Online mortgage searches increase by a third

UK consumer online searches for terms relating to financial products increased considerably in January 2010, with terms relating to mortgages the most searched for according to technology firm Greenlight.

Greenlight’s report used industry data to classify 540 of the most popular search terms used by UK consumers to find providers of savings, credit and debit cards, mortgages and loans, online.

Mortgage-related terms accounted for a 58% share – 3.2 million searches of the 540 most popular search terms which Greenlight identified.

They also made up eight of the top 10 most searched for keywords.

According to Greenlight, this is a considerable rise on October’s 2.4 million searches for such products.

With 673,000 queries and accounting for 21% of mortgage product-related searches in January, ‘Mortgage calculator’was the term most searched for by consumers. ‘Mortgages’followed with 11% then ‘Buy to let mortgages’and‘Compare mortgages’with 9% of the search volume each.

Cumulatively financial services delivered a combined total of 5.6 million searches in January 2010, an increase of 1.3 million on October 2009 search volume.

Greenlight determined the top 60 best positioned, and hence the most visible websites to UK consumers, in the retail banking sector, in natural search and paid search.

In natural search, MoneySupermarket was the most visible website overall, followed by Halifax and Fool. There were also some notable movers up the ranks since Greenlight’s last report in October 2009. Woolwich for example, increased its share by 13%, ascending Greenlight’s league table and leaping from position 39 to five.

Likewise MoneyFacts. It attained position 6 in January having previously been 26th. NatWest also made notable strides having previously ranked at position 59, moving to up to 22.

In paid search, Moneysupermarket was again the most visible across the board achieving a 70% share of voice. ING Direct followed with 45% then NatWest with 32%.

Through working with retail banking clients, Greenlight’s research has found that most retail banking-related search queries are performed at the beginning of the week, from Monday to Wednesday. Interestingly, the report showed that advertisers underestimated the importance of bidding on Monday, yet overestimated the importance of the weekend.