The six leading supermarket brands in the UK are failing to fully capitalise on their advertising and marketing potential – and potentially missing out on additional consumer trade as a result – a new study claims.

The study, by top web analytics organisation, Experian Hitwise, argues that Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Waitrose, and even the mainly online brand Ocado, all make ineffective use of search engine optimisation (SEO), whereby web users are steered towards a particular brand’s website via generalised internet searches.

The study cites as evidence for its argument the fact that the first page of Google appearing after a search is made for common recipes such as Yorkshire pudding, chocolate cake, pancakes and cupcakes, features none of the websites belonging to the top supermarket chains in question.

The findings are perhaps all the more astonishing given the conclusion of a separate report by Fresh Business Thinking, to the effect that by 2016 revenue from online grocery purchases will account for £11.2 billion.

Commenting on the Experian Hitwise report, digital consultant Juliette van Rooyen, said on trade website,, that supermarkets were ‘so fixated on their own agendas’ that they were even failing to appreciate how much they were losing out to rivals such as Amazon when it came to items such as recipe books and dried foodstuffs.

Van Rooyen also claimed that Waitrose’s website was currently likely to be too ‘technically hampered’ to respond well to any attempts at introducing quality SEO for the brand.