Banks from SEM point of view

On January 4, 2010, in SEM, by entmind

For the second time Polish banks were examined and assessed with regard to SEM activities (both SEO and PPC). Which bank efficiently positioned its websites, which advertised using sponsored links and which had the best results? What has changed since the last ranking was announced? You can find the answers in the latest bluerank report – Banks from SEM point of view.

Both rankings were based on the same research methodology. The following criteria were taken into account: position in organic search, quality and quantity of links to the website, search engines optimisation of websites and visibility of banks in Pay Per Click ads (PPC known also as sponsored links).

THE WINNERS

In the IV Q of 2008 the winner of our ranking (concerning optimisation and positioning as well as advertising in search engines), was PKO BP which maintained the position of the leader gained in the ranking done for the year 2007. PKO BP managed to increase the score by 1 point amounting to 52, however his result does not give the bank a secure supremacy over BZ WBK which is currently on the second position and was granted only 2 points less.

And the order this year is as follows:

PKO BP BZ WBK mBank Bank Millennium Bank BPH Lukas Bank Bank Pekao SA ING Bank ?l?ski DomBank MultiBank Citi Handlowy

BZ WBK has actually outdistanced the competition improving by 9 points this year. The bank’s jump is an effect of its sponsored links campaign which earned 14 points in this category and assured 2nd place in the PPC category. This is a noticeable improvement as in the examined period in 2007 there were no there were no records of sponsored links of BZ WBK and the bank did not get any points in this category.

The largest rise was recorded by mBank, which jumped from the 7th position in 2007 to the 3rd in 2008. This increase is due to mBank’s launching of PPC actions (there weren’t any recorded in the previous year), multiplication of the links leading to its website as well as its optimisation (SEO activities).

THE LOSERS

The most serious downgrade was recorded by MultiBank, which ended up on the tenth place loosing 5 positions since the last year report! The main reason of this loss is the less frequent appearance of MultiBank in TOP 10 of organic search results. They were generated by general search connected with banking branch and finance services: credit, banks, investment funds, loans, mortgage loan, investments, cash machines, home mortgage loan, credit card, pay card (the examination in 2007 was done for the same key words).

PROBLEMS WITH SEO

In fact, almost all the banks (except Millenium) were affected by the position drop in the natural search results. This is probably because of aggressive positioning of loan agents’ websites. These websites implement affiliate programs (banks’ programs as well as programs of online services such as Bankier.pl and Money.pl). The affiliate programs use JavaScript redirection, which is not readable for Google bots, instead of direct links and consequently they do not support organic positioning of banks’ websites. Because of this, the position of agents’ websites will probably be getting stronger in the organic search results. To improve their situation, banks should consider a rebuilt of the websites to make the affiliate sites link organically to them (traffic and conversions could be counted using Google Analytics or other statistic systems).

RISING POPULARITY OF PPC

Driven out of the organic search results, banks decide to invest in sponsored links campaigns. In the last year banks have increased their visibility in PPC search results by 11 percentage points. The growing interest in search engines advertising is also visible in the rising PPC campaigns competition in the finance sector. In 2007, 80 searches gave 733 advertisements, while a year later (IV Q 2008), the same number of searches generated 829 advertisements, which means a 13% rise.

In the last quarter of 2008 the most visible in PPC ads were PKO BP and BZ WBK. Millenium has not invested in sponsored links campaigns at all, what might have been caused by the bank’s high position in organic search.

To find more information about the results of the research and its methodology please refer to the the full version of our Bluepaperhttp://www.bluerank.com/bluepapers/bluepaper_022009_en.pdf

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