When we started working with Experian in 2016, they had enjoyed being the leading Credit Monitoring agency in the UK for many years. The previous year, a new competitor Clearscore had entered the market and started offering part of Experian’s paid credit score product for free. By 2016, their market share had grown considerably, disrupting the established competitor set but also growing the market by driving increased search demand for Credit Monitoring products.
As interest in credit scores started to grow, particularly among a younger audience, Experian needed a strategy to maintain and protect their position as the market leader in Credit Monitoring.
At the same time, they had just launched a new Money Comparison product (credit cards, loans and mortgages), meaning they were forging into an entirely new market against much bigger competitors – namely, the comparison sites such as Compare the Market and MoneySupermarket.
The challenge was twofold: help Experian retain their reputation as the number one Credit Monitoring agency, whilst simultaneously growing their visibility within the Money Comparison space.
The first step was to put together a business case – an in-depth forecast – of 10,000 keywords in the Money Comparison space assessing competition in the niche product verticals to determine what chance Experian had of gaining market share from established Money Comparison websites.
The business case revealed that there was significant opportunity in the Money Comparison space for SEO, so ROAST devised a long-term strategy. The SEO strategy had a focussed objective which was to increase rankings on longer tail terms to drive improvements on core generics and increase the association between the Experian brand and Money Comparison, both in the eyes of consumers and Google.
We did this firstly by fixing historical technical issues, before focussing on expanding the Money Comparison section of the site. This was done by constructing a clean site architecture from which we could expand and then publishing new content in each of the product verticals to increase our chances of ranking for a variety of high-volume search terms.
At this point, with the site technically sound, we recognised the importance of boosting Experian’s rankings by gaining more backlinks and online citations directed at the Money Comparison section of the site, in order to increase authority on these pages, which were less established than their Credit Monitoring content. Thus, to complement this technical expansion, ROAST in partnership with Experian published regular SEO content campaigns which tied in with search demand peaks over the course of the year and these had the sole aim of increasing brand relevance within Money Comparison. As Experian is a data company at heart, the majority of these SEO campaigns utilised Experian data to generate user interest, engagement and a conversation around the Experian brand in conjunction with subjects like credit cards and loans.
The Average Credit Score UK map we created for Experian is a particularly successful example of this:
Across a four-year period, we have helped Experian grow visibility within the Money Comparison space, through a long-term SEO strategy which delivered incremental improvements in rankings and conversion rates over time. This strategy has helped to future-proof their performance and identify potential opportunities for further improvements. The success of our strategy is clear in the results.
The majority of optimisations started going live in 2018, but due to the highly competitive nature of the Money Comparison market, most high-volume keywords started moving onto Page 1 of the SERPs during 2020.
From 2018 to 2019, Experian received a 22% increase in overall Generic clicks and a 15% increase in Money Comparison clicks.
From 2019 to 2020, Experian received a 35% increase in overall Generic clicks and an 89% increase in Money Comparison clicks.
All product categories within Money Comparison saw a YoY increase during 2020:
+193% car finance
+143% credit cards
Therefore, in the two years from 2018 to 2020, the website achieved a 65% uplift in Generic traffic and a 117% increase in Money Comparison clicks.
In addition, the focus on growing Money Comparison was not to the detriment of Experian’s core product offering: credit scores & reports. From 2018 to 2019 we maintained stable traffic from Credit Monitoring keywords while we focussed on Money Comparison, and during 2020, we drove a 63% YoY increase in Credit Monitoring clicks.
As a result of more keywords with higher search volume continually moving onto Page 1 of the SERPs, Experian saw an 18% YoY increase in search visibility during 2019, and a further 20% YoY increase during 2020, far surpassing other Credit Monitoring competitors, and closing the gap with the established Money Comparison websites.