10 minutesReading time
Updated May 2018
This is the latest 2018 Car Finance Market Performance Report.
We produce these reports to give industry leaders a better insight into their place in the digital landscape and how they measure up against competitors.
We use the reports to find out who the top performers in the industry are, what they’re doing well and where they could make improvements. After analysis, they’re ranked and scored for their performance across nine key metrics. We look at Brand Reach, SEO visibility, Link Authority and Keyword Opportunities to name a few.
While we only publish results including the top brands in the Car Finance market right now, we source data across the whole industry to produce the report. So, if you can’t see your company name on the list, get in touch and we’ll send you the data that includes you.
We produce this report so that you can see the market on a whole, but also so that we have a wider understanding of the wins and losses in this sector. Once we’ve gathered the data, we also check that the data adds up, which means doing the searches, checking the content and scanning their social accounts ourselves.
Here you’ll find a summary of the best and worst bits, best read alongside the report.
Organic visibility should be at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to SEO strategy. Improving this can have outstanding effects across the site, including conversions, providing your pages fulfil the user intent when they reach them.
Overall, it’s been a tough year for the Car Finance sector. But there have still been some great wins.
Carcraft have sped into the number one spot after a 10% increase last year.
They have overtaken Contract Hire and Leasing who lost 25% of their visibility.
CarMax had a huge win, more than doubling their visibility with a 102% increase. Well done to them.
Making up the top five are Black Horse who lost 9% and Car Finance 247 who have dropped from 3rd to 5th place after losing 78% of their visibility.
After the top two retailers, the visibility score drops drastically.
This section refers to the keyword table which can be found in the report. We’ve highlighted the top competition and biggest opportunity keywords.
It seems the retailers in our report are struggling to rank for the high competition keywords.
This is a very competitive landscape with banks, car dealerships and general finance companies taking most of those top spots.
Well done to The Car Finance Company who have got into a featured snippet for the term ‘bad credit car finance’.
Their page is extremely informative, answering a lot of questions surrounding the topic with great ‘apply now’ call to action buttons throughout.
The URL and title tag are also sleek, concise and optimised for this particular keyword.
The Car Loan Warehouse is ranking in 2nd position for the term ‘guaranteed car finance’.
They have a five-star rating attached and, like The Car Finance Company, the page is full of useful information.
Car finance is a tricky subject to get your head around, for most people.
As we’ve seen from the standout rankings previously mentioned, retailers who are ranking in this market have a lot of content explaining their services.
While all of the keywords could be seen as having a view to purchasing, a lot of them could also be seen as research keywords.
You should try and answer as many questions as you can, so Google recognises that you’re providing rich and helpful content making them likely to improve your ranking.
Links are still a primary ranking factor for Google, so your link strategy should always be a top priority.
Contract Hire and Leasing is topping the charts with the highest average number of links per months.
Most of their links are going to category pages such as Electric Cars, but they do have some guides.
The guides answer questions about car leasing and FAQs. They are very helpful but don’t seem to be receiving high-quality links.
The guides would probably gain more links if they had richer content as they currently only run at about 500 words.
Fleshing these out by answering related questions and using case studies or examples could really help.
Credit Plus is also in the top three and has the highest quality links.
They have a Help & Advice section and a blog which gain a few links. But their best assets are their tools.
Their Car Finance Glossary gives users thorough guides on terms related to car finance, highlighting common questions with diagrams.
The pages link through to blog posts that cover the subject in more detail, and they have a ‘related terms’ section at the bottom as well as contact details and links to apply.
We were also really impressed with their car finance calculator allowing users to input an exact amount and loan term to find out how much they’d have to pay back per month.
This tool has gained the site over 130 unique links.
Danny Sullivan who runs the Google SearchLiason twitter page tweeted about this recently.
In a lead generation market, social media is more important than ever. Broadening your audience and building up a rapport with them is key to getting them onside.
Contract Hire and Leasing is topping the social charts with the highest number of brand searches per month.
Their social media feeds contain a lot of promotional posts about different offers on certain car leases.
They also post regular links to their articles about the latest in car news, which provides excellent insight for customers and also gives car lovers a hub to go to for the recent updates.
Car Finance 247 also has an impressive number of monthly brand searches, but their owned social score seems low in comparison.
Like Contract Hire and Leasing, they are publishing newsworthy articles. They also offer more general advice such as how to secure your pets in a car safely.
What these guys do better is to engage audiences.
By having regular competitions, they encourage users to tag, share and comment on their posts, creating a bigger audience.
This is a simple yet effective way of widening your audience and giving something back to your customers.
Zuto is in a similar boat, but they could probably make big improvements to their owned social score by posting more regularly.
When they do post, their content is well branded, varied and engaging, but they haven’t posted anything since the end of March on Facebook and Twitter and nothing since August 2017 on Instagram.
In 2018, Instagram implemented a feature allowing brands to produce shoppable posts.
Previously, URLs or links of any kind did not work unless they were in the account bio – hence the often quoted ‘shop link in bio’.
Now, however, customers can click and be taken directly to the product or category in question.
Regarding lead generation, the link could take them through to a contact form instead.
With an estimated 85% of millennials using their phones to make purchases before any other device and a membership of over 800 million, it opens up another vast audience who can click and buy in an instant.
So, it really will pay to pay attention to social media in the future.
Download the report below or get in touch if you have any more queries about our data.