• Select Car Leasing is best for keyword search
  • Carwow leads the lease deal aggregator sites
  • Vanarama best for keyword search in light commercials
  • Audi has most search visibility from the OEMS
  • Ford dominates commercial vehicle search
  • Electric and ULEV the rising search terms

A REPORT on keyword search in the leasing sector has revealed that Reading broker, Select Car Leasing, currently dominates the market.

According to analysis by Stickyeyes, a full service digital marketing agency, Select Car Leasing generates the largest volume of traffic from car leasing keyword search terms, followed in second place by Manchester broker Nationwide Vehicle Contracts.

Third highest for search terms was leasing aggregator platform carwow.

The research by Stickyeyes – Vehicle Leasing: Search Visibility & Digital Marketing Report – concentrated on the 8000 keywords associated with leasing, broken down into three basic categories: generic; make; and model. The keywords between them provide organic volume of 1.2m searches.

According to the Stickyeyes method of analysis, each keyword was reported as a monthly average figure, based on the most recent 12-monthly data to minimise the impact of seasonal peaks in search activity.

The report’s author, Michael Hewitt, says:

Select Car Leasing is the runaway leader. It has position one across the most number of keywords, and ranks well because we can see it has a higher trust score than other broker brands. Nevertheless, Nationwide Vehicle Contracts in second is actually more effective across the full keyword set.

Michael Hewitt, content marketing manager, Stickyeyes

In total, Select was position one in 3630 of the 7926 keywords analysed, equal to traffic at an estimated 169,500 website visits. It also ranked highest in the five highest search terms: ‘car leasing’; ‘car lease’; ‘lease car’; ’car lease deals’; and ‘lease cars’.

However, Hewitt notes that on a proficiency score – looking at areas of user experience, relevancy and customer engagement – several sites scored better than Select, namely Hippo Leasing and Leasing.com. But where Select outscores them is on the other area of proficiency – trust – a key Google factor in search.

Hewitt again:

“Our proficiency score measures trust by considering factors such as domain authority, linking root domains and brand awareness – metrics that often combine many different elements and reflect a wide spectrum of SEO tactics.

“We know that trust is a big factor in Google’s ranking algorithm, particularly with content that deals with complex financial products…Google now expects higher levels of expertise, accuracy, balance and depth to branded content.”

It appears from the Stickyeyes’ analysis this is an area where Select actively outscores its broker site rivals.

Whilst the brand does not have the greatest number of pages of the leasing brokers that we analysed, it does by far have the largest content depth with around 27,000 words of content across 627 pages – around 10,000 words more than the nearest competitors.

Michael Hewitt, content marketing manager, Stickyeyes

Hewitt says this helps provide the Select website with important trust signals, and delivers a more informative user experience, while establishing search niche relevance.

Vehicle Leasing Proficiency Score
Vehicle Leasing Proficiency Score

Vehicle leasing organic search visibility: top 10

1 selectcarleasing.co.uk

  • Visibility 169,588
  • Ranking keywords 7806
  • Keyword % 98.5%

2 nationwidevehiclecontracts.co.uk

  • Visibility 92,175
  • Ranking keywords 7448
  • Keyword % 94%

3 carwow.co.uk

  • Visibility 59,974
  • Ranking keywords 7265
  • Keyword % 91.7%

4 leasing.com

  • Visibility 49,314
  • Ranking keywords 7355
  • Keyword % 92.8%

5 whatcar.com

  • Visibility 36,066
  • Ranking keywords 7251
  • Keyword % 91.5%

6 hippoleasing.co.uk

  • Visibility 35,177
  • Ranking keywords 7416
  • Keyword % 93.6%

7 leasecar.co.uk

  • Visibility 21,411
  • Ranking keywords 6378
  • Keyword % 1.3%

8 leasingoptions.co.uk

  • Visibility 20,219
  • Ranking keywords 6777
  • Keyword % 80.5%

9 firstvehicleleasing.co.uk

  • Visibility 17,589
  • Ranking keywords 6596
  • Keyword % 85.5%

10 gateway2lease.com

  • Visibility 14,842
  • Ranking keywords 7298
  • Keyword % 83.2%

Source: Vehicle Leasing: Search Visibility & Digital Marketing Report

A further four leasing brokers – Vanarama, All Car Leasing, Synergy Car Leasing, and Intelligent Car Leasing – feature within the top 20 best performing brands. However, Hewitt says he wasn’t completely overwhelmed by the Select performance, instead he suggests the gap was down to the underperformance of competitors. In particular the analysis identified duplicate content as  one reason why other broker brands underperformed in comparison:

We found examples of content being duplicated across multiple brands; an issue that can significantly impede organic search ranking. This content appeared to come from either vehicle manufacturers (specifications or brochure content) or from content agencies (vehicle reviews), rather than from direct copying from competitors, but it highlights an aspect of search marketing where many of the brands in this sector are missing key opportunities to establish their expertise, build authority and establish consumer trust.

