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Wealth Firms Face Losing Millions in Digital Marketing Value In 2021

Wendy Spires Head of Research 18 August 2020

Wealth Firms Face Losing Millions in Digital Marketing Value In 2021

A new research report from this news service examines what wealth managers must do to protect their positions against a major change to the ranking methodology used by Google - a development that will affect marketing efforts in this digital age.

Mobile page speed is now easily the most powerful metric predicting digital marketing success - and costs - for wealth managers. A new in-depth analytical report released today by this publication will tell firms how they currently stand and what they need to do to shore up their positions against a seismic shift in Google’s ranking methodology.

Now, more than ever, wealth managers must ensure a strong online presence allowing them to maximize their digital marketing efforts. Yet a change is just around the corner that could see firms lose millions in visibility value, a new report from this publication and QueryClick reveals.

Come March, Google will roll out mobile-first indexing across all sites so that its algorithm ingests the mobile rather than desktop version of URLs. As a result, search rankings will be driven by how fast firms’ websites render on a medium-strength 3G connection (i.e. the speed at which their HTML code is converted into a page on screen). Far from being a triviality, this is easily the most powerful metric predicting digital marketing success - and costs - today.  

“Which Wealth Managers Will Win the Page Speed Wars?” analyzes the performance of 50 of the world’s largest firms, allowing them to see: how they compare with peers on page speed; the severity of the slide they face in Google search rankings; how well they are performing for the sector’s top search terms; and their Value at Risk in digital marketing. The report also provides guidance on self-diagnosis, allowing the full spectrum of institutions globally to anticipate how they will fare in the months following the change.

Key to business growth
Mobile page speed might be a somewhat under-the-radar topic, but the COVID-19 pandemic has powerfully amplified its already great importance. Wealth managers have really woken up to the power of digital marketing and relationship-building in recent years; the crisis has made this the bedrock of business growth as the process of courting potential clients has been moved almost exclusively online. It is difficult to envisage the importance of digital “shop windows” ever rolling back.

HNW individuals represent an ever more digitally sophisticated market, and the impact of mobile page speed extends far beyond their organic visibility (how well a firm ranks against key search terms like “best wealth managers”); it has a massive impact on conversion too. Research shows that people get frustrated after about a second’s delay and increasingly give up – to the extent that sites lose about 7 per cent of conversion for every additional second after the first. This is why Google has set a target of sub-1 second rendering on the average 3G mobile connection, rewarding sites which offer the best user experience. 

Plenty to worry about
This report highlights how many wealth managers -- including some of the world’s biggest brands - have plenty to worry about on this front. 

Our analysis shows that a great many firms are way off Google’s target speed – and also far behind their competitive peer group. Those slower than the median face very serious slippage in their search rankings, hurting organic visits and revenue potential. If they do not take action, many organizations are looking at spending millions to replace their hard-won organic visibility through paid search. 

Pay-Per-Click is notoriously expensive in the wealth management space: the average cost for the 50 search terms included in our analysis is just under £6 (around $8) against a cross-sector average of $1-$2. Furthermore, Cost-Per-Click for “discretionary wealth management” is a chunky £18 (£23) due to the assumption of high conversion success. Due to poor mobile page speeds, a number of big-name organizations face losing organic visibility that will cost several million pounds to replace. 

Immediate, and long-term harm
The shift in Google’s ranking method is just months away, but this is an issue that will only loom larger. Any firm failing to get up to speed may face a potential loss in rankings fairly swiftly, yet there is also likely to be a pernicious effect over the months and years following the change: March 2021 is just the start.

“Given that in September Google will be turning up the dial on the importance of page speed for all organic search result rankings, 2021 are set to be all about page speed,” says Chris Liversidge CEO of QueryClick. “Our study shows there will be winners and losers, and they can be reliably predicted with mobile page speed: it's not just important these days, it's critical for business success.”

“Which Wealth Managers Will Win the Page Speed Wars?” is an invaluable tool to help firms see where they stand and offers practical guidance on how to get ahead, fast. To access this ground-breaking analysis, click here. 

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