Pet Insurance Comparison Becomes a Hot PPC Topic in 2015

Lorna Gill Posted by Lorna Gill

Experts predict a significant increase in the number of pet owners investing in insurance for their cuddly friends this year. How exactly will this affect current insurance provider offerings?

Insurance used to be an expense that few pet owners were willing to splurge on, as most chose to take the risk and wait until their pet clearly needed a trip to the vet. Recently, however, pet owners have finally turned to insurance to avoid the exorbitant bills that accompany immediate veterinary attention.

In their report, Pet Insurance in the UK, Key Trends and Opportunities to 2018, Research and Markets predicts that the pet insurance industry will be worth £1.1bn by 2018, which represents a massive opportunity for existing insurance providers to diversify their product offerings and capitalise on impending growth.

According to the study, however, concerns over high claims costs and pet insurance fraud could prevent providers from offering pet insurance at all.

In such a lucrative industry, insurance companies look to aggregators like Compare the Market, GoCompare, and MoneySupermarket to broker deals with the public as they search for the best possible deals — in other words, the ones most likely to pay out if your pet falls ill.

Let’s take a look at how three different comparison sites are marketing pet insurance, and consider how they could more effectively capture the market.

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Looking at paid search performance, all three aggregators seem to have experienced a relatively bumpy year. Compare the Market successfully held onto its lead, but its share fell from a peak of almost 80% to a low of 55% in August and September.

In second place, MoneySupermarket submitted a fairly average performance, although its SOV was extremely variable within the mid-level SOV bracket. GoCompare’s presence, too, dropped precipitously, from a respectable 45% in May to just 8% in June and July, and then again down to an average of 5% for the rest of the 12-month period.

What’s Behind This Bumpy Ride?

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If you take a look at general search trends, it’s easy to see that searches around pet insurance were also notably uneven. The chart, however, reveals that searches started soaring after January, reversing a steady decline that began in October.

Although GoCompare and Compare the Market took heed of this turnaround, MoneySupermarket appears not to have done so, as its SOV took a dive at the time. Let’s look now at the specific keywords to gather some more important clues about this data.

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The two variations of the generic “pet insurance” keyword were by far the most popular search terms over the year-long period, with its performance peaking in November.

Taking a look at the SOV these two keywords provided the three competitors shows us that GoCompare was unable to gain traction on the highly competitive words — especially in comparison to MoneySupermarket and Compare the Market, which perhaps decided instead to invest on keywords outside of the pet insurance domain.

In January, competitors started bidding on “Comparison pet insurance,” as consumers began searching for the best deals to protect their pet. This directly correlated to the increase in Google searches for pet insurance, according to the Google Trends data.

Getting Specific

If we take a look at details, the brand term “Sainsburys pet insurance” earned some traction during the 12-month period, gaining a share of over 10% — most notably in April and May of last year.

Although you might assume that the three insurers advertised Sainsbury’s pet insurance deals, the only competitor bidding on that term was MoneySupermarket, which doesn’t actually offer Sainsbury’s deals.

Is this a case of brand infringement for the supermarket to investigate? It’s possible, although Sainsbury’s holds the majority share of the market for its brand terms, and this negligible share doesn’t seem to have affected them in any way.

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Clearly, the company should be more concerned that its rivals, Asda and Co-Operative, are bidding on its brand terms, as the latter gained a hefty 30% SOV in July.

Using PPC for Pet Insurance Success

Even if GoCompare decides that the pet insurance sector isn’t the most lucrative one out there, taking a look at insights from competitive intelligence could allow them to observe how their competitors are bidding and adapt their strategy accordingly.

Although the aggregator did bid on some pet insurance terms, they weren’t able to keep up with their competitors at the most important time of year.

Based on the increase in pet insurance searches at the beginning of the year, Adthena’s data shows us that providers should indeed seize the opportunity to sell pet insurance. It’s this type of insight that demonstrates how Adthena can help companies analyse the PPC strategies of their competitors and adjust their own accordingly.

[Main image credit: Lindsey Turner/flickr]

About the author

Lorna Gill
Lorna Gill
Lorna is responsible for acquisition marketing at Adthena, communicating their award-winning product and generating demand. She has developed her career in fast-paced, start-up environments, including two tech track 100 companies and is passionate about translating technical information into stories that excite and delight.