By Claire West

Analysis of the latest quarterly online search data for the retail banking sector from leading independent digital marketing agency, Greenlight, reveals queries pertaining to mortgages dominated consumer searches in July.

Greenlight’s findings follow The Council of Mortgage Lenders latest estimates which show the UK’s total gross mortgage lending in July increased to £16.6 billion, representing a rise of 12% from £14.8 billion in June and 29% higher than the total of £12.9 billion in July 2012. This is the highest monthly estimate for gross lending since October 2008 (£18.6 billion).

Greenlight’s report “Retail Banking — Issue 17”, profiled search behavior when consumers went to Google UK to look for borrowing, banking and savings & investments products and services. The report identified the most popular search terms and those sites that were most visible to searches.
According to the report, in July, there were 3.7 million retail-banking related searches.

Those pertaining to loans, lending and borrowing accounted for 65% of all consumer queries, compared to 27% for savings & investments and 8% for banking.

Greenlight’s data shows the keyword ‘mortgage calculator’ was queried 550,000 times and related terms cumulatively accounted for a 25% share of borrowing-related queries, indicative that working out rates and repayments on mortgages would seem to have been all-important.
Loans and credit cards followed, clocking up 201,000 and 90,500 consumer online search queries, respectively.

Greenlight’s league table charting the most prominent sites to consumer retail banking-related searches overall, shows was the most visible website in both the organic* and paid listings**, attaining a 79% share of voice in the former and 81% in the latter.

For the borrowing sub-sector specifically, achieved an 82% share of visibility in organic listings and 86% in the paid listings.

However, the 12 month retrospective in Greenlight’s report for retail banking overall, shows July totals suffered a sharp decline on June’s search volumes, when retail banking-related searches peaked at 4.4 million. It also reveals the most dramatic gains made were between February and March this year, when search volumes rose dramatically, from 2.5 million 4.3 million — a 72% increase.