia and Pinergy.

Brand Recall

Consumer Journey Online 

When looking online for a new energy provider, 98% of consumers begin by using a search engine while 59% went directly to a brand’s website and 56% used an aggregator site.

Consumer Journey

Of the 98% of consumers who used a search engine:

  • 28% searched for a brand
  • 27% searched for an aggergator site
  • 13% went from search engine > brand website > aggregator
  • 8% went from search engine > aggregator > brand website

Moving through the funnel 

Electric Ireland featured heavily as consumers’ initial preference with 41% of consumers, followed by SSE Airtricity (25%) Bord Gais (18%) and Energia (11%). Reasons for initial preference are very much focused on being a current or past customer and trusting the brand.

initial preference

Moving to the shortlisted brands, Electric Ireland still hold the top spot in consumers’ minds with 60% of consumers placing them on their shortlist, followed by Energia who at 58% have moved to second position from fourth. As consumers move to shortlist their preferred brands, being a current or past customer becomes less important and good prices and offers as well as familiarity with the brand name more so.

Reasons for shortlist

Which brand claimed the top spot as final preference for Irish energy consumers? 

Energia claim the top spot for final preference. with 34% of consumers choosing them as their final preferred choice.

Final Preference

The key drivers of final preference are focused on meeting consumer needs in terms of having the best deals and offers, cheapest price and having the best plans to suit needs. Having plans that are easy to understand as well as having an easy to use website are also at the forefront of consumers’ minds. As consumers move to choose their preferred energy provider, trust and loyalty become less important.

Reasons for final preference


Global Reviews is a recognised world leader at providing leading companies with unique intelligence that helps increase their online customer acquisition ratios.

To find out more about our research programmes and how we can help you convert more of your ideal customers online, please contact:

Hannah-Rose Farrington – Commercial Director

T:         +44 (0) 203725 8260

M:        +353 (87) 1263043

E:         hannah.farrington@globalreviews.com

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Motor Insurance: What is driving the change in brand preferences?

Sales funnel

Getting onto a consumer’s consideration list is one thing…staying there is another! Most brands know how many people are reaching their website following a Google search, but how many know where these prospective customers go once they’ve left the site? Then there’s the question of why did these consumers leave and why aren’t they coming back?

Throughout November, January and March we asked Australian consumers who were in the market for a new motor insurance provider to conduct their initial research online and tell us which brand(s) they considered vs. which brand they would finally prefer after initial research.

The following infographic shows how many prospective customers brands are losing between consideration and final preference as well as the evolving trends in what is driving brand preferences.

Motor Insurance infographicThe Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness study is the only research programme that can truly show marketers what is happening with their prospective customers online. In addition to studying the research habits and processes of consumers, Global Reviews also assesses the usability of the individual brand websites, focusing specifically on how well the website aids the consumer when researching and opening an account online.

Contact us to find out how consumers are researching your brand and whether or not your website is helping or hindering them in the process.

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Energy Retail: Comparing provider preferences across Australia, Ireland and the UK.

Throughout November and December we asked Australian, Irish and English consumers who were in the market for a new energy provider to conduct their initial research online and tell us which brand(s) they initially preferred vs. which brand they are currently with and which brand they would finally prefer after initial research.

The following infographic shows some of the key differences between the three markets and what elements are driving brand preference.

Energy AU IE UKIn addition to studying the research habits and processes of consumers, Global Reviews also assesses the usability of the individual brand websites, focusing specifically on how well the website aids the consumer when researching and opening an account online.

Contact us to find out how consumers are researching your brand and whether or not your website is helping or hindering them in the process.

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Seasonal game changers in online sports betting

Leading sports betting brands losing on average 74% potential customers

Following the dramatic variances we found in brand recall amongst the online sports betting sector during the 2014 AFL, NRL and Spring Racing periods, we gathered together the same data for 2015 to see how the industry played to the peak online betting season this year.

The following infographic plots the variances in unprompted brand recall and website visits when researching a provider to place a bet through. Using August as a baseline, we can see how the awareness and visit rates rise and fall with each sporting season and subsequent boosts in advertising.

Sports betting recall vs visitsThis data is collected monthly so register your brand to discover how your marketing efforts are playing out compared to that of your competitiors.

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Changes in the way Australian consumers are researching and selecting home insurance providers

Home Insurance

Author: Suzy Coulson

Competition within the home insurance market is heating up. While most Australian home owners are seeing a slowdown in the rise of home insurance premiums, the big insurance companies are beginning to feel the pressure to bow down to the rates offered by their smaller competitors, or risk losing customers.

Throughout 2014, Global Reviews ran four Digital Marketing Effectiveness studies to follow the research journeys of consumers currently in-market for home insurance and analyse how they go about creating a consideration shortlist of preferred providers. In comparing the results from across the year, it is evident that the way consumers research and select home insurance providers is changing.

