Brits are dabbling in the markets online, with 446,000 searches made online by UK consumers looking for trading-related platforms and services in October 2010, according to new research.
This findings come from the latest quarterly independent research from leading search marketing and technology firm, Greenlight.
However, the majority of the most visible trading platforms relied on online advertising – paying for online visibility. Just two managed to secure prominence in the natural search sphere which was dominated by informational sites.
The ‘Trading Sector Report October 2010’ provides an analysis of the search terms and trends in the trading sector.
Using industry data, it classified 1,200 of the most popular search terms used to find contracts for difference (CFDs), spreadbetting and stock trading companies and to analyse which companies were the most visible online.
The research showed stock trading-related searches accounted for over half (51%) of the overall trading-related search volume. This compared to 28% for spreadbetting and 20% for CFD trading, which according to Greenlight, have remained relatively constant over the last 12 months.
“This indicates the significance for multi-channelled trading brands of targeting stock trading in order to gain considerable share of online search visibility,” says Simon Hollingsworth, lead researcher at Greenlight.
The most searched for keyword, ‘share prices’, accounted for 27,100 searches in October 2010.
The top 10 search terms, which included ‘spreadbetting’, ‘shares’, ‘stock exchange’, ‘financial spread betting’ and ‘share dealing’, accounted for just 23% of the total search volume.
This, according to Greenlight, signifies the online search market is granular due to the number of keyword variations that consumers use to find trading-related sites.
In natural search, just 15 websites were visible for 10% or more of trading-related searches in October, indicating there are massive gains to be made for many players.
Of the top 10 websites in natural search, seven were information sites, two were trading platforms and one was a search engine. Informational sites, such as Wikipedia, IndependentInvestor and FinancialSpreadBetting.com featured as they attained notable visibility (34%, 26%, 22% share of visibility, respectively), due to relevant content on trading and credibility through links.
CityIndex was the most visible advertiser in paid search** securing the greatest share of voice (53%). GFTUK followed with 48% then CMCMarkets with 37%. Contrasting with Greenlight’s natural search league table, where the majority of the top websites were informational, nearly all of the top advertisers were trading brands.
To gauge social media interaction with brands, Greenlight monitored the Facebook and Twitter accounts of the top 15 brands in its integrated league table which shows the most visible websites in both natural and paid search. Brands were ranked based on the cumulative value of their ‘fans’ and ‘followers’, a score which Greenlight terms Social Media Popularity Index (SMPI). It further analysed the proactivity of brands by considering the number of ‘posts’ and ‘tweets’ they produced for consumers to interact with in October 2010.
In the social media sphere, EXTCapital was by far the most interactive brand, producing 386 ‘tweets’ in October. Content broadcasted economic and stock market news, indices updates and also displayed online sign-up promotions.
Interestingly, CMCMarkets synchronised its Twitter feeds and ‘tweets’ onto its Facebook page to maximise content exposure to its followers.