The car manufacturer search rankings

Search Volume by Vehicle Manufacturer
Search Volume by Vehicle Manufacturer

In terms of OEMs, Audi remains out in front by some margin, followed by BMW and then Mercedes-Benz, once again underlying the ability of leasing brokers to attract customers through advantageous personal contract hire (PCH) deals on prestige German cars.

Typical search terms are ‘Audi car lease’, and ‘Audi leasing’. These Audi terms account for 46% of the 72,370 monthly searches relating to the brand.

Select Car leasing leads on all three of the key car nameplates, with Nationwide, Gateway2Lease, All Car Leasing, Lease Car and First Vehicle Leasing all in the top 10 mix.

Ford and Vanarama head commercial vehicle search rankings

Vanarama, the biggest of the van specialist broker operations, and Ford the biggest commercial vehicle sales operation in the broker channel, dominated the search rankings for commercial vehicles.

Vanarama holds 118 of the top search terms meaning that it is the leading brand for close to 26% of 454 keywords in this analysis. Nationwide and Select are second and third respectively, while the first of the other van specialist broker sites, Lease Van, comes in at fifth, and Vansdirect in eighth. Rivervale, which has taken on the franchise for the electric Maxus brand, is placed 10th.

Ford’s vast lead in the OEM terms is down to two key search terms – Ranger and Transit – ahead of Volkswagen (Amarok and Transporter) and Nissan (Navara).

The emerging market for electric vehicle search terms

Search is a constantly evolving market, and the Stickyeyes analysis is seeing a rise in the organic search for electric and ultra low-emission vehicles (ULEVs).

While Select once more dominates the market here, it’s not surprising to find the Marlow broker EV specialist DriveElectric featuring third behind Nationwide, along with its AR, EDF Energy, in ninth. New EV-only broker Weevee, led by former AFL director Paul Fagan, is also making significant gains at sixth.

Hewitt notes that while EV generic terms are growing – such as ‘electric car lease’ – he said he expected these to be overtaken soon by more model specific terms as a greater number of electric models hit the market.

He adds:

“Tesla, perhaps unsurprisingly given its market position in the electric vehicle segment, is the only manufacturer that appears amongst the top 10 brands for leasing keywords, generating 2,635 monthly visits from 418 ranking keywords.”

What conclusions can be reached from leasing keyword analysis?

While Stickeyes recognises the significant growth in the leasing broker market, it says this has not translated into the sort of competitive search engine results they would expect from other similar growth sectors.

And that while Select Car Leasing has currently cornered the market, there is plenty of opportunity for other brokers to muscle in on keyword territory if they are prepared to put in the effort.

Hewitt concludes his report by saying:

Our analysis also shows that whilst one brand may be leading most segments of the market – and by some considerable margin – there is significant opportunity for many brands in this sector to grow their organic search presence. For these brands, the challenge is to understand how they can accelerate their digital presence to build brands that are trusted online, brands that provide relevant, original content, brands that deliver market-leading user experiences and brands that can engage audiences online throughout the customer journey.

How to download the Vehicle Leasing Search Visibility & Digital Marketing Report

Vehicle Leasing Search Visibility Digital Marketing Report

Brokers wishing to read the entire Vehicle Leasing: Search Visibility & Digital Marketing Report, can access it by downloading it from the Stickeyes Resource Section. It is free to download.

About the authors of the Vehicle Leasing Search Visibility report

The report has been produced by Stickyeyes, part of the Stickyeyes Group which also includes Zazzle Media.

Founded in 1999, Stickyeyes specialises in providing search engine optimisation, biddable media, content marketing, programmatic advertising, influencer engagement, web design and development, video, insight, marketing automation and digital consultancy. It is one of the largest in the UK.

The group employs more than 240 people across offices in Leeds, Peterborough and London. 

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