The winners in car finance
A combination of well-known companies and recent startups are vying for customers in the fiercely competitive car finance sector. 91% of new private cars acquired in the last 12 months from April 2021 to April 2022 were financed, with over £1.6 billion in finance arrangements completed in April 2022 alone.
It goes without saying that driving customers to business websites is a key strategy for gaining a competitive edge. With this in mind, I and a couple of the guys here at Sway decided to examine the condition of SEO in the car finance sector today.
What ranking variables did we study?
We examined ten of the top vehicle lending businesses operating in the UK using SEMRush.
Based on the information in SEMRush, we examined the following factors:
- Monthly organic traffic
- No. of organic keywords
- No. of keywords in positions 1-3
- No. of keywords in positions 4-10
- Traffic value
- Referring domains
Our figures have been found on SEMRush and analysed by our team here at Sway.
The summary of the search phrase “car finance” from SEMRush is the clearest indicator. As we indicated at the start, the car finance industry is incredibly competitive:
The number of searches for “car finance” in the UK is currently averaged out at 110,000 every month, illustrating the significant amount of searches. The average CPC (Cost Per Click), which is a hefty £8.80/click, which means that, on average, UK businesses would have to pay over £1,000 to get 135 clicks to their website through sponsored advertisements.
The competitiveness and high CPC of the keyword are comparable for phrases containing the term “car finance”:
SEMRush data on "having identical phrases" for the term "car finance", July 2022
Aside from “branded” search phrases like “car finance 247,” “Choose My Car,” or “Cazoo” the CPC limit for the term “bad credit car finance” is £17.00/click, with the floor for CPC being around £6.00. Paid advertisements don’t provide a barrier for certain businesses in this industry, and they have a role in an entire online marketing strategy.
However, as we’ve already discussed, the benefit of investing in excellent SEO is that it is a long-term, sustainable approach that may aid in a website’s organic growth. Any business should think about a plan that will propel a website to the top of the SERPs and capture that organic traffic since knowledgeable searchers are more inclined to click on organic results than sponsored ones.
The predominance of comparison sites in search results is another intriguing aspect of the car finance sector to take into account. The same issue is being faced by other sectors that provide a variety of services, including home insurance, energy providers, and broadband providers. In these sectors, websites like Money Super Market, MoneySavingExpert, and uSwitch have become increasingly popular in recent years as a result of consumers doing everything in their power to get the best deal.
The search results: “car finance”
What happens then if we go to Google and search for: "car finance"?
Comparing websites, Money Super Market is in the top position of the search results, offering comparable car finance rates. Then we have Cazoo, Car Finance 247. Auto Trader, Choose My Car, and Cinch. Money Super Market and Cazoo have both employed a great SEO technique, using a mixture of great keyword density, schema markup and just general great use of technical SEO.
So, who is winning the SEO battle for car finance?
Money Super Market looks to be the obvious victor, but if we don’t include comparing websites, the clear winner is in fact Cazoo when considering a number of ranking indicators, including organic traffic, traffic value, and keywords in positions 1-3 in the search results.
Around 25,000 organic visitors per month, 182 keywords ranking in positions 1-3, and £85.100 in traffic value can be found on their dedicated car finance page.
What elements are responsible for Cazoo’s place at the top? As follows, two of the most important factors to bear in mind are:
- Writing well-written, interesting content that keeps readers on the page and prevents them from going back to the search results to look for an answer from another source has always been a key ranking element.
- Making sure that the websites linked to you are trustworthy and relevant is a positive ranking indicator for Google.
To evaluate the speed of each website we are using for reference, we utilised Google’s Page Speed Insights tool. When using a desktop or mobile device to browse a website, the tool delivers an overall speed score.
In our research, Cazoo had a score of 72 on desktop and 59 on mobile, while Car Finance 247 had a score of 71 on desktop and 99 on mobile.
Quality of written content
In order to analyse the written content of each website included in our research, we used a keyword consistency tool and a free SEO content analysis tool called Site Improve. Checking the content’s calibre, depth, and relevance.
The findings in our study had grades of at least a B, demonstrating that the information is relevant to users and includes key phrases. This emphasises how fiercely competitive the car finance sector is when viewed in an SEO environment.
Car finance pages on Auto Trader and Cazoo, the two websites with the highest “traffic value” according to our analysis, both received an A. This demonstrates that the pages are sufficiently in-depth and pertinent to be very helpful to visitors from both a commercial and an informative perspective. This is crucial since the top-ranking “car finance” search results show a mixed intent of commercial landing pages, comparison websites, and instructional pages.
What areas of SEO should car finance companies concentrate on?
Like any sector, there are many methods for car finance companies to outperform rivals in this market. The following suggestions are an excellent place to start:
- Make sure your website works properly on desktop and mobile and loads within 2 seconds at a maximum..
- Create compelling, pertinent content to fulfil searchers’ intentions (both commercial and informational content)
- Use Q&A section or create a guide that can assist in answering visitors’ questions.
- Attempt to secure backlinks from trustworthy sites that are relevant to the industry.
While concentrating on just one of these aspects will probably increase the organic traffic to your website, doing so in isolation would only get you so far. A better long-term approach would be to combine them as a part of an all-encompassing SEO strategy that can be maintained.