One area that saw quite a shift in results as the year progressed was within the reasons for putting a brand on the consideration shortlist. Whilst brand familiarity and trust remain consistently important when selecting a provider, previous use dropped dramatically in recent months. In April 47% of consumers considered brands because of previous use, but this has since dropped to 35% in both the July and November studies. Instead, price and website usability have started to become more common reasons for considering a home insurance provider.

Researching home insurance

So if brand loyalty is no longer such an influence and price and website usability is becoming increasingly important, how does this impact the home insurance industry and which brands are being considered?

Insurance giants AAMI, Allianz and NRMA have each remained fairly steady across the year with the number of people shortlisting them showing no change from February 2014 to November 2014. However, their competition is drawing closer. As the importance of price and website usability has increased, so has the number of people shortlisting Budget Direct, RACQ, Real Insurance and Youi – averaging a 7% increase between February and November. While GIO and NRMA were previously the third and fourth most shortlisted brands respectively, they have now been overtaken by Budget Direct and Youi.

The question for the bigger insurance companies is, do they try and match the pricing of their smaller counterparts and risk revenue loss, or do they stick to what they’re doing and risk losing customers?

Website usability is clearly becoming increasingly important to consumers, and with 16% (n=419) stating that they would leave the website and go to another provider if they encountered problems it is vital that providers are meeting the customer’s expectations and not losing out to the competition unnecessarily. So where price cannot be met, home insurance providers need to at least ensure that their websites are working in their favour.

To find out more about which providers are getting shortlisted and who’s offering the best website experience, please contact:

Darren Watson
Commercial Director
T: +61 3 9982 3412
E: darren.watson@globalreviews.com

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Usability of health insurance websites drop (so does the desire to use them)

Health Insurance

Author: Suzy Coulson

The health insurance landscape is set to change with the privatisation of Medibank Private. We won’t necessarily see the effects immediately, but it will undoubtedly impact the industry and the general public who use it. While Medibank Private has been supported and protected by the government, this will soon change, which will throw Medibank Private into a new realm of market competition.

Before any changes do come into play, Global Reviews ran a Digital Marketing Effectiveness study to capture the ways in which consumers are currently researching and selecting a health insurance provider. Between November 2013 and November 2014, there have been some notable changes with a drop in brand preferences as well as a shift in the reasons why consumers are considering brands.

Across the top 10 brands for health insurance, only three brands saw an increase in the number of prospective customers putting them on their consideration shortlist, with a combined increase of 12%. This increase doesn’t make up for the combined 41% decrease of the seven other top 10 brands. Of the three brands who had increases, Medibank Private had the biggest lift with 5%. They were followed by GMHBA who increased by 4% and Bupa with 3%. Heading the other way, Australian Unity and HCF suffered the biggest losses, both with a 9% drop, followed by HBF and NIB with a 7% drop.

Along with a drop in brands getting shortlisted, there’s also been a drop across some of the key reasons why brands were selected to be on a shortlist. Previously, the following reasons for shortlisting a brand ranked quite high:

  • The website helped me compare options
  • They gave me plenty of options to choose from
  • Their products/offers were easy to understand
  • Their website helped me find products/services quickly

In this latest study, however, all the above reasons dropped by an average of 9%. Meanwhile, selecting a website that is visually appealing and/or looks easy to use was chosen by consumers on an average increase of 5% from the previous study. So whilst health insurance websites may look better than they did 12 months ago, their usability appears to have suffered because of it.

The Global Reviews Sales Effectiveness benchmark study shows that website functionality has indeed dropped for the health insurance industry. Either that, or consumer expectations have increased. At the same time, the desire to use the websites has also dropped. In 2013 when the benchmark industry average was 51%, 48% of consumers were stating they would want to research policy options, get a quote and purchase the insurance online. Now, in 2014, the benchmark industry average has dropped to 49% and the number of consumers wanting to complete the research through to purchase process online has also dropped, now at 35%. Consequently, as website usability drops, so too does the desire to use it; to the point where having the ability to apply online has dropped from an importance rating of 8.2/10 down to 7.9/10. Considering 17% of consumers would leave a website and look for another provider if they encountered problems, it’s vital to ensure website usability doesn’t continue to drop.

As the dynamic of the health insurance industry faces change with the government letting go of control of one of Australia’s biggest health insurance providers, it marks a vital time for providers to reassess their offerings and the channels in which they deliver that offer. Consumers currently aren’t considering as many providers as they were previously, and research is showing that lacking website usability is contributing to this. Nobody can predict how the industry will be impacted by the privatisation of Medibank Private, so if brands want to secure a leading position in this changing market, then they need to take a look at their websites as this is one variable than they can control.

For information about our upcoming research please contact:

Jane Robertson
Commercial Director
T: +61 3 9982 3417
M: +61 400 560 652
E: jane.robertson@globalreviews.com